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After reading this chapter, you should be able to:
  1. Identify the reasons why companies should help employees manage their careers.
  2. Discuss why and how the concept of a career has changed.
  3. Explain the development tasks and activities in the career development process.
  4. Design a career management system.
  5. Discuss the role of the web in career management.
  6. Effectively perform the manager’s role in career management.


Restructuring of organizations makes it essential that companies reconsider the concepts of career and career management in order to retain and motivate employees. Companies successful at managing employee growth that accompanies business expansion emphasize that employees are to be responsible for career management.
These companies do provide resources supporting careers such as development opportunities, mentoring, and training managers in how to coach employees. A major challenge is how to balance advancing current employees’ careers with simultaneously attracting and acquiring employees with new skills.

What Is Career Management?
Career management is the process through which employees:
  • Become aware of their own interests, values, strengths, and weaknesses.
  • Obtain information about job opportunities within the company.
  • Identify career goals.
  • Establish action plans to achieve career goals.
Why Is Career Management Important?
From the company’s perspective, the failure to motivate employees to plan their careers can result in:
  • A shortage of employees to fill open positions
  • Lower employee commitment
  • Inappropriate use of monies allocated for training and development programs
From the employees’ perspective, lack of career management can result in:
  • Frustration
  • Feelings of not being valued by the company
  • Being unable to find suitable employment should a job change be necessary due to mergers, acquisitions, restructuring, or downsizing.
Career Management and Career Motivation
Career motivation refers to:
  • Employees’ energy to invest in their careers
  • Their awareness of the direction they want their careers to take
  • The ability to maintain energy and direction despite barriers they may encounter
Career motivation has three aspects:
  • Career resilience
  • Career insight
  • Career identity
The Value of Career Motivation
The Value of Career Motivation

What Is A Career?

Traditional Career
  1. Sequence of positions held within an occupation
  2. Context of mobility is within an organization
  3. Characteristic of the employee
Protean Career
  1. Frequently changing based on changes in the person and changes in the work environment
  2. Employees take major responsibility for managing their careers
Comparison of Traditional Career and Protean Career
Comparison of Traditional Career and Protean Career
A Model of Career Development
Career development is the process by which employees progress through a series of stages.
Each stage is characterized by a different set of developmental tasks, activities, and relationships.
There are four career stages:
  • Exploration
  • Establishment
  • Maintenance
  • Disengagement
A Model of Career Development (continued)
A Model of Career Development (continued)
The career management process
The career management process

Components of the Career Management Process:

Use of information by employees to determine their career interests, values, aptitudes, and behavioral tendencies.
Often involves psychological tests.

Reality Check
Information employees receive about how the company evaluates their skills and knowledge and where they fit into company plans.

Goal Setting
The process of employees developing short- and long-term career objectives.
Usually discussed with the manager and written into a development plan.

Action Planning
Employees determining how they will achieve their short- and long-term career goals.

Design factors of Effective Career Management Systems:

  • System is positioned as a response to a business need.
  • Employees and managers participate in development of the system.
  • Employees are encouraged to take an active role in career management.
  • Evaluation is ongoing and used to improve the system.
  • Business units can customize the system for their own purposes.
  • Employees need access to career information sources.
  • Senior management supports the career system.
  • Career management is linked to other human resource practices such as training, recruiting systems, and performance management.
Elements of Career Management Websites
Elements of Career Management Websites
Employees’ Role in Career Management
  • Take the initiative to ask for feedback from managers and peers regarding their skill strengths and weaknesses.
  • Identify their stage of career development and development needs.
  • Seek challenges by gaining exposure to learning opportunities.
  • Interact with employees from different work groups inside and outside the company.
  • Create visibility through good performance.
Managers’ Role in Career Management
Managers’ Role in Career Management
HR Manager’s Role in Career Management
  • Provide information or advice about training and development opportunities.
  • Provide specialized services such as testing to determine employees’ values, interests, and skills.
  • Help prepare employees for job searches.
  • Offer counseling on career-related problems.

Company’s Role in Career Management
  • Companies are responsible for providing employees with the resources needed to be successful in career planning:
  • Career workshops
  • Information on career and job opportunities
  • Career planning workbooks
  • Career counseling
  • Career paths

Evaluating Career Management Systems
  • Career management systems need to be evaluated to ensure that they are meeting the needs of employees and the business.
  • Two types of outcomes can be used to evaluate:
  • Reactions of the customers (employees and managers) who use the career management system
  • Results of the career management system
  • Evaluation of a career management system should be based on its objectives.

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