Career Development

Career Development

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2044-3.ch008


After you read this chapter, you will be able to understand the importance for career development, understand how to plan the career, know the career planning model and career process, and realize the Millennial workers' viewpoint for career development.
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Career development is able to motivate a worker to put more effort into his or her work. As a worker, he or she has to understand how to develop his or her career. Some workers have planned their career ladder, such as how long they should stay in the same position. However, what is a career? The word “career” is able to be described as a sequence of positions held by a person during his or her lifetime, and a series of jobs implemented over time; or as a pattern of work-related experiences spanning the life of an individual. Therefore, a career is a dynamic process through which individuals collect information on their personal likes, dislikes, strengths, and weaknesses; establish realistic career objectives; develop and carry out strategies for achieving those objectives; and get feedback to provide a basis for career decision-making (Ko, 2012). In addition, a career is explained by some authors as a sequence of functions in ascending order of prestige, through which the employee progresses in an orderly manner, in a foreseeable way (Wael, 2015). Moreover, careers are said to be “boundaryless,” and involve a worker in taking responsibility for their own management (Yu & Lee, 2015). Of course, everyone has different opinions about careers. Some people have clear objectives and goals in their career phase, and some never think about objectives or goals, only considering whether they have a stable job.

Thus, workers should have the expectation of developing their career, namely, individual career development. Individual career development refers to when workers have to use opportunities that are available for them to pursue their career goals, such as by undergoing self-management programs, setting career-related goals, and formulating appropriate strategies to achieve them (Yu & Lee, 2015). Furthermore, Hoekstra (2011) claims that individual career development is evidently constrained by biological factors like hardwired differences in health, temperament, personality, as well as mental ability. The term “career development” means that there is a career to be developed (Hirsh, Jackson, Kettley, Tamkin, & Jackson, 1996). In addition, career development is able to be described as the interactive progression of internal career identity formation and the growth of external career significance (Hoekstra, 2011).

Not only does a worker have career development, a company and an organization also has career development. Additionally, career development is a critical issue for a company or an organization. Moreover, successful career development practice is that a company or an organization is better placed to adapt and maintain its competitive business climate and is better equipped to face the future. Hence, successful career development is designed to provide competitive advantage to a company or an organization in attracting, retaining, and developing the best people (Hirsh et al., 1996).

From the individual’s career development viewpoint, gender also results in differences in career development. The study by Hancock and Hums (2016) indicates that women’s career development has emerged as much more complex than men’s career development. Women encounter issues not ordinarily faced by men as they confront more pressure from balancing family, social, and work expectations than do men.

In spite of everyone having different career development perspectives, the employer and the company system play important roles in personal career development. When an employer establishes a career development program and publishes it to all employees, employees may improve their performance as well as presenting better outcomes. For example, Jackson and Sirianni (2009) carried out research into service employees, and viewed identifying strengths and weaknesses, charting the appropriate course, and taking action to achieve results as the core components of a service employee’s career development. Moreover, Jackson and Sirianni (2009) propose that this produces positive outcomes for not only service employees and their customers, but also the entire service organization. That is to say, career development is a benefit to workers and the company. The procedure is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1.

The components of career development for frontline service employees

Source: Jackson Jr. and Sirianni (2009).

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