By: Clark Jenkins
One of the most cited reasons that employees would leave a job or career is that they do not see a road-map for growth or an opportunity to further their own career. First, let’s take a look at career management and the importance of a solid program as it pertains to both the organization and the employee.
What Is Career Management?
As defined by Berkeley, Career Management is a continuous process that occurs throughout one’s career and not just at discrete times. It may be helpful to think of Career Management as a philosophy and set of habits that will enable you to achieve career goals and develop career resiliency.
Why is Career Management Important to an Organization?
From the company’s perspective, the importance lies in the ROI. With an increasingly short-term work engagement with Gen-X, and now Gen-Y, the failure to motivate employees to plan their careers can result in a shortage of employees to fill open positions and lower employee commitment. This results in a constant re-investment of training dollars that could be used to develop current talent.
Why is Career Management Important to an Employee?
We all want to feel that our work has an impact and that what we do each day matters. When an employee doesn’t know what the path is for a promotion, or perhaps what is needed to get other roles within the company, they become frustrated. A lack of defined career paths can result in frustration and feelings of not being valued by the company.
The Employer’s Role in Career Management
Many companies are adding layers into their traditional job structures so that there is a chance for advancement sooner than later if certain criteria is met. Each stage can be characterized by a different set of developmental tasks, activities and perhaps relationships. Also, having an internal system that is able to map internal career paths is essential. Does the employee have a place to go and learn about the qualifications that are needed to achieve each level? Ideally, this internal system or portal would also have learning and development opportunities within it and would be able to measure the participation and growth from each employee. It’s important for today’s modern learner to have a dedicated, on-demand, online system where they can have access to opportunities to further their training and development on their own time.
The Employee’s Role
Take the initiative to ask for feedback from managers and peers regarding your own skill strengths and weaknesses. Identify your stage of career development and development needs. Seek challenges by gaining exposure to a range of learning opportunities. Interact with employees from different work groups inside and outside the company, and create visibility through good performance.