Career management consists of planning out one's particular professional career in a well-thought-out fashion. Career management encompasses personal realization, a work/life equilibrium, ambition achievement and fiscal security. It is essential for an individual to develop a plan to actively manage what they aspire to be or hope to obtain. Career management then, is or rather should be the essence of an individual achieving the goals they have set forth.
The literal definition of career management is the process by which individuals accumulate informational data about values, concerns and proficiency strengths and weaknesses and engage in stratagems that will inevitably increase their aptitude to achieve the ambitions and/or objectives they have set forth. The career management methodology involves a particular process that connects both employee growth behavior as well as performance. Per McDaniels and Gysbers (1992) career development is the totality of a myriad of factors ranging from the educational to the economic that shape the individual and how their overall career is eventually obtained. Greenhaus, Callanan and Godshalk (2000) note that career development is a continual process that people engage in and thus, there are a series of stages that everyone goes through to achieve their goals at the various stages of life. Career development has often been examined from the perspective of human resources departments at companies and the linear sequence that occurs within the corporate structuring. This particular nuance is often derived from the hierarchal landscape that most businesses operate within. This landscape provides an increase in responsibilities, financial incentives and significant time spent at work as the individual rises through the proverbial ranks (Patrick and Kumar, 2011). Career management offers a plethora of different delineations and no one aspect of it neither is right nor wrong.
The thought process behind career management has been to improve behavior and performance primarily through the use of many different facets. Companies have often sought to motivate their employees through many a strategy by helping those individuals reap the benefits of being an employee in that company. This is ascertained by what is known as career planning. The notion of career planning fosters effectiveness within an organization as it creates a certain ideal within the individual to perform better than expected in their particular task or duty. Therefore, through the process of career planning, individuals grow and become better in their responsibilities. It is important to understand that career planning is an evolutionary technique. Continuous evaluation is performed based on the present lifestyle, likes and dislikes as well as the overall passion of that person (Patrick and Kumar, 2011; Sturges et.al, 2002). The career planning process usually consists of four distinct steps.
The four steps of career planning include self; options; match; and action. The self step includes a self-examination such as an assessment of some kind; the options stage explores information about overall outlook, ideal salary, related occupations, education and training needed with the particular career of interest as well as the typical job duties associated with the career of choice; match relates to the occupational evaluations as to which career may appeal to the individual such as a business analyst; and action relates to further investigation into that career and crafting a resume and subsequently preparing for job interviews (Patrick and Kumar, 2011). Within the concept of career management also falls the idea of employee development. Companies and corporations have examined ways in which they can develop their employees' skills and talents better in order to maximize their potential as a business.
Throughout the years, there has been a significant emphasis placed on employee development. A reason for this is that organizations have found that through developing their employees better, they are able to maintain commitment of the individual by perfecting their skills and allowing them to rise through the structure of that company. It has also reflected a shifting in dynamics associated with the priorities of companies and corporations and their overall willingness to invest in their employees. While it is true that the majority of companies within the United States and the United Kingdom, and most countries that are exceedingly industrialized for that matter continue to carefully recruit individuals whom they believe will stay with their company, there are often concerns about whom they hire and the long-term investment the corporation will receive as a result. Thus, employee development has become a prime mover within the career management process because it is a win-win situation for both the organization and the individual (Sturges et.al, 2002). A key constituent of most organizations, both large and small are the group of graduates.
The onus then becomes that organizations should at the bare minimum seek opportunities to ensure that the graduates that they hire will undoubtedly remain within that company for a period of time. Many companies have used predictor research to ascertain ways in which they can keep employees. There is an immeasurable amount of evident that suggests career management and employee development helps to instill positive attributes into the newly hired graduate. Research has also suggested that there is a positive impact of employee development on individuals who have been with a company for more than 10 years or so. One broadly panned thought regarding why employee development has such a positive effect on new graduates is that organizations recognize that they play a key role in cultivating the minds of the individuals they hire in terms of those individuals gaining as much acquaintance and know-how possible to further themselves and in turn, the company or corporation that they work for (Sturges et.al, 2002).
One aspect of employee development that has been considered to be largely impactful is coaching. Coaching is usually delivered by managers in organizations, especially when the topic that needs addressing is of great importance. Coaching is defined as an exhaustive and organized facilitation of individuals or groups using a mixture of diverse routines and techniques to help them obtain ambitions that encourage a conscious self-change that in effect produces more efficient work output. Segers et.al (2011) explains that coaching branches into three precise breadths: the agenda of coaching; the coach him/herself; and the specific process by how coaching is performed (Segers and Inceoglu, 2012). Examination into these breadths will help to further define why career management is essential to all companies and corporations.
The first aspect of coaching speaks to the types of agendas that exist. These are skill, performance and developmental. The sole purpose of skill coaching is to modify habits or behaviors. Performance coaching is an all-involvement effort as there are detailed processes that will shape the end result. Development coaching is more holistic in how it reviews the qualities of the individuals being coached. It is somewhat personal and has often been called a curative structure of coaching. Within the second element of coaching, there are four styles of coaches which include the external coach, the internal coach, the manager who coaches and self-coaching. The third facet of coaching consists of the approaches of coaching (Segers and Inceoglu, 2012). This is a fundamental part of coaching itself as coaching is pointless if not executed properly.
Research has designated the approaches to coaching in five categories which include: humanistic, cognitive, activity, consciousness, and systematic. As a result of the three aspects of coaching, they form what has been deemed to be the coaching cube that all companies and corporation should follow if they want a constructive working atmosphere (Segers and Inceoglu, 2012). Employee development has been shown to be heavily advanced as a result of coaching.
Schuler and Jackson (1987) delved into the behavioral dynamics of coaching and noted that organizations should adopt coaching to gain insights on how better to persuade employees to become more effective in what they do. In doing so, the employee will improve their work ethics, and this will produce better performance and work output. Organizations that adopt this innovative strategy have been stated to have nominal employee turnover as a result as skills are perfected and strengthened with quality coaching (Segers and Inceoglu, 2012). With an ever-expanding business world, companies and corporations have often faced challenges.
Literature has argued that the challenges that companies face include frenzied work environments and a lack of employee drive to navigate their careers correctly. These factors in turn impact the field of vocational psychology and alter the very milieu of business itself. As of late, there has been an expression termed within the business world known as career self-management. Scholars have stated that career self-management is the underpin of business and that by having individuals chart their own career waters, the efficacy of organizations will become less muddled and flow smoother. The study of career self-management provides insights that otherwise would not necessarily have been obtained if not assessed by the self. After all, the individual is often their own best judge. When examined through the psychological lens, analysts have purported that careers are personal to the individual thus; self-managing behavior patterns can be understood and changed if needed. Crites (1969) examined the adjustment aspect of the process of achieving exceptional performance in an occupation and argued that worker motivation is driven by both internal and external stimuli; but that the work is most effective when they monitor themselves and make the appropriate adjustments in response to what they have observed (King, 2002; Seibert et.al, 2013). An individual then becomes more effective in their performance because of self-management. It produces a self-monitoring mechanism within the individual to where they take responsibility for what they need to do in and out the workplace as it pertains to their duties, tasks and overall time management.
It is essential to recognize that career self-management involves a certain type of answerability and because of this fact, there needs to be an execution of a set of co-occurring behaviors that need to take place. People tend to use a myriad of decisions that influence their career choices and outcomes. These co-occurring behaviors according to King (2002) are divided into three groups: positioning behaviors; influential behaviors and boundary managing. Positioning behaviors refer to the contacts, skills and experience that an individual enthusiastically does to accomplish their intentions in career. Influential behaviors are concerned with the choices of what is referred to as gatekeepers to those wished results. Gatekeepers are defined as individuals who sway the evolution of a career. In other words, an external individual. Gatekeepers range from direct supervisors to friends. Boundary management expounds upon the requirements of work and non-work sphere of influence (King, 2002). Within positioning behaviors, there are four facets: strategic choice; strategic investment; network development; and job content innovation.
Strategic choice relates to the types of job shifts an individual makes. These moves are usually done by an additional party, however within that organization or company. There is a purposeful tactic in movement. These types of moves are often referred to as lateral moves or promotions through employee development. Strategic investment refers to individuals that make the obligatory investments in improving their abilities. Often companies and corporations will assist individuals in additional classes of training necessary for a particular position they are seeking to obtain. Network development is denoted by its name, network. Individuals are pushed to build networks that can benefit them. Job content innovation is characterized as the creation of processes that will make one more valuable in their surroundings. Individuals increase their skill sets themselves or increase proficiency that is clear-cut and definitive that allows them to gain publicity to gatekeepers (King, 2002). Influential behaviors refer more to the gatekeepers within an individual’s career management process.
As it stands, there are three varieties of influential behaviors that can help to influence the decisions of gatekeepers. They include self-promotion, ingratiation and upward influence. Self-promotion is defined as an appearance by an individual to advertise themselves in a positive light. Ingratiation speaks to the actual evaluation of the gatekeeper and the individual strongly making fine-tunings that the gatekeeper has identified are their likes and dislikes. Upward influence entails the ascertaining of desired outcomes by the gatekeeper of individuals through a sagacity of dedication (King, 2002). Within the conception of boundary management, there are two characteristics that work to provide weight to career self-management: boundary maintenance and role transition.
Boundary maintenance works as an analysis of negotiating with gatekeepers to ensure that the delegated tasks are kept within the individual. Role transition is an ephemeral concept that refers to the vacillation between work and non-work roles (King, 2002). As with all types of frameworks, there are inevitably pitfalls. The self-regulatory process of career self-management is interesting in its presentation that one cannot help but to assume there are shortcomings and this logic is correct in its assumption.
One immediate shortcoming of career self-management is that individuals have full control over their own careers. Theorists of self-management do not seem to take into account that trajectories associated with individual careers can be impacted by external influences such as events out of the individual’s control. Unacknowledged events have often been noted significantly in criticisms of career self-management. Another shortcoming of career self-management is that it does not take into account anything negative. While it is important to be optimistic, life is full of checks and balances, thus, there are and will inevitably be what is known as shocks to one's career. These are triggers that affect the course of an individual's career. Shocks are not included as unexpected because of their context. Shocks can be positive or negative in nature and this is why they are not included. Negative career shocks include bankruptcy, or a major life event that causes a significant change in how that individual carries on achieving their career goals (Seibert et.al, 2013). Te positive aspects of career management and subsequently, career self-management outweigh the negatives.
Now more than ever, people are seeking to find ways in which they can further their careers. Workers are continually insisting on companies and corporations coming up with ways in which they can move up the proverbial food chain. Career management is assumed to be advantageous to all parties involved, even though on the surface it appears to only be beneficial to the employee or individual worker. Career management is an effective model in helping both companies and corporations stay afloat in an ever-changing global economy as well as helping individuals maintain their jobs and be satisfied with them. It is fundamental that an individual worker be able to find satisfaction in their career or at bare minimum contentment that they are on the correct road towards achieving what they initially set out to do in their career management plan.
King, Z. (2002, November 14). Career self-management: Its nature, causes and consequences. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 65, 112–133.
Patrick, H. A., & Kumar, A. (2011, November). Career Management, Employee Development and Performance in Indian Information Technology Organizations.Business Management Dynamics, 1(5), 24-31.
Segers, J., & Inceoglu, I. (2012, January). EXPLORING SUPPORTIVE AND DEVELOPMENTAL CAREER MANAGEMENT THROUGH BUSINESS STRATEGIES AND COACHING. Human Resource Management, 51(1), 99– 120.
Seibert, S. E., Kraimer, M. L., Holtom, B. C., & Pierotti, A. J. (2013). Even the Best Laid Plans Sometimes Go Askew: Career Self-Management Processes, Career Shocks, and the Decision to Pursue Graduate Education. Journal of Applied Psychology, 98(1), 169–182.
Sturges, J., Guest, D., Conway, N., & Davey, K. M. (2002). A longitudinal study of the relationship between career management and organizational commitment among graduates in the first ten years at work. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 23, 731–748.