August 23, 2021

Developing careers in the workplace - many hands make light work

Developing careers in the workplace – many hands make light work.

Talking about our various work and life roles – how things are going and what we’re thinking of doing - form part of our everyday conversations with our friends and family.  

Once in a workplace, similar conversations are often shoehorned into a performance review process. They become a task on the long list of ‘things to do’ for HR, managers, and staff.  

The solution? Encourage each person to take responsibility for their own career development and share the responsibilities to support this approach. Many hands can make light work!  

Short cut: go direct to the Workplace Career Development Checklist for strategies for your workplace.

Want to know more about the Checklist?  

Coming up for 20 years ago I completed an MBA dissertation: ‘Career Development of Individuals Within Organisations – A Study of Middle Managers in Two NZ Crown Entities’. Based on an analysis of literature and questionnaire responses of 28 managers, 10 recommendations were offered under: career development policies, career development support roles and responsibilities, and career development practices.  

Fast forward to the 2020s. As a career professional and in leadership roles within organisations, I have been fortunate to work in teams on standards for career development in New Zealand i.e., the Career Development Benchmarks for the education context and the CDANZ professional standards for career practitioners. What’s missing is a guide for supporting career development in workplaces. I want to thank Diversity Works NZ for the recently published Aotearoa Inclusivity Matrix for New Zealand workplaces, which includes a set of questions around career development practice. It prompted me to devise this simple starter Checklist.

Although the Checklist echoes some of the recommendations from 20 years ago it reflects current narratives about organisational career development. Balancing the workplace need for skilled staff with individual career development needs can be challenging. Hopefully the Checklist is a prompt for making small improvements that help to attract and retain an engaged workforce.

Extra suggestions:

  • If your workplace is a small to medium-sized enterprise, focus on Employee responsibilities and choose the most appropriate strategies from the other responsibilities.  
  • If your workplace uses different terminology you may want to include this, however I would caution against replacing the concept of ‘career’.

I’d love to hear from you if you have any questions or suggestions for improving the Checklist at .  

Julie Thomas, Executive Director

The Career Development Company is an approved All-of-Government provider of career development services.  


Providing career development support
for a range of clients

Whatever stage you are at in your career journey, making decisions about your future can often be overwhelming. Our services will help bring clarity and support, so that you can effectively navigate the next step in your journey to achieve your desired outcome.

Our career practitioners will work with you to demystify and simplify the process and equip you with the right tools and the knowledge to make good decisions for your future.

Sessions are tailored to the individual so you can gain the outcome that you want.  Two to four sessions are typically required.

What can we help you with?

  • Understanding who you are, and what you have to offer
  • Clarity about your future career direction
  • Understanding the labour market
  • Strategies for achieving your goal, with realistic steps to make that happen
  • Developing your career profile to ensure effective personal branding.
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Engage our team of career professionals to support your staff and managers to have meaningful and productive careers, to navigate the career transitions across their lifetimes, and to enhance their health and wellbeing. We understand the challenges faced with the conflicting demands on time and resources when taking an active role in career and talent management, and in promoting the health and wellbeing of each employee. There is ample evidence that career development brings substantial benefits to the economy, as well as to organisations.   

Your need for external career development services may be identified:

  • during workforce or business planning
  • in setting milestones for an organisational change project
  • through staff engagement reports or exit surveys
  • from client feedback
  • for delivery to students or trainees, or
  • from evaluations of learning and development programmes.
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The Career Development Company offers specialist expertise and support to education providers, helping them design, develop, and deliver career development programmes and services.  Students and trainees also need support to navigate transitions between education, training, and employment.

As a team we are committed to helping learners connect their learning with the world of work and who they will become: their future selves. We will work with you to support student and trainee engagement, understanding and a desire for lifelong learning.

What can we help you with?

  • Developing or strengthening your current career development programmes and services to enhance the outcomes for your students and trainees
  • Training staff to engage in effective career conversations with staff, students, or trainees, using our unique RECI™ model for effective career conversations.
  • Presenting topical career development seminars and workshops for staff, students, trainees, and parents
  • Providing individual and group career coaching and counselling or professional supervision sessions for staff, students, and trainees
  • Providing professional development for teaching staff in the integration of the ‘world of work’ into the classroom
  • Supporting career staff to design, develop and deliver evidence-based career development programmes
  • Advising on and/or lead the review, design, and development of New Zealand career-specific qualifications, programmes, and assessment.
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The Career Development Company is an approved All-of-Government provider of HR-Career Development Services. We are confident our career development services will benefit your organisation, managers, and staff.  Our career development expertise complements existing management and HR/OD functions. By taking an active role in your staff’s careers, you can create an environment of trust, openness, and increased engagement and satisfaction.

What can we help you with?

  • Support for organisational change - support your staff to develop skills and confidence to manage their career transitions in times of change, with our career transition and outplacement service.
  • Support for individual career development - encourage your staff to take responsibility for their life-long career development through our individual career development services.
  • Support for manager development -support managers to develop the confidence to have effective career conversations, and to grow in their role and with the organisation through mentoring. 
  • Support to deliver services to your client and community groups - support your organisation to develop or strengthen career development programmes and services to enhance the outcomes for your clients, students, or trainees.
Get in Touch

The Career Development Company is an advocate for professionalism in the careers industry and for the valuable role that professional associations and bodies play. As a team we are currently members of CDANZ, CATE, HRNZ, ICF, CDAA, CEAV, AI Forum, Women AI (WAI) Forum, Maori and Pasifika Career Practitioners Network, National Council of Women New Zealand, Office of Ethnic Communities Women to Women (W2W) Group. We are committed to supporting practitioners to continue to develop their competencies and to work ethically for positive outcomes for their clients.

  • Professional supervision or mentoring to grow in your current role and as a practitioner
  • Career coaching and counselling for your career journey
  • Professional development in effective career conversations
  • Support with the design and delivery of career development programmes and services.
  • ... and much more!

To develop and review your career profile with confidence, contact us today.