Anyone engaged in work related activities is pursuing a career. In today’s world there are limited opportunities for vertical mobility, so a career is not defined by a promotion path through an organisation, or by being qualified to work in the professions such as law or medicine.
What we do for a living is part of how we see ourselves. It is a defining aspect of our self to us and to others. Yet many of us drift into jobs or careers without any planning or consideration of what our career goals and plans are.
Particularly in today’s world of new technology, downsizing, closures, mergers and acquisitions, all of which can have severe impact on career plans, it is important that we take responsibility for our own career and its management. No longer can we expect a “job for life “with a clear career path that we can meander along without thought or effort.
Career management is a process by which you can guide, direct and influence your career path, rather than just drifting along, allowing events to happen to you, leaving your career to chance.
Whether you are seeking a new position following redundancy, a change in career direction, an increase in your earning potential, or a new or more challenging position, you need to implement a career management process to maximise your career potential and to plan, prepare and execute your next career move.
Your career should develop and evolve during the course of your life, but you need to actively set goals, solve problems and develop a strategy to control its course.
There are different stages of career management, from initially selecting a career path as a young adult, to managing potential job loss or redundancy mid-career, embracing new technology, right through to preparations for retirement or semi-retirement.
At all these stages the principle of career management is the same – to make good decisions based on thorough research, and to implement the decision effectively- to manage your career by taking control to achieve the next step in your career progression.
Your motivation at each of these stages may be different, taking into account family responsibilities, considerations of personal objectives, health issues, and appetite for entrepreneurship.
Some employers will actively support career management through their human resources personnel, with strategic career management initiatives .Many other employers will not expect to take any responsibility for developing your career with you.
So what is the framework and guidelines that will help you to map out your career?
The premise is that individuals can exert significant, though not total control, over their career path. You will develop a keen insight into yourself, the world of work and opportunities that may present themselves.
You will gather Information, address problems, make decisions, set goals and design a strategy to achieve them.You need to identify the type of career you wish to pursue and make decisions consistent with that goal and preference.
Employees who are assertive enough to want to exercise a high degree of control over their lives often embrace a belief in equality and work life balance, have high expectations from their career, and seek autonomy in their role. They want to have control over their professional and private lives.