Broadly, the term career is referred to an individual’s entire work life. In a narrow sense, it can be defined as the succession of jobs and or ranks held by a person in a particular organisation. An individual’s career begins with placement in a job and ends with departure from the organisation, may be in form of retirement, resignation or death. In between, the career progression consists of changing tasks, tenure in various jobs, temporary or permanent promotions, transfers etc.
Career planning and development includes all those events that is happening to or initiated by an individual affecting his/ her progress or promotion. It happens by widening and/or changing employment possibilities and is characterized by different and higher status, better conditions of service and increased satisfaction with the job. It revolves round events and occurrences an individual goes through while moving up the hierarchic ladder.
Career development is the process that enables an organisation to meet its current and projected manpower requirement through provisions of career opportunities for its employees. It aims at optimizing the effectiveness of human resources of an organisation through planned development of their knowledge, set of skills and potentialities for accomplishment of organisational objectives.
Career planning refers to planned and systematized progression of events and development in the field of work or vocation of individuals during the employable periods of their life for fulfillment of organisational objective with the individual ambitions getting to the top. Career is intensely related and relevant to individuals.
Essentially career development is an integral part of the holistic human resources management of an organisation. It is concerned with the growth of both individuals and the organisation. Individuals seek their total fulfillment within the organisation and the organisation in turn fulfills its charter of goals, only through its employees. This mutuality represents a commonality of concern in the development of career. Individual career and organisational careers are not separate from each other. for which, it becomes imperative on the part of the organisation to take the responsibility of assisting their employees in career planning, so that both individual and organisational goal can be met.
The basic character of career development is futuristic. For which, its policies and programmes are devoted for tomorrow. It envisions distant horizons and is multidimensional in nature. Broadly, all the functions of management and the multi-tiered aspects of personnel policy and practices from entry in the organisation to the point of separation are very closely connected with career development. Recruitment, probation, training, deployment, transfers, promotion, motivation etc have a bearing on career development. Career development is regarded as the ‘pivot’ around which the entire personnel management system revolves. It links each stage, phase, event of individual’s work life and acts as the ‘buckle’ that fastens an employee to the organisation. Career planning or development is primarily ‘proactive’ in the sense that, it must anticipate future, rather than be taken over by emerging situations.