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What's Happening
The newsletter for switched on people
Issue 40 December 2001

Managing your career

It is a universal truism that in the Western world, we are experiencing a time of quantum change for both individuals and organisations.

So how is this uncertainty impacting on career management? According to a number of empirical studies, the greatest change has been in the responsibility for career management, which has shifted from the employer to the employee.

Companies no longer offer a steady career path and job security, instead, specialist skills are recruited for particular projects and the temporary services industry has more than tripled in size over the last 20 years.

Portfolio careers, part-time, temporary and contract work are now the norm for many and whilst the benchmarks for performance are continually being raised, knowledge is a currency which can quickly become outdated.

The upshot of it all is that your career is now wholly about what you make of it.The other plus is that the high turnover in knowledge means the need for training, careers education and coaching will continue!
Whilst opinion is mixed on the value of strategically planning out a specific long term career path, consensus exists on the value of knowing oneself in terms of values, strengths, motivations and likes and dislikes in terms of job functions and work environments.

Whilst the number of steps may vary in any particular career development model, the precepts for most of them pretty much match those put forward by Montebello in 1999:

  • Look inward to gain insights into self, abilities, values, strengths etc. 
  • Look outward to align career goals with external needs and realities
  • Look forward and establish a development plan with goals and actions.

Your career is part of your life, to borrow words from Dr Diana Day, current director of the National Fisheries Research and Development Corporation and also a successful Career and Corporate Strategist in her own right:  who suggests that you take time to define areas of life that you are still “wishing, waiting and hoping for” and incorporate them into your career/ life planning.

Personally Speaking

To all our clients of 2001, Telstra, John Fairfax, Beiersdorf, Crown Solicitors Office, Marrickville Council, B.A.T.A., Channel Seven Network and the many individuals who have come to us for advice, thank you for having faith in the work that we do.  As I reflect on this year I look at the value we have added to organisations and feel proud of the contribution that our employees, contractors and suppliers at Happening People have made.

I have just finished reading a book by Anne Deveson called ‘Tell Me I’m Still Here’.  Esentially it is book of love for her son with a mental illness who evenually died in his earley twenties.  Whilst I usually only have time for business related reading this book moved me.  The people at the Matthew Talbot hostel in Sydney took care of this mentally ill man until the day he died. 

Well I cleaned out my wardrobe a week ago and I thought who will I give these clothes to?  I took them to the Hostel and came across a world of loneliness, sadness and something completely foreign to me.  So whilst we all feel challenged at times in our lives at work or home, this Christmas I will be thinking of the people at the Matthew Talbot Hostel.  With the some of the most dedictaed workers on earth. 
Until 2002, keep safe and have a wonderful summer.

Kind regards, Sam


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