- A career may be defined as ‘a sequence of jobs that constitute what a person does for a living’.
- According to Schermerborn, Hunt, and Osborn, ‘Career planning is a process of systematically matching career goals and individual capabilities with opportunities for their fulfillment’.
- Career planning is the process of enhancing an employee’s future value.
- A career plan is an individual’s choice of occupation, organization and career path.
Career planning encourages individuals to explore and gather information, which enables them to synthesize, gain competencies, make decisions, set goals and take action. It is a crucial phase of human resource development that helps the employees in making strategy for work-life balance.
Features of Career Planning and Career Development:
- It is an ongoing process.
- It helps individuals develop skills required to fulfill different career roles.
- It strengthens work-related activities in the organization.
- It defines life, career, abilities, and interests of the employees.
- It can also give professional directions, as they relate to career goals.
Objectives of Career Planning:
- To identify positive characteristics of the employees.
- To develop awareness about each employee’s uniqueness.
- To respect feelings of other employees.
- To attract talented employees to the organization.
- To train employees towards team-building skills.
- To create healthy ways of dealing with conflicts, emotions, and stress.
Benefits of Career Planning:
- Career planning ensures a constant supply of promotable employees.
- It helps in improving the loyalty of employees.
- Career planning encourages an employee’s growth and development.
- It discourages the negative attitude of superiors who are interested in suppressing the growth of the subordinates.
- It ensures that senior management knows about the calibre and capacity of the employees who can move upwards.
- It can always create a team of employees prepared enough to meet any contingency.
- Career planning reduces labour turnover.
- Every organization prepares succession planning towards which career planning is the first step.
Career development is the series of activities or the on-going/lifelong process of developing one’s career. Career development usually refers to managing one’s career in an intra-organizational or inter-organizational scenario. It involves training on new skills, moving to higher job responsibilities, making a career change within the same organization, moving to a different organization or starting one’s own business.
Career development is directly linked to the goals and objectives set by an individual. It starts with self-actualization and self-assessment of one’s interests and capabilities. The interests are then matched with the available options.
The individual needs to train himself to acquire the skills needed for the option or career path chosen by him. Finally, after acquiring the desired competency, he has to perform to achieve the goals and targets set by him.
Career development is directly linked to an individual’s growth and satisfaction and hence should be managed by the individual and not left to the employer. Career development helps an individual grow not only professionally but also personally. Learning new skills like leadership, time management, good governance, communication management, team management etc also help an employee develop and shape their career.
Importance of Career Development
Every employee working in an organization is looking for a career development which moves in the right direction. Career path taken by an employee determines the growth. Career should be planned in a way that it moves forward.
Career development provides the framework with skills, goals, awareness, assessment and performance which helps an individual to move in the right direction and achieve the goals one has in one’s career. Careful career planning is always useful for individuals to succeed professionally and also helps to boost employee motivation in the organization.
Career Development Strategies
The development of an individual’s career is driven by several factors. Strategies to improve someone’s career can be driven either by the company through organization development or by the individual himself or herself. Some strategies of career development are as following.
- By Companies
Training and development by companies can help in employees learn new skills. Companies help in providing leadership development, management development etc. This is all done through employee training sessions or developmental counselling. Employee development in the long run helps in career development.
- By Employees
Individuals can themselves boost their own career. This is done through constant evaluation of their skills using techniques like continuing professional development.
Continuous and repetitive efforts can help in the career development for an employee.