Based on the assumption that employees want more personal control over their career development, organizations are currently pursuing the implementation of career development programmes at an unprecedented rate. In reality, however, employees appear reluctant to assume increased responsibility for their careers. Explores general satisfaction with a career development programme currently in operation. Determines what underlying factors both internal to employees and within their work environment tend to facilitate or impede the tendency to become proactive in shaping career opportunities. Semi-structured in-depth interviews were conducted with 72 salaried personnel randomly selected from an international organization. Some support was provided for the role of both individual and situational characteristics in predicting uptake of the career development programme. Particular importance was attributed to the lack of organizational support for the process. The implications of these findings are discussed and recommendations for the successful implementation of career development programmes are made.