Human Resource Management (MGT501)
After studying this chapter, students should be able to understand the following:
In this lecture, we first discuss the concept of career, career planning and development. Next, we distinguish
between job security and career security. Then, we identify several factors that affect career planning and
discuss both individual and organizational career planning. We next address career paths and discuss career
development, then, career planning and development methods are described. We devote the last part of the
chapter to a discussion of developing unique segments of the workforce.
Career can be defined as a general course of action a person chooses to pursue throughout his or her
I. Career planning:
Career planning is an ongoing process through which an individual sets career goals and identifies the
means to achieve them. The process by which individuals plan their life's work is referred to as career
planning. Through career planning, a person evaluates his or her own abilities and interests, considers
alternative career opportunities, establishes career goals, and plans practical developmental activities.
Usually, career planning programs are expected to achieve one or more of the following objectives:
1. More effective development of available talent.
2. Self-appraisal opportunities for employees considering new or nontraditional career paths.
3. More efficient development of human resources within and among divisions and/or geographic
4. A demonstration of a tangible commitment to EEO and affirmative action.
5. Satisfaction of employees' personal development needs.
6. Improvement of performance through on-the-job training experiences provided by horizontal and
vertical career moves.
7. Increased employee loyalty and motivation, leading to decreased turnover.
8. A method of determining training and development needs.
Individual career planning -- Career planning begins with self-understanding. Then, the
person is in a position to establish realistic goals and determine what to do to achieve these
goals. Learning about oneself is referred to as self-assessment. Some useful tools include a
strength/weakness balance sheet and a likes and dislikes survey.
1. Strength/weakness balance sheet: A self-evaluation procedure assists people in
becoming aware of their strengths and weaknesses.
2. Likes and dislikes survey: A procedure that assists individuals in recognizing
restrictions they place on themselves.
b. Career Assessment on the Web -- The Web has numerous tests and assessments sites
available to assist job seekers.
c. Organizational Career Planning -- The process of establishing career paths within a
II. Career Paths
Career paths have historically focused on upward mobility within a particular occupation. One of four types
of career paths may be used: traditional, network, lateral, and dual.
a. Traditional Career Path--An employee progresses vertically upward in the organization
from one specific job to the next.
b. Network Career Path--A method of career pathing that contains both a vertical
sequence of jobs and a series of horizontal opportunities.
c. Lateral Skill Path--Traditionally, a career path was viewed as moving upward to higher
Human Resource Management (MGT501)
levels of management in the organization. The availability of the previous two options has
diminished considerably in recent years. But this does not mean that an individual has to
remain in the same job for life. There are often lateral moves within the firm that can be
taken to allow an employee to become revitalized and find new challenges.
d. Dual-Career Path-- A career-path method, that recognizes that technical specialists can
and should be allowed to continue to contribute their expertise to a company without
having to become managers.
e. Adding Value To Retain Present Job--Regardless of the career path pursued, today's
workers need to develop a plan whereby they are viewed as continually adding value to the
organization. If employees cannot add value, the company does not need them, and much
of the evolving work environments cannot use them either. Workers must anticipate what
tools will be needed for success in the future and obtain these skills. These workers must
look across company lines to other organizations to determine what skills are transferable,
and then go and get them. Essentially, today's workers must manage their own careers as
f. Demotion--Demotions have long been associated with failure, but limited promotional
opportunities in the future and the fast pace of technological change may make them more
legitimate career options.
III. Career Development
A formal approach taken by an organization to help its people acquire the skills and experiences needed to
perform current and future jobs is termed as career development. Company's policies especially policies
regarding promotion, counseling the employees, opportunities to excel in future help employees to develop
their career. Career development consists of skills, education and experiences as well as behavioral
modification and refinement techniques that allow individuals to work better and add value.
Career development is an ongoing organized and formalized effort that recognizes people as a vital
organizational resource. It differs from training in that it has a wider focus, longer time frame, and broader
scope. The goal of training is improvement in performance; the goal of development is enrichment and
more capable workers.
Recently, career development has come to be seen as a means for meeting both organizational and
employee needs, as opposed to solely meeting the needs of the organization as it had done in the past.
Now, organizations see career development as a way of preventing job burnout, providing career
information to employees, improving the quality of work lives and meeting affirmative action goals. That is,
career development must be seen as a key business strategy if an organization wants to survive in an
increasingly competitive and global business environment.
IV. Career Planning and Development Methods
There are numerous methods for career planning and development. Some currently utilized methods, most
of which are used in various combinations, are discussed next.
Discussions with Knowledgeable Individuals--In a formal discussion, the superior
and subordinate may jointly agree on what type of career planning and development
activities are best. In other instances, psychologists and guidance counselors provide this
service. In an academic setting, colleges and universities often provide career planning and
development information to students. Students often go to their professors for career
b. Company Material--Some firms provide material specifically developed to assist their
workers in career planning and development. Such material is tailored to the firm's special
needs. In addition, job descriptions provide valuable insight for individuals to personally
determine if a match exists with their strengths and weaknesses and specific positions
Performance Appraisal System--The firm's performance appraisal system can also be a
valuable tool in career planning and development. Noting and discussing an employee's
Human Resource Management (MGT501)
strengths and weaknesses with his or her supervisor can uncover developmental needs. If
overcoming a particular weakness seems difficult or even impossible, an alternate career
path may be the solution.
d. Workshops--Some organizations conduct workshops lasting two or three days for the
purpose of helping workers develop careers within the company. Employees define and
match their specific career objectives with the needs of the company. At other times,
workshops are available in the community that the company may send the worker to or
workers may initiate the visit themselves.
Personal Development Plans (PDP)--Many employers encourage employees to write
their own personal development plans. This is a summary of a person's personal
development needs and an action plan to achieve them. Workers are encouraged to analyze
their strengths and weaknesses.
Software Packages--Some software packages assist employees in navigating their careers.
g. Career Planning Web Sites--There are numerous Web sites available that provide career
planning and career counseling as well as career testing and assessment.
V. Challenges in Career Development
While most business people today agree that their organizations should invest in career development, it is
not always clear exactly what form this investment should take. Before putting a career development
program in place, management needs to consider three major challenges.
a. Who will be Responsible?
Many modern organizations have concluded that employees must take an active role in planning and
implementing their own personal development plans. Situations have led companies to encourage their
employees to take responsibility for their own development; these may include mergers, acquisitions,
downsizing, and employee empowerment. However, employees need at least general guidance regarding the
steps they can take to develop their careers, both within and outside the company.
b. How Much Emphasis is Appropriate?
Too much emphasis on career enhancement can harm an organization's effectiveness. Employees with
extreme career orientation can become more concerned about their image than their performance. Some
warning signs a manager should be on the lookout for include a heavy focus on advancement opportunities,
managing impressions, and socializing versus job performance.
Serious side effects of career development programs include employee dissatisfaction, poor performance,
and turnover in the event that it fosters unrealistic expectations for advancement.
c. How Will the Needs of a Diverse Work Force be Met?
Companies need to break down the barriers some employees face in achieving advancement in order to
meet the career development needs of today's diverse work force. In 1991, a government study revealed
that women and minorities are frequently excluded from the informal career development activities like
networking, mentoring, and participation in policy-making committees.
Perhaps the best way a company can ensure that women and minorities have a fair chance at managerial and
executive positions is to design a broad-based approach to employee development that is anchored in
education and training.
Another employee group that may need special consideration consists of dual-career couples. Common
organizational approaches that are becoming increasingly popular in dealing with the needs of dual career
couples are flexible work schedules, telecommuting, and the offering of child-care services. Some
Human Resource Management (MGT501)
companies have also been counseling couples in career management.
Meeting the Challenges of Effective Career Development
Creative decision making is a must in designing and implementing an effective development program. The
three phases of development often blend together in a real_life program. These three phases include the
assessment phase, the direction phase, and the development phase.
a. The Assessment Phase
The assessment phase involves activities ranging from self-assessment to organizationally provided
assessment. The goal of both of these types of assessment is to identify employees' strengths and
b. The Direction Phase
This involves determining the type of career that employees want and the steps they must take to make their
career goals a reality. It involves:
Individual career counseling
c. The Development Phase
The development phase is taking actions to create and increase skills to prepare for future job opportunities
and is meant to foster this growth and self-improvement. The methods are
Mentoring & Coaching : It has become increasingly clear over the years that employees who aspire
to higher management levels in the organization often need the assistance and advocacy of someone higher
up in the organization. When senior employee takes an active role in guiding another individual, we refer to
this activity as mentoring and coaching. This can occur at any level and can be most effective when the two
individuals do not have any type of reporting relationship.
Job Rotation: Involves moving employees from one job to another for the purpose of providing
them with broader experience.
Tuition Assistance Programs: To help individuals plan their careers, organizations try to provide
additional information in order to have better choice of the career.
When an employer does not routinely offer development programs, it is essential that employees work out
their own development plan. Planning for your career should include a consideration of how you can
demonstrate that you make a difference to the organization.
∑ Development Suggestions
Development suggestions focus on personal growth and direction. These suggestions include statements
such as "Create your own personal mission statement."
∑ Advancement Suggestion
Advancement suggestions focus on the steps that employees can take to improve their chances of being
considered for advancement. These suggestions include statements such as "Remember that performance
in your function is important, but interpersonal performance is critical."
Career-Impacted Life Stages
Each person's career goes through stages that influence an individual's knowledge of, and preference for,
various occupations. People change constantly and, thus, view their careers differently at various stages of
their lives. Some of these changes result from the aging process and others from opportunities for growth
and status. The main stages of the career cycle include the growth, exploration, establishment, maintenance,
Growth Stage: The growth stage is roughly from birth to age 14 and is a period during
which an individual develops a self-concept by identifying and interacting with other
people. Basically, during this stage an individual establishes his or her identity.
b. Exploration Stage: The exploration stage is the period roughly from ages 15 to 24, during
which an individual seriously explores various occupational alternatives. The person
attempts to match these occupational alternatives with his or her own interests and abilities
Human Resource Management (MGT501)
resulting from education, leisure activities, and work.
Establishment Stage: The establishment stage is roughly from ages 25 to 44 and is the
primary part of most people's work lives. Hopefully, during this period, a suitable
occupation is found and the person engages in those activities that help earn a permanent
career. During this period, the individual is continually testing personal capabilities and
ambitions against those of the initial occupational choice.
d. Maintenance Stage: Between the ages of 45 to 65, many people move from the
stabilization sub stage into the maintenance stage. During maintenance, the individual has
usually created a place in the work world, and most efforts are directed at maintaining the
career gains earned.
Decline Stage: As retirement becomes an inevitable reality, in the decline stage, there is
frequently a period of adjustment, where many begin to accept reduced levels of power
Career: Career can be defined as a general course of action a person chooses to pursue throughout his or
her working life
Career planning: Career planning is an ongoing process through which an individual sets career goals and
identifies the means to achieve them.
Career Paths: Career paths have historically focused on upward mobility within a particular occupation.
Career Development: A formal approach taken by an organization to help people acquire the skills and
experiences needed to perform current and future jobs is termed as career development.
Mentoring & Coaching: When senior employee takes an active role in guiding another individual, we refer
to this activity as mentoring and coaching
Dual-Career Path: A career-path method, that recognizes that technical specialists can and should be
allowed to continue to contribute their expertise to a company without having to become managers.
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