Career Development

Career Development

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-6264-1.ch008
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This chapter will help you understand the importance for career development, how to plan a career and the career planning models, and understand the Millennial Generation's viewpoint on career development.
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The term “career development” means that an individual or organization has a career to be developed (Hirsh, Jackson, Kettley, Tamkin, & Jackson, 1996). In addition, career development is able to be defined as “the interactive progression of internal career identity formation and the growth of external career significance” (Hoekstra, 2011: 159).

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 an individual 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 a person. Therefore, a career is a dynamic process through which individuals collect information on their personal likes, dislikes, advantages, and disadvantages; set up realistic career objectives; develop and carry out strategies for achieving those objectives; and get feedback to offer a foundation for career decision-making (Ko, 2012). In addition, a career is explained by some authors as a result 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 the career goals of them, such as by undergoing self-management programs, setting career-related goals, as well as formulating useful strategies and attempt to achieve them (Yu & Lee, 2015). Furthermore, Hoekstra (2011) claims that biological factors like hardwired differences in health, character, personality, as well as mental ability evidently compel individual career development.

From the individual’s career development viewpoint, gender also results in differences in career development. The study by Hancock and Hums (2016) indicates that career development of women has emerged as much more complex than career development of men. Women confront issues not ordinarily faced by men as they confront more pressure from balancing family, social, and work expectations than do men. In Taiwan, female have more pressure in family and workplace than male. Female have to keep the balance between family and work, and try to reduce the work-family conflict. Furthermore, they have less opportunities to promote than men. Sometimes, the employer tells female employee: you should focus on your children and family, so the higher position is not suitable for you. However, men do not maintain the conflict between family and work, they are fully engaged in their work. This phenomenon is consistent with Hancock and Hums’s (2016) study.

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 outcomes as the core components of a service employee’s career development. Moreover, Jackson and Sirianni (2009) propose that this positive results is not only be helpful for 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.

As a matter of fact, the model by Jackson and Sirianni (2009) can be viewed as the I-P-O conception. And the conception is showed in Figure 1.

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