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INTRODUCTION TO CAREER DEVELOPMENT:

 

Career development consists of the personal actions one undertakes to achieve a career plan. The terms ‘career development’ and ‘employee development’ need to be differentiated at this stage. Career development looks at the long-term career effectiveness of employees where as employee development focuses of effectiveness of an employee in the immediate future. The actions for career development may be initiated by the individual himself or by the organization.

INDIVIDUAL CAREER DEVELOPMENT:

 

Career progress and development is largely the outcome of actions on the part of an individual. Some of the important steps that could help an individual cross the hurdles on the way ‘up’ may include:

 

I.    PERFORMANCE:

 Career progress rests largely on performance. If the performance is sub-standard, even modest career goals can’t be achieved.

 

II.    EXPOSURE:

Career development comes through exposure, which implies becoming known by those who decide promotions, transfers and other career opportunities. You must undertake actions that would attract the attention of those who matter most in an organization.

 

III.    NETWORKING:

Networking implies professional and personal contacts that would help inn striking good deals outside (e.g., lucrative job offers, business deals, etc.). for years men have used private clubs, professional associations, old-boy networks to gain exposure and achieve their career ambitions.

 

IV.    LEVERAGING:

Resigning to further one’s career with another employer is known as leveraging. When the opportunity is irresistible, the only option left is to resign from the current position and take up the new job (opportunity in terms of better pay, new title, a new learning experience, etc.). however, jumping the jobs frequently (job-hopping) may not be a good career strategy in the long-run.

 

V.    LOYALTY TO CAREER:

Professionals and recent college graduates generally jump jobs frequently when they start their career. They do not think that career-long dedication to the same organization may not help them further their career ambitions. To overcome this problem, companies such as Infosys, NIIT, WIPRO (all information technology companies where the turnover ratios are generally high) have come out with lucrative, innovative compensation packages in addition to employee stock option plans for those who remain with the company for a specified period.

 

VI.    MENTORS AND SPONSORS:

A mentor is, generally speaking, an older person in a managerial role offering informal career advice to a junior employee. Mentors take junior employees under their protégé and offer advice and guidance on how to survive and get ahead in the organization. They act as role models. A sponsor, on the other hand, is someone in the organization who can create career development opportunities.

 

ORGANISATIONAL CAREER DEVELOPMENT:

The assistance from managers and HR department is equally important in achieving individual career goals and meeting organizational needs. A variety of tools and activities are employees for this purpose.

 

a)      SELF-ASSESSMENT TOOLS:

Here the employees go through a process in which they think through their life roles, interests, skills and work attitudes and preferences. They identify career goals, develop suitable action plans and point out obstacle that come in the way. Two self-assessment tools are quite commonly used in the organizations. The first one is called the career-planning workshop. After individuals complete their self-assessment, they share their findings with others in career workshops. These workshops throw light on how to prepare and follow through individual career strategies. The second tool, called as a career workbook, consists of a form of career guide in the question-answer format outlining steps for realizing career goals. Individuals use this company specific, tailor-made guide to learn about their career chances. This guide, generally throws light on organization’s structure, career paths, qualifications for jobs and career ladders.

 

b)     INDIVIDUAL COUNSELLING:

Employee counselling is a process whereby employees are guided in overcoming performance problems. It is usually done through face-to-face meetings between the employee and the counselor or coach. Here discussions of employees’ interests goals, current job activities and performance and career objectives take place. Counselling is generally offered by the HR department. Sometimes outside experts are also be called in. if supervisors act as coaches they should be given clearly defined roles and training. This is, however, a costly and time-consuming process.

 

c)      EMPLOYEE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES:

These consist of skill assessment and training efforts that organizations use to groom their employees for future vacancies. Seminars, workshops, job rotations and mentoring programmes are used to develop a broad base of skills as a part of such developmental activities.

 

d)     CAREER PROGRAMMES FOR SPECIAL GROUPS:

In recent years, there is growing evidence regarding dual career families developing tensions and frictions owing to their inability to reconcile the differences between the family roles and work demands. When we talk of dual career couples (a situation where both husband and wife have distinct careers outside the home) certain puzzling questions arise naturally: whose career is important; who takes care of children; what if the wife gets a tempting promotion in another location; who buys groceries and cleans the house if both are busy, etc. realizing these problems, organizations are providing a place and a procedure for discussing such role conflicts and coping strategies. They are coming out with schemes such as part-time work, long parental leave, child care centers, flexible working hours and promotions and transfers in tune with the demands of dual career conflicts. 

 

CAREER DEVELOPMENT ACTIONS:

 

a)      JOB PERFORMANCE:

Employee must prove that his performance on the job is to the level of standards established, if he wants career progress.

b)     EXPOSURE:

Employee’s desire for career progress should expose their skills, knowledge, qualifications, achievements, performance etc., to those who take the decision about career progress.

c)      RESIGNATIONS:

Employees may resign the present job in the organization, if they find that career opportunities elsewhere are better than those of the present organization.

d)     CHANGE THE JOB:

Employees who put organizational loyalty above career loyalty may change the job in the same organization are better than those in the present job.

e)      CAREER GUIDANCE:

And counseling provides information, advice and encouragements to switch over to other career or organization, where career opportunities are better.

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