Currently, the labor market has becoming more and more competitive. Job seekers should have the intelligence to manage their career in order for them to have their goals achieved. In addition, with today’s actively changing business landscape, businesses are also becoming more complex with the advancing of technology.
In the current economic environment, education is becoming increasingly critical to career success. Therefore, the emphasis on life-long learning and personal development, whether formal through organized seminars, or informal through reading and self-learning, is vital to promote a learning attitude that will continually develop new skills and acquire new knowledge.
In this more competitive labor market, employees have to have also the competitive edge to cope with the dynamic change in the market. Businesses today seek for more flexible staff and with more technical knowledge. Employees have no choice but to constantly increase their technical knowledge to be more flexible.
In connection with is, employees must also be able to apply these technical knowledge and skills to handle an increasingly diverse, non-routine set of situation and events to be more effective in the workplace and to satisfy customer and organizational needs.
According to (2000), employees must continually commit themselves to learning to enhance their knowledge and to increase their skills. Moreover, he enumerated some real challenges for today’s employees. These include the following:
1. Responding and coping with new and rapidly changing business environment and organizational structures.
2. Gathering and digesting more timely and relevant information.
3. Handling technology and e-commerce.
4. Quality – getting it right first time.
According to (2000), job skills will continue to increase exponentially and not in a linear pattern, leaving those individuals who fail to adequately prepare and develop themselves continually out-of-work or with no opportunities for growth and professional development.
With these challenges, career management becomes more critical in today’s world for everyone at all levels in the organization. In the past it was important however in today’s dynamic market, career management become more an essential. Career management is drastically different today than in the last decade.
Career management is changing due to the change in the nature of career. The nature of careers is being affected radically by:
1. Economic changes displacing large numbers of employees from old to new forms of employment, and frequently leading to reduced employment status for those whose skills are obsolete and who are unable to adapt to new businesses
2. New technology resulting in the automation of formerly labor intensive processes, improved communication and information, and the growth of new kinds of organizations, occupations and jobs
3. Changes in business culture ranging from privatization, with resultant pressures for new forms of regulation, to changes in organizational practices (such as refocusing around core business activities) have raised awareness of corporate culture as a source of strength, resourcefulness and flexibility
In addition, according to (1997), much of these changes can be attributed to the new contract between employer and employee. Part of this paradigm shift affects careers. It is no longer the company’s responsibility to manage our careers. This responsibility falls to each of you.
Career management has been complicated by the current trends in restructuring, downsizing, rightsizing and outsourcing. Traditional upward mobility is no longer available and gone is the fast track. Today’s career progression is a complex maze of crisscrosses and lateral moves.
The traditional, vertical career path was straightforward with little guess work. Today’s career paths are not so straightforward. Some are known as the network career path (with horizontal and vertical movement), the lateral skill path (with horizontal movement), and the dual career path (with movement for experts on the technical side of the business not desiring managerial positions).
With the loss of the traditional, upward career path, organizations have developed alternatives to help employees. Two such alternatives are formal job revitalization and broad banding. Companies are attempting to “spice up” employees’ jobs where promotions are not possible with job revitalization. Broad banding gives organizations an opportunity to increase an employee’s compensation without an upward move. Both of these methods, however, require that the employee contribute more to the organization and acquire new skills. The key is to recognize the need for transferable skills as well as the imperative to continually be adding value to your position and to your organization.
According to (1997), career management does not just happen. Careers must be carefully managed. Determining where you are going and outlining a strategy whereby you can get there are some of the certain steps to manage careers.
Career management is the process by which career goals are met. This requires, then, that you set career goals and objectives. You need to know where you are going to know how to set your course.
This paper focuses its discussion on the career management of top executives. This paper attempts to analyze the labor market of top executives and identifying their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats they face in pursue of their careers. Included also is an updated personal development plan or CV.
Career Management Portfolio
Labor Market Analysis
Top executives are expected to have keen competition because of the prestige and high pay attract a large number of qualified applicants. Top executives are among the highest paid workers; however, part of their job is working long hours, considerable travel, and intense pressure to succeed.
The nature of their work is to strive to meet their organizations goals and objectives. Top executives devise strategies and formulate policies to ensure that these objectives are met. Long hours including evenings and weekends are standard for most top executives although their schedules are flexible. Substantial travel between international, national, regional, and local offices to monitor operations and meet with customers, staff, and other executives often is required of managers and executives.
Many managers and executives also attend meetings and conferences sponsored by various associations. The conferences provide an opportunity to meet with prospective donors, customers, contractors, or government officials and allow managers and executives to keep abreast of technological and managerial innovations. Top executives are under intense pressure to succeed; depending on the organization, this may mean earning higher profits, providing better service, or attaining fundraising and charitable goals. Executives in charge of poorly performing organizations or departments usually find their jobs in jeopardy.
Top executives must have highly developed personal skills. An analytical mind able to quickly assess large amounts of information and data is very important, as is the ability to consider and evaluate the relationships between numerous factors. Top executives also must be able to communicate clearly and persuasively. Other qualities critical for managerial success include leadership, self-confidence, motivation, decisiveness, flexibility, sound business judgment, and determination. Advancement may be accelerated by participation in company training programs that impart a broader knowledge of company policy and operations.
It is expected that the position of the top executives are of the most competition due to its prestige and high salary. It is expected that many applicants who are qualified are attracted with the offer especially on the large companies. Because this is a large occupation, numerous openings will occur each year as executives transfer to other positions, start their own businesses, or retire. However, many executives who leave their jobs transfer to other executive positions, a pattern that tends to limit the number of job openings for new entrants.
According to a survey by independent Remuneration Solutions and Manifest, although rises in total pay for top executives slowed sharply, it is still rising faster than average earnings and three times the rate of inflation (2006).
Total pay, including base salaries, bonuses and the expected value of long-term incentive plans, rose 9 per cent to a median of £2.1m for chief executives of large companies last year. This compares with compound growth of 19 per cent a year for eight years or a total rise of 230 per cent since 1998. Over the same period, average earnings rose 38 per cent and the FTSE100 grew 4 per cent ( 2006).
Use of bonuses, options and particularly long-term incentive plans have risen faster than base salaries. Performance-based awards now make up more than three-quarters of total remuneration for the average FTSE 100 CEO. Total pay at smaller companies rose just 6 per cent, according to a survey of 235 companies who have reported since January 1 ( 2006).
In connection, according to Rick Slayton, there is a rising demand for top executives. He notes that “The supply and demand dynamics have given high performing executives more career options than they’ve had in years.”
There have been challenges in which top executives faces with the changes in the current economic environment. Technological advances, changes in social behavior, demographic shifts and economic conditions are driving fundamental changes in the structure of the labor market and the playing field on which we compete for labor. Our competitiveness with other employers is affected by general labor market forces.
However, according to (2006), the supply and demand dynamics have given high performing executives more career options. Slayton points out that there is a rising demand for top executives. Slayton also points out recent studies documenting an increase in executive job transition and moves by employers to change their pay practices to match a more competitive job market. (2006) commented that candidates as a general rule have more power today.
For much of the past five years, employers were holding the cards in the executive employment market, because new opportunities were scarce. But today, it’s clear that the pendulum of the executive employment market has moved way over to the candidate or seller side. The bargaining advantage has shifted substantially beyond equilibrium in favor of the top candidates.
Slayton suggested that recruiting season will keep corporate recruiters and executive search firms busy trying to market compelling opportunities to top management talent. According to him corporate employers will continue to place a premium on the right mix of professional experience, advanced education, a track record of consistent performance and successive promotions and executive presence.
Slayton notes an increasing number of executive job candidates are rejecting any company rumored to have a tyrannical CEO, high executive turnover, and/or business practices that might remotely evolve into corporate scandal. He advises employers not to underestimate the importance of their reputation, their brand, and their overall workplace experience and corporate mission, because top caliber management candidates are usually motivated by the challenge of a new job with a growth-oriented employer.
Slayton concluded that “any company that can’t effectively articulate its vision for the future and a compelling employment proposition for world-class management executives will find its ability to recruit diminished or hampered until that changes.” Executives are increasingly opting to transfer to another company if the offer there is better.
Executives have to learn how to manage their career well because they have become as vulnerable to unemployment as lower-ranking individuals. Executives preparing to be interviewed for a new job should make sure that they have certain qualities that will increase their chances of being selected for the position.
Executives today face a different playing field than their predecessors. Before downsizing and restructuring, corporations sought lifetime employees whose commitment to the company was paramount. In turn, executives trusted their employers to develop their careers and protect their tenures. However, as change has become an accepted fact of life and re-engineering is no longer an emergency exercise, top executives are ever more likely to be blasted into the ranks of the unemployed with no safety net. It could happen more than once.
Effective executive should executive presence, stature or social poise, ability to focus, charisma, ability to articulate, and hands-on management capabilities.
Executive presence is hard to define but clients “know it when they see it.” Managers with executive presence speak without a significant regional accent and use strategic silences to appear thoughtful. Grooming such as men with dark, expensive suit, white shirt with French cuffs, Hermes-type tie, manicured fingernails; and women with dark suit or dress, high-quality accessories and jewelry is an important aspect of executive presence.
An executive should be a top communicator. A top communicator must have stature, or social poise. Executives who have it are always onstage but never pretentious. They arrive on time and move crisply, but gracefully. They make the first move to shake hands
The ability to focus is a key element of stature. Top communication executives are always balancing scores of issues, projects, personalities and outcomes. But when they handle one, they give it 100 percent of their attention. They lean forward slightly when they sit – a mark of attentiveness – and they listen carefully.
In addition, executive should be articulate. Communication professionals know that how you say it is often more important than what you say. Articulate executives don’t simply speak clearly. They also respond with a framework for an answer rather than answering questions directly. Articulate executives speak in bullet points and avoid larding their conversations with jargon. The ability to explain a complex issue in simple language is something clients always look for in personal interviews.
An executive’s charisma refers mainly to his or her ability to appear interested, caring and concerned. Charismatic executives usually like to have people around them and mention others in conversation. They walk the halls of their companies and they chat easily with employees at all levels.
While it’s difficult to assess charisma in a one-on-one interview, recruiters look for subtle cues like giving credit to team members or subordinates. Optimism is also a strong predictor of charisma. When one of our top candidates spent more than half an interview complaining about her current boss and her company’s misguided strategy, she fell to the bottom of the list.
Finally, hands-on executives can do the job that they are managing other people to do. Thriving in a team-oriented environment, they avoid excessive delegation. To be “close to the action,” they meet with customers regularly, use computers extensively, place their own phone calls and sometimes fly coach. Sometimes it’s difficult to find a hands-on executive who has executive presence, but they do exist.
In an age of constant change and declining corporate loyalty, communication professionals can build and strengthen their career clout by taking responsibility for their own job progressions, planning to change jobs every two to four years, and honing their interpersonal skills. If your current employer can’t or won’t help you polish your knowledge base and experience, find one that will. Survival is up to you – not the company.
Personal Development Plan
Strengths and Weaknesses
1. Areas which needs development
Area of Focus
The area of focus is mainly on the area which needs development.
Excellent performance in this area results in being able to:
- Ensure that there is a well communicated innovation strategy that fits with the overall vision of the business
- Motivate people across the business to identify areas for new products or services.
- Ensure the resources, particularly the time, and made available for idea generation, development and testing of ideas
- Evaluate business cases and plans, approve those that appear viable and monitor their progress
- ensure that the originators and developers of any ideas receive recognition for their achievement
Excellent performance in this area results in being able to:
- assess the gap between the current and required future state of procedures, systems, structures and roles
- assess the risks and benefits associated with your strategies and plans and develop contingency arrangements
- make sure your plans include short-term “wins” as well as longer-term deliverables
- develop systems for monitoring and assessing progress
- develop a communication strategy that allows people to give feedback
- identify training and support needs and plan how to meet these
Excellent performance in this area results in being able to:
- Communicate vision for the future, the reason for change and the benefits to everyone
- Make sure people responsible for planning and implementing change understand their responsibilities
- Set and prioritize objectives for the change
- Identify strategies for achieving the vision and communicate them clearly to everyone involved
- Communicate progress to everyone involve and celebrate achievement
- Identify and deal with obstacles to change
Excellent performance in this area will result to:
- Make sure everyone involved is clear about how the program links to strategic targets
- Take account of all essential needs and translate strategic targets into practical, efficient and effective actions
- Make sure everyone involved understands the critical aspects of the program and arrangement for dealing with contingencies
- Monitor and control the program so that it achieves the stated objectives on time and within budget
- Make recommendations
- Tell the important issues and the results of putting the program into practice
Excellent performance of this area will result to:
- Create a vision of where you area is going
- Communicate regularly
- Create a range of leadership styles and apply them to appropriate situation and people
- Give people support and advice
- Encourage people to take a lead in their own area of expertise
The following plan includes the actions selected and the suggested resources and time frame.
Find local courses about encouraging innovation
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Manage program of projects
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Find local courses about implementing change
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