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Changing Career Concept Essay

Executive Summary

The purpose of this report is to discuss the challenges associated with the changes in the concept of career from the traditional rigid, departmentalized , salary based , hierarchical and time bound ones to the contemporary ones which are more flexible, with minimum working hours, non hierarchical, self managed, without fixed salary and social security benefits and based on innovation and continuous learning. The main challenges in this regard include the pressures associated with the need for continuous skill enhancement and innovation, chances of low employee commitment, higher chances for employee switches across organizations and lesser role for organizations in career management. It also suggests potential solutions for the challenges to the management arising from the changing nature of career based on the principles of planning, organizing, leadership and control.

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The planning function in an organization needs to be in such a way that the career management practices are considered as an investment for the organization. The organizing function needs to be built in such a way that appropriate tasks are identified for the short term employees and employees from other firms. Leadership behavior needs to be focused on the human aspects of job and needs to build open communication and enhance trust among the employees. Control function needs to balance between both professional and organizational authorities.

The new career management practices based on these functions discussed in the report helps to overcome the issues associated with new career models and to reap the benefits of these models.

Changing Career Concept Essay

Table of Contents

1.0. Introduction 4

1.1. Purpose of Report 4

1.2. Issues Addressed 4

1.3. Assumptions and Limitations 4

1.4. Methodology 5

1.5. Plan of the Report 5

2.0. Background of issues 5

3.0. Management Issues Arising from Evolving Nature of Careers 7

4.0. Planning Responses 8

5.0. Organizing Responses 8

6.0. Leadership Responses 10

7.0. Control Responses 11

8.0.Conclusion 12

References 13

1.0. Introduction

1.1. Purpose of Report

The purpose of this report is to discuss the evolving nature of career as compared to the traditional career concept and the management issues emerging from the changing career concept. It suggests the solutions for the issues identified based on the planning, organizing, leadership and controlling functions.

1.2. Issues Addressed

The concept of career has changed significantly from the traditional models to the non conventional ones like boundary less and protean careers in the recent years, driven by many activating factors (Raksyns et al, 2015 ). Consequently, there is a lot of debate on the much emphasized career unpredictability and the management issues arising from the changing nature of careers at present. Thus, it is very important to understand the changing nature of careers, its main driving factors, management issues arising from the changes and how to address these issues based on the principles of management.

1.3. Assumptions and Limitations

In this report, the main assumption is that the principles of four functions of management namely planning, organizing, leading and controlling can be used to solve the issues identified from the changing nature of careers.. The limitation of the study is that it does not capture the country wise differences in organizational setups.

1.4. Methodology

. The main source of information used in this report includes academic journals, academic books, industry websites, news paper articles, business articles and media reports.

1.5. Plan of the Report

This report is divided into eight sections. The second section discusses the background of the issues and the relevance of the topic. The third section discusses the management issues emerging from the changing nature of careers. The fourth , fifth, sixth and seventh sections discuss the planning, organizing, leading and controlling responses for solving the identified issues. Eighth section concludes the report.

2.0. Background of issues

According to Arnold (2011,p106)career is the “sequence of work experiences, which are evolving in the life of a person”. The traditional career models discuss career as the one which evolves over time, mainly settled in a single fixed organization, the one based on hierarchy, promotions, salary and other benefits facilitate the career progression and which leads to the goal of personal growth ( Arnold and Cohen, 2008; Collin and Patton, 2009).

There has been significant shift from the conventional career models to the non conventional ones motivated by social, cultural , economic, political, demographic and technological factors as well as the changes in the policies of organizations and shift in the knowledge base (Dissanayake, 2012). The social factors include the change in values, work ethics and norms while the cultural factors include the life style changes, and social status. The demographic factors include the decline in population, ageing workforce and the concerns on gender. The other motivators are cost reduction policies, technological developments, automation in organizations, globalization, advances in education, training and development and developments in information technology.

The main non conventional models are relational, boundary less , protean, intelligent, kaleidoscope and post corporate careers( Dissanayake, 2012 ).Relational careers include career development through co learning process by mutually interdependent individuals while the protean careers are invented by an individual himself who needs success psychologically ( Sullivan and Baruch, 2009 ). Boundaryless careers are those which do not focus on the setting of a single employment , intelligent careers are based on different driving factors of career, kaleidoscopic career model involve career decisions based on the change in importance of challenge, balance and authenticity throughout life and post corporate careers are based on assignments or contracts at various organizations(Dissanayake, 2012 ).The non conventional careers are thus more flexible, not time bound, not with regular income and systems of social security, self managed, based on co learning and networking and the experiences gained from different organizations , that are not based on hierarchy(Sullivan and Baruch, 2009 ).

3.0. Management Issues Arising from Evolving Nature of Careers

The shift from conventional to non conventional models of careers has created many challenges to the management of organizations. These include the following. The non conventional career models are based on innovation and thus put emphasis on continuous learning and development (Rodrigues and Guest, 2010). This has created pressure to the management of organizations about how to formulate strategies which can best harness the skills of their employees (Rodrigues and Guest,2010).In the changed career environment, the duty of organizing tasks has shifted from the boss to employee, thus everybody becoming their own boss. The role of organizations in career management has thus decreased and has become uncertain due to the emergence of the non conventional career models (Inkson et al, 2010). On the one hand, this has resulted in the independence of the employees from the ideas of boss and helped in creative thinking while at the same time, this has resulted in heavy workload among the employees leading to job dissatisfaction and low organizational commitment (Inkson et al, 2010).

Studies also show a decline in the employee commitment to the organizations in the non conventional career era (Currie et al, 2006). This has resulted in frequent organizational exits and entries, which creates loss of workers, who have thorough knowledge on the tasks and with appropriate skills, thus resulting in employability issues (Inkson et al, 2010).

The other challenge for the management associated with the non conventional models of career which need workers to work remotely rather than working by coming to a centralized office is how to keep the employees connected and engaged( Inkson et al, 2010 ).

The next section discusses in detail how to solve the above mentioned issues emerging from the changing career concept based on the principles of the four functions of management.

4.0. Planning Responses

Studies have shown that the organizational culture plays a primary role in the determination of career paths in an organization (Child, 2006 ). In context of the evolving nature of careers, the planning function in an organization needs to be in such a way that the career management practices are considered as an investment for the organization. The organizational career management goals need to be consistent with the expectations of the employees before joining. This will help in increasing the commitment of employees to the organization and will result in employee retention, as shown in many studies ( Clark, 2009). The career management in an organization is considered as a kind of support by the organization to the employees. This support is found positively related to job satisfaction and employee commitment in many organizations as well as negatively related to employee turnover (Clark,2009 ). Thus, based on the planning function of management, the issue of employee turnover can be solved significantly in the changed career environment.

The career development activities need to be planned in such a way that the employees achieve the sufficient skill sets needed in the evolving career environment ( Inkson, 2007). The objectives of the career development need to be the assessment of organization and individuals, help employees and managers to find career options, planning of actions, development of skills and filling the vacancies consistent with the culture of the organization and the needs of the business ( Jones and Dunn, 2007).

The assessment of the organization means giving chances to both the employees and the managers to assess their roles and requirements in terms of career development ( Savickas et al, 2009). Assistance to the employees and the managers in finding the career options means helping both of them to find the options for career at present and in the future ( Jones and Dunn, 2007 ). Planning of action involves the activity planning for learning of individuals and organizations in a specific time bound and concrete manner ( Inkson, 2007). Skill development includes the activities meant for the promotion and development of skills of the employees’ future ( Jones and Dunn, 2007). The activities for filling the vacancies are designed in such a way that the internal labor market is managed consistent with the needs of the business and the culture of the organization studies (Jones and Dunn, 2007 ).

Through these types of career management practices, the issues of lack of innovation and the need for continuous learning can be solved significantly in organizations, in the present era of changing career concepts ( Jones and Dunn, 2007).By using appropriate plan as mentioned above, the role of organizations in the career management can be increased automatically while supporting the employees in their career development. This will thus help in solving the issue of declining role of organizations in the career development in the changing career era.

5.0. Organizing Responses

By appropriate management of the job design, the non conventional workforce like short term employees and the employees of other firms can be managed in organizations so that they do not feel over load of work( Born and Drori,2015 ). Organization need to be competent enough to match the employees of the specific jobs with the job requirements. The most appropriate works for the non standard workforce need to be identified by the organizations, for which highly competent permanent employees are, required (Morgan, 2014). For example, studies have shown that, for new comers, virtual work is not suitable, while jobs which demand fewer skills are suitable for these workers (Morgan, 2014 ). They will be suitable for virtual work when they are more comfortable with the work environment and the organizational culture. The works which need mutual interdependence need not be suitable for temporary workers who have short term employment time horizons (Boudreau and Ziskin, 2011). Hence, they need to be assigned jobs, which are seasonal and which require less mutual interdependence. This can help in effectively managing the workers who have short term employment horizons and those who have long term employment time horizons. The issue of declining role of organizations in career management in the new career era can be thus solved by using the organizing function principles.

For getting the employees connected and engaged in the new career environment, work practices like collaboration areas for employees in formal and informal terms, hoteling workstations etc can be effective for which there needs to be proper links between the physical design solutions and the technology policies of organizations (Ouye, 2011). This also helps in building trust among the employees by open communication and information sharing. Figure 1 illustrates the effects of open communication between employees in an organization in the changing career environment.

Figure 1: Success Factors for Distributed Work

Source: Ouye (2011)

This helps in getting the employees connected and engaged in the cases where there are no centralized offices and the employees have to work from outside. Thus, the issue of getting employees engaged and connected in the era of the changed career environment is solved by applying the principles of the organizing function.

The increased trust among employees in turn helps in improved job satisfaction and organizational commitment of the employees.

The managers need to allocate work based on negotiation and mutual understanding and not in a unilateral manner, as per the new management practices based on the changing career concept.

6.0. Leadership Responses

Due to the shift in the career concept from the traditional one to non conventional models like boundaryless and protean careers, the behavior of the leaders in terms of management and leadership is found to significantly affect the behavior of employees, which determine the performance in jobs (Briscoe et al, 2006). Relational behavior of leaders which accept the employees personalities and interests and thereby maintaining good relationship with the employees play main role in improving the job performance and the organizational commitment of the employees ( Briscoe et al, 2006 ). The employees are inclined to work more and also to exhibit constructive behaviors in organizations where the leaders consider employees as very important and accept their interests and personalities (Nair and Vohra, 2010). The interaction between the leaders and the employees in a frequent and long term manner helps in making employees communicate openly about the work related issues and their demands for skill enhancement ( Nair and Vohra, 2010 ). Thus, there will be open communication between the leaders and the employees as well as good interpersonal relationships between both. This in turn helps in reducing employee turnover and devising appropriate career development programs for the skill enhancement of the individuals. This also helps in devising strategies for reducing the workload of individuals due to the flexible work environment. The role of organizations in the career management gets automatically increased through the open communication between the leaders and the employees.

According to the new career models, the leadership needs to be in such a way that there is an open work environment where each employee has trust in their freedom of expression of views regarding the work environment without fear of being ridiculed(Briscoe et al, 2006). The interaction between the leaders and the employees need to be two way so that employees are empowered. This in turn will help in developing innovative ideas in organizations, which are very much required for the success of organizations in the contemporary era of changing career models. Moreover, when there is a shortage of workers who have specific skills in an organization, this type of employee empowerment through relational leadership behavior helps in the retention of the highly skilled employees (Sullivan and Baruch, 2009).The issue of organizational commitment of the employees is solved through the relational leadership behavior since it helps in creating a feeling among the employees that they are needed by the organization and their demands and interests are taken care of by the organization.

7.0. Control Responses

There are two principles of control namely occupational and administrative principles of control( Dries,2011).Occupational control is identified as where the direction of work responsibility is determined by possessing subject knowledge in a specific area, while according to the administrative control principles, it is determined by the position of individual in a hierarchy ( Dries,2011). These two principles need not be compatible with each other and has often resulted in internal conflicts in organizations, as shown by different studies (Bothner et al,2011). Recent studies on the other hand, have shown that the commitment to organization and occupation are positively related and not incompatible, as suggested by earlier studies (Bothner et al, 2011). According to the non conventional models of career, the main motivating factor for employees to remain in an organization is the chances for occupationally valued skill enhancement. This is because the reputation and standing in the occupation matters them than the reputation in an organization for these employees in the changing career environment (Dries,2011 ). Hence for effectively utilizing the contingent employees, extra rewards are needed for the tasks which need organization specific skills (Bothner et al, 2011 ).

For organizations where there are more short term and contract employees, there can be more conflicts between the occupational and organizational authority bases ( Dries et al, 2012 ). This necessitates the need for hiring permanent employees with good technical expertise and reputation, who will be responsible for supervising the short term employees (Inkenson et al, 2010). This will increase the feeling among the permanent employees that they are very much required for the organization. The feeling of responsibility among the employees will in turn increase the commitment to the organization in the changing career era.

The managers need to direct or guide the employees rather than controlling them directly like coaches in sports (Inkenson et al, 2010). In case there is any need for firing an employee, the consequences need to be properly thought out by the managers.


The concept of career has changed significantly from the traditional ones which were rigid, time bound, hierarchical, based on salaries and social security benefits and departmentalized to the non conventional ones, which are more flexible and based on continuous learning. This has created both benefits and challenges to the employees and the management of organizations. The discussion here shows that traditional management practices cannot play much role in solving the management issues associated with the non conventional career models. New management practices based on the principles of four functions of management can solve the issues associated with the non conventional career models. They can bring in innovative practices to the organization, improve the role of organizations in determining employability, enhancing open communication and trust among employees thereby increasing employee satisfaction and organizational commitment. These can also help in identifying the skill enhancement requirements of the non conventional employees and thereby improve their job performance. All these will help the organizations to overcome the challenges associated with the non conventional career models and promote more flexible work practices as well as harness the benefits of the new career models.

References: Changing Career Concept

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