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Career Development

Importance of community involvement in career development

Community involvement is an important component of career development. Leadership skills developed in the service projects allow one to comprehend the dynamics of groups and teams.  Interaction with other students and people of various walks of life leads to development of better communication skills. (www.business.tepper)

It also enables one to make use of business skills and knowledge to obtain practical results. Involvement in community activities increases ones knowledge base because some activities expose one to things they did not know about before.

Community involvement and social responsibility are presently areas that are critical in the career development of complete managers and leaders. Involvement in them at early stage of one’s career helps one to start to understand these ideas. Participating in community work provides opportunities to meet the leaders and managers who are responsible for achievement of goals and those in a position to hire one for a job enhancing networking, an important process of career development.

     Presently, I am involved with Junior Achievement whose purpose is to educate young people to value free enterprise. I use my personal experiences and training to make the Junior Achievement curriculum practical. By providing children with role models, Junior

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Achievement helps to build self confidence, increases their work readiness and increase levels of financial readiness. All these lead to more robust community in terms of economic development because the children are empowered with the skills on how to create jobs and how to impact the world around them as workers and consumers.

      Involvement in Junior Achievement has impacted my career in various ways.  It has increased my knowledge on finance issues as I have to prepare well before instructing the students. Also my communication skills have been tested and well-developed due to the challenges involved in passing a message to young people.

The list of people who could be potential employers has also been added as I have met other volunteers in the JA program.

        Opportunities for further involvement in community development include working with Net Impact Service Corps. It is an initiative to provide pro-bono consulting help to local, non-profit organizations. (www.business.tepper/) .The consulting projects are related to finance, marketing, new program development, business planning, fundraising and strategic planning.
Another opportunity would be involvement at a careers centre where my contribution would be giving advice to students as they charted a career path for themselves.

Impact of dual-career family on children

     Families where both parents have careers are becoming more the rule than exception nowadays. While the impact of a two-career family on children may not always be positive once in a while, more often than not, the results are negative.

     First, a two career family may leads to the child spending most of his childhood in daycare due to parents being away at work. Children in daycare suffer from separation, anxiety and depression despite competent staff. (Christensen, 2003).This goes to show that the absence of the parents will lead to poor emotional growth for the child. Christensen states that lack of sensitivity and responsiveness may be developmentally detrimental to the child. (Christensen, 2003).A child who has had developmental problems will most likely be a maladjusted adult.

    When parents are stressed out at work it leads to parental withdrawal and negative emotions at home .This inevitably will lead to degradation in the quality of relationships between the parents and children, leading to breaks in the fabric of our society.

 Studies have linked maternal employment to drug abuse and crime (Christensen, 2003) When both parents are working, there are increased chances of divorce. Divorce in turn leads to a wide range of social pathologies among them being poverty, suicide, child abuse and drug abuse.

             From personal experience, in most two-career families, money often replaces some parental roles, for instance, whenever the child accomplishes something commendable, mostly the reward will be in the form of money. This is easier for the parent to give because other rewards that would be more beneficial to the child are time-consuming for the parent. Accumulating money when the child is well- provided for means that the child looks for alternative ways to spent it, most likely these are in destructive habits.

      In the absence of parents, the child seeks guidance from his\her peers who are as poorly informed as him/her leading to development of bad habits.

It has been pointed out that the girls from families where the mothers are in high-status occupations have a wide range of acceptable models and higher self-esteem (Keith P.M).This, though true does not necessarily mean that those where the women are the housewives have low-self- esteem ,so this does not make a convincing argument for families with two-career status.

Job searches in the Internet

    After failing top find a job I am interested in pursuing on the internet using the major sites, the next step will be listing the companies I am interested in working for. I will then visit the companies’ career sites and check for vacancies there. In addition to this, I will publish my resume on my web-page so that employers have access to a graphically pleasing version of the resume and also so that it can serve as a tool for showcasing successful projects.

        To take the job hunting process further, I will also use the cold-calling technique where after listing the companies to work for; the next step will be gathering the names of the people who have power to offer a job in those companies. The names will be gotten by calling the departments they are responsible for and finding out the name and title of the manager.

      This will be followed by a dynamic cover-letter and my resume sent to each one of the managers. Each letter will be addressed to a named individual and will include something about the company to show my interest in the company.

       Finally, I will persistently contact the people I have written to for an interview. If they refuse, I will request for an informational interview so I can get to know more about my field and also get a chance to show off my knowledge and expertise.

 Handling a subordinate who would like to change jobs.

To begin with she needs to find out what makes her unhappy about her present job, whether it is the company, the job itself or whether she would be happier moving to another department. Also, encouraging her to know herself more will enable her to find out her unique qualities. This may be a challenge for her and she could do this writing down her thoughts and her feelings concerning different issues. She should also try to find out what personal traits she has that would steer her in the right direction.

Focusing on her talents and strengths will also help her narrow down on a job that she would be able to do easily and be rewarding for her.

     Some of the tests that would be used include tests that measure her abilities, interests, values and personality. Another test will involve examining her use of leisure time, this provides further insight into her interests and abilities .Also, to highlight transferable skill, her skills and experiences need to be identified to find out whether she has skills that can be utilized in many different careers such as managerial experience, computer know-how, writing proficiency, sales knack and event- planning. (www.business.tepper/).

     The subordinate also needs to find out if there are any requirements for the job change she wants. Whether additional training is required, certification or a license. If additional training is required, she needs to know where to get it from. Also providing her with information on the companies training programs will help her select if any is suitable for her, as this will help reduce any training costs she may have to incur.

Handling a subordinate who would like to move ahead

The subordinate needs to focus in their talents and strengths, and to find out whether they have personal traits that can steer them in the right direction. Since additional education is required in their quest for upward mobility, they can seek training programs in the company that allow them to cutback  working hours while the time is spent training.Also,encouraging the person to participate in seminars where he/she will be exposed to people with home networks can be formed. This may assist in exposing individual to training opportunities that are subsidized.

     Research shows that balancing career, upward mobility and family is not an easy task. It becomes difficult especially in a dual career family. With two spouses working eight or more hours in a day there is a struggle to maintain household chores, child rearing and to fit in daily errands. (Spence, 1999).The stress resulting from such a situation in turn is expressed at the workplace with decreased productivity being a result.

      To maintain talented employers and also help them keep a balance between personal and professional lives, such solutions as telecommuting, compressed work weeks and part- time jobs have come up( D’angelo, 1994  ).Telecommuting allows one to work from home, compressed work weeks provide more time at home than the usual evenings and weekends. The subordinate can look into this to utilize some of the free time obtained to further his education.

      Role of a manager in providing career guidance and advice

One of the ways to serve subordinates seeking career advice or guidance is to begin by pushing for change in institutions policy statements regarding career guidance. This is to ensure that all career advice and guidance is aimed at reaching not just managers or middle-managers but every other employee. Also changing the focus on opportunities only available at the company to other opportunities available elsewhere. This will in turn lead to teaching on network to enable employees have as many contacts as possible.

       Making available careers education materials in accessible format at the careers centre of the company. More specifically implementing computer-aided career guidance would make the career development search for employees simpler. Ensuring that the company’s career center is staffed with guidance providers who are knowledgeable and will provide incentives for workers to participate in career guidance and development workshops.

        Methods of assessment that may be employed include administering and scoring vocational interest and aptitude tests. Other tests include the Interest Inventory, career Decision Scale and Career Planning System. (Betz, 1998)

The career planning system is an integrated package of materials based on a matching model where the individual’s world and occupational world are assessed for a relationship between the two. The individual discovers career related information about themselves, interests, values and learn information about occupational information.

These enhance narrowing of occupational options for the individual to consider a few. From here the individual determines the next steps necessary to take in their career planning process. The advantage with this system, (CPS) is that it considers different age and cultural groups by focusing on the individual’s world where issues to do with cultural, political and social influences on the worker’s value and interests will come up.


 Career guidance assessment and consultancy. Retrieved from www.springerlink.com.

Damian, A. Spence (1999), Understanding Needs of the Dual Career Family from

a Human Resources Perspective downloaded from hppt://lousville.edu/cbpa/lmc/research/sr.spenc.pdf

Danielle D’angello (1994) Family Issues to Shape Professional’s Future, The CPA


Nancy E. Betz, (1998) Career Planning System, Career Decision Making edited by

Samuel H.Osipow and W.Bruse Walsh, ISBN 089857560

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