“Career Development is the lifelong process of managing learning, work, leisure, and transitions in order to move toward a personally determined, and always evolving PREFERRED FUTURE.” Source: Canadian Standards and Guidelines for Career Development Practitioners. 2012.

Career Development is often reflected through programs & services that are intended to help individuals explore and sort out questions related to: work and education options, training, life direction, skills development, personal and professional development, progressions and transitions, decision making and making a difference in work and in life. Programs & services, which include one-to-one and group, are provided in many different settings.

Websites and guides, and self-help tools that help individuals to explore and find their life path AND THEIR PASSIONS are available online and in abundance.

There are multiple sources of career development support that are not “professional” support but that can be highly effective. These include parents, networks, mentors, employers and friends. Many people manage their own career development independently and/or with the help of their own circles of contacts and supports…and never seek external assistance.

For those who need or want to benefit from professional assistance, there are career courses and centres in schools, community colleges and universities that help direct people to the resources they need and provide group and individual help if needed to make well considered choices. And don’t forgot that there are over 300 Career Development Practitioners just like Robert Manolson, who are also members of the Career Development Association of Alberta!!

There are community agencies and employment offices that help direct people to assess, explore options, research, make decisions, take action on learning and work options through group and individual assistance.

There are also human resource departments in many workplaces to assist employees to develop and implement their career plans.

Adapted from “What is Career Development?” (2014)

Why Is Career Development Important?

Career Development is about NAVIGATING & ADVENTURING your life journey through learning opportunities, work options, personal and professional development, and more, lots more!!

Think of the word CAREER as being:

The sum total of your life experiences.  WHAT AN ADVENTURE!!

It includes your paid and unpaid work, your community and volunteer activities and your family activities, AND YOUR PASSIONS IN LIFE!!

In other words, your career is like your LIFE STORY.

It’s made up of all the work, leisure, community, family roles, etc. that you take on throughout your life.

Your CAREER (life experiences) changes as you move into and out of various roles.

The word CAREER is often defined as “a path or progress through life.”

Yet people often think about career as “a” or “one” occupation chosen for life. This just doesn’t fit anymore with the realities of life today, both in work and outside work.

We do not make “one perfect education choice”.

Nor do we find “one perfect occupation for life”.

We navigate options.


We make choices without perfect information.

We bounce back from disappointments.

And we constantly learn from experience.

We have multiple roles throughout our life journey.

We cannot guarantee what will be around the next bend in our life journey…

But we can keep learning about ourselves and what we can and want to do.

Navigating & ADVENTURING is about making the best choices you can on your life journey so that you can live the kind of life you want for yourself.


Adapted from “What is Career Development?” (2014)



Are you creating space for yourself to be excited about something?

Are you on a journey of personal betterment?

And the betterment of the team?


About The Author

“As a Certified Career Development Professional and a long standing member of The Career Development Association of Alberta ( CDAA ), I receive many inquiries for my Career Counselling Services from anxious parents concerned about their teen’s lack of post-secondary plans. I can feel the stress and anxiety in their voices as they share stories regarding their daughter or son’s lack of direction in terms of their career.

Contact me! I specialize in working one-to-one with both teens and adults I’ve also built a 20 year reputation for providing the necessary guidance, information, and answers to people’s career and employment decisions.”

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