One of the most important changes in organizations in the past decade or two is the role of the organization in its employees’ careers. It had gone from paternalism—in which the organization took nearly complete responsibility for managing its employees’ careers—to supporting individuals as they take personal responsibility for their future. And careers, themselves, have gone from a series of upward moves with increasing income, authority, status, and security to one in which people adapt quickly, learn continuously, and change their work identities.
This chapter examines career development and management and its role in developing human potential. We first discuss roles in career development. The discussion then turns to implementing career development. After examining career development issues and challenges for today’s diverse workforce, we conclude by discussing how organizations can evaluate career development and management activities.
Career development and management (or what is sometimes referred to as career planning) is an integral activity in our lives. There are three reasons why it is important to understand careers. First, if we know what to look forward to over the course of our careers, we can take a proactive approach to planning and managing them. Second, as managers (or other employees), we need to understand the experiences of our employees, fellow