What Is Organizational Career Development?

Laura M. Sands
Laura M. Sands
Man with hands on his hips
Man with hands on his hips

Organizational career development looks closely at how employees at various levels perceive and interact with their work environments. The goal of such an assessment is to develop new strategies to encourage employee communication, satisfaction and retention, as well as to improve a company’s bottom line. Organizational career development is a valuable long-term planning tool used to create better and more productive work environments.

Individuals who specialize in career development help others with creating career goals and strategies. Such is accomplished by interviewing participants, identifying each person’s skill set and by using reliable career assessment surveys. In addition to the important process of helping identify suitable careers for individual participants, however, professionals who specialize in organizational career development use similar strategies to help identify ways of strengthening employee interactions with a company to achieve more positive outcomes.

People trained in organizational career development may work for the company they evaluate or may be hired as an independent contractor for a specified period of time. Those who agree to work as in-house career development specialists generally work closely with multiple human resource employees. Those hired as independent contractors who provide career development planning services are frequently referred to simply as management consultants.

Whether as an employee or as a consultant, an individual who specializes in organizational career development first analyzes a company’s current structure, including its policies and levels of employee satisfaction, before preparing a written report that identifies areas of weakness and strength within the organization. Often, organizational developers will then work with key management and human resource personnel to define and implement new organizational goals. Though each company is unique in how it approaches these goals, the overarching intent of all career development plans is to help a company operate more efficiently.

Regular activities of an organizational career development professional may include one-on-one interviews with employees at all levels of an organization’s structure, administering written surveys, analyzing findings and report writing. Organizational career development may also include hosting training seminars and leadership workshops. Developers may also work on creating unique training modules tailored for a particular type of industry or organization.

Professionals providing organizational career development assistance are formally trained in subjects relating to finance, business management and business administration. Most have earned a four-year degree in business and some have even earned graduate degrees in this area of study. Many working in this field also hold graduate degrees in a behavioral science.

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