Organisational survival and growth are the primary responsibilities of the top management of all organizations. This responsibility can best be fulfilled by planning management succession to ensure the availability of the right kind of the directorate staff at the right time and in the right positions to provide for continued organizational strength and vitality. Unfortunately, succession planning does not get the attention which it deserves the most. This is mainly because of insecurity of managers, who see a threat in any nominated successor. It is also because of the director’s desire to cling to his chair as long as possible. In one organization, the joke making rounds was that managers came in vertically and went out horizontally. It meant that they left the company only when they died. Career planning involves efforts on the part of the organization to provide avenues for growth to its employees. Indeed, this increase should be accompanied by development. The other side of the coin is the role of employees in career planning. It involves efforts on the part of the employees to think through and decide areas in which they would like to make a career for themselves.
Research studies have indicated that individual attitudes formed early in life guide people throughout their career. They are called career anchors. They “pin” an individual to one or a few related types of jobs. Five career anchors have been identified. They are:
1. Managerial competence: The fundamental characteristics of the persons anchored by an overriding interest in management include a capacity to take considerable responsibility, ability to influence and control others and have skills in problem-solving.
2. Technical-functional competence: Their primary interest is in the functional work. They consider managerial and administrative responsibilities as avoidable irritants. They will like to remain experts rather than become general managers.
3. Search for security: They are more attached to an organization or a location than to work. They do not want to hear anything against their organization. The only price to be paid by the organization is to keep them at the location of their choice. 4. The desire for creating and developing something new: Such individuals start a new business, less for making money than for creating a product that could be identified as theirs. 5. Freedom or independence: They will like to work at their own pace. They will like to choose their working hours. Freelance writers and consultants come under this category. Knowledge of these career anchors helps in planning for career development.