Career Development is defined as the efforts that are made by the organization to equip its employees with the skills, knowledge & experience that help them to perform the duties of their current as well as future jobs effectively. The organization develops and implements certain policies including counseling the employees, promotion & opportunities to attain excellence that facilitate the employee to prepare their career. Development of career actually promotes the knowledge, skills, and experiences along with the behavior modification & techniques of refinement that promotes the addition of value for the employees by improving their work.
In career development, Human Resource Management has the vital importance that centers the entire efforts of the organization. It is relatively different from the training in such a way that it has wide scope, longer frame of time & broader focus. Moreover the purpose of training is limited to the performance improvements but the goal of development is to make employees more capable and enriched.
In modern days the careers development not only fulfills the needs of the organization but also the needs of the employees. The career development is looked as essential by the organizations due to the following reasons.
- It is a method of prevention from job burnout
- The career information is provided to the employees
- The quality of work life is improved
- The affirmative action goals are met
In short the careers development becomes essential for the organizations to be sustained in the competitive global environment.
Career Development Methods
There are many methods that are used extensively for the purpose of careers development. But mostly these are used in combination of more than one method. Following are the commonly used methods of career development.
- Discussion with Knowledgeable Individuals
In this method the subordinate is combined with his superior to agree on the best career development activities. In certain cases guidance counselors & psychologists provide this service. In case of academic institutions like colleges & universities, specialized career planning & development guidance is provided to the students. Professors are usually responsible for such guidance.
- Company Material
There are certain organizations that have developed certain specific material for the development of its employees. The developed material is in accordance with the needs of the organizations. Moreover the job descriptions can be considered as good material that show the employees to decide either their strengths & weakness match with the requirement of any offering job within their own organization.
- Performance Appraisal System
The performance appraisal system in the organizations can also be regarded as good source of career development. When the strengths & weaknesses of employees are discussed with their relative supervisors than the needs for the development of employees emerged clearly. If there is not possibility to overcome the weakness of certain employee, then there can be a solution of alternative career path for that employee.
Certain organizations offer the workshops for their employees that last for two or more days so that the employees can be able to develop their career within the organization. The career objectives are described & match by the employees with the needs of the organizations. In other situations, the workshops are presented at the community level so that the employees may be sent or they may start the visit themselves.
- Personal Development Plans (PDP)
There are some organizations that encourage their employees to present their own plans of personal development. Such plan consists of summary of needs of personal development of employees along with the specified action list for the achievement. So the management encourages the employees to analyze their weakness & strengths.
Besides these methods of careers development, there are some other ways too like specialized software packages & special websites for career development. These all must be in your mind.
Challenges in the Career Development
It is a clear fact for the organizations to initiate career development for the employees but the main problem is that the clear form of such development cannot be easily determined. Following are the three major challenges that come in the way of career development.
Who will be Responsible
It has been proved effective by many organizations that the employees should take active part in the planning & implementation of personal development plans of the employees. There are certain situations that bring such change in the organizations in which the responsibility for personal development is taken by employees themselves like acquisition, mergers employee empowerment & downsizing. But the general guidance should be provided to the employees to take necessary steps for their career development both within & outside the organizations.
How much Importance is Sufficient
The effectiveness of an organization is seriously harmed by specifying too much importance on the career development. When employees are provided with extreme career orientations, they become more responsive toward their image rather than towards their performance. For this purpose the manager should adopt certain steps like deep focus on advancement opportunities, job performance versus socializing & managing impressions.
Following are some of serious side effects resulting from career development programs.
01- Dissatisfaction of employees
02- Poor performance
03- Unrealistic expectations from advancement
There are certain obstacles in the way of career development that the organizations should remove for the career advancement of their employees. A government study conducted in the year 1991 shows that the minorities & women are not given the proper career development opportunities like mentoring, networking & participation in the committees of policy making.
So the organizations should design broad based career development programs that educate & train minorities & women employees of the organizations. Moreover there is another category of employees that need special focus by the management of the organizations & this group is related to the dual career couples. The organizations should design flexible work schedules, childcare facility & telecommuting. There are certain organizations that counsel the couples in the career development.