5 Life Stages of Career Development

August 20, 2017

Life Stage 1 – Starting out

Be it an apprenticeship or university degree, making the transition from learning to full-time work can be tough especially for young women. The world of work is complex and sometimes terrifying.

Before moving from study to employment it is important to prepare mentally for the new life that you will be leading in a confident and balanced way. So for any apprentice and newly qualified graduate who wants to become career savvy, attending a Boost development course or Sprint (a women-only programme) can help instil a positive sense of direction in you, build your confidence and teach you essential skills that will enable rapid progress towards achieving your career goals and becoming a contributory employee much faster. 

For young mums especially, attending a women-only development programme can help you find the space, inspiration, and tools you need to sharpen your goals, raise aspirations, explore possibilities in a safe, open and frank environment, and to take advantage of work shadowing and coaching opportunities that are often offered.

Life Stage 2 – Empowering you as the individual

When you start working, setting out and achieving work and life goals can still feel like an uphill struggle. As well as wanting to develop your own skills and abilities, you will also need to learn how challenge power and often inequality, to build your confidence, assertiveness and to develop a positive image.

It is important that you feel empowered to be the best that you can be at this stage of your life and career, and to make the changes you want, rather than feeling bogged down by the barriers you are likely to face. Development courses such as the Springboard Women’s Development Programme can help you to get results at work, such as new qualifications, promotions, new skills, a new attitude to change, and a massive boost in confidence.

Life Stage 3 - Moving up

As life progresses people are often tasked with more responsibility as they move or are promoted into new supervisory or management roles at work. This can be a daunting and stressful experience, so if you are in line to achieve a management position or have recently been promoted, it is important to think about how you will develop your leadership and communication skills so you can Spring Forward and adapt to your new role quickly and with confidence.

Life Stage 4 - Second chances

The world of work is constantly changing. With an ageing workforce, an increasing number of employees taking leaves of absence – whether to have children, take a sabbatical, or to become full time carers for a loved one – and with redundancy a commonplace issue, we all need space and time to re-evaluate our priorities and some help to take some Fresh Steps.

Returning to work after maternity leave or a career break can still be very complicated and stressful. As women, we do tend to put ourselves under pressure to be all things to all people, but with the right work and personal guidance there is nothing that can to stop us from making the most out of our second, third, or even forth chance in our working lives.

Life Stage 5 - Breaking the glass ceiling

Women who are in the management pipeline or who are aspiring to higher levels of management within organisations face many barriers and challenges when it comes to moving up to the next level and breaking the glass ceiling.

Despite the national drive to promote more women into senior positions, the rate at which women are being promoted to the boards of the UK’s largest businesses slowed for the first time in 2016, at 29 per cent, down from 32.1 per cent in 2014.

To continue to challenge gender inequality it is essential that if you’re a woman on your way to the top, you have access to the right development support needed to help you tackle the tough issues at hand.  


Karen Daly-Gherabi is the Managing Director of The Springboard Consultancy, a world-leading international training and development consultancy.

The Springboard Consultancy helps individuals through all stages of their working and personal lives and has already trained over 250,000 people. It operates globally, and has a unique network of 450 licensed trainers based in over 44 countries, delivering world-class programmes, with proven results.

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August 20, 2017

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