Career development has been an area of
interest from an individual’s perspective for
long. However, organizations have started
taking a structured approach towards
career development. In the past few years
we have seen organizations focusing on
practices that align with employee career
development. Although career is one of
the key element of employee retention,
and ensuring that he/she sees a long term
focus of the organization, structuring the
softer aspects and harder aspects of career
management is not easy. For example,
we have seen organizations focusing on
organization structuring; having detailed
career paths supported by job descriptions,
promotion criteria and venturing to change
it as and when the business realities
warranted. Clearly, it led to lack of
understanding for employees in terms of
what they can expect in the organization
and very less in terms of options, what
the whole structure meant for their career
growth. So while established organizations
had career management infrastructure and
tried to make it as a unique proposition
for its employees, it was diffi cult to tailor
to the aspirations and competencies of
employees. In practice we would have seen
tenure based promotions in private sector
organizations that were no different from
a bureaucratic government enterprise.
For example, a software engineer would
become a senior software engineer in
two years and would probably become
an assistant manager in another 3 years
(the difference was only whether the
year was good for business to give
enough promotions). This eventually
led to meaninglessness in career growth
from an employee perspective. The
concept of Protean Careers (Hall, 1996)
also got attention with the whole career
management becoming a responsibility
of the individual employee and the
belief that individuals should own their
career and seek opportunities, develop
themselves, learn continuously, and adapt
to the changing environment. This context
eventually led to the understanding that
career management is a joint responsibility
of employees and the organization – where
individuals need to have a say in making
their career choices.
Current Concepts in Career Management:….
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