Career Management

Essay by vvasimmUniversity, Master'sA, February 2011

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Career Management

In the developed countries, we have moved a long way beyond times past when most people had "employment" or "jobs" rather than careers. Acareer is often defined as "the evolving sequence of a person's work experiences over time" (Arthur, Hall, & Lawrence, 1989, p. 8). The termevolving sequence tells us that a career is more than just a string of jobs: These jobs are linked together over time and patterned so that we can see a career as a single meaningful entity, for example, "a career in banking," "getting to the top of the organization," or "from hairdresser to salon owner." Careers are cumulative in that experience, skills, and interests developed in one job can be carried over into the next. While not everyone who works is a manager, everyone who works has a career, and for most people, it lasts for many years. This makes careers a very personal and important topic for just about everybody.

Arguably, for most of us, the management of our careers is the most important management there is. When we join organizations and contribute to them, we do so with our own welfare in mind. Of course, we are also interested in organizational matters; we ask questions about the organization: What does this organization do? What are its values and culture? Where is it going, in the long term? But these questions are asked from a personal perspective: Does the organization do something that suits me? Are its values in line with mine? In the long term, where will this organization take me? In many cases, we willingly identify with the organization's objectives, mission, and way of doing things, but this is less because we value these intrinsically than because we know that cooperating with the organization...