Career Management Plans Don’t Include Companies

By Scot Herrick | Cube Rules Commentary

Jun 27

When you create a career plan (you have one, right?), it doesn’t say that you will be an individual contributor for one year at your company, then get promoted to a team lead at your company, then become a manager at your company, then an executive vice president at your company, and finally retire at CIO of your company. Does it?

Most companies don’t last twenty years before being bought out or go bankrupt. And management reorganizations happen every year; the average tenure of a CIO is now less than four years on the job. If you’re into career management, this would tell me that you cannot be dependent upon a particular company to meet your needs.

It turns out, that’s exactly right. Disorganizational Behavior started an interesting conversation called “Show Me the Money” and quoted a survey of HR professionals with a separate survey of employees where there is a significant disconnect between what HR professionals believe are the highest employee priorities and what employees believe.

The original poll has some interesting statements:

The top five issues rated as very important by employees are compensation, benefits, job security, work/life balance and communication between them and management.

The surprise is that compensation and benefits are right at the top. But not much of a surprise.

Employees ranked management recognition of their performance and their relationship with their immediate supervisor as the seventh and eighth most important influences on job satisfaction.

If you consider that I had a new manager every 18-months for my entire career, this shouldn’t be surprising.

Despite the growing emphasis on talent management, employees placed career development, their contribution to business goals, and training and tuition reimbursement in the bottom half of the 22 job satisfaction factors the poll measured.

My contention is this: if public companies are so focused on the next quarterly earnings statements and will lay you off in a heartbeat in the name of meeting cost estimates, why is it so hard to believe that employees view compensation and benefits as the most important things in a job?

Now, I believe people have career management plans, even if not explicitly stated. If you look at the career plan in the first paragraph of this article and take out the words “at your company,” you’d see a solid career plan.

Companies believe that if they talk about career management, it means career management at their company. Nope; that contract between a company and employee — the one that says a company will believe in you and you will believe in the company — is long gone.

Enron, layoffs, ineffective management, a re-organizational placement with no regard to your plans or skills and consistently being told that career management is your responsibility have broken the employer-employee contract.

We have career plans. But companies are on notice: it’s not about the company any more.