investment in the employee to make skill levels consistent with current and future requirements. Sanger and Lohr (1996) describe a program instituted by Intel to retrain employees so that they can be redeployed in open jobs. Although Intel offers the training, it provides no guaranteed jobs. “Workers are given four months to shop for new jobs within the company. If a worker can't find a new job, he or she has to leave the company” (Sanger & Lohr, 1996, p. 12). In this example, Intel fulfills its responsibility to help employees upgrade their competency level. But in line with the new career conceptualizations, the onus is on the employee to find work, whether within Intel or with some other firm.
From a practitioner's standpoint, a key task of the HR function is to help foster, implement, and monitor the career management practices as described in this chapter. More precisely, I/O psychologists and HR professionals play a critical role helping individuals bridge the ever-widening divide between traditional organizational careers and the new career conceptualizations. Practitioners can work to ensure that the programs described here are available to help individuals cope with the emerging needs for lifelong learning, adaptability, employability, and development of a clear self-identity. If individual workers, organizations, and practitioners each have a clear understanding of the changed nature of work and careers, and if they collectively make attendant adjustments in their attitudes and behaviors, then we may have to contradict Dickens and merely say that it is “the best of times.”
Allred, B. B., Snow, C. C., & Miles, R. E. (1996). Characteristics of managerial careers in the twenty-first century. Academy of Management Executive, 10 (4), 17–27.
Altman, B. W., & Post, J. E. (1996). Beyond the social contract: An analysis of the executive view at twenty-five large companies. In D. T. Hall (Ed.), The career is dead: Long live the career (pp. 46–71). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Arthur, M. B. (1994). The boundaryless career: A new perspective for organizational inquiry. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 15, 295–306.