Vocational training prepares the employee to perform various production functions, traditionally associated with a particular position. During his professional life, a person, as a rule, occupies not one, but several posts. This sequence of posts is called a professional career.
The sequence of positions held by an employee in one organization is called his career in the organization.
For some people, a career is the result of implementing a detailed long-term plan, for others (studies show that most are), it is a set of accidents. Obviously, for a successful career development, the employee’s wishes alone are not enough, even if they take the form of a well-designed plan. To move up the hierarchy, professional skills, knowledge, experience, perseverance and a certain element of luck are needed.
To bring all of these components together, an employee often needs outside help. Traditionally, he received this assistance from relatives and acquaintances, from educational institutions he graduated from, from the societies in which he participated, and even from the state to which he paid taxes. In the modern world, the organization in which he works is becoming the most important source of employee support in career development. This state of affairs is easily explained – modern organizations see the development of their employees as one of the fundamental factors of their own success and are therefore sincerely interested in developing their career. It is not by chance that in the last 20 years, planning and managing career development has become one of the most important areas of human resource management.
Career planning consists in determining the goals of professional development of the employee and the ways leading to their achievement. The implementation of a career development plan involves, on the one hand, the professional development of the employee, i.e., the acquisition of the qualifications required for the desired position, and on the other, the sequential occupation of positions whose work experience is necessary for success in the target position. Many large organizations have standard career ladders that lead to the posts of CEO, his deputies and other senior executives, as well as key functional specialists.
Career development refers to the actions that an employee takes to implement his plan and professional advancement.
Planning and managing career development requires the employee and the organization (if it supports this process) certain additional (as compared to routine professional activities) efforts, but at the same time provides a number of advantages to both the employee and the organization in which he works. For an employee, this means:
- a potentially higher degree of satisfaction from working in an organization that provides him with opportunities for professional growth and raising the standard of living;
- a clearer vision of personal professional prospects and the ability to plan other aspects of one’s own life;
- the possibility of targeted preparation for future professional activities;
- increasing competitiveness in the labor market. The organization receives the following benefits:
- motivated and loyal employees connecting their professional activities with this organization, which increases labor productivity and reduces labor turnover;
- the ability to plan the professional development of employees and the entire organization, taking into account their personal interests;
- career development plans for individual employees as an important source for identifying vocational training needs;
- a group of interested in professional growth, trained, motivated employees to advance to key positions.
Awareness of these and other advantages prompted the leadership of many organizations to create formal career paths in information management systems for their employees. One of the most common management models for this process is the partnership planning and career development model.
Partnership involves the cooperation of three parties – the employee, his manager and the human resources department. The employee is responsible for planning and developing his own career or, in the language of modern management, is the owner of this process. The leader acts as the mentor or sponsor of the employee. His support is necessary for a successful career development, as he manages resources, manages the distribution of working time, and certifies the employee.
The human resources department plays the role of a professional consultant and at the same time carries out general management of the career development process in the organization.
After hiring, human resources specialists train the new employee in the basics of career planning and development, explain the principles of partnership, responsibility and opportunities of the parties involved. Education has two main objectives:
1) to create employee interest in career development and
2) provide them with tools to start managing their own careers.
His next step is to develop a career development plan. The employee must determine their own professional interests and methods for their implementation, i.e., the position (s) that he would like to occupy in the future. After that, he needs to compare his own capabilities with the requirements for the positions he is interested in and determine whether this career development plan is realistic, and if so, consider what he needs to implement this plan. At this stage, the employee needs qualified assistance from the human resources department and his own manager, first of all, to determine his capabilities and shortcomings, as well as development methods.
Many organizations conduct special testing to identify the strengths and weaknesses of their employees, the results of which provide significant assistance in career planning. The participation of the leader in the career planning process allows not only to conduct a certain check on the compliance with the reality of the employee’s career expectations, but also to involve the leader in the career development process of this employee from the very beginning and thereby enlist his support.