Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Effective career planning at the individual level first requires self-knowledge. A person must face a number of issues. How hard am I really willing to work? What is most important in life to me? What trade-offs between work and family or leisure am I willing to make? These questions and others must be confronted honestly before personal goals and objectives can be realistically set in a career plan. As suggested earlier, changing jobs and careers has become an accepted practice in recent years, and it can be financially rewarding. However, “job-hopping” (changing jobs very frequently) can cause problems with retirement, vacation, seniority, and other benefits. Perhaps more important is the perception that jobhopping is a sign of instability, especially among more mature people.

Career Plateaus
Those who do not job-hop may face another problem: career plateaus. As the babyboom generation reaches midlife, and as large employers cut back on their workforces, increasing numbers of managers will find themselves at a career plateau. Plateauing may seem a sign of failure to many people, and plateaued employees can cause problems for employers when frustration affects performance. Perhaps in part because of plateauing, many middle managers’ optimism about opportunity for advancement has declined. Even though these managers have more responsibility and less influence in the decision-making process, the result has been leaner, more competitive organizations with few promotion opportunities.

Dual-Career Paths for Technical and Professional Workers
Technical and professional workers, such as engineers and scientists, present a special challenge for organizations. Many of them want to stay in their labs or at their drawing boards rather than move into management; yet advancement frequently requires a move into management. Most of these people like the idea of the responsibility and opportunity associated with advancement, but they do not want to leave the technical puzzles and problems at which they excel.
The dual-career ladder is an attempt to solve this problem.  A person can advance up either the management ladder or a corresponding ladder on the technical/professional side. Dual-career paths have been used at IBM, Union Carbide, and AT&T/Bell Labs for years. They are most common in technology- driven industries such as pharmaceuticals, chemicals, computers, and electronics. Pacific Bell has created a dual-career ladder in its data processing department to reward talented technical people who do not want to move into management. Different tracks, each with attractive job titles and pay opportunities, are provided.
Unfortunately, the technical/professional ladder sometimes is viewed as leading to “second-class citizenship” within the organization. For a second or third career track to be taken seriously, management must apply standards as rigorous as those applied to management promotions.

Dual-Career Couples
The increasing number of women in the workforce, particularly in professional careers, has greatly increased the number of dual-career couples. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that 81% of all couples are dual-career couples. Marriages in which both mates are managers, professionals, or technicians have doubled in the past two decades. Leading areas of growth in the number of dual-career couples are the West Coast, Denver, Chicago, New York, and the Washington, DC-Baltimore area. Problem areas involving dual-career couples include retirement, transfer, and family issues.
It is important that the career development problems of dual-career couples be recognized as early as possible, especially if they involve transfer, so that realistic alternatives can be explored. Early planning by employees and their supervisors can prevent crisis. Whenever possible, having both partners involved, even when one is not employed by the company, has been found to enhance the success of such efforts.
For dual-career couples with children, family issues may conflict with career progression. Thus, in job transfer situations, one partner may be more willing to be flexible in this type of job taken for the sake of the family. Part-time work, flextime, and work-at-home arrangements may be options considered, especially for parents with younger children.

Recruiting a member of a dual-career couple increasingly means having an equally attractive job available for the candidate’s partner at the new location. Dual-career couples have more to lose when relocating, and as a result often exhibit higher expectations and request more help and money in such situations.

Traditionally, transfers are part of the path upward in organizations. However, the dual-career couple is much less mobile because one partner’s transfer interferes with the other’s career. Dual-career couples, besides having invested in two careers, have established support networks of friends and neighbors to cope with their transportation and dependentcare needs. These needs, in a single-career couple, would normally be met by the other partner. Relocating one partner in a dual-career couple means upsetting this carefully constructed network or creating a “commuting” relationship.
If a company has no partner-assistance program, an employee may be hesitant to request such services and may turn down the relocating. The dual-career family has not been the norm for very long, and traditional role expectations remain. A male employee may still fear he will appear “unmanly” should his partner refuse to defer in support of his career, while a female employee may feel guilty about violating the traditional concept of male career dominance.
When relocation is the only way to handle a staffing situation, employers increasingly provide support services to help the couple adapt to the new location. Such companies go so far as to hire the spouse at the new location or find the partner a job with another company. At times, companies have agreed to pay part of the salary or benefits when another company hires the partner and to reciprocate at some future time. When such arrangements cannot be made, professional job search counseling can be obtained for the partner. It makes sense to take into account the dual-career social trend when revising HR policies on employee relocation assistance.
Some approaches that could be considered are:
-Paying employment agency fees for the relocating partner
-Paying for a designated number of trips for the partner to look for a job in the proposed new location
-Helping the partner find a job within the same company or in another division or subsidiary of the company
-Developing computerized job banks to share with other companies in the area that list partners who are available for job openings

Moonlighting As a Career Strategy
Moonlighting traditionally has been defined as work outside a person’s regular employment that takes 12 or more additional hours per week. More recently, the concept of moonlighting has been expanded to include such activities as selfemployment, investments, hobbies, and other interests for which additional remuneration is received. The perception that moonlighting is a fixed outside commitment is no longer sufficiently broad, because the forms that it may take are varied and sometimes difficult to identify.
Moonlighting is no longer just a second job for the underpaid blue-collar worker but also a career development strategy for some professionals. A growing number of managers are dividing their work efforts by moonlighting as consultants or self employed entrepreneurs. Consulting not only increases their income but also provides new experiences and diversity to their lives. Many individuals also view such activities as providing extra security, especially in these times of layoffs among middle managers.
Most moonlighting managers cannot afford to walk away from their corporate salaries, but they are looking elsewhere for fulfillment. An HR manager at a TV network moonlights by working for a training firm that she and a friend set up. An advertising executive at a cosmetics company accepts freelance assignments from his employer’s clients. A computer software expert secretly develops a home computer program to market on his own.
If someone is working for a company and freelancing in the same field, questions about whose ideas and time are involved are bound to arise. Some organizations threaten to fire employees who are caught moonlighting, mainly to keep them from becoming competitors. But that does not seem to stop the activities. Other organizations permit freelance work so long as it is not directly competitive. Many believe that staff members should be free to develop their own special interests. There is evidence that some people who hold multiple jobs work a second job in preparation for a career change. Whether or not a career change is sought, the concept of “job insurance” plays a role, as mentioned earlier. Moonlighting can be viewed in the same context as auto, car, home, or life insurance. The second job can serve as a backup in the event the primary job is lost. Moonlighting is not without its problems. The main argument against moonlighting has been that energy is being used on a second job that should be used on the primary job. This division of effort may lead to poor performance, absenteeism, and reduced job commitment. However, these arguments are less valid with a growing number of employees.
Key for employers in dealing with moonlighting employees is to devise and communicate a policy on the subject. Such a policy should focus on defining those areas in which the employer limits employee activities because of business reasons.

1 comment:

  1. Superb explanation & it's too clear to understand the concept as well, keep sharing admin with some updated information with right examples.Keep update more posts.

    Recruitment Consultancy in Chennai