Until the early 1990s the prevailing idea underlying employee development was that of a lifelong career, unfolding in a rather orderly fashion, largely with the boundaries of a single organization. This idea no longer holds.
Careers are, for many people, less predictable and more varied than they once were. Work organizations are compelled (and sometimes choose) to change form, strategy, and size in ways which affect the kinds of work roles and careers available. It can be argued that managing careers is difficult yet necessary for both individuals and organizations in these circumstances
Due to macro-level trends such as globalization, technological innovation, and social change, working populations now flow through external and internal labor markets – “the demographic metabolism of organizations” (Haveman, 1995) – with considerably less inertia and less predictably than in the preceding decades. This reflects in a greater plasticity of individual career paths (Feldman & Ng, 2007) and new career patterns, referred to with terms such as “boundaryless career” and “protean career”(Arthur, 1994; Briscoe & Hall, 2006), which are more dynamic and less often linear (Lichtenstein, Ogilvie, & Mendenhall, 2002; McCabe & Savery, 2007). This does not mean that the conventional “organizational career” has vanished and that people have massively turned to “personal careers” (Guest & Rodrigues, 2012). ...