Handbook of Research on Sustainable Careers
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Handbook of Research on Sustainable Careers

Edited by Ans De Vos and Beatrice I.J.M. van der Heijden

What is a sustainable career and how can individuals and organizations develop pathways that lead to them? With current levels of global unemployment and the need for life-long learning and employability enhancement these questions assume a pressing significance. With twenty-eight chapters from leading scholars, the Handbook of Research on Sustainable Careers makes an important contribution to our understanding of sustainable careers and lays the foundation for the direction of future research.
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Chapter 2: Facilitating the crafting of sustainable careers in organizations

Monique Valcour


A sustainable career is characterized by four primary attributes: (1) alignment of work with the individual’s strengths, interests and values; (2) ongoing learning and renewal; (3) security via employability; and (4) work–life fit over the life course. These four attributes map onto four core objectives of talent management: (1) maximum yield on human capital value; (2) continuous updating of organizational competencies; (3) stability via adaptability; and (4) organizational commitment and retention. Thus, sustainable careers offer opportunities to align the interests of individuals and the organizations that employ them. Given flattening organizational hierarchies and the observed decline in the employer–employee contract, the responsibility for career development and career management is increasingly shifting to the individual. In the absence of a clear, predictable and desirable career path, employees must have high self-awareness and the ability to identify opportunities. Crafting sustainable careers also requires organizational support of employee-directed career crafting and managers with a developmental orientation. This chapter reviews what facilitates the crafting of sustainable careers within organizations, with particular attention to the collaborative partnership between employees and their managers that enables career crafting that benefits both the individual and the organization.

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