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Career planning and development: Definition and goals of career development

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Career planning and development: Definition, and goals

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Until recently, people spent most of their working lives in an organization. But in the decade after World War II, loyalty to the employer organization began to decline gradually, increasing job opportunities. In the 1980s, young people who started their careers in the United States changed jobs an average of six times.

The processes taking place in the modern world increased the mobility of workers, as they were guided by new principles and interests. No one entering any job thought that they would go all his way in it. After acquiring a certain level of knowledge and skills, usually, everyone starts as a specialist in a given organization and faces opportunities for growth hierarchy.

This, of course, depends on the qualities of the individual himself, but also on some objective conditions in the organization, which limits or provides prerequisites and conditions for career growth. When a person gets the opportunity for professional development in the organization, they become motivated to achieve high work results, develop their potential, and identify aspirations for self-realization.

The lack of a positive attitude towards the career development of the staff leads to losses for the organization - it loses its good employees. Organizations need to attach importance to human resources, as their development means achieving long-term goals.

One of the ways to reach mutual satisfaction between employers and employees is by planning the human resources career. Many people ask themselves what they need to do to make a career. What is the area in which they would best perform? What actions should they take to advance in their professional growth? What is the basis for evolving in the organization’s career hierarchy? What is the probability of staying on the current job, and is it possible to start a new career at a later stage? The answers to these and other questions provide the basic steps that ensure career advancement.

What is a career?

A career is a set of positions that a person has held in his professional life, which enriches the experience of the individual and ensures his growth in the profession. The sequence of activities, including education, training, gaining professional experience determines the career path. It is related to the opportunities for holding a higher position in the future.

What is Career planning?

Career planning is a process in which personal skills, qualities, knowledge, motivation, and other characteristics are actualized. Information about job opportunities and choices is collected. Specific goals are set through a plan for achieving success in the career.

Career development is a series of activities aimed at establishing, developing, succeeding, and enriching a career.

Proper career planning is based on the definition of professional goals - the future positions to which a person aspires on the path of his career. For some people, moving these positions involves developing preliminary plans and strategies, others rely on their luck, but although it helps in some cases, the right education, experience, abilities, and their proper development are necessary conditions to create and career development. Career planning is important for the realization of goals set in the field of professional development. A person who makes a plan to achieve career goals does better. The process helps people to realize their potential according to their abilities and to be more satisfied if, thanks to planning, they succeed in achieving the set goals.

According to the so-called "Cone-shaped" model of E. Shine, the career develops in three directions:

  • Vertically - when raising and lowering
  • Radial - when increasing or decreasing the volume of responsibilities
  • Peripheral - moving to another functional area

Career planning is a process that takes place in the organization. From her point of view, the career planning of employees increases their motivation, helps to reduce turnover. If the organization carries out career planning activities, it reduces the desire of employees to leave it. The very fact that the organization cares about the careers of its employees has a positive effect on them, people understand that they are part of a comprehensive plan for the development of the company. See Effective steps to career planning,

The organizational view of career planning is related to achieving the following goals:
  • Knowing the needs of employees;
  • Informing employees about the potential opportunities for development in the organization;
  • Development of employees' abilities;
  • Assistance for the manifestation of the potential of the employees;
  • Improving personal growth;
  • Satisfying the needs of employees.

Main activities of human resources management: Relationships with other management sciences

The main activities of human resources management, such as staff assessment, training, and qualification, planning of human resources needs, etc. There are two main focuses on these activities. The first is the traditional focus on these activities is that they serve the organization in recruiting staff - to meet the needs of staff with appropriate people with the necessary qualities, abilities, and interests.

The second focus considers them through the prism of career planning and development - the main human management activities serve to satisfy the long-term interests of employees, to increase their motivation, to stimulate the development of staff potential. Staff planning, training, and qualifications are central to the career planning process.

Personnel planning, for example, can be used not only to forecast labor needs but also to fill vacancies with potential candidates from the organization. Similarly, the periodic assessment of employees is used not only in determining pay but also provides information on the needs for development and qualification of employees, is used in the development of individual development plans. In other words, all personnel management activities serve to meet the needs of both the organization and its employees. The organization receives a better performance of staff, and employees receive a richer and more challenging career.

Training and development are part of the company's strategy

Along with training and development, career management is part of the company's strategy. Career planning programs are becoming an extremely important part of human resource management. Their main goal is to help employees analyze their abilities, set their professional goals correctly, and synchronize their needs for growth in the organization.

Today, more and more senior managers and managers in the field of human resources see in career breading opportunities to meet the needs of the organization and its employees. The process involves setting goals by employees that motivate additional training and education.

Employee expectations

The career planning process should be in line with the expectations of employees in this regard. Regardless of the differences related to gender, education, qualification, the expectations regarding career planning are related to:

  • Impartiality and fairness in the process;
  • Equal opportunities for all participants;
  • Awareness of all participants;
  • Assistance from specialists in the field of human resources management.

Key roles in the career planning process.

In the process of career planning, the main roles are played simultaneously by the individual, the immediate manager, and the organization.

There is much controversy over who is responsible for career planning. The issues of responsibilities in career planning are also discussed in practice. Initially, the responsibility for the path and growth of employees is assumed by the organization, which determines the rate of growth and to which position the employee will reach. This approach has its supporters in the 50s and 60s of the last century. Gradually, however, poor results show his inefficiency in terms of career development.

There is also an understanding that career planning is the responsibility of the employee himself, not the organization. It is considered that the main responsibility for the career in the organization lies with the employee himself. An expression of this view is the minimal or no support that the organization provides to its employees in the field of careers. Such a position could be based on a lack of knowledge and experience in carrying out the overall career planning process. Today, more and more organizations believe that career work is a joint effort of the company and its employees. The main thing in this concept is the perception of the thesis that the organization and the employees are partners in career development. Employees need to know what skills and abilities they have, what help they can expect from the company in the field of career planning.

Despite the different opinions on this issue, the fact that in the process of career planning the main roles is played simultaneously by the individual, the immediate manager, and the organization.

The individual is the one who bears the main responsibility for his career, evaluates his opportunities, collects information about the opportunities for development, and is the one who takes the necessary actions to achieve a challenging and rich career in the future.

The manager plays the role of coach, evaluator, advisor to the individual in the career planning process. It evaluates work performance, assists the individual in developing a career development plan, is a kind of link between employees and career development opportunities in the organization.

The employer (or organization) also has a role to play in the career planning and development process. For example, it may offer workers various training programs, career guidance, development opportunities, and various career options.

Career development process.

Career development activities are related to the preparation of schemes and plans for possible career development. These activities are crucial in identifying managers who have sufficient qualities and are ready for promotion in the hierarchy; in the appointment of managers for promotion, but need additional training, which is carried out in various forms; identifying managers who are not suitable for promotion and need to find their rational place in the organization.

Other authors do not limit the career development only to the management staff but include in this process all employees in the organization. The main argument for maintaining this thesis is that the share of employees who have operational functions of planning, organizing, and controlling is growing. All employees are tasked with working in a diminishing role of direct control, increasing participation in decision-making, increasing the emphasis on group work, quality, and active customer relationships. At the same time, there are changes in the motivational mechanism of people, and the motivating impact of professional and professional growth for a career in the organization is increasingly sought. It is this need that Maslow puts at the top of his pyramid - the need for self-realization, for the development of potential abilities and skills, for the achievement of what the individual believes he can achieve. Therefore, the thesis that only managers need training has less and less weight.

The process of creating career development encompasses career planning and management. Career planning is a process in which the individual employee determines and implements actions to achieve certain career goals. Career management is a process of selecting, evaluating, hiring, and developing employees.

Responsibilities of the employee

Discuss personal career development preferences with the line manager

Formation of an agreed action plan with the manager

Follow the approved action plan

Providing accurate information to managers about personal abilities, professional experience, and career development desires

Responsibilities of the manager

Acting as a catalyst, giving guidance to the employee in career planning

Assessment of the reality of individual goals and needs

Gives guidance and advice to the individual on the implementation of the mutually agreed development plan

Verification of the information provided by the individual

Providing information on vacancies for which the manager is responsible

Use of the provided information for: 1) determination of all suitable candidates for the vacant position and selection; 2) determining the opportunities for career development (training programs, job rotation) of employees and their proper positioning

Provides models for career planning, counseling, and necessary information for individual career planning

Providing appropriate training on career planning issues

Training of employees and their inclusion in various development programs

Responsibilities of the organization

Providing information system and updating

Ensuring the correct use of information because of the efficiency of the process

Career dynamics and analysis

Career dynamics describe career development - how people develop in their careers by increasing, enriching, or expanding their position, acquiring greater responsibilities, or making greater use of their opportunities and skills. Career analysis covers the characteristics of "professional family" and "professional growth - the ladder"

  • career dynamics: the development of individual careers goes through the following stages, in terms of their employment is opportunities for development.
  • growth at the beginning of the career, when new skills are acquired, knowledge grows quickly, competence develops, preferences and interests are clarified
  • establishing the path of career development, when acquired during the previous stage, have already been applied, evaluated and strengthened by experience when higher levels of competence have been reached, full career development (maturity) when individuals have taken the already chosen path of career and act according to their abilities, skills, and motivation.

During these stages, different individuals develop at different rates, the progress they make is different for each. For example, in the process of maturity, some individuals continue to grow, others remain at the same level, and some decline.

The four groups of workers

There are four groups of workers, given the changes that occur in their career development. The first group consists of employees with high development potential, performing below the standard.

The second group includes employees working in key positions, having the potential for development, and performing according to the requirements of the standard.

The third group includes employees who have good performance but poor development opportunities and the fourth group consists of people with unsatisfactory job performance and low development potential.

The challenge for the organization is to do what is necessary to make the first group of employees into those of the second or third, and to keep the employees of the second and third groups from falling into the last group.

Career growth is associated with the so-called. "Plateau" of the career

Not infrequently, career growth is associated with the so-called "Plateau" of the career. The career "plateau" is considered as a point in the career, where the probability of additional hierarchical manifestation is very small.

Anyone can fall into this situation. In this situation, the organization can take several actions to effectively manage the process and prevent falling into the "plateau" of the career. The first action involves efforts to keep the well-performing employees in the "plateau" of the career in the third group.

The second action is related to the construction of an effective information system, clarifying the accessible paths for personal development and growth, which those who fall into the "plateau" can use.

The third action is related to the possibilities of the evaluation system, encouraging people to get out of the "plateau" of the career.

The task of the management of the organization is to help employees

The task of the management of the organization is to help employees who have fallen into the "plateau" of the career. The question of the usefulness of these employees has been much discussed. The arguments of the defenders of the need to restore employees in the "plateau" of the career are aimed at their possession of:

  • Knowledge about the specifics of the labor process. Usually, those who fall into the "plateau" are employees who have worked for some time in the organization, have knowledge of the specifics of the work, have the competence to perform it.
  • Knowledge of the organization. They have the necessary information about the organization in which they work.
  • Loyalty. Practice shows that employees who fall into the "plateau" of their careers show high loyalty to the organization.

All this determines the need for assistance from the organization and its employees' managers to get out of the "plateau" of the career. There are the following possibilities for this:

Creating interest in current work. The higher the job satisfaction, the less likely employees are to be inefficient. Opportunities in this direction include setting goals and linking them to the goals of the organization, the introduction of a competitive principle in the work.

Establishment of development programs that are not aimed at relocating future work, but at strengthening the opportunities for the realization of the current position. The main goal of such programs is to help the employees who have fallen into the "plateau" of their careers to work more fully and qualitatively in the position they currently hold.

Change in the behavior of managers concerning the employees who fell into the "plateau" of the career. Ignoring those people who are in such a situation does not bring any benefits to the organization, but only deepens and complicates the problem.

The study of career dynamics is essential in determining career management policies in the organization, as well as in developing plans for continuity of management (managers).

The analysis of the career dynamics begins with an analysis of the development of the individual in the organization and an analysis of the work performed. This analysis can also be used to determine the actions needed to change the path of career development. Last but not least, the analysis of the dynamics of the career reveals and reveals quite common phenomena, such as unjustified and unjustified increase and the problems of the managers, who mark a decline in their development.

Career analysis. Professional ladder and families

The professional ladder represents all the steps that individuals take to grow in their careers in a certain "professional family". The "professional family" consists of professions that have a common main activity, even if they have differences in the level of work performance.

Career management policy.

The career management policy outlines the basic principles of the organization on the issues of the professional development of the staff. This policy can be long-term or long-term and thus determines the funds that will be invested in staff development. They differ:

Short-term plans - employers choose it (consciously or not) when they are currently interested in job performance. The training and education of managers given the future needs of the organization are considered a waste of time and money. They are guided by the motto that if they hire good employees, they will take care of future needs, if necessary they will hire external specialists.

Long-term plans - these are organizations that have a vision, focused long-term approach to career planning, and have a structured approach to this issue. Preliminary staff evaluation schemes are prepared for the identification and development of individual talents, for the growth and movement of staff.

Long-term flexible plans - these are organizations that assess the importance of good performance at the moment, but to some extent prepare their staff for career development. They see the need to develop the talents and potential of their employees. This approach protects organizations from the short-sightedness of short-term policies, but in cases of rapid development and change in external conditions, changes could not be adequately addressed.

Career management policy must be consistent with other policies

Career management policy must be consistent with other policies in the organization, of its type. The short-term policy is more common in small organizations, and long-term in larger ones, where forecasts can be made of the organization's struggling needs.

Career management policies find real realization in the concrete plans for the career development of the employees.

The career planning process.

Many factors influence an individual's needs and reactions to career planning activities. Such factors are career guidance, career anchors, career stages, determining career orientation, and individual abilities.

Career guidance.

Edgar Schein (Career Dynamics: Matching Individual and Organizational Needs) developed the idea of ​​a career anchor. It is a concept based on the distinctive abilities and motives for work that guide, strengthen, and unite the individual professional experience. Shine distinguishes five different career anchors.

Technical ability: represents the current work that individuals are doing and that they want to continue using their existing skills. They avoid positions that take them away from established competencies and for them, growth increases the volume of skills rather than raising them in the hierarchy. An example of this is an engineer who wants to improve the design of microchips, not hold a leadership position.

Questions and Answers

What is Career Planning and Development?

Career planning and development refer to a systematic process of setting career goals, identifying opportunities for growth and advancement, and creating a path to achieve long-term career objectives. It involves continuous learning, skill enhancement, and aligning individual aspirations with organizational needs.

What are the key goals of Career Development?

The primary goals of career development are as follows:

Personal Growth: Career development aims to foster personal growth and self-awareness, helping individuals understand their strengths, interests, and values to make informed career decisions.

Skill Enhancement: It focuses on enhancing existing skills and acquiring new ones through training, education, and hands-on experiences to stay relevant and competitive in the job market.

Career Advancement: Career development seeks to provide opportunities for career advancement, whether through promotions, lateral moves, or transitions to higher-level roles.

Employee Engagement and Retention: By investing in career development, organizations can boost employee engagement, satisfaction, and retention, as employees feel valued and supported in their career aspirations.

Succession Planning: Career development contributes to succession planning, as organizations groom talented employees for future leadership roles, ensuring a pipeline of capable leaders.

Organizational Effectiveness: Aligning individual career goals with organizational objectives fosters a more motivated and skilled workforce, positively impacting overall organizational performance.

Adaptability: Career development encourages adaptability, enabling individuals to navigate changing industry trends and job requirements effectively.

What are the Key Elements of Career Planning?

The key elements of career planning include:

Self-Assessment: Individuals assess their skills, strengths, weaknesses, interests, and values to identify potential career paths that align with their aspirations.

Goal Setting: Career goals are established based on personal aspirations, taking into account short-term and long-term objectives.

Career Research: Individuals research different career options, industries, and job roles to gain insights into potential career paths.

Identifying Development Opportunities: Individuals identify learning opportunities, certifications, workshops, and training programs that can enhance their skills and knowledge.

Networking: Building professional networks and connections helps individuals gain valuable insights, job referrals, and mentorship opportunities.

Resume and Interview Preparation: Career planning involves creating a well-crafted resume and preparing for interviews to effectively showcase skills and experiences.

Continuous Learning: Individuals commit to continuous learning and self-improvement to remain adaptable and competitive in their chosen field.

How can Employers Support Career Development?

Employers can support career development in several ways:

Training and Development Programs: Offer training, workshops, and skill-building programs to enhance employees' knowledge and competencies.

Career Pathing: Provide clear career paths and growth opportunities within the organization, encouraging employees to aspire to higher roles.

Mentorship and Coaching: Establish mentorship or coaching programs to provide guidance and support to employees in their career journeys.

Performance Feedback: Regularly provide constructive feedback and performance evaluations to help employees understand areas for improvement and growth.

Career Development Resources: Offer resources such as career counseling, access to online learning platforms, and career development workshops.

Talent Mobility: Promote internal mobility by allowing employees to explore lateral moves or transfers to different roles within the organization.

Recognition and Rewards: Recognize and reward employees for their accomplishments and contributions, motivating them to pursue further career development.

Why is Career Planning essential for both Individuals and Organizations?

Career planning is essential for both individuals and organizations for the following reasons:

Individuals: It empowers individuals to take charge of their career growth, make informed decisions, and align their personal aspirations with professional achievements. Career planning boosts job satisfaction, engagement, and overall well-being.

Organizations: Career planning contributes to a motivated and skilled workforce, promoting employee retention and loyalty. It helps organizations identify and groom potential future leaders, ensuring a strong talent pipeline and sustained organizational success.

How can Career Development Impact Employee Engagement?

Career development positively impacts employee engagement by offering employees a clear path for growth and advancement. When employees see that their organization invests in their career aspirations, they are more likely to be engaged, committed, and enthusiastic about their work. Feeling valued and supported in their career goals enhances overall job satisfaction and productivity.

What Role does Lifelong Learning Play in Career Development?

Lifelong learning plays a crucial role in career development as industries and job requirements evolve rapidly. Embracing lifelong learning ensures that individuals continuously update their skills and knowledge, remaining adaptable and competitive in the job market. Continuous learning expands opportunities for career growth and allows individuals to stay relevant and valuable to their employers.

How can Career Development Contribute to Organizational Success?

Career development contributes to organizational success by fostering a skilled, engaged, and motivated workforce. Employees who are supported in their career aspirations are more likely to be committed to their organization, leading to reduced turnover and higher employee retention rates. Moreover, employees with enhanced skills and knowledge contribute to increased productivity, innovation, and overall organizational effectiveness.

What are the potential challenges in Career Planning and Development?

Challenges in career planning and development may include:

Limited Resources: Individuals and organizations may face constraints in accessing career development resources, such as funding for training programs or time for professional development.

Unclear Career Paths: In some organizations, unclear or limited career paths can pose challenges for employees seeking advancement and growth opportunities.

Changing Industry Trends: Rapidly changing industry trends may require individuals to adapt and update their skills continually, creating challenges for career planning and development.

Work-Life Balance: Balancing career development aspirations with personal commitments can be challenging for individuals seeking professional growth.

Alignment with Organizational Needs: Organizations need to align career development efforts with their strategic goals to ensure that employees' aspirations support the organization's objectives.

How can Employees Take Ownership of their Career Development?

Employees can take ownership of their career development by:

Setting Clear Goals: Define short-term and long-term career goals based on personal interests and aspirations.

Seeking Feedback: Actively seek feedback from peers, supervisors, or mentors to identify areas for improvement and growth.

Networking: Build professional networks to gain insights into various career paths and potential opportunities.

Continuous Learning: Embrace lifelong learning by participating in training programs, workshops, and industry conferences.

Advocating for Development Opportunities: Express interest in training or career advancement opportunities to supervisors or HR departments.

Staying Adaptable: Be open to new challenges and experiences, embracing change as opportunities for growth.

Updating Resumes and Profiles: Keep resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and other professional profiles up-to-date to showcase skills and achievements effectively.

Taking Calculated Risks: Be willing to take calculated risks to explore new roles or challenges that align with career goals.

About the author

Amelia Williams, Senior Writer at Business Value-Oriented Principles

Amelia Williams is a respected Human Resources Consultant at the Australian Chamber of Career Development. Amelia has created numerous teams and established career development for all her colleagues in the last 6 years as a Human Resources Manager. In her free time, she teaches voluntarily in various institutions.

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