Career is a general course of action, an individual chooses to pursue, all through his or her employment life. It may be represented as occupational positions a person has hold over so many years. Many people feel satisfied by achieving their career goals. At the same time, others have a strong feeling that, their careers, their lives and their potential has undergone unfulfilled. Employers too have a profound effect on employees’ careers. Some organisations have very formal career management processes, while others are very little concern about it. Career management is defined as ongoing process of preparing, implementing and monitoring career plans. It can be undertaken either by the individual alone or can be a concerted activity along with the organisation’s career systems.
Career management is a process that enables the employees to better understand their career skills, develop and give direction to it and to use those skills and interests most effectively both within and outside the organisation. Specific career management activities provide realistic career oriented appraisals, posting open jobs and offering formal career development activities. Career development involves the lifelong series of activities that contribute to a person’s career exploration, establishment, growth, success, and fulfillment. Career planning is the deliberate process by which an individual becomes aware of his or her personal skills, interests, motivations, knowledge and other such characteristics. He also seeks and acquires information about the opportunities and choices, identifies career-related goals and establishes action plans to attain specific goals. Career management and career planning activities are complementary and can reinforce each other.
Career management can also be regarded as lifelong, self-monitored process of career planning. That involves choosing and setting personal goals and formulating strategies for achieving those. However, in an organisational context, the focus is on taking actions to meet the anticipated HR needs.
Benefits of Career Management
- Staffing inventories — Effective career management ensure a continuous supply of professional, technical and managerial talent for the fulfillment of organisational goal.
- Staffing from within — Most organisations like to promote employees from within for available positions because of the many potential advantages. In order to recruit from within, it requires a strong career management programme that ensures effective performance of employees in their new jobs.
- Solving staffing problems — Effective career management may serve as a remedy for certain staffing problems. Rate of employee turnover can be slashed because of the feeling that there is existence of opportunity within the organisation. It may be easier to go for new recruitment as the company develops its employees and provides better career opportunities.
- Satisfying employee needs — The current generation of employees are very different from those of past generation in terms of their set of needs. Again higher levels of education have raised their career expectations and many of the employees hold their employers directly responsible in providing better opportunities for realization of their career expectations.
- Enhanced motivation – Since, progression along the career path is directly related to job performance, an employee is likely to be motivated and perform at peak levels to accomplish career goals.
- Employment equity – Effective career management demand fair and equitable recruitment, selection and placement and try to eliminate discriminatory practices concerning promotions and career mobility. Such type of affirmative programmes contains formal provisions that become helpful for enhancement of the career mobility of women and other minorities groups emphasizing employment equity.