Definition: Career Planning refers to the organized process wherein the candidate establishes goals for his career ascertains various means to reach these goals like undergoing work education, training, and developmental exercises to get proper direction, timing, and sequence. In simple terms, career planning refers to the way an individual plan’s their life’s work, by exploring, choosing, and striving to achieve their career objective.
It is a conscious process of becoming aware of self, available opportunities, and obstacles with different alternatives. This helps employees in mapping out their careers based on their capacity and competency, taking into account the organizational needs.
From the viewpoint of the organization, career planning stands for the forward-looking employment policies, which consider the career of individual employees that are engaged in different tasks. It means to come up with an organizational system of career movement and growth.
It integrates human resource planning with individual career needs. Basically, organizational career planning is all about the planned succession of jobs devised by the organization to develop its employees.
What is a Career?
Career refers to sequential, though connected work activities, that facilitate continuity, order, and meaning to an individual’s work life.
Career Planning can be described as a technique of management to plan out the details of the entire career of employees and provide them opportunities to grow and develop themselves progressively right from the stage at which employment begins to the stage of retirement.
Features of Career Planning
- Follows bottom-up approach: It follows a bottom-up approach wherein the process starts when the individual joins the organization from a lower position and works, to proceed towards higher position.
- Continuous process: Career planning is a continuous process through which an employee determines his/her needs and the means to fulfill those needs on a regular basis.
- Aligns career goals with opportunities: Career planning helps in aligning the career goals established by the employee with that of the opportunities available.
- Means and not an end: It is a means to attain progression and organizational efficiency and not an end in itself.
- Collective Responsibility: It is the responsibility of both employees and the organization as well.
- Performed in a dynamic environment: Career planning is performed in a dynamic environment in which there are rapid and radical changes in demand for, and supply of labor, its characteristics, technology, environmental conditions, and market strategies.
Key Terms used in Career Planning
- Career Goal: This term is used to describe the future position which an individual strives to reach in his career.
- Career Path: The step-by-step, progressive route through which an individual goes through to achieve his/her career goal.
- Career Progression: Making progress in a career by moving forward in the right direction in the form of promotion.
- Career Development: Personal Improvements which are undertaken by an individual to attain a personal career plan. It is the formal approach which the firm uses to make certain that individual with right skills, qualifications, and experience is available to the organization at the time of requirement.
- Career Management: Career management is a process of empowering employees to understand, sharpen and develop their skills and interests further, and use the same for the welfare of the firm and also for individual’s own welfare.
- Career Counselling: Career Counselling is a program that facilitates employees to talk about their career goals with consultants, HR team, managers or supervisors, in one-to-one counseling sessions.
- Career Anchoring: Career Anchoring implies the factors affecting the selection of an individual’s career choices, often based on drives.
Need for Career Planning
Career Planning is needed to:
- Attract competent and qualified individuals, to work in the organization and retain them for the long term.
- Provide the right set of opportunities for the purpose of promotion.
- Design the careers of employees which suit their ability and willingness to work on that and make them ready for higher positions in the organization.
- Make certain the optimum utilization of managerial reserves lying in the organization.
- Reduce employee turnover.
- Boost morale and motivation of employees by matching their skills with the job requirements.
- Provide guidance to employees and encourage them to use their complete potential.
- Attain higher productivity and development of the organization.
Career Planning Process
Self Assessment by Individual
The Career Planning process begins with the employee making a practical assessment of himself from the point of view of his career, to know where he stands at present and where he/she wants to reach in the future. And to make a self-assessment one needs to identify his/her strengths, weaknesses, interests, and desires.
So, here a self-introspection is required to be performed by the individual, for which he can seek help from his friends, colleagues, family members, superiors, and subordinates. Also, the organization can arrange career planning workshops and seminars in an attempt to assist the employee in the self-assessment process.
Evaluation of Available Career Opportunities
On the basis of self-assessment, the employee tries to grab all those opportunities existing within the organization. So, the employee tries to find out the career options available to him for which both conventional and non-conventional sources are considered. The organization takes part in the process of determining future positions for which the employee can be taken into consideration.
Also, performance evaluation can be done periodically to ascertain strengths, weaknesses, and the present efficiency levels of employees. Further, the report can help in determining a suitable future position for employees.
Undergoing career-oriented skill development exercises
At this point, the employees know their competency needs from the point of view of their career. And when they thoroughly discover their training and educational requirements to achieve career goals, they must start looking for sources of learning. The organization can take the responsibility to provide necessary means for learning so that the employee can progress in their career.
The methods may include self-learning, on-the-job learning, distance learning, work-based learning, e-learning, and action learning. The human resource department can also help employees in this by setting targets for employees.
Matching and Decision Making
After the employees work on their issues, concerns, and problems, which limits the progress in their career, a comparison could be made between the available career opportunities and their career goals. Also, they can develop a number of possibilities that best fit their career plans and can finalize a strategy that suits their aspirations. Also, the organization can develop future opportunities through succession planning.
Implementation and Review
After a career opportunity is chosen by the employee which best suits their career goals, various strategies are designed to attain them. And so a sequential process is adopted to attain career goals in an effective manner. In general, organizations frame career path for the employees and step-by-step moves them on those paths via promotion, transfer, or demotion.
A word from Business Jargons
Career planning is a purposeful process whereby an individual comes to know about personal career-related attributes and various stages that add to his/her career fulfillment. It shapes the progression of the employees within an organization