Career is progress or general course of action of a person in some profession or in an organization. An individual’s career signifies the position held by him throughout his work life. Organizations are expected to support employees in accomplishing their career and life goals through career planning activities. Career planning is collective responsibility of the organization and the concerned individual. The main aim of career planning is to help employees achieve progression within the organization.
A career is a sequence of separate but related work activities that provide continuity, order and meaning to a person’s life.
Career planning is the set of policies and practices an organization uses to provide for its human resources requirements.
-J.A. Sonnenfeld et al.
Career planning is the deliberate process through which someone becomes aware of personal skills, interests, knowledge, motivations, and other characteristics and establishes action plan to attain specific goals.
Features of Career Planning
i.Career planning is a process of developing human resources rather than an event.
ii.Career planning normally follows a bottom up approach in which the process begins with the individuals, works upwards and ends with organizational interventions.
iii.It is not an end in itself but a means of managing people to obtain optimum results.
iv.It aims at matching the individual’s career goals with the opportunities available.
v.It is not a one time affair but an ongoing process by which an employee identifies the needs and also the methods to fulfill those needs on a regular basis.
vi.Career planning is a continuous process due to an everchanging environment.
vii. Basically career planning is an individual’s responsibility. But it is the responsibility of an organization to provide guidance and counseling to its employees in planning their careers and in developing and utilizing their knowledge and skills. Goals of employees should be integrated with the organizational goals.
viii.It is normally made in a dynamic environment where the changes in the demand for and supply of labour, the characteristics of labour, technology, competitive conditions and market strategies are rapid and often radical.
Responsibility of Career Planning
Although career planning in the prime responsibility of the individual, the organisation also has a duty in developing the career of its employees. An organisation nominates the manager or supervisor to facilitate its employees in career planning but sometimes it may take help of external experts also for providing career guidance to its employees. The following figure shows the people responsible for career planning and development in an organization.