Career planning

Career planning is an individual’s lifelong process of establishing personal career objectives and acting in a manner intended to bring them about.

Are you not satisfied with the way your career is moving? Don't know in which way you should direct your career? Long past are the days of lifetime employment and now you need to plan careers as how to shift from one organization to another for gaining maximum industry experience. The task of career planning is quite a laborious one and it requires systematic planning of every step and a calculated execution. Take the onus of planning your own career.

The Concept of Career

The term 'career denotes all the jobs that are held during one's working life. It is viewed as a sequence of positions held by an individual during the course of his lifetime. Edwin B. Flippo defined a career as a sequence of separate but related work activities that provide continuity, order and meaning in a person's life. This is the objective career. A career may be viewed as amalgam of the changes in values, attitudes and motivation that occurs as a person grows older. This is a subjective element in the concept of a career.

Career Planning Introduction

In each of us rests the power to shape our future and it will be shaped by our action or inaction- Kate weldelton

You should control your career for your own advantages. for controlling your career, you make effective planning for your future and implementation it practically. because you are the only one who has the right about your decision of future planning, before you start your career planning, first ask yourself:

Who are you?

Where are you now?

what do you want? (Develop your 1-2-3-5-10....year vision)

How can you get there?

"Effective career planning is about finding a job that works for you, matching who are to the life you are are going to lead"-----John Lees

Facts [+]

"It is not in doing what you like, but liking what you do that is the secret of happiness."

--James M. Barrie

Definitions of Career Planning

Career planning is an ongoing process through which an individual sets career goals and identifies the means to achieve them. The process by which individuals plan their life’s work is referred to as career planning.

"Career planning is a process of systematically matching career goals and individual capabilities with opportunities for their fulfilment."(Schermerhorn: 2002)

"Career Planning is a deliberate process of becoming aware of self, opportunities, constraints, choices, and consequences; identifying career-related goals; and "career pathing" or programming work, education, and related developmental experiences to provide the direction, timing, and sequence of steps to attain a specific career goal." {McMahon and Merman: 1987)

Career Anchors

Career anchors denote the basic drives that create the urge to take up a certain type of a career. These drives are as follows:

    • Managerial Competence: Person having this drive seek managerial positions that provide opportunities for higher responsibility, decision making, control and influence over others.

    • Technical Competence: People having this anchor seek to make career choices based on the technical or functional content of the work. It provide continuous learning and updating one's expertise in a technical or specialised area such as quality control, engineering, accounting, advertising, public relations etc.

    • Security: If one's career anchor is security than he is willing to do what is required to maintain job security (through compliance with organisational prescriptions), a decent income and a stable future.

    • Creativity: This drive provides entrepreneurial and innovative opportunities to the people. People are driven by an overwhelming desire to do something new that is totally of their own making.

    • Autonomy: These people seek a career that provides freedom of action and independence.

Career is viewed as a sequence of position occupied by a person during the course of his lifetime. Career may also be viewed as amalgam of changes in value, attitude and motivation that occur, as a person grows older. The implicit assumption is that an individual can make a different in his destiny over time and can adjust in ways that would help him to enhance and optimize the potential for his own career development. Career planning is important because it would help the individual to explore, choose and strive to derive satisfaction with one’s career object.

Nature of Career Planning

The following are the salient features of career planning:

    • A Process: Career planning is a process of developing human resources rather than an event.

    • Upward movement: It involve upward movement in the organisational hierarchy, or special assignments, project work which require abilities to handle recurring problems, human relations issued and so on.

    • Mutuality of Interest: The individual's interest is served as his needs and aspirations are met to a great extent and the organisation's interest is served as each of its human resources is provided an opportunity to develop and contribute to the organisational goals and objectives to the optimum of its ability and confidence.

    • Dynamic: Career planning is dynamic in nature due to an ever changing environment.

Objectives of Career Planning

Career Planning seeks to meet the following objectives:

    • To provide and maintain appropriate manpower resources in the organisation by offering careers, not jobs.

    • To provide environment for the effectiveness, efficiency and growth of its employees and motivating them to contribute effectively towards achieving the objectives of the organisation.

    • To map out careers of various categories of employees suitable to their ability, and their willingness to be 'trained and developed for higher positions.

    • To have a stable workforce by reducing absenteeism and employee turnover.

    • To cater to the immediate and future human resources need of the organisation on a timely basis.

    • To increase the utilisation of managerial reserves within organisation.

Steps in Career Planning Process

Step 1:

Self-Assessment The first and foremost step in career planning is to know and assess yourself. You need to collect information about yourself while deciding about a particular career option. You must analyse your interests, abilities, aptitudes, desired lifestyle, and personal traits and then study the relationship between the career opted for and self.

Step 2:

Goal Setting Set your goals according to your academic qualification, work experience, priorities and expectations in life. Once your goal is identified, then you determine the feasible ways and objectives how to realize it.

Step 3:

Academic/Career Options Narrow your general occupational direction to a particular one by an informatory decision making process. Analyse the career option by keeping in mind your present educational qualification and what more academic degrees you need to acquire for it.

Step 4:

Plan of Action Recognize those industries and particular companies where you want to get into. Make the plan a detailed one so that you can determine for how many years you are going to work in a company in order to achieve maximum success, and then switch to another. Decide where you would like to see yourself after five years and in which position.

Step 5:

Catch Hold of Opportunities Opportunity comes but once. So, whenever you get any opportunity to prove yourself and get into your desired career, try to convert it in every way for suiting your purpose. Remember, a successful professional is also quite opportunistic in his moves, examining every opening to turn to his favour.

Advice on Career Planning

    1. Try not to waste much time and wait too long between career planning sessions.

    2. Don't ever judge and analyze yourself, like your likes and dislikes, abilities, etc. by listening to what people around you say. Be your best judge.

    3. Be open to constructive criticisms.

Career planning is a very important step that needs to be considered in totality. If need be, you should not be hesitant to take the help of professional guidance and find out the best career planning for yourself.

Different phases in the career of an employee:

Most working people go through career stages and it has been found that individual’s needs and expectations change as the individual moves through these stages.

    • Exploration Stage: This is the stage where an individual builds expectations about his career. Some of them are realistic and some are not. But the fact is that these could be a result of the individual's ambitions.

    • Establishment Stage: This could be at the stage where the individual gets his first job, gets accepted by his peers, learns in this job, and also gains the first tangible evidence of success or failure. The establishment/advancement stage tends to occur between ages 25 and 44. In this stage, the individual has made his or her career choice and is concerned with achievement, performance, and advancement. This stage is marked by high employee productivity and career growth, as the individual is motivated to succeed in the organization and in his or her chosen occupation. Opportunities for job challenge and use of special competencies are desired in this stage. The employee strives for creativity and innovation through new job assignments. Employees also need a certain degree of autonomy in this stage so that they can experience feelings of individual achievement and personal success.

    • Mid-Career Stage: The individual's performance levels either continue to improve, or levels, or even deteriorates.

    • Late Career: This is regarded as a pleasant phase, where one is allowed to relax and play the role of an elderly statesman in the organization.

    • Decline: The stage, where the individual is heading towards retirement.


FMCG sector tops MBA graduates wish list; Hindustan Unilever as most-preferred recruiter

The fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector has emerged as the sector of choice for business school graduates with Hindustan Unilever topping the list as the preferred recruiter, according to a Nielsen survey. Thirty six per cent students preferred a career in the FMCG sector.

In its 12th year, the study took the views of 1,100 final year students from the top 35 B-schools in India in October-November last year. A majority of students also felt that FMCG has the highest growth potential.

After FMCG, top sectors of choice are management consulting, IT consultancy and services, investment banking, foreign and domestic banks, IT product and development, financial institutions, retail and conglomerates. Amongst the recruiters of choice, HUL was followed by Google, Aditya Birla Group, Accenture, McKinsey & Co, Infosys, P&G, BCG, Citi Group, Microsoft, TAS and Axis Bank.

"With the FMCG growth in the country being driven by consumption, the sector continues to find favour with students who see it as a sector with huge growth potential," says Nielsen executive director Dinesh Kapoor.

HUL's executive director (HR) Leena Nair said the economic environment has helped FMCG to be the sector of choice amongst the future talent.

"The finance sector probably lost out due to the environment. There is also excitement and speed of working in the FMCG sector, which do attract young talent. Companies like HUL have big leadership practices and brands which is yet another major attraction," says Nair.

Nair says HUL has undertaken a lot of work to become the destination for the best of talent. "We are constantly identifying and grooming the next generation and leaders. We also invest a lot on training and mentoring talent," she said. HUL won the number one position after a decade.

HUL was also ranked the 'dream company' amongst B-school companies for the third year in a row, followed by P&G and McKinsey & Co. ITC also made it into the list of dream companies.

The average salary expectations of the students from their dream company remained the same as compared to the last year at Rs 16 lakh per annum, reflecting students gave more value to their role and job.

However, the salary expectation from a foreign company continues to remain almost double than that from an Indian company.

The 2011 Nielsen survey also showed that the top five dimensions students considered when it comes to seeking employment were high degree of independence at work, salary package, learning on the job, growth prospects and standing of the company in the market respectively.

11 Jan, 2012, 02.06AM IST, ET Bureau

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