The structured planning and development of a employee's professional career.
Career-path management refers to the structured planning and active management of an employee's professional career. The results of successful career planning are personal fulfillment, a work and life balance, goal achievement, and financial security. A career encompasses the changes or modifications in employment through advancement 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 the specific means (policies, rules, procedures, and activities) to implement the strategy
Systematic evaluation of the progress toward achievement of the selected goals and objectives to modify the strategy, if necessary
Human Resource Development
Human resource development (HRD) is the central framework for the way in which a company leverages an effective human resources department to empower employees with the skills for current and future success. The responsibility of the human resources department in regard to employee development primarily pertains to varying forms of training, educational initiatives, performance evaluation, and management development. Through employing these practices, human resource managers can significantly improve the potential of each employee, opening new career-path venues by expanding upon an employee's skill set.
This is achieved through two specific human resource objectives: training and development (TD) and organizational development (OD). Training and development, as stated above, is primarily individualistic in nature and focused on ensuring that employees develop throughout their careers to capture more opportunity.
Organizational development must be balanced during this process, ensuring that the company itself is leveraging these evolving human resources to maximum efficiency. Depending too heavily upon TD may result in an organization incapable of capitalizing on employee skills, while focusing too much on OD will generate a company culture adverse to professional development. Therefore, human resources departments are central to empowering employees to take successful career paths while maintaining an organizational balance.
Some Dimensions of Career Management
The first step of career management is setting goals. Before doing so the person must be aware of career opportunities and should also know his or her own talents and abilities. The time horizon for the achievement of the selected goals or objectives—short-term, intermediate, 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. They must be achievable and relate to long-term career goals.
Intermediate goals (three 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) are the most fluid of all. Lack of both life experience and knowledge about potential opportunities and pitfalls makes the formulation of long-term goals and objectives very difficult. Long-term goals and objectives may, however, be easily modified as additional information is received without a great loss of career efforts, because experience and knowledge transfer from one career to another.
Other Focuses of Career Management
The modern nature of work means that individuals may now (more than in the past) have to revisit the process of making career choices and decisions more frequently. Managing "boundless" 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. As employers take less responsibility, employees need to take control of their own development to maintain and enhance their employability.