top of page

What Makes a Successful Career: Maximizing Personal and Vocational Growth: Career Development Stages

By Michael Kiener PhD, CRC Director of Rehabilitation Counseling Maryville University, Missouri Rehabilitation Association Eastern Chapter, Co-host of the Mentor Moments podcast.


Laura Weeks Graduate of Rehabilitation Counseling Maryville University


In the first blog post, we discussed identifying values and what is personally fulfilling from a career development perspective. In addition, readers were encouraged to reflect on a set of questions that hopefully allowed them to identify what they love about work, what work means to them personally, how they identify with their profession, and their future career aspirations. The intent of these questions was not only to help individuals create a definition of work, but also to help them begin to think about the stages of career development.

Click here to read the first blog in the series.

According to Super (1990), individuals progress through six predictable career phases that loosely correspond to age, although a person may recycle through stages if their career progression gets interrupted or changes. In general, people learn about the working world, explore career options, seek training and education, secure employment and career advancement, maintain and innovate skills, and transition out of the workforce. The intent of this post is not to describe each of the career stages in depth, but rather to help individuals identify where they think they are in their career development. Using a career development stage perspective like Super’s can provide individuals with a road map to better understand where they are and to help them create goals or tasks that will further personal and vocational growth. In addition, being aware of career stages and transitions may help individuals adapt to chance events or disruptions in their career and even plan for future opportunities. In addition, being aware of career stages may also better help individuals adapt to chance events, disruptions in their career progress, and or plan for future opportunities.

To extend your journey of continued personal and vocational growth reflect on the following questions specifically focused on career development stages.

  1. Would you say you are:

    1. Exploring career options or very new in your career

    2. Getting settled in your career

    3. Feeling confident and progressing in your career

    4. Established and getting ready to transition out of your career

  2. Now that you have identified a career stage, what would you say is most important in your development?

  3. How will you know that you have progressed to the next phase of your career?

  4. Looking back on your career:

    1. How has it progressed

    2. Is it what you expected

    3. If you had anything unexpected happen, how well did you adapt to the change

    4. What is one thing you learned

    5. What are you looking forward to

28 views0 comments


bottom of page