Career planning is a process involving a few steps. These steps help a person in planning his career and deciding about his future.
The process of career planning is also known as career development stages.
Steps of Career Planning Process
- Self Assessment.
- Thorough Research for Self Development.
- Come up with Action Form.
The main steps are discussed below:
Self-assessment is a process that helps an individual in assessing his skills, potential, strengths, and ability to fulfill his aims. As the name of the step suggests, a person assesses himself and then based on his analysis and keeping his strengths and weaknesses in mind he will draft a future plan.
By drafting future plan we mean that executing this step helps the persons to finalize the profession and career path he wants to choose.
Once you have self-analyzed yourself the second step that awaits your attention is to fill the loopholes you have identified in the above step.
By this, we mean that in this step you have to see that what are the qualities and skills that are required by you to help you achieve your aims and goals.
For instance, you might decide that you need training or a particular course in a field in order to make you perfect for the profession you have chosen.
Thorough Research for Self Development
Once an individual has listed down the careers that are favorable in his case and the skills and improvements that are required in order to achieve excellence in the third step requires him to do an intensive research and see that what that are findings related to career options and the skills that are required to make him champion in that.
He will ask the following questions;
- What is the scope of the career he has chosen?
- Will that career pay him off in the future?
- Is there room for expansion in that career field?
Come up with Action Form
Once an individual has researched the feasibility of the factors that he has finalized in the above steps, the next step is to show some action and translate his plans on a piece of a page.
This step requires him to make plans as in how he is going to achieve and fulfill the steps he has decided above. The best way to come with an action plan is to come up with small goals for oneself.
Once these small goals are achieved, we can see how much closer we are to our main aim and major goals. This small step acts as a pathway to the main aim.
Benefits of Career Planning
The HR department should take an active interest in employee career planning. They often handle career planning because their human resource plans indicate the organization’s future employment needs and related career opportunities.
D. B. Miller says that organizations have a different perspective on careers.
They want to assure that managerial succession is orderly and efficient so that when managers need to be replaced because of promotion, retirement, accident or illness, termination or resignation, high-qualified people can replace them quickly and easily.
The involvement of HR manager in career planning has grown during recent years because of its benefits. Here is a partial list of those benefits:
- Career planning helps to develop internal supplies of promotable talent. If vacancies occur, it is easy to locate a good successor.
- The increased attention and concern for individual careers generate more organizational loyalty, and therefore, lower employee turnover. Career planning improves the organization’s ability to attract and retain high talent personnel.
- Career planning encourages employees to tap more of their potential abilities because they have specific career goals.
- Career plans and goals motivate employees to grow and develop, without career planning, it is easier for managers to hoard key subordinates. Career planning causes employees, managers, and the HR department to become aware of employee qualifications. Key subordinates can be placed in different departments.
- It reduces employee frustration as the employee knows what he should do to the career goal. Assists affirmative action plans. Career planning can help members of protected groups prepare for more important jobs. This preparation can contribute to meeting affirmative action timetables.
- It-ensures needed talents and promotes organizational goodwill.
- Career planning helps the individual have the knowledge of various career opportunities, his priorities, etc.
- It helps him select the career which is suitable to his lifestyle, preference, family environment, the scope for self-development, etc.
- It helps the organization identify talented employees who can be promoted.
- Internal promotions, up gradation and transfers motivate the employees, boost their morale and also result in increased job satisfaction.
- Each employee will await his turn of promotion rather than changing to another organization. This would lower employee turnover.
- It improves employee’s performance on the job by tapping their potential abilities and stimulating their personal growth.
- Increased job satisfaction due to career planning enhances employee commitment and creates a sense of belongingness and loyalty to the organization.
- Being an integral part of the manpower planning and corporate planning, career planning contributes towards individual development and organizational development and effective achievement of corporate goals.
- An organization with well-designed career plans is able to have a better image in the employment market, and it will attract and retain competent people.
Limitations of Career Planning
Though career planning helps an organization in numerous ways, it has a few limitations that undermine the importance and relevance of career planning.
- Time factor.
- Unsuitable for a large workforce.
- Lack of objectivity.
- External interventions.
- Lack of knowledge and awareness.
- Lack of flexibility.
- Difficulty in measuring career success.
Career planning is usually a long-term and time-consuming process.
Unsuitable for Large Workforce
It may not be possible for organizations with a large workforce to develop individual career plans breach and every employee of the organization.
This is because the career planning process requires an in-depth analysis of each employee’s strengths and weaknesses on a sustained basis.
Lack of Objectivity
Only those organizations which belief in strict observance of objectivity in promotion and transfers can succeed in career planning.
In contrast, favoritism and nepotism in promotions often make career planning an unsuccessful exercise.
Government rules and regulations can also affect the career planning options of an organization.
For example, the government may make it mandatory for the organization to adopt reservations in promotions.
Lack of Knowledge and Awareness
Career planning by an employee is essentially a self-management process. It requires employees to be aware of the basics of career planning and management activities.
Lack of Flexibility
Many organizations treat career planning as a ritualistic and rigid exercise. They often fail to consider the uncertainties caused to the career planning activities by the changes in the situation.
In fact, the absence of dynamic career planning programs may limit the applicability of the career plans in uncertain and changing situations.
Difficulty in Measuring Career Success
Since career success is an abstract concept, it is interpreted differently by different persons. Some may consider a good performance on the job as career success.
Others may consider the quality of life as an indicator of career success. Still, others may consider vertical mobility in the organizational structure as career success.
This divergence of opinions may cause confusion and vagueness in interpreting career success.
What Do Employees Want in Organizational Career Planning?
Over the past two decades organizations have encouraged their employees to be career self-reliant. They have been telling employees to “take charge” of their own careers and not rely on the organization to provide guidance.
While this worked to some extent, the changing expectations of employees in the workplace require greater collaboration. But organizations should avoid their responsibilities. An organization needs to help facilitate the process by providing clarity and opportunity.
New generation employees are more educated and demanding.
Organizations must consider the new expectations, different perceptions, and desires of new employees while making career planning. Employees want the following factors in organizational career planning:
Meaningful and challenging job
The job must be interesting and challenging to make employee satisfied.
Employees want to perceive equity in the organization’s performance and promotion system with respect to career advancement opportunities.
Clearly communicate the strategy, direction of the organization:
In order to ensure an employee’s career goals are aligned with the company’s goals, the company needs to be open about its strategy and future directions.
Employees cannot be in charge of their career and make good career decisions if they don’t understand where the organization is going.
Employee wants his supervisors will play an active role in career development and to provide timely performance feedback. Supervisors assist them to develop skills and abilities.
Awareness of opportunities
Employees want knowledge of the career advancement opportunities that exist in their organizations. An organization must help its employees to learn about new opportunities within the organization.
Employees need a different amount of information and have different degrees of interest in career advancement depending on a variety of factors (age, sex, occupation, education).
Help employees customize their own career
Employees have different cycles in their lives and the employers who are most able to attract them are those that will allow employees to ramp up or ramp down during their career depending on different events going on in their personal lives.
This allows the individual to integrate themselves with their work as opposed to choosing work or family.
For some organizations, this may mean redesigning some roles to allow for individuals to be successful as they define success.
Clearly articulate expectations at different levels
Employees often get frustrated when they don’t know how to get ahead and they don’t understand how to develop themselves for the future.
By being clear about performance expectations for the future, and at different levels of the organization, employees will be able to more accurately self-assess if they have what it takes to move ahead in the organization.
Transparent process for career advancement
There should not be any discrimination. The employee should be made aware of the advancement criteria.
Employees, depending on their age and occupation, have different levels of career satisfaction. Some are happy with good performance while others are happy with quick advancement opportunities.
Comparative studies have shown that employees in the 21st century are more likely to remain and work productively in large organizations that clearly articulate and communicate the purpose and value of the roles staff are asked to perform, and that mentor those staff as they progress in those roles.
These types of organizations are said to foster a high level of employee ‘engagement’.