Organization Management Journal


The new careers of the 21st century are turbulent compared to the ideal corporate climb of the 1950s. Owing to the greater presence of women in the workforce, diminished job security, and increased focus on psychological aspects of success, many workers have moved onto non-traditional career paths. The new careers involve changing organizations, lateral rather than vertical moves, and often include interruptions in employment. The expectation is that employees will manage their own careers, choosing to work for companies that provide opportunities to meet their objectives. Organizations need to embrace the realities of 21st century careers and recognize the importance of programs and policies that enable the careers of their employees. Career-enabling programs address time-control issues (e.g., parttime options, job sharing, flextime, telecommuting, and leaves) as well as knowledge and skill development (e.g., training, job rotation, tuition remission, mentoring). Such programs help employees meet both career and life goals and will promote the long-term success of the organization.