Published on February 26, 2014
Careers and Career Management
Definitions Organizational careers can be defined as “a sequence of promotions and other upward moves in a work-related hierarchy during the course of the person’s working life” (Hall, 1976) “A career is the sequence of employment-related positions, roles, activities and experiences encountered by a person” (Arnold, 1997) Career management is an attempt to influence and shape the career of others
Career Management Activities • Establishing internal labour markets • Identifying people to move into, within and out of internal labour markets - through selection, appraisal, assessment and development centres - through counselling, coaching and outplacement • Organising succession planning • Management of graduate entry and high potential staff schemes
Career Management Activities (continued) • Providing planned experience • Providing development programmes • Linking reward systems e.g. to avoid losing high fliers • Providing information about job openings and development opportunities e.g. Career Resource Centres • Managing careers of backbone managers
Challenges to Traditional Organizational Career Management 1. Structural Change • Rapid organizational change: e.g. re-structuring; takeovers; technological change; internationalisation: migration; professionalisation – loss of traditional exchange around the ‘career promise’ and violation of psychological contract • Flatter organizations – loss of traditional career hierarchy • Challenge of search organisations and head-hunters seeking talent
Challenges to Traditional Organizational Career Management 2. Values Change • Challenge of breaking the glass ceiling • Dual-career families and family-friendly practices • Changing values – Baby boomers, Generations X and Y and implied need for a flexible career exchange. This includes: – Search for work-life balance – Disaffection with work-demands, stress and career tournament/rat race • Concern about ‘career regret’ linked to lengthy professional training and vocational immaturity
The New Career? • The view that all organizational life is temporary and flexible (and insecure) (e.g.Cappelli) • Interest in the “protean career” (Hall), reflected in career self-management and subjectively defined career success • Growth of (interest in) the boundaryless career • Linked to possession of distinctive (managerial or professional) knowledge and skills and importance of updating/refreshing knowledge
Implications of the New Career “I don’t think anyone under 30 truly believes they work for anyone any more. They think of themselves as their own profit and loss account, their own brand, their own business”. Julie Meyer: Managing Partner, Ariadne Capital
The Protean Career and Career SelfManagement (Hall) • Growing focus on subjective career success – implies rejection of organizational criteria and associated priorities • Focus on individual rather than organizational responsibility for career self-management • Elements of career self-management include seeking development opportunities, networking, self-promotion, readiness (up-to-date CV), scanning opportunities • Focus on concept of employability
Employability Definitions Employability is the probability of obtaining and retaining a job in the internal or external labour market. It can be objective – an analysis of actual movement across organizations but also jobs and occupations (the mobility of capital) Subjective – perception/belief that you can easily find another job at least as good as your present job.
Analysing Components of Employability: a competency profile of highly employable people. Also known as “movement capital” Human capital - KSAs affecting career opps. Knowing how Social capital - Social networks; politics Knowing whom Self-awareness - career identity Knowing why Adaptability - willingness to adjust to Knowing when circumstances Self-awareness and adaptability can be viewed as metaskills
The Boundaryless Career (Arthur, Rousseau and others) • Logic of protean career and retained employability – individuals ‘manage’ across organizational boundaries • Organizational mobility as the route to career advancement • In a knowledge society, human capital is valuable, often rare and highly transferable • Places a new emphasis on organizations to manage talent and organizational (versus career) commitment
Implications for Organizations Wishing to Attract and retain Highly Employable Graduates/Professionals • Recognise that you want highly employable people but they are the most marketable – so the challenge is to keep them • Recognise that they will constantly network and explore the opportunities – live in a career tournament • Goal is to enhance employability (general and specific skills) and commitment – well-treated staff only leave if there is a clearly better opportunity • So what generates commitment? – Keep your promises – on opportunities, development & responsibility. So provide organizational career management but also encourage/develop career self-management – Generate embeddedness – social and job ties – Provide consistent organizational support – show you care – Maintain a positive exchange – get more out of staying than leaving
Whose Careers Should HR Be Managing? Careers in Routine Jobs (Guest and Sturges) Within one organization Beyond one organization Work as Central traditional tourism constrained career achievement self-employment Work as Marginal variety and control opted out out disengagement locked
Broadening Career Management • CIPD Careers Survey: 79% agree career development should be available to all staff but it is usually restricted to a minority (often identified as high potential) • Reflects neglect of careers of non-managerial/nongraduate staff. They probably need to engage in more career self-management but may be less capable of doing so (though may have strong networks)
Changing Career Patterns - an Assessment • Career disaffection is not new • Many graduates still aspire to traditional careers in large organizations • Average tenure has altered little over the past 30 years • Over three-quarters of CIPD respondents judge their career management to be effective or very effective in the face of change but firms usually have limited evidence to support this claim • Career management remains a key HR activity
Reading • • • • • • • Guest & King*** – covers several career management topics Sullivan & Arthur*** – case for boundaryless career Rodrigues & Guest*** – case against boundaryless career Sturges, Guest, Conway and Mackenzie Davey* – study of how graduates get committed to a career Hall & Moss* - outline of the protean career concept Guest & Sturges* - non-managerial careers in context Arnold – a book providing a good background overview of career issues
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