Career Planning and Development Essay
INTRODUCTION The current employment environment has been through a great deal of change since the late 20th century, this report aims to identify the main trends that characterise the current employment environment and discuss the implications theses have for employees, and determine what skills, knowledge and abilities employees require in this day and age. The report will go on to examine an advertisement for a graduate position at Radio Rentals. Job information such as job description and job specification will be discussed as well as a brief overview of the organisation’s culture and future goals.
To follow this, a career plan will be presented for a hypothetical student from Malaysia. This will include her plans to apply for the position at Radio Rentals and her future goals in career development including networking and joining professional associations. PART ONE The current work environment has experienced huge changes compared to a more traditional work environment of past generations, which Defillippi and Arthur (1994) suggest emphasized stability, hierarchy, and clearly defined job positions for career progression.
Globalisation is one trend that is having massive implications on the current employment environment, employees now have career opportunities that extend internationally, and they need certain skills to be successful in coping with this. Another trend in the current employment environment includes de-layering and downsizing of companies, due to the effects of globalisation and rapid technological advancements and the current economic downturn. Due to this no longer are employees remaining with the same company for life, and this brings about the idea of boundaryless careers.
This affects what kind of knowledge and skills they need to develop during their career, skills and knowledge can no longer be solely company specific. The final employment trend to be discussed is workforce diversity, including things such as ethnicity, gender and age. This diversity requires employees and employers to have certain competencies to cope with this trend successfully and effectively. Globalisation “Globalization can be defined as the process of social, political, economic, cultural and technological integration among countries around the world” (Hodgetts, Luthans & Doh, 2006, p 9).
This will obviously have a large range of effects on the employment environment, as organisations are no longer constrained by national borders (Robbins, Millett & Waters-Marsh, 2004, p15). There is a high possibility that an employee, especially a manager, may be asked to take part in an organisations operations abroad. It is very important then for an employee to have a firm understanding of cultural values and understand behavioural expectations in certain cultures. Berger (1998) states that people’s natural tendency is to try to transplant the skills that work in their home culture into a new culture.
People that attempt to use the familiar skills from home usually find that they do not work in other cultures, resulting in destabilisation, culture shock and intolerance towards others (Berger, 1998). Consequently, to cope with the current trend of globalization it is important for employees to develop their skills and competencies in communication so they are able to understand differing cultural meanings, able to develop relationships in order to work productively, and gauge one’s jargon and speed of delivery to the language fluency of the listener (Berger, 1998).
Additional to this the employee must be able to deal with rapid change and uncertainty and should be able to adjust and respond to differing competitive and political environments (Vance, 2002). All these skill are needed to be successful in the international arena. “Many organizations are now placing a premium on job candidates’ global competencies as these organizations strive to compete in an increasingly globally integrated marketplace”(Vance, 2002).
For this reason, an employee in this day and age needs to develop a wide variety of skills in communication, awareness of world issues and cultural understanding to have a successful career. Young people as well have a strong belief that globalisation is a big part of the current employment environment and believe they need to acquire a range of skills to become successful in their careers. Findings of a Travel Trends Research Report showed 97% of Australian travellers, aged 18-35, believe heading abroad can assist their careers (Leo, J, 2009).
Business will only continue to become more international, so many employees in an array of different jobs will need these skills in order to progress through their career, especially in more executive roles. As Vance (2002) states it is becoming increasingly apparent that to get ahead in today’s and tomorrow’s organizations the development of international business and global competencies… should be a top priority. Boundaryless Career Careers have been traditionally conceptualized as linear trajectories where individuals advance hierarchically within a single organization over the course of their career (Eby, Butts & Lockwood, 2003).
However, more recently career paths may involve sequences of job opportunities that go beyond the boundaries of a single employment setting, such career paths are known as boundaryless careers (Defillippi and Arthur, 1994). With this idea in mind Baruch (2003) suggests there are now many possible directions for career development, which results in different ways of defining career success: it can be a sideway move, change of direction, of organization, of aspiration.
This new trend in the current employment environment is a result of globalisation, downsizing and de-layering of organisations in response to the ever changing global business environment, and due to this employees’ current and new need to develop certain competencies to cope with the ever changing employment environment. De-layering and downsizing of organisations is a very current concern for the workforce given the recent economic downturn. Jobs are scarce, and to gain competitiveness or improve market value organizations lay off their employees on a large scale, unlike the convention and tradition (Baruch, 2003).
This may lead many people to change jobs or organisations, supporting the idea of a boundaryless career. In addition, the demise of organizational job security, the pace of technological change and the career actor’s interest in employability converge to promote the continuous pursuit of new occupational know-how (Baruch, 2003). There are three career competencies required to be successful in a boundaryless career: ‘Know why’, ‘know how’, and ‘know whom’.
Defillippi and Arthur (1994) describe the three competencies as so: ‘Know why’ is concerned with identifying with the values and interests of the organisation it may involve occupational or non-work identification or achievement. ‘Know how’ is concerned with the skills and knowledge that is needed by the employee to succeed in an organisation, know-how competencies are reflected in individual job descriptions, and their development encouraged through individually- centred performance appraisal and training and development activities.
Considering this, it is very important that employees continue to build on their current skill set and also work to develop transferable skills such as skills negotiation, communication, technological skills and teamwork. Defillippi and Arthur (1994) suggest that as well as these general skills multiple views on employee empowerment and total quality management, urge that workers develop self-management and decision-making competencies formerly reserved for their bosses.
These skills can be learned though formal training programs offered by the employer, or individuals can be pro active in seeking further training outside of their organisation to aid in increasing their marketability as an employee. Finally, ‘know whom’ is an important competency required in career development in the current employment environment. ‘Know whom’ competencies are centred on networking and communication. Networking has become an incredibly important activity in the current workforce, especially considering the increased frequency of changing jobs.
Networking has become a source of new learning, and thereby improved competitive advantage. So for current and new members of the workforce it is imperative have ‘know why’, ‘know how’ and ‘know whom’ competencies to become successful in the current workforce. Workforce Diversity In a world of globalization populated by boundaryless and virtual organizations (Shore et al, 2009), workforce diversity is eminent. Not that ong ago work places were normally homogeneous, consisting mainly of white males which is very much different to today’s workforce, for example in 2006 the Australian labour participation rate among women aged above 15 was 58%, and this is only one facet of diversity. Some visible dimensions of diversity include age, race/ethnic heritage, gender, physical ability and qualities, mental ability and qualities, and sexual orientation (Tetteh, Vanessa A. 2008). Furthermore, diversity includes religious beliefs, socioeconomic class, background, education and personality (Tetteh, Vanessa A. 2008).
Having so many different factors in the workforce makes it very important for current and new members in the workforce to understand diversity. Diversity can be used to an organisations advantage, however firstly their employees must understand it. This new trend toward diversity in the workforce can be advantageous to an organisation, the strongest case for diversity is when work teams are engaged in problem solving and decision making as there are multiple perspectives to discussion, thus increasing the likelihood that the team will identify creative or unique solutions (Robbins, Millett & Waters-Marsh, 2004, p295).
However to reach this stage, and to work efficiently and effectively employees require skills and knowledge to work in such an environment. Skills required to be successful in a diverse environment include an understanding of cultural values, cross-cultural communication skills and leadership skills, thus promoting healthy information flows and good interpersonal relations (Tetteh, Vanessa A. 2008). So it can be seen that there is a range of competencies required by an employee to be successful in the current, diverse employment environment.
It is also very important that organizations and employees have sound understandings of current Government policies involving workforce diversity. These skills will continue to aid in career development though out the employees working career. The employment environment is ever changing, trends that are evident in today’s workforce include globalization, which requires employees to understand different cultures and have exceptional communication skills. In addition to this the idea of boundaryless careers has become recognized , mployees no longer stay with only one employer for their lifetimes, this requires ‘know why’ competencies which require the employee to recognize values and interest of the organisation, ‘know how’ competencies which include on the job knowledge, team work skills, technological skills and again strong communication skills and finally ‘know whom’ competencies are required which include networking, to increase learning. The final trend mentioned was workforce diversity, a trend that is very prominent in today’s workforce.
No longer are companies occupied mainly with white males, due to this employees must continue to develop their understanding of cultural values, leadership skills and a sound understanding of policies that concern workplace diversity. Therefore employees in this day and age need to draw upon these skills mentioned when managing their career development, and make use of all options that will enhance their skills knowledge and abilities to cope with the current employment environment. PART TWO
Job analysis plays an important role in an organisation’s operations, that “form the basis for the initial employment of staff, establishment of employee performance standards, their subsequent measurement, remuneration systems, training and development programs, occupational health and safety systems, and specially recruitment and selection processes” (Compton & Nankervis, 1995). Job Information The job advertisement of Radio Rentals Company (Appendix 1) contains both information about the job description and job specification.
Radio Rentals offers the position which involves advertising and direct marketing to a university graduate in Adelaide. The new employee will work with the Advertising Manager and Marketing Team, and help manage relationships with external partners including advertising agencies, media, and suppliers. Moreover, the job-holder’s duties are to create unique advertising campaigns for Radio Rentals Group and be involved in the coordination of direct marketing, special events and sponsorships. All the campaigns have to be designed under the agreed deadlines, budgets and returns on investment identified in the strategic plans.
As well as this, the advertisement states the position requires some interstate travel. Additionally, the position requires skills in web development and e-marketing. Job specification states the type of person that would be best suited to the job, and the skills, knowledge, attitudes, experience and qualifications they would need to do the job (Dessler et al, 2007, p. 87). In this case, the job-holder is required to be experienced in web development and e-marketing fields and have a relevant Marketing/ Commerce degree.
This job demands a number of essential skills including advanced written and oral communication skills, exceptional skills in the use of both Microsoft Office software and COGNOS. A successful applicant will also require a strong customer focus and have a confident personality. Furthermore, the person suited to this position must hold abilities like creativity, a strong work ethic and sound organisational abilities, setting and achieving targets, sound analytical capabilities, and strong customer focus. The knowledge of the job-holder is as important as other factors.
The Employing Organisation In the modern organisational environment, it is important for employees not only to fit the job they hold, but also to fit the organisational culture and proposed future directions that they work in. Therefore, the information of organisation is necessary for applicants as much as the job description and job specification. Organisational culture is a system of shared values, assumption, beliefs and norms uniting organisational members (Bartol, K, 2008). The employees working in Radio Rentals are also under this company rules and norms.
Moreover, this company has 65 stores nationally and over 400 employees (Radio Rentals, 2009). This means the new employee will join a dynamic and diverse organisation with a fast pace of work, requiring an understanding of workplace diversity and strong communication skills. The diversity of beliefs and norms are established in this organisation in order to cope with the complexity of employee cultures. Hence, applicants should consider the organisational culture and environment before applying for the position.
In particular to work for Radio Rentals, job-holders are needed to be able to adapt to the dynamic groups and teams, and working under pressure. Communication skills are necessary for them to achieve the efficiency in relation with subordinates, supervisors, partners and customers. Finally, Radio Rentals is the biggest retailer of digital and electrical appliances in Australia (Radio Rentals, 2009). A chain of formal rules and norms are set in this organisation. Therefore, applicants should ensure that they can obey these rules and make them balance between their work and life if they are employed. Future Directions
Radio Rentals, aim is to offering the best service in renting leading brands and the latest in electrical and the household appliances to suit any budget, lifestyle or need (Radio Rentals, 2009). To achieve this goal, the company must emphasise its advertising and marketing field as the most important function. Another important function is that it also focuses on the client and customer services. Hence, people working in this company require skills and experience in retail marketing, advertising and sales, therefore the company should provide the opportunities for professional development and career progression.
PART THREE In this section, the profile of hypo-student will be presented briefly, and a fit-analysis between the student’s competencies and the chosen position and organization will be provided. Next, strategies for future career development for the student will be recommended. Fit-Analysis The hypo-student is a 22-year-old girl from Malaysia. She just graduated from the Bachelor of Commerce with a focus on management and marketing at the University of Adelaide. She has worked in a boutique in the past two years, and has experience in the customer service field.
She is a confident person who values independence and continuous learning. She is interested in advertising and now she is seeking a meaningful and challenging job as a starting point of her career. When considering person-job fit, the student has advantages as she is an advertising and direct marketing graduate. She learnt basic knowledge of marketing and advertising and captured the ability of targeting and analytical capabilities when studying, she also has background knowledge of media and marketing plans. Her work experience as a salesperson also provided her with interpersonal skills and a strong customer focus.
However, she lacks technological skills in the use of COGNOS. Due to the theoretical study in university, she does not have web development and e-marketing experience and her creativity may be doubted. Comparing her with people from English countries, she has relatively weak written and oral communication skills. Also, she lacks an understanding of design processes and the local retail environment in South Australia. When considering person-organization fit, her cultural background is the main strength to work in the chosen company, Radio Rental, the biggest retailer of digital and electrical appliances in Australia.
As she grew up in a multi-cultural country, she is capable of working with people who hold different beliefs and norms, which will be useful when dealing with the business interstate. As a person with confidence and seeking challenges, she also can handle pressure in dynamic-changing work teams with a fast pace of work, which has been aided by group work through-out university and past work experience. On the level of industry, advertising specialists are expected to plan, develop, coordinate and implement campaigns to inform the organization’s target market.
The student meets the entry requirement, which is a bachelor degree, and there is no legal requirement for licensing or registration established in Australia. To a large extent, the student is ready to engage in a marketing and advertising position, with her current skills and knowledge in the field, but further improvements in particular areas are needed. Possible Strategy In short term, the student aims to secure the position at Radio Rentals, she should build her marketability and employability by acquiring essential skills and knowledge for this position that she lacks.
She should learn the software COGNOS by watching tutorial video available on the Internet, improve her English by taking language classes and understand main trends of local retail environment for digital and electrical appliance by reading magazines, such as Appliance Retailer. All these improvements should be done before the job interview, so that she is prepared. Besides this, she should emphasize her strengths of having basic knowledge of marketing and advertising, sales and promotion experiences, ability of team-work, multi-language skills and she should aim to have a positive attitude and confident personality in the job interview.
In long term, the student aims to be a professional advertising agent with a focus on Art Direction. First of all, she should maintain a personal skills inventory and be aware of what skills she does not have. She needs to keep updated on market needs by obtaining information from community networks and professional associations which help identify a career path, build a reputation, and provide needed visibility and access to opportunities. A useful network can be developed by maintaining good relationships with those above, below, and at the same status level as her.
Social lives within the community can also be used as a means of information sharing. However, as experiences and knowledge are gained and professional goals shift, the students should learn from different people in different stages of her career, and thus these sources of information and opportunities should vary with the changing needs along her career life. The student should continuously build on her current skills and transferable skills; this can be done through additional training and work experience. Work-life balance is another important component of career success.
As a Malaysian woman, the student plans to get marry within next ten years. She will focus on her work role and seek new opportunities and upward mobility in the first six years, but will consider her family role more and seek job security and flexibility after she gets marry or becomes a mother. The Student in the short term wishes to secure the advertising and direct marketing graduate position with Radio Rentals as a way to gain necessary skills to progress her career into more senior role. As her life continues her goals and desires change, which results in acquiring different jobs. Career Plan |Year 1-3 |Year 4-6 |Year 7-9 |After 10 years | |Desired Position |Junior Art Director |Art Director |Senior Art Director |Senior position in global company | |Professional skills |Basic knowledge of advertising |Skills of visual communication |Strategic thinking |Knowledge of global creative | | |Graphic arts skills |Understanding of visual context |Creative execution skills |industry | | |Technological skills |theories | | | |Training / Experience |Formal training of advertising |Training of art direction |Training of creative |Work experience as a special | | |principle |principle |process |expertise in the field | | |Formal training in visual art or |Experiences in organizing ads |Experiences in leading | | | |design |production |role | | | |Learning of digital techniques | | | |Transferable skills |Critical thinking | | |Time management | | |Interpersonal and team skills | | |Multi-language skills | |Networking |Networks focus on peers and seniors |Networks focus on giants in the field | | |Local professional associations who provide support to career |Global bodies who offer wider information and opportunities | | |beginner |e. g. MAGNET | | |e. g.
AMI, AFA | | |Motivation |New opportunities |Job security | | |Upward mobility |Flexibility | |Work/life balance |Emphasize work role |Consider family role as well | Notes: Australian Marketing Institute (AMI) is an association who offers career advancement for practitioners in marketing industry and a respected and authoritative voice for profession in Australia. Advertising Federation of Australia (AFA) is a not-for-profit industry body represents the interests of 185 companies providing advertising and marketing communication services in Australia. Marketing and Advertising Global Network (MAGNET) is a group of non-competing, independently owned advertising agencies in major markets throughout the world. CONCLUSION
This paper began by describing the main trends that characterise the current employment environment, proceeded to examine the implications of these trends for career management competencies of new and existing employees. The trends of globalization, boundaryless careers and workforce diversity result in a change in career management competencies required, and competencies such as advanced communication skills, awareness of world issues, and cultural understanding become important for career success. Part two presents a summary of a graduate position at Radio Rentals, and briefly discusses the job description, job specification and organisational culture. Part 3 looked at a case of a hypothetical student who attempts to secure the advertising position at Radio Rentals, and presented a career plan with specific goals for future development.
We found that the phenomenon described in part one seems to suit the situation in Part three, indicated by the significances of multi-language skills and understanding of different cultures. Career success is an important topic for researchers, working people and host societies alike. Further study of the topic is needed in order to manage the volatile and ever changing employment environment. REFERENCE LIST Defillippi, Robert J. Arthur, Michael B. (1994), ‘The boundaryless career: a competency-based perspective’, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Vol. 15 Issue 4. Hodgetts, Richard M. Luthans, Fred & Doh, Jonathan P. (2006) International Management: Culture, Strategy, and Behaviour, McGraw-Hill, New York. Robbins, Stephen P.
Millet, Bruce & Waters-Marsh, Terry (2004) Organizational Behaviour, 4th Edition, Pearsons Education, Australia. Berger, Mel (1998), ‘Going global: implications for communication and leadership training’, Industrial and Commercial Training, Volume 30, MCB University Press Vance, Charles M (2002), ‘The personal quest for building global competence: A taxonomy of self-initiating career path strategies for gaining business experience abroad’, College of Business Administration, Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles. Eby, Lilian T. Butts, Marcus & Lockwood, Angie (2003), ‘Predictors of success in the era of the boundaryless career’, Journal of Organizational Behaviour, Vol. 24 Issue 6, Department of Psychology, University of Georgia, U. S. A
Leo, Jessica (2009) ‘Travel Abroad a Passport to Job Skills’, The Advetiser, Article appeared Aprils 29th. Baruch, Yehuda (2003), ‘Transforming careers: from linear to multidirectional career paths Organizational and individual perspectives’, Career Development International, 2004, Vol. 9 Issue 1. Shore, Lynn M. , Beth G. Chung-Herrera, Michelle A. Dean, Karen Holcombe Ehrhart, Don I. Jung, Amy E. Randel, and Gangaram Singh. (2009). “Diversity in organizations: Where are we now and where are we going?. ” Human Resource Management Review 19, Issue 2 Australia Bureau of Statistics, Australian Social Trends 2008 Article: Labour force participation across Australia, 4102. 0 Compton, L.
Robert & Nankervis, R Alan (1995), ‘Effective Recruitment and Selection Practices’, CCH Australia Limited, NSW. Radio Rentals (2009), http://www. radiorentals. com. au/, Accessed 27/4/09. Bartol, Kathryn , Tein, Margaret Matthews, Graham , Sharma Bishnu , Ritson Philip , Scott-Ladd Brenda (2008), Management Foundations: A Pacific Rim Focus (2nd edition), Published by McGraw-Hill. Dessler, G. Griffiths, J & Lloyd-Walker, B (2007), ‘HRM: Theory, Skills, Application’, Pearson Education Australia, 3rd Edition. APPENDIX 1 Advertising and Direct Marketing Graduate Employer: Radio Rentals Position: Advertising and Direct Marketing Graduate Added: 23-Apr-2009 Closes: 01-May-2009 Commences: ASAP Hours: Full-time Payrate: TBA Location: Adelaide Details:
This is a rare opportunity to develop your Advertising / Marketing career within the Radio Rentals Group, one of South Australia’s most recognised retailers. This permanent full time position requires a highly motivated individual, keen to work in a small but dynamic Advertising team, with the ability to manage several projects at once. To be successful you will need to have a flair for creativity, a strong work ethic and sound organisational abilities. In this role you will work closely with the Advertising Manager and the Marketing Team and will help manage relationships with key external partners such as advertising agencies, media and suppliers. The role also requires regular internal contact with all facets of our business, including our recently acquired QLD retail business.
As such, the position will also involve some interstate travel. It is a demanding and challenging role that will provide the successful applicant with significant retail marketing experience and the opportunity for professional development and career progression. Your role is primarily based on creating unique advertising campaigns for the Radio Rentals Group across all media types (including online) as well as possible coordination of direct marketing, special events and sponsorships. All campaigns will need to be supported with the presentation of a marketing plan to ensure that agreed deadlines, budgets and returns on investment are achieved.
To be considered for this role you must be able to demonstrate: • Exceptional skills in the use of both Microsoft Office software and COGNOS; • Web development and e-marketing experience; • Ability to set and achieve targets; • Ability to prepare creative briefs; • Understanding of design process; • Sound analytical capabilities; • Strong customer focus. You will have a relevant Marketing / Commerce degree or marketing experience in a retail environment. You will have a strong customer focus, advanced written and oral communication skills, and be a bright, confident individual keen to make a difference in the retail environment in South Australia.