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General Staff – Professional Development Day. The Psychology of Careers. How careers are enacted in today’s world. The Psychology of Careers. Donald Cable – University of Waikato dcable@waikato.ac.nz Who is this bloke? A quick introduction…. The Psychology of Careers.

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The Psychology of Careers


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    1. General Staff – Professional Development Day The Psychology of Careers How careers are enacted in today’s world

    2. The Psychology of Careers Donald Cable – University of Waikato dcable@waikato.ac.nz Who is this bloke? A quick introduction…

    3. The Psychology of Careers What do we mean by career? • Old Meaning = a course of professional advancement; usage restricted to occupations with formal hierarchical progression, such as managers and professionals (white middle-class American males, cf Brown, 2002) • New Meaning = the unfolding sequence of any person’s work (paid or unpaid) experiences over time (Arthur & Rousseau)

    4. The Psychology of Careers What is Career Development? No longer synonymous with career progression • Career Development = • Learning (training, education), mentoring, stretch • Career Progression = • Promotion (vertical/lateral), reassignment, transition • Career Planning = • Career goal setting • Career Management = • Career Development + Career Progression + Career Planning Career Management – an individual responsibility

    5. New career dynamics:-The Protean Career • Linear career – an anachronism past its “use-by” date • Driven by the person, not the organization • Self-direction • Psychological vs Vertical/Hierarchical success • Employability (self) vs Security (organization) • Continuous learning/development • Self-awareness, Identity, Adaptability • Personal responsibility • Passion - “Path with a heart” (Joseph Campbell) • New Psychological Contract

    6. New career dynamics:- The Boundaryless Career • Careers for many individuals likely to span across occupational, organizational, political, and geographic boundaries • In response to organizational uncertainty • Networked/Boundaryless organizations • Across levels/functions/companies • Career Independence vs Career Dependence • Multi-skilled/talented “specialist” • Kitbag of competencies • Workforce segmentation: • Core & Contingent (Contractor/Temporary (JIT)) • Decreased organizational tenure • Increased mobility

    7. The Employment Relationship:The environment within which careers are enacted What has changed? • Loyalty: more to self • Employability: individual responsibility • Job Security: replaced with employment security • Trust: redefined (mutuality – self & organization) • Career Development: shared responsibility • Career Management risk: transferred from employer to employee • Shared Commitment: to organization and individual success • Shift in Attachment: from organization to career or others

    8. Who provides what? • Employer Provides: • Opportunities to enhance employability • Opportunities for learning • Flexibility • Performance-based compensation • Greater participation and involvement • Interesting and challenging work

    9. Who provides what? • Employee Provides: • Commitment to business objectives • Shared responsibility for success • Individual and Organizational • Quality performance • Flexibility • Work arrangements/assignments • Judgement – decision-making • Strategic skills/competencies • Aligned to organization’s objectives • Continuous improvement • Competencies and performance

    10. Dual Responsibility for Career • Organization - Primarily to fulfill the organization’s needs: • Succession planning/fast-track programs • Development centers • Information about career ladders/paths • Identify training needs and developmental needs and goals • Provide training/development opportunities • Provide information about career/job opportunities • Provide information about organization’s goals • Organization - Primarily to fulfill the individual’s needs: • Career Management System (online/intranet) • Self-study materials • Career planning workshops • Career counseling (component of performance management) • Mentoring programs • Provide feedback on performance

    11. Dual Responsibility for Career • Individual – Maintain Employability: • Free agent • Continuously improve P-J/P-E fit • Identify KSAs (competencies), interests, values • Identify & pursue developmental opportunities • Continuous learning/development • Seek out career paths • Set career goals and plans • Achieve career goals Research confirms: Individuals that take control fare better in the employment stakes

    12. The Job Market What’s happening out there? • Ascendency of the external labour market • Buy versus Build • Pay the person, not the job • Globilization – economies, job markets • Increased Mobility • Transitions the norm • Employability • “70” is the new “65” – squeeze at the top • Under-employment, over-qualification • Levels of education exceeding market requirements

    13. End Note “The career is dead. Long live the career.”