Career Management - Meaning and Important Concepts

Career management is conscious planning of one’s activities and engagements in the jobs one undertakes in the course of his life for better fulfilment, growth and financial stability. It is a sequential process that starts from an understanding of oneself and encompasses occupational awareness.

An individual’s career is the sole source of one’s natural expression of self. One school of thought describes work as the purpose of life and the source of one’s expression and the purpose of being or existence. Yet others believe that there is a wide difference between an individual’s career and his/her life. In any case, career is an integral component of one’s life and therefore the need for its management.

Career management is more or less like the organisational management; after all an organisation is nothing but an assortment of individuals!

The process of career management begins with the formulation of goals and objectives those that are short term or meant to be achieved in the short run. This is a tedious task compared to a long term career goal which is more or visionary in nature. Since the objective is short term or immediate, it is more of action oriented. Second it demands achievement every day, every moment.

Again this step can be very difficult for those who are not aware of the opportunities available or are not completely conscious of their talents. However more specific, measurable and achievable the goals greater are the chances of the management plan bearing fruit.

Achievement of goal requires a well chalked strategy, which implies a plan of action to achieve the goal. This has to be followed by drafting or establishment of procedures/policies/norms or rules that govern action or practice.

The final step in the career management process is evaluation of the career management plan for ensuring that progress is being made or if there is a need to introduce some changes in the latter.

One may also utilize the services of various career assessment tests at various stages to choose career paths that are in tandem with ones likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses. These tests range from ones that are small and brief to the ones that are exhaustive offering minute details. Some of the tests that one may like to undergo are MBTI (Myers and Briggs Type Indicator), SDI (Strength Deployment Inventory) and Multiple Intelligence among others.

The onus of career management is more on the individual self than the employer. Ensuring personal development in terms of skills, competencies, change in attitude with time are things one may need to take care of on one’s own. Short term goals need to met and evaluated.

The long term career goals need to be revised with the change in employment scenario and self; organisations may or may not be concerned in a big way or aligned to your priorities in career and life.

Often counselling is of major help in evaluating a job and the future prospects and for establishing clarity of values for they undergo a change with the passage of time!

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Career Development