Oratie I.J.M. van der Heijden

Oratie I.J.M. van der Heijden

No one has ever promised you a rose garden

On shared responsibility and employability enhancing strategies throughout careers.

Samenvatting: Career development is one of the main HR topics in working organisations nowadays. Not only employees themselves but also their managers should be responsible for employability enhancement throughout the career. The author goes into the motivation for and background to employability research and reveals interesting outcomes of two European studies into career issues. The first study deals with the employability enhancement of ICT professionals, while the second examines the reasons for nurses' premature departure from their profession.

Given the economic importance of fruitful careers, there is a great need for career research to focus on gaining more insight into different kinds of hindrances and facilitative factors, from a psychological as well as from a societal point of view. Only when we have a better understanding of career influences will we be able to provide structured career support that takes into account both individual, organisational and labour market circumstances. This inaugural address shows that both employees and management in working organisations have a broad range of career strategies and activities at their disposal. However, if maximum benefit is to be derived from these strategies and activities, careful performance appraisals are needed, during which future development opportunities are specifically raised and the 'psychological contact' between both parties is constantly safeguarded.

After presenting the results of the previously mentioned studies, the author shares some of her plans for future career research. Throughout the text, she reveals some personal views on expertise and career success, and she takes you with her through a wise, enchanting story about a Little Prince.

Prof. dr. Beatrice I.J.M. van der Heijden holds a Chair in Strategic HRM, in particular aimed at the dynamics of individual career development at the Open University of the Netherlands.