What is the Direction Phase
The direction phase of career development involves shaping the type of career that employees desire and the actions they should take to realize their career goals. Appropriate direction requires an accurate understanding of one’s current position. Unless the direction phase is not based on a thorough assessment of the current situation, the goals and steps identified may be inappropriate. The two major approaches to career direction are:
- Individual counseling
- Information services
Individual Career Counseling
There are several advantages to having managers conduct individual career counseling sessions with their employees. First, managers are probably more aware of their employees’ strengths and weaknesses than anyone else. Second, knowing that managers understand their employees’ career development concerns can foster an environment of trust and commitment.
As their name suggests, information services provide career development information to employees. The most commonly provided information services are
- Job-Posting Systems
- Skills Inventories
- Career Paths
- Career Resource Centers
Job Posting System
Job posting systems are a fairly easy and direct way of providing employees with information on job openings. The jobs available in an organization are announced or posted on a bulletin board, in a company’s newsletter, or through a computer system. Job postings have the advantage of reinforcing the notion that organization promotes from within. This belief not only motivates employees to maintain and improve their performance but also tends to reduce turnover.
Skills Inventories are company-maintained records with such information as employees’ abilities, skills, knowledge, and education. The company can use this comprehensive, centralized HR information system to get an overall picture of its work force’s training and development needs, as well as to identify existing talent in one department that may be more productively employed in another.
Career Paths provide valuable information regarding the possible directions and career opportunities available in an organization. A career path presents the steps in a possible career and a plausible timetable for accomplishing them. To be realistic, career paths must specify the qualifications necessary to proceed to the next step and the minimum length of time employees must spend at each step to obtain the necessary experience.
A Career Resource Center
A Career Resource Center is a collection of career development materials such as workbooks, tapes and texts. These resources might be maintained by the HR department, either in its offices or in an area that is readily accessible to employees.