Magazine article Management Services

Promise, Practice and Pretence: The Truth about Careers

Magazine article Management Services

Promise, Practice and Pretence: The Truth about Careers

Article excerpt

Diminishing promotion opportunities, loss of job security, and a breakdown of the old processes by which careers were managed, have tracked the slashing of workforces and organisational turmoil. How are major organisations handling the careers of their employees? With the very concept of 'career' under threat, what kind of development are they offering?

Wendy Hirsh, IES associate director and author of the report says:

`Public debate on this issue has tended to tell a simple negative story (the `end of the career', the `jobless society') or offer particular magic solutions (self-managed careers; self-development; the learning company; lifetime learning). Our study goes beyond the popular stories, and examines how careers are really being defined and managed in major employing organisations.

`The way career and development issues will be managed in future will vary for different groups of employees. For all the talk of the `end of the career', organisations are still planning the career paths and development of their best and brightest - potential senior managers. Highly skilled professionals will also secure careers, but they will do it through negotiating with organisations to find career and development options which meet their needs for employability and also the organisations' needs for their skills.'

But in spite of now obligatory `motherhood and apple pie' statements about staff development, major organisations are much less clear about how far they will really support the medium term development of the rest of the workforce. …

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