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What is Career Management? Meaning, And Importance (2024)

Career management is quite an important thing in everyone’s life for each one of us must have very clear goals and aspirations about what we want to do with our career.

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All About Career Management And Its Importance In the Growth And Development Of Career Graph



First things first. Let us first understand what a career is. Career can be defined as the journey of our work-life. It is what we do and forms an important part of our life’s goals, and objectives. Having a desirable career and managing it well is extremely important for a sense of fulfillment and to lead the best life possible.


About Career Management:

It is a very long drawn process as it encompasses the whole of our working life. It involves drawing a roadmap by properly analyzing and planning our present position and future endeavor so as to attain the optimum benefit in terms of both career growth as well as financially.


It is our ability to further our growth by foreseeing the possibilities; just like an architect foresees a structure by planning every small detail in the blueprint. The more analytical we are, the better it is while remembering that, nothing is impossible. There is no limit to setting and achieving the best career goals for ourselves. If we truly believe it, then we can prove that sky’s the limit.


It plays an important role in identifying our skill-set and helps us to develop it to meet and achieve our career goals. Basically, it helps to avoid accepting and continuing in any kind of job that we get irrespective of our skills, mindset, our inspiration, and aspirations and guides us in properly channelizing our capabilities to obtain the best possible results for the self as well as the employers.


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Career Management At An Early Stage:

Unlike what many people believe, career management should ideally start at a very young age. Ask any child what s/he would like to be when they grow up and you would be astonished to hear their list that would spell the epitome of who’s who.


Everyone or almost everyone believes that they know what their child wants and that they understand what is best for their kids. Obviously, they would only make the very best of choices for their children, something that every parent is proud of. Although as a matter of fact, it is probably just wishful thinking.


Be it a career in medicine or engineering or accounting. As a child, it all seems exciting and for parents, it’s a secure career choice. But is it what they really want when they grow up? And even if it is the choice they make, what after that? How are we going to achieve that? How can parents ensure proper career planning and development for their kids? That is where career management comes in.


If you believe that career development and management starts only after our academic education is over, think again. It starts at a very, very early stage in our life. Parents have a huge role to play in managing and planning their children’s career and it should start at a very early age, which should be done in stages: 


1. Exposing the Child to various vocations and career opportunities- Children need to be given exposure to various career options so that they are more informed about their likes and dislikes. By exposing children at a young age to the various vocations and career opportunities available, they can be guided to make the right choices. This will help them to come to a conclusive decision of making a concrete career choice.


2. Allowing the Child to participate in different activities- It is extremely important to encourage and allow children to participate in different kinds of activities. So whether on the creative front like dance, drama or skits or more advanced academic areas like debates, science fairs and exhibitions et cetera, participation in these kinds of extracurricular activities opens up new avenues of interest for children. This will boost their confidence and also help with better career development.


3. Identifying the child’s interest in any or many of the opportunities- An essential part of career management is identifying the areas of interest that one would like to pursue as a career. Parents play a pivotal role in guiding their children in the right direction so as to identify where the child’s interests lie. Once that is established, you can take things forward from there on and ensure the right kind of facilities are provided to hone their skills.


4. Discussing and imparting more knowledge about the subject of different vocation– It is just as important to have a healthy discussion about the various subjects and vocations that can be pursued, their implications and consequences. The education system is very academic centric. It needs to broaden the horizon so that children who wish to acquire specialization in a particular field, can start at an early stage, rather than having to wait until graduation from school. For example tailoring and fashion designing, salon and hairstyling courses, masters in computers and other machines, etc. 


5. Encouraging the child to explore, research, analyze and delve more into the subject of their choice– At a young age children should be empowered and encouraged to explore, research, and delve into different career options and evolve to a stage after weighing the pros and cons on their own. Parents should be a guiding force, however, their choices should not be forced on the children. Let them make their own choices based on their likes and dislikes. For someone very wise once said that when you are passionate about what you do, you won’t have to work a day in your life because you will enjoy doing it.


6. Motivate and encourage the child to follow the path of interest– Once their interests are established, it is essential to motivate and encourage the path of their interests as parents and stand by them while quietly assisting in their career development. 


It is important to accept and recognize the fact that every individual has some special quality and special ability and is capable of doing something exceptional in some area. And it is up to us to recognize that talent and channelize it properly. 


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Career Management In An Organization

This involves planning one’s professional career in a structured manner depending on one’s likes, dislikes, strengths, and weaknesses. It is also a process by which the HR department of an organization churns its employees internally to enable their growth and advancement based on the employee skillset. It is an important aspect of employee engagement, which leads to increased productivity for the organization and more job satisfaction for the employee. It is beneficial for both the employer and the employee as it helps to bridge the gap between the expectations of employees and that of the company. 


The company aligns the capabilities, skill-set, and aspirations of its employees with the internal openings and positions available to bring out the best in them while meeting futuristic organizational goals. Here are some of the key reasons why companies should give importance to career development and management:

1. To improve an organization’s performance– When the company provides opportunities to its employees for cross-functional exposure, it not only encourages the employees to perform better but also leads to better company performance as it is better equipped to meet its goals and get results.


2. To retain good, talented employees- Retention of good quality employees work in the best interest of the company as it creates a drive in them to do more and. Employees who feel like a significant part of the organization are willing to offer more to the company.  


3.Reduction in employee attrition- One of the main reasons for employees to switch their jobs is better growth and more opportunities in other organizations. If the company provides a platform for its associates to hone their skills and the opportunity to grow both vertically and horizontally, employees will have more of a reason to stick around. This will help meet an important HR goal of reduction in the attrition rate of employees.


4.Effective employee deployment and development- Restructuring and redeployment of manpower in the organization leads to effective employee growth and development which is beneficial for the company as it puts the right people in the right job role and increases overall productivity. Also, it could prove to be easier than hiring someone from outside, as the transition of an internal employee could be smoother as they are already aware of the company’s work ethics and style of functioning. 


5. To improve employee engagement- Effective career planning, management, and development results in optimum utilization of the company’s employee resource. When the company provides opportunities for career development, employees feel more motivated, empowered, and connected with their work and the organization. Employee engagement is higher when their intrinsic needs are effectively met along with personal and professional goals.


Career Management For Employees 

Career management before starting employment and after are two different things altogether. After starting on the job, it is more about the following:

  • Trying to learn about the organization
  • Finding out what is the company’s goal
  • How we fit into it
  • If there are any shortcomings, whether we need to get any additional training etc.
  • What we can do to adapt to be an integral part of the organization
  • And how we can work to make it a success 


Employees need to ask this vital question: What are the capabilities, skills, and expertise that I possess which could be critical for my current job role and future career plans?


These are some of the benefits for employees:

  1. Career growth and development- The company presents an opportunity for its employees for their growth and development.
  2. Fulfills intrinsic needs- When employees are considered to be fitting for a specific role which they are interested in, they put in their best efforts and feel more fulfilled with their job.
  3. Helps to meet personal and professional goals- Growth and development in career eventually help to meet the goals that they have set for themselves.
  4. Employees feel empowered- Organizational restructuring presents employees with opportunities to go up the career ladder, which makes them feel empowered.
  5. Employees feel like an integral part of the organization- When employees feel included in the company decisions, they feel more connected with the organization.
  6. Motivates towards better performance- Job satisfaction and growth across various functions motivates employees to perform well in their job.
  7. Increases employee productivity- Better job profile that is more to their liking will lead to better productivity amongst the associates.


Career Management Model

The model consists of the following important components:

1.Career exploration

This is where one needs to evaluate and explore various career options and it consists of two parts: Self-exploration and Environmental exploration.

Self-exploration is about self-awareness and knowing oneself, one’s strengths and weaknesses, likes, and dislikes.

Environmental-exploration is more to do with evaluating the environment, which includes the type of occupation, types of industries, etc.


2. Awareness

When you explore and evaluate, it increases awareness which is quite important in career development. It is essential to be aware of one’s characteristics and qualities in order to enable us to strategize and set the right career goals.


3. Goal setting

It is important to set goals to stay motivated so that we have something to look forward to in life. These career goals need to be realistic, measurable, and achievable to stay motivated. Unrealistic goals can cause de-motivation and be counter-effective. Concrete and specific career goals enable the laying of groundwork towards achieving the said goals.


4. Strategy development

Once the career goal is set, a strategy needs to be developed to set the process in motion. It is essentially a sequence of activities undertaken to attain the career goal. There are various strategies that the employees can undertake to increase their chances of success in their career:

  • Present job competence
  • Work involvement
  • Skill development through training
  • Development of interpersonal relations
  • Organizational politics


5. Strategy implementation

It is the process of putting into action the plans and strategies to achieve goals and objectives in the course of career development. Developing a strategy is one thing and implementing it is another. In the course of strategy implementation, it is essential to seek advice from your supervisor, engage in development through training, investigate opportunities, and know-how to negotiate terms.


6. Feedback    

The implementation of a career strategy can provide useful feedback to the person, which can enable the person to appraise his career. Motivating employees is important for organizational growth. A good manager will provide the right feedback to the employees for their betterment, which helps to optimize their performance and fetches the right kind of results for the company as well. Feedback should be sincere, which enables candidates to learn more about their accomplishments and shortcomings.


7. Career appraisal

Feedback received from the supervisors and managers helps associates to gain some perspective, which can help them to appraise their career and understand whether or not they are progressing towards their career objective. Career appraisal permits a person to monitor the course of their career and may lead to a reexamination of career goals and re-initiation of the career management model if required. Career appraisal might lead you to consider changing your goal. Or you may retain your goal, but revise your strategy. It may result in revisiting your career objectives and the strategies to achieve them.


How Career Management Is Impacted By The People We Work With

It is important to realize that right up to the stage of getting employed, everyone around us including our parents, relatives, friends, schools, training institutions, and almost everyone else was a part of our career development and were interested in making it a success. Whereas once we start on the employment, we have to face competition with our colleagues, disliking, insults and slave driving by peers, and many other stumbling blocks all around us.


Learning to do away with the frustrations and adapting to the new environment and being adept at our job takes a lot and the real (and practical) career management starts at this stage. It would be prudent to realize that the problems we face are part and parcel of the work environment at almost every stage and all over. Learning to manage the work-life balance with gritted teeth and a feigned smile is a major part of career management. Irrespective of how much human psychology we study and career management courses we undertake, this part is like a labor pain – only known to and to be suffered solely by self. But we cannot throw the towel in and give it up because of any of these reasons.


In every workplace, we will find a couple of Mr. No Nos who are born with negative attitudes. They will tell you all about how bad the organization is, how dictatorial and monstrous the boss is, how painful and non-cooperative the HR department is, how lazy and unproductive other Departments are, and so on and so forth. 


If we carefully try to study their attitude, we will learn a lot – if you ask them ‘Are you Mr. Nimmesh Shah?’ their reply would be ‘No, no, no, my Aadhar card says Nimes Shah without the last “h” and my passport says Nimmesh Shah with double “m”’’.


Rather than keeping it simple and answering in the affirmative, they choose to start their answer with a no and beat around the bush. But as there is a possibility that such people could be our colleagues, learning how to cope with them will also form a major part of our career management because it also affects our attitude towards our job and also the organization and the company at large.


Then we always will have a boss who believes you know nothing, according to him/her you are over smart, an upstart, slow in your work, lazy to the core and not very co-operative. And this is irrespective of the fact that you do everything in your capacity to please the boss at the speed of a racing car and with as much precision as a jeweler’s weighing scale.


The boss pushes all their work and responsibility on you so much that, you start wondering if you are doing all their work, what do they do and what are they getting paid for by the organization? Learning to bear it with a smile is a huge part of our career management and development. 


On the other hand, we also need to accept that every person has some special ability and there is always scope for learning from each and every one of our colleagues and we should always make an effort to learn from them. Being amicable with our colleagues and spending time with them and learning from them is very important as it broadens our perspective and makes us more flexible and adaptable to changing work environments. 


Irrespective of how rude, crude and dictatorial the bosses are, they are where they are, probably because of their knowledge, experience, and their abilities and it is in our interest to sit with them and absorb the good things that could benefit us. Learning as much as possible from them is a really important part of the course of career management. 


Career Development By Enhancing Skills

It is only once we start working, that we start realizing our shortcomings and make an attempt to enhance our abilities in certain areas of our work life. For this, we may need to take extra training in some areas such as:

  • Computers
  • Human psychology 
  • Training to use specific software/system such as ERP 


Adding more certifications by attending different lectures and conferences might be a very helpful step in our career development and management. 


Although changing the jobs every now and then may not be advisable, it could be a very important part of our career management, depending on the situation as well as the career graph and roadmap we have drawn for ourselves. Basically, we need to do everything possible to enhance our knowledge and further our careers, modifying and adapting as the situation demands to get the best results to meet our personal and professional goals. This is what career management is all about. 

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