Career can be defined as a general course of action a person chooses to pursue throughout his or her working life.
Career management is defined by (Ball 1997) as:
1. Making career choices and decisions – the traditional focus of careers interventions. The changed nature of work means that individuals may now have to revisit this process more frequently now and in the future, more than in the past.
2. Managing the organizational career – concerns the career management tasks of individuals within the workplace, such as decision-making, life-stage transitions, dealing with stress etc.
3. Managing ‘boundary less’ careers – refers to skills needed by workers whose employment is beyond the boundaries of a single organization, a work style common among, for example, artists and designers.
4. Taking control of one’s personal development – as employers take less responsibility, employees need to take control of their own development in order to maintain and enhance their employ-ability.
Career planning is an ongoing process through which an individual sets career goals and identifies the means to achieve them. The process by which individuals plan their life’s work is referred to as career planning. Through career planning, a person evaluates his or her own abilities and interests, considers alternative career opportunities, establishes career goals, and plans practical developmental activities. Career planning is the process by which one selects career goals and the path to these goals. Career development is those personal improvements one undertakes to achieve a personal career plan. Career management is the process of designing and implementing goals, plans and strategies to enable the organization to satisfy employee needs while allowing individuals to achieve their career goals. So, due to this career planning and development is necessary to each and every employee in an organization. The need of career planning and development is felt in each and every organization of today’s global world.
Usually, career planning programs are expected to achieve one or more of the following objectives:
1. More effective development of available talent.
2. Self-appraisal opportunities for employees considering new or nontraditional career paths.
3. More efficient development of human resources within and among divisions and/or geographic locations.
4. A demonstration of a tangible commitment to EEO and affirmative action.
5. Satisfaction of employees’ personal development needs.
6. Improvement of performance through on-the-job training experiences provided by horizontal and vertical career moves.
7. Increased employee loyalty and motivation, leading to decreased turnover.
8. A method of determining training and development needs.
Need for Career Planning
Career Planning is necessary due to the following reasons:
1. To attract competent persons and to retain them in the organization.
2. To provide suitable promotional opportunities.
3. To enable the employees to develop and take them ready to meet the future challenges.
4. To increase the utilization of managerial reserves within an organization.
5. To correct employee placement.
6. To reduce employee dissatisfaction and turnover.
7. To improve motivation and morale.
Career paths have historically focused on upward mobility within a particular occupation. One of four types of career paths may be used: traditional, network, lateral, and dual.
1. Traditional Career Path — an employee progresses vertically upward in the organization from one specific job to the next.
2. Network Career Path — A method of career path that contains both a vertical sequence of jobs and a series of horizontal opportunities.
3. Lateral Skill Path — traditionally, a career path was viewed as moving upward to higher levels of management in the organization. The availability of the previous two options has diminished considerably in recent years. But this does not mean that an individual has to remain in the same job for life. There are often lateral moves within the firm that can be taken to allow an employee to become revitalized and find new challenges.
4. d. Dual-Career Path — A career-path method, that recognizes that technical specialists can and should be allowed to continue to contribute their expertise to a company without having to become managers.
5. Adding Value to Retain Present Job — Regardless of the career path pursued, today’s workers need to develop a plan whereby they are viewed as continually adding value to the organization. If employees cannot add value, the company does not need them, and much of the evolving work environments cannot use them either. Workers must anticipate what tools will be needed for success in the future and obtain these skills. These workers must look across company lines to other organizations to determine what skills are transferable, and then go and get them. Essentially, today’s workers must manage their own careers as never before.
6. Demotion—Demotions have long been associated with failure, but limited promotional opportunities in the future and the fast pace of technological change may make them more legitimate career options.