Career Management an overview

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Anupama Nair

Having a good career is an individual's metaphorical ‘journey’ through learning, work and other aspects of his/her life. What is career? As per Oxford Dictionary “career is a person’s course or progress through life or a distinct portion of life”. So, we can relate ‘career’ to a range of aspects of an individual's life, learning, and work. The word ‘career’ is derived from the Latin word ‘carrus’, which means chariot.

According to the Online Etymology Dictionary in 1803, the  word career meant "course of one's public or professional life", and it is used in dozens of books published in the year 1800, which was in reference to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's literary career, business career and professional career, and then the phrase began to be regularly used by the year 1800. Who was Goethe? Goethe was a famous German poet, playwright, novelist, scientist, statesman, theatre director, critic, and amateur artist, considered the greatest German literary figure of the modern era.

Career management is the combination of structured planning and the active management choice of one's own professional journey. Career Management is a term that includes, Career Planning, Career Development either on an individual or at an organizational level. Career management also talks about talent management, as part of a talent retention strategy. Career management, was in 1978, first defined in a doctoral thesis by Mary Valentich “as the implementation of a career strategy through the application of career tactics in relation to chosen career orientation”.

By Career orientation I mean the overall design or pattern of one's career, shaped by particular goals and interests and are identifiable by particular positions that embody these goals and interests. Career strategy pertains to the individual's general approach to the realization of career goals, and to the specificity of the goals themselves. Two general strategy approaches used are adaptive and planned. Career tactics are actions to maintain oneself in a satisfactory employment situation. Tactics may be more or less assertive, with assertiveness in the work situation referring to actions taken to advance one's career interests or to exercise one's legitimate rights while respecting the rights of others.

According to Valentich and Gripton success is managing one's career effectively through the attainment of the desired positions and other rewards. The outcome of successful career management includes personal fulfillment, work–life balance, goal achievement, and financial security. “A career includes all types of employment ranging from semi-skilled through skilled, and semi-professional to professional”. Careers have often been restricted to an employment commitment to a single trade skill, profession or business firm for the entire working life of a person. However, in modern times, a career includes changes or modifications in employment during the foreseeable future.

The career management process begins with setting goals or objectives. A relatively specific goal or objective must be formulated. This task may be quite difficult when an individual lacks knowledge of career opportunities and is not fully aware of their talents and abilities. The entire career management process is based on the establishment of defined goals whether specific or general in nature. Utilizing career assessments may be a crucial step in identifying opportunities and career paths that most resonate with someone.



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