Career management: Taking control of the quality of work experiences

2008 – This chapter is part of the book “International handbook of career guidance”, which summarizes knowledge and research regarding the domain of career and vocational guidance. The book documents the expanding field of career development for an international readership, as well as an academic one. Many different viewpoint are described in the book as to not choose sides and to not enforce a unilateral view.

This chapter “Career management: Taking control of the quality of work experiences” focusses on the career management aspect of personal development . The job-for-life contract between employer and employee has been replaced by an uncertain job market. Companies in the future will no longer have a fixed career line for employees, which will impact the way people must look at their careers. To adapt to these new circumstances, employees themselves need to become the managers of their own careers. Employees should identify and pursue their own opportunities for development, learning, and self-improvement.   

Personal investments in education and work experience are considered the strongest and most consistent predictors of career success. The best way to broaden one’s job content is to engage in challenging assignments, since these types of assignments stimulate learning, development, and may lead to greater career flexibility. Optimally, employees themselves should initiate their challenging work experiences. It is, however, more realistic to assume that employees will often need the support and encouragement of their environment.  The role that employees and employers have in broadening employees’ scope and employability is also discussed. 


Athanasou, J.A., & Van Esbroeck, R. (2008). ‘Career management: Taking control of the quality of work experiences’. In A. Van Vianen, I. De Pater, & P. Preenen. International handbook of career guidance. (pp. 283-301). Australia and Belgium: Springer Science and Business Media B.V.

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