Management career planning: organization and methods


Career Management is the combination of structured planning and the active management choice of one's own professional career.

The outcome of successful career management should include personal fulfillment, work&life balance, goal achievement and financial security.


The word career refers to all types of employment ranging from semi-skilled through skilled, and semi professional to professional. The term careers has often been restricted to suggest an employment commitment to a single trade skill, profession or business firm for the entire working life of a person. In recent years, however, career now refers to changes or modifications in employment during the foreseeable future.

There are many definitions by management scholars of the stages in the managerial process. The following classification system with minor variations is widely used:

1.     Development of overall goals and objectives,

2.     Development of a strategy (a general means to accomplish the selected goals&objectives),

3.     Development of the specific means (policies, rules, procedures and activities) to implement the strategy, and

4.     Systematic evaluation of the progress toward the achievement of the selected goals&objectives to modify the strategy, if necessary.

Goals or objectives development

The career management process begins with setting goals&objectives. A relatively specific goal&objective must be formulated. This task may be quite difficult when the individual lacks knowledge of career opportunities and/or is not fully aware of their talents and abilities. However, the entire career management process is based on the establishment of defined goals&objectives whether specific or general in nature. Utilizing career assessments may be a critical step in identifying opportunities and career paths that most resonate with someone. Career assessments can range from quick and informal to more indepth. Regardless of the ones you use, you will need to evaluate them. Most assessments found today for free (although good) do not offer an in-depth evaluation.

The time horizon for the achievement of the selected goals or objectives - short term, medium term or long term - will have a major influence on their formulation.

Short term goals (one or two years) are usually specific and limited in scope. Short term goals are easier to formulate. Make sure they are achievable and relate to your longer term career goals.

Intermediate goals (3 to 20 years) tend to be less specific and more open ended than short term goals. Both intermediate and long term goals are more difficult to formulate than short term goals because there are so many unknowns about the future.

Long term goals (Over 20 years), of course, are the most fluid of all. Lack of life experience and knowledge about potential opportunities and pitfalls make the formulation of long term goals&objectives very difficult. Long range goals&objectives, however, may be easily modified as additional information is received without a great loss of career efforts because of experience&knowledge transfer from one career to another.

Making career choices and decisions the traditional focus of careers interventions. The changed nature of work means that individuals may now have to revisit this process more frequently now and in the future, more than in the past.

Managing the organizational career concerns the career management tasks of individuals within the workplace, such as decision-making, life-stage transitions, dealing with stress etc.

Managing boundaryless careers refers to skills needed by workers whose employment is beyond the boundaries of a single organization, a workstyle common among, for example, artists and designers.

Taking control of one's personal development as employers take less responsibility, employees need to take control of their own development in order to maintain and enhance their employability.

Career Planning

Career planning is a subset of career management. Career planning applies the concepts of Strategic planning and Marketing to taking charge of one's professional future.Career is an ongoing process and so it needs to be assessed on continuous basis. This process of re-assessing individual learning and development over a period of time is called Career Planning. It consists of 4 steps that are essential for proper and complete planning. 

Importance of Career Planning

It is important to come up with your career planning as it gives you the much needed direction and makes it clear there where you see yourself in future. It makes you aware of your strength and weaknesses and the skills and knowledge that are required to achieve your goals in future.

A large proportion of our life is spent in achieving our career goals, thus it is very important to make sure that right steps were taken and correct planning was done in the early years of your life. There are very few lucky ones who are born with a clear mind and who knows what they want to do and where they see themselves in life ahead. But majority of us are not sure what we want from life and so it in very important to plan out things. Thus career planning is what gives your career and in some way your life, true meaning and purpose.

Process of Career Planning

The process of career planning is also known as career development stages and career development model. These steps help you in planning your career and deciding about your future.

Self Assessment. Self assessment is a process that helps you in assessing your skills, your potential, your strengths and your ability to fulfill your aims. As the name of the step suggest, you self asses yourself and then based on your analyses and keeping your strengths and weaknesses in mind you draft your future plan. By drafting your future plan we mean that executing this step helps you to finalize the profession and career path you want to choose. Make sure that you choose and finalize more than one career, keep one or two careers in case you decide to roll back. In case the career you chose does not satisfies you or later in time you come to know that this was not meant for you then in that case you must have a backup plan.

Self Development. Once you have self analyzed yourself the second step that await 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.

It could be that you are interested in painting but you are not much aware of the trends or the knowledge that is required for this field. Or there can be a case where you are interested and much aware about a profession like teaching but you do not yet know that what is the niche level that is meant for you like and the subjects you can carry off pretty well.

A Thorough Research Self Development. Once you have list down the careers that are favorable in your case and the skills and improvements that are required by you in order to achieve excellence the third step requires you to do an intensive research and see that what that are findings related to career options and the skills that are required to make you champion in that. You research will be looking into following questions:

        What is the scope of the career you have chosen?

        Will that career pay you off in the future?

        Is there room for expansion in that career field?

Come up with Action Form. Once you have researched the feasibility of the factors that you have finalized in above steps, the next step is to show some action and translate your plans on a piece of page. This step requires you to make plan as in how you are going to achieve and fulfill the steps you have 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 that how much close we are to our main aim and major goal. This small step acts as a path way to the main aim.


Once you are done with small goals and the main aim, the next step remains to start implementing your plans. Keep a very close track of your activities to make sure that you are on the right track and that by following this path you are surely going to achieve you goal.

Career Development is the lifelong process of managing learning, work, leisure, and transitions in order to move toward a personally determined and evolving preferred future.

In organizational development, the study of career development looks at:

  how individuals manage their careers within and between organizations and,

  how organizations structure the career progress of their members, it can also be tied into succession planning within most of the organizations.

In personal development, career development is:

" ... the total constellation of psychological, sociological, educational, physical, economic, and chance factors that combine to influence the nature and significance of work in the total lifespan of any given individual." 

The evolution or development of a career - informed by (1) Experience within a specific field of interest (with career, job, or task specific skills as by-product) (2) Success at each stage of development, (3) educational attainment commensurate with each incremental stage, (4) Communications (the capacity to analytically reflect your suitability for a given job via cover letter, resume, and/or the interview process), and (5) understanding of career development as a navigable process. (Angelo J. Rivera)

"... the lifelong psychological and behavioral processes as well as contextual influences shaping ones career over the life span. As such, career development involves the persons creation of a career pattern, decision-making style, integration of life roles, values expression, and life-role self concepts." 



1.     Ball, B. "Career management competences the individual perspective". Career Development International, 1997. P. 74 79.

2.     Career Development: A Policy Statement of the National Career Development Association Board of Directors, 1993. 

3.     Ibarra, H. Working identity: unconventional strategies for reinventing your career. Harvard Business Press, 2003. 

4.     Herr, E.L., Cramer, S. H. Career guidance and counseling through the lifespan: Systematic approaches. New York: HarperCollins, 1996

5.     Niles, S. G., Harris-Bowlsbey, J. Career Development Interventions in the 21st Century. Columbus, OH: Merrill Prentice Hall., 2002, p.7

6.     Pope, M. Jesse Buttrick Davis (1871-1955): Pioneer of vocational guidance in the schools. Career Development Quarterly, 57, 2009. P.278-288.

7.     Strenger, C. The Existential Necessity of Midlife Change. Harvard Business Review. February, 2008. P. 8290.