Career management is the combination of structured planning and the active management of the initial occupational choice of one's own career and subsequent career development in terms of , for example, career change, personnel promotion, professional identity, professional networking and professional specialization .
The word career refers to all types of employment ranging from semi-skilled through skilled, and semi professional to professional. The term careers has often been restricted to suggest an employment commitment to a single trade skill, profession or business firm for the entire working life of a person. In recent years, however, career now refers to changes or modifications in employment during the foreseeable future.
There are many definitions by management scholars of the stages in the managerial process. The following classification system with minor variations is widely used:
- Development of overall goals and objectives,
- Development of a strategy (a general means to accomplish the selected goals/objectives),
- Development of the specific means (policies, rules, procedures and activities) to implement the strategy, and
- Systematic evaluation of the progress toward the achievement of the selected goals/objectives to modify the strategy, if necessary.
Goals or objectives development
The career management process begins with setting goals/objectives. A relatively specific goal/objective must be formulated. This task may be quite difficult when the individual lacks knowledge of career opportunities and/or is not fully aware of their talents and abilities. However, the entire career management process is based on the establishment of defined goals/objectives whether specific or general in nature. Utilizing career assessments may be a critical step in identifying opportunities and career paths that most resonate with someone. Career assessments can range from quick and informal to more indepth. Regardless of the ones you use, you will need to evaluate them. Most assessments found today for free (although good) do not offer an in-depth evaluation.
The time horizon for the achievement of the selected goals or objectives - short term, medium term or long term - will have a major influence on their formulation.
- Short term goals (one or two years) are usually specific and limited in scope. Short term goals are easier to formulate. Make sure they are achievable and relate to your longer term career goals.
- Intermediate goals (3 to 20 years) tend to be less specific and more open ended than short term goals. Both intermediate and long term goals are more difficult to formulate than short term goals because there are so many unknowns about the future.
- Long term goals (Over 20 years), of course, are the most fluid of all. Lack of life experience and knowledge about potential opportunities and pitfalls make the formulation of long term goals/objectives very difficult. Long range goals/objectives, however, may be easily modified as additional information is received without a great loss of career efforts because of experience/knowledge transfer from one career to another.
- 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.
- 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.
- Managing 'boundaryless' careers – refers to skills needed by workers whose employment is beyond the boundaries of a single organisation, a workstyle common among, for example, artists and designers.
- 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 employability.
Other elements include:
- Ball, B. (1997). Career management competences – the individual perspective. Career Development International 2 (2): 74–79.
- Ibarra, Herminia (2003). Working identity: unconventional strategies for reinventing your career, Harvard Business Press.
- Strenger, Carlo (2008). The Existential Necessity of Midlife Change. Harvard Business Review 2008: 82–90.
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