This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

October 3, 2001

Career Development Gaining Momentum

Career development has, of course, been important to working people for generations. For many years, employees placed much of the control of their career in the hands of their employer. As people climbed the corporate ladder, employed by one or just a few companies during their career, this process worked well. The playing field has shifted; conditions are very different today, and these differences will intensify in the years ahead.

Today's employees, particularly younger people, are taking control of their own careers. No longer trusting employers to look out for their best interests, workers are planning and controlling their own training and development, job transfer, and engagement with mentors. Interest in career planning is at an all-time high and will become even stronger as we move into the future.

While some people work alone-or with a friend or a spouse-to do career planning, many others reach out for assistance, insight, and information. Colleges and universities have active career counselors; many belong to the National Association of Colleges & Employers ( In addition, there is an association of people who specialize in all aspects of career management, including career counseling, the International Association of Career Management Professionals ( Employers will engage these professional as contract resources to help their employees.

This field will grow considerably over the next two decades. Not only will more people want to manage their own career destiny, but employers will pay more attention to this issue. Career management will actually become an important weapon in an employer's retention arsenal. When employees get professional counseling to help keep their careers on track, they'll be more confident that they're making the right moves to advance their careers--even if they stay with the same employer.

With an increased level of support for career-sensitive employees, employers will need to be much more receptive to people transferring across departmental or divisional lines to work in other parts of the same organization. Policies will become more flexible, so workers can build their careers without having to change employers. This capacity will be an advantage for larger employers, but smaller employers will become more creative, as well.

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