i. Introduction (Select a career)
Just like any other person can choose to be a nurse, a mechanical engineer or a lawyer, I chose to pursue Bachelor of Business and Commerce that will eventually lead to a major in human resource management. Human resource management fundamentally encompasses the management of human capital. It is the management of the organization’s workforce. The career in human resource management presents me typically with the understanding of practices like manpower planning, training and development, performance management, staff relations, and the management of information systems. In fact, I may eventually end up becoming a personnel manager, an organization’s information systems manager, manpower planner or a training and development advisor. In this essay, I will highlight the current job opportunities, training and skill requirement as well as the expected task requirements in human resource management. I will highlight my responsibilities in various job openings once I am employed as a human resource manager as well as my anticipated career progression. Equally, I highlight in this essay the issues that I must consider as I progress through my career. I will also give a critique of the same.
ii. Current job opportunities, training and skill requirements and expected task requirements and responsibilities once employed, as well as expected career progression.
There are currently diverse job opportunities in human resource management. After completion of the course, I am likely to be employed as either a manpower planner, as an information systems manager, as a training and development advisor or as a personnel manager (Armstrong, 2012).
As a manpower planner, I will be charged with the responsibility of forecasting both near term and long term organization’s demand for the work force. I will undertake this to counter the changing precedence in an organization (Uthayakumar, 2005). In-case I get employed as a manpower planner, I should be in a position of candidly projecting any instance of idleness or deficiency in the organizations (Armstrong, 2012).
I will also be required to be in a position to carry out succession planning and to perform an analysis of worker turnover. In essence, I will be required to carry out succession planning by effectively evaluating key posts and to recognize able candidates to fill those posts. My assessment of worker turnover will include the analysis of such factors like worker retirement, mutual consent to quit work or failure to perform (International Civil Service Commission, 2003).
Learning, development and training managerial position is yet another job opportunity that I am likely to join. As a as a learning, training and development advisor, I will design and deliver programs using diverse methods to continuously develop the skills, knowledge and abilities of employees so that they work at a satisfactory level of performance on the job (Armstrong, 2012). I will also be required to fully know how the employees’ skills and abilities can be broadened for the future responsibilities of my organization. Equally, I may as well be employed as a staffing manager. This job opportunity demands that I fully have knowledge on effective location of potential applicants, and efficiently encourage applicants to apply for any job opening in the company. As well, I will be required to have knowledge on how individuals with relevant qualifications to fill existing or projected job openings can be chosen International Civil Service Commission. (2003).
Similarly, I may be employed as a performance manager. As the company’s performance manager, I will be required to design and develop tools and programs that are essential in establishing the performance standards in my company. I will also be required to be conversant with the various ways on how the employee performance can be improved. I may as well end up becoming an employee and labour relations manager (Uthayakumar, 2005).
In fact, I will be required to develop and design human resource policies and practices to help in maintaining harmonious working relationships between departments, individuals and managers. This will include the effective management of worker communications, management of organizational change, employment equity, absenteeism, diversity and sexual harassment. This job opportunity will require me to develop and maintain effective working relationships with various representative unions. I will be charged with the responsibility of participating in collective bargaining and continuously provide my organization guidance and advice on grievance procedures as well as policy interpretation (Armstrong, 2012).
Other job opportunities include working as recruiting representative, employee benefits manager, human resources analyst, compensation manager, human resources coordinator, labour policy analyst, human resource director, and as compensation analyst (Uthayakumar, 2005).
Training and skill requirements
Just like there are vast job opportunities for those who pursue human resource management, there are also numerous essential qualities and skills that are pertinent for the accomplishment of roles and responsibilities performed by the people pursuing human resource management. These sum up as training and skill requirements and task requirements for effective human resource management (Armstrong, 2012). I will be required to have both technical skills, transferable skills coupled with strategic qualities.
In particular, the technical skills required in human resource management include the knowledge and understanding of human resource practices like human resource planning, staffing, job design, performance management, learning, training and development, work place health and safety, employee and labour relations and human resource information management. Also, a person must have an understanding of the operations or business principles, planning, budgeting. In essence, knowledge of Accounting and Finance of an asset is critical (Uthayakumar, 2005).
The transferable skills required for the performance of human resource management functions include exemplary written and oral communication. This is because manpower management and employee relations management is efficiently undertaken through effective communication. Also, good interpersonal skill is a major prerequisite. This is needed for effective listening, in motivating and for persuading employees (Armstrong, 2012). Other transferable skills constitute better problem solving skills, being a good time manager, able to work in teams, sound presentation or facilitation and superb skills in decision making. Also, to candidly carry out the various functions of a human resource management, I will be required to have qualities that relate to proactive and strategic mindset, attention to details, understanding of human nature, ability to effective handle pressure and empathetic.
I expect to have a quick progression in my career. I will definitely get employed as a human resources assistant. Afterwards, my career will change to, human resources manager, then human resources analyst and eventually work as a labour policy analysts for the international labour organizations (Uthayakumar, 2005).
iii. The issues that I may need to consider as I progress through my career.
Drawing upon the career development approaches of Levinson and Savickas, the issues that I may need to consider as I progress through my career are many. The research on careers for a long time has been significantly influenced by theories of adult development (Arnold, 1997). Two of the most outstanding theories of adult development that will have influence in my career are those of Daniel Levinson and Savickas.
The Levinson suggestion of punctuated equilibrium model of life development based on chronological age is likely to directly influence my career development (Sullivan, 2011). In particular, as was proposed by Levinson, age will be a major issue in my career progress. My career will greatly be influenced by the alternating periods of stability as I pursue my goals, values and activities (Bruce and Scott, 1994). As well, the periods of transition in which I will re-appraise my goals and activities of the previous years will greatly affect my career progression. Based on this suggestion by Levinson, the transition period and the stability period will definitely influence how I progress from one job opportunity to another (Sullivan, 2011). The periods of stability for instance will make me focus on non-work issues and significantly develop work skills (Smart and Peterson, 1997). I am likely to take more senior positions in my job when I turn thirty. During this time, I will have more responsibilities to look after my children and to support my ageing parents (Levinson, 1986). Therefore, age boundary is a major issue that will shape the progress of my career.
iv. Critique of Levinson theory on career development approach
I however tend to question the applicability of this career development theory which was proposed by Levinson. For instance, Levinson theory suggests that a person is not likely to experience an uninterrupted ascent up the corporate ladder (Sullivan, 2011). However, there are currently many people who are traveling career paths beyond the boundaries of one firm discontinuously. Due to the changes in environment, i.e. increase in global competition and technological advancements, and changes in psychological contracts, people currently tend not to be influenced by age as they progress through their careers (Inkson, 2007).
Besides, a person’s career progression is currently influenced by not only the stability and transition but also by multiple learning cycles over his or her life span (Rosenthal, 1995). In fact, currently, a person’s career is characterized by a series of mini-stages of discovery-trial-mastery across organizations, functions as well as other work boundaries. As opposed to the chronological age, constant learning and mastery are what influence an individual career progression (Sullivan, 2011).
Savickas construction theory
The issues suggested by Savickas as well are likely to influence my career progression. Savickas proposed in his career construction theory that a person constructs his or her career only by imposing meaning of his/her occupational experience and vocational behaviour. According to Savickas theory, the societal institutions structures a person’s course through his/her social life (Savickas, 2006). He asserts that a balance between core roles likes family and work promotes stability whilst imbalance produces strain. Equally, he suggests that an individual’s career progression is determined by the socioeconomic level of his/her parents as well as his education level, ability, personality traits, career adaptability and self concept (Savickas, 2006).
Critique of Savickas approach to career development approach
Savickas’ suggestions are true to some extent. As a human resource management student, my career may not progress unless my parents. If my parents are not economically and socially stable, I may not be able gain the knowledge of technical skills required in human resource management. Also, Savickas issues also play pertinent role in my career progression in that it is only through giving meaning to my occupational experience and vocational behaviour that will enable me change jobs (Savickas, 2006). Without the understanding of the vocational characteristics needed for human resource management, I may not be able to progress from an assistant human resource manager to labour policy analysts for the international labour organizations.
Generally, technology is one of the driving forces that will likely cause changes in the way I progress in my career. Even though age is a factor in my career progression, there is need for networking and the understanding of what is imposed by meaning of his/her occupational experience and vocational behaviour. Levinson theory suggests that a person is not likely to experience an uninterrupted ascent up the corporate ladder. Based on the same facts, with the vast knowledge and skills that I am likely to gain after the completion of my course, my career progression will definitely not be interrupted. Further, training and skill requirements and task requirements for effective human resource management are essential. I will be required to have both technical skills, transferable skills coupled with strategic qualities. That is only when I can progress effectively in my career.
Armstrong, M 2012, Armstrong's Handbook of Human Resource Management Practice, 12th edition, Kogan Page.
Arnold, J 1997, Managing careers into the 21st century, P. Chapman, London. [Chapter 7.]
Bruce, R A., & Scott, S. G 1994, Varieties and commonalities of career transitions, Louis’ typology revisited, Journal of Vocational Behavior, 45: 17–40.
Inkson, K 2007, Understanding careers the metaphors of working lives, Sage, California. [Chapters 3 and 5.]
International Civil Service Commission. (2003). A Framework for Human Resources Management: Retrieved 24 September, 2012 from http://icsc.un.org/resources/hrpd/hrm/ICSC_hrm_eng.pdf
Levinson, D 1986, 'A concept of adult development', American Psychologist, American Psychological Association Inc, vol. 41, no. 1, pp. 3-13.
Rosenthal, N. H 1995,The nature of occupational employment growth: 1983–1993. Monthly Labor Review, 118: 45–54.
Savickas, M 2006, Career construction theory', in J Simpson & C Brown, (eds), Australian Career Practitioner, vol. 17, no. 1, pp. 8-9.
Schneer, J. A, & Reitman, F, 1993, Effects of Alternative Family Structures On Managerial Career Paths, Academy of Management Journal, 36: 830–843.
Smart, R, & Peterson, C 1997, Super’s career stages and the decision to change careers. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 51: 358–374.
Sullivan, S, E, Duplaga, E. A, & Bolander, T. M 1997, Technology and organizational behavior outcomes, A Critical Review and Evaluative Summary Of The Effects Of Technology On Employees’ Attitudes And Behaviors, Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Southern Management Association.
Sullivan, S. E. 2011, The Changing Nature of Careers: A Review and Research Agenda. Journal of Management. Vol. 25, No. 3, 457–484. Retrieved 26 September, 2012 from http://www.uk.sagepub.com/wilton/Online%20readings/Chapter%2012/Sullivan%20article.pdf
Uthayakumar, R 2005, Managing People Power: Careers in Human Resources. Retrieved 26 September, 2012 from http://www.utm.utoronto.ca/~w3car/pdf/HRPanelPackage2005.pdf