Of all the major decisions we make
in life, choosing a career justifies the most thorough career management and career planning. It can begin as early as our
high-school years when we begin thinking about a college education and continue on to employment choices and personal career
growth opportunities later on. Moreover, it generally involves a considerable amount of study, soul-searching, and discussions
with parents, teachers and counsellors before we reach an intelligent decision about what we want to make our life’s
In years past, many people looked to
the company they worked for as offering them a lifelong opportunity with rewards and promotions for performance excellence.
Today, things are different due to an insecure and uncertain job market that is always subject to change. As a result, career
management is no longer just the interest of a select and privileged few, but a necessary survival skill. The other big difference
is that job security isn’t based on tenure and employer loyalty as much as it is on knowledge, skills and added value.
Knowing this makes a small investment of your time, money and energy to protect your job a very-worthwhile investment. Career
management and career planning are now almost mandatory for everyone. (Wikipedia, 2007).
Why career management and career planning
are a must
The need for people to take charge
of their learning and careers can’t be over emphasised. That’s because our business organisations are rapidly
evolving in a way that makes it necessary for us to keep up with the new knowledge and skills required to perform our jobs
effectively. We have to keep learning as new technologies permeate the processes in our businesses, or stand aside for those
who have. The only job security at work today is what we know and how well we can utilise it in behalf of the organisation
that employs us. Individual employees now must take responsibility for learning and career development throughout their entire
How to prepare and implement a personal
There are four primary steps you can
take to embrace career management and career planning successfully. These include:
The first step is to identify and list
your current skills, abilities, knowledge and interests. What do you have experience in; what are your natural talents, what
do you like? Answer these questions honestly. Then determine what you perceive your weaknesses to be and whether or not overcoming
them would be beneficial to you in future employment years.
Define your goals
This goes beyond greater annual earning
power and benefits. Identify the new skills, experience and knowledge you need to have and ask yourself if they ‘match
up’ with your personal and career ambitions. Do these personal career planning and career management goals coincide
with your organisation’s goals and mission in the markets they serve? If not, what do you need to add or change so that
What do you need to learn
This is where you should identify any
gap between where you are currently at and where you would like to be. From this you should be able to compose a statement
of purpose that will tell you why you want to learn something new and the knowledge, skills and abilities you must acquire
or improve upon.
What are your learning objectives
Based upon the three paragraphs above,
identify the skills, abilities and knowledge you must acquire or improve upon. Briefly state what employment-related advantage
each will give you. (Alumnus.Caltech.Edu, 1995).
Wikipedia (2007) “Career Management”
Available from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/career_management
Rouda,R & Kusy, Jr., M. (1995) “Career Development” Alumnus.Caltech.Edu
Available from: http://alumnus.caltech.edu/-rouda/T4_CD.html