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Surin is currently a Senior Accountant; she started out as an accounts clerk at the Singapore Airlines for 5 years. She mentioned that she sees no prospects in the Singapore Airlines, as she was not given the opportunity to apply what she has learnt during her studies as most of the work scope was not related to accounting. Therefore, she went over to Western Atlas Inc, in charge of account receivable, where she could value add and explore other opportunities. However, after 2.5 years at Western Atlas Inc, Surin quit her job even before the retrenchment as the company was relocated to Malaysia.
After which, Surin joined Compaq for the next 10 years of her career. She shared that the saw the importance of qualifications and she took up Diploma in Commerce through sponsorship from the company. She emphasized that having a company with good management and work environment is the key to job satisfactory. Surin shared that she has great interest in analyzing data and number and Compaq has given lots of opportunities to fuel her passion where she picked up numerous skills and knowledge. Also, she specifically mentioned that flexibility, communication skills and time management are especially important to keep up in the fast pace and challenging work environment. Her hard work and willingness to learn eventually paid off as when she was promoted to Associate Accountant.
After Compact mergence with Hewlett-Packard (HP), Surin accepted a job offer from Symantec as she felt that her salary did not justify the amount of work she contributed. Surin saw the job offer as an opportunity to manage people as she was given a Senior Accountant position. Being a proactive and sociable individual she was also made the manager of the company's global payroll where she is involved in lots of projects.
As a manager, stress management is important; especially when the management of the company focuses on cost effectiveness and the demand for quality work. Therefore, these cause problems to arise and she would prefer to solve it quickly by herself. She also emphasized that good work-life balance is crucial to reduce one's stress.
Surin added that during her early years of career, she was motivated by the great passion in analyzing numbers and figures as well as the hunger for skills and knowledge. However, over the years, she realizes that gaining recognition is also one of her motivation. As a mother of two, her greatest source motivation is her family, especially when her husband got retrenched and she had to provide for the family.
Career Theories 1
Several career theories could be identified using Surin's career development. The first theory that proposed by Holland, categorized personalities and environments into six model types. The model types include Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising and Conventional. Based on Surin's interview, it is evident that she belongs to the CRI type as she believes that when problems arise, she would settle it as soon as possible and not procrastinates and therefore shows her interest in solving problems by doing. In addition, Surin enjoy working with computer which explained her realistic personality. Next, her investigative personality is shown in her great interest in analyzing data and numbers where she ensures no mistakes in payroll processes. Lastly, her ability to plan ahead and organized deadlines in an orderly manner brings out her conventional personality.
From this, we can see that Holland's theory have shown Surin's personality profile is able to suit her work environment's personality profile, which resulted in satisfaction and success in her career. On the other hand, if companies with organization structure consisting of project teams they would have a group of people with different personalities. For example if a team consist of a variety of people from different departments, such as accountant, marketing personnel, human resource and etc, thus Holland Theory may not be applicable in this case. Since, Surin is a manager who manage a global team therefore she often work with people are of different personalities as her, hence Holland's theory may some limitations in this case.
Next we will discuss Parsons' Theory (1908). Surin had a clear understanding of her individual interests and abilities, where she mentioned that she has a great interest in numbers. She also far-sighted and she will carefully plan in order to achieve her goal. However, Parsons' Theory fails to explain other factors such as individual aptitudes and the work environment that influence an individual's career choice.
Esther shared that she had great interest in teaching as she was inspired by her teacher. During her secondary school days, she was appointed as a head prefect and this has her given many opportunities to lead her peers. She enjoyed the speaking in front of a class as well as helping her friends in their homework. Upon graduation from secondary school she decided to purse Early Childhood Education as she felt that she could start teaching from preschool children.
After graduating with a diploma in Early Childhood, Esther took up a role as a toddler teacher in a childcare centre for 3 years. This job requires her to plan the curriculum activities and also perform routine care to the toddlers. During these 3 years, Esther felt challenged as she felt that she could not connect and control the toddler well.
After which, Esther realised that her passion for teaching was not for the toddlers, so she moved on to work in TOUCH Centre for Independent Living as a teacher for near 3 years. In this job, she teaches basic functional knowledge and skills to her client. Her clients are people from different age group ranging from 18 to 50 who are intellectually disabled. Due to Esther's passion towards special needs people, she enjoyed her teaching them. In spite of her great passion, she decided to leave as she felt that this job did not give her a good job prospect and she would like to further her studies. She also added that her mother had been encouraging her to go into government school as it is a safe and secure job.
Esther continued to pursue her passion for teaching and she went on to take up Diploma in Education which was eventually her current career as primary school teacher for the past 4 years. Other than teaching her core subjects, she would need to have close contact with parents regarding their child as well as churning out report card. Also, Esther was also given opportunities to plan certain event for the school.
Esther shared that her career gives her a sense of achievement when she see her student soar in their results and character. Furthermore, she would like to be given more leadership opportunities where she can place some policies into actions to benefit the students. Her goal in this career is to see her student excel in both school work and character. The thought of being able to see her student everyday and the different challenges they are going to keeps her motivated me to be in this career. She also claimed that it is her passion to teach and also the belief in religion keeps her going.
Esther shared that classroom management, crisis management for unforeseen circumstances are important for her current career. Instead of shouting at her students, she will find different ways to manage them. Being a cheerful and bubbly person, Esther finds difficulties in teaching self discipline to her students and she will usually seek advices from the senior teachers.
When there is an office politics, Esther will usually turn a deaf ear towards it and not let it affect her. Esther shared that she is open to listen to constructive feedback and try to improve on it. Some challenges she faced are the demands of the school syllabus to be met and the demand of parents who are sometimes overly concerned about their children. To overcome these, she will plan her lesson at least one week before to achieve her objectives. Esther will also drop short notes to her student parents so that they will be notified on what has happened in school.
Career Theories 2
Through Esther's career history, she has been a teacher for the past 10 years from a childcare to special needs and finally primary school teacher. Therefore, using Parson's Theory, it could be used to explain that Esther had a clear understanding of her skills and talent in her career and understood the knowledge and requirement in this industry.
In Krumboltz's Theory, there are four factors that interact and affect the processes in career decision making. These factors are genetic endowment, environmental conditions, learning experience and task approach skills. Esther was known to be a bubbly and cheerful youth among her peers, also her ability to lead and influence the people around her was recognized by her teacher. These factors are considered as genetic endowment which helped her in career decision making.
In addition, Esther grew up in an environment where her mother encourages her to be a teacher which sparks her interest in teaching. Her interest grew into passion was when she heard stories and advices from her teachers. This explains how Esther developed her passion in teaching through environmental condition.
However, Krumboltz Theory did not mention about job satisfaction being part of career decision making process. Nowadays, individuals increasingly perceive job satisfaction as a factor when considering the choice of job.
Mrs Yeo graduated with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a minor in Business. She shared that when she was young, she always wanted to a business woman as she is an outgoing and talkative person. She also mentioned that during her undergraduate years, her goal was to be a business woman even she did not get into Business course due to her grades. She started as a staff in the Human Resource department with Ministry of Home Affairs and was in charge of handling Recruitment and Retention Policies for Ministry of Home Affairs for near to 4 years. During the 4 years, there was no advancement in her career hence she decided to look into teaching career. Also, Mrs Yeo would like to help and change lives of youths and therefore decided to embark on the teaching career.
After 12 years in the teaching industry, Mrs Yeo is currently the Head of Department (HOD) of Science. She shared that her definition of being a teacher has changed over the years. For the first 5 years in her teaching career, it was passion and job recognition that drive her to work hard. Since then, she suffered a burnout and her passion for teaching was warned. She added that her reason to remain in teaching was because of the salary.
When questioned about what kept her going for the past 6 years, Mrs Yeo shared that she believes in setting high expectations for herself and put in her best effort in everything she does. Once she started initiated as task, she will complete the task no matter what comes in her way. Thus, this is one of the reasons why she was appointed as the HOD of science even when her passion has died down.
Mrs Yeo shared that teaching is not solely about teaching; she needs to monitor the behavior and academic of students, in charge of co-curricular activities as well as administrative matters for the students and school. She mentioned that the workload is heavy and in many occasion she will have to work during the weekends which eventually compromised her family time. In addition, the excess workload has dampened her interests and hobbies as she has no time for herself.
Her biggest challenge in teaching was to motivate the unmotivated students and she shared that in order to overcome this problem, open communication channel is important. However, she added that the heavy administrative matters and CCAs are the source of the change in passion towards her career.
Mrs Yeo considered people relations, flexibility and multi-tasking are some essential skills in any occupation not only teaching. Given the heavy workload, she mentioned that she has yet learned to cope with stress and the seeking of religion and family is the source of reducing stress.
Career Theories 3
Based on Mrs Yeo's interview we can spot some similarities that align with Super's theory, and we would specifically talk about the first 4 stages namely Growth, Exploration, Establishment and Maintenance. In the early part of Mrs Yeo's life, she mentioned about her aspiration of being a business woman, which lead her to take up minor in Business, this explains the Growth and Exploration stages of her life. Mrs Yeo integrates her self-concept into her career decision making process, in other words, she felt that her sociable character and communication skills helps her in achieving her tentative vocational preference. Although Mrs Yeo could not made it to Business course, but she was determined to make her way into Business sector by minoring in business (Crystallization). Upon graduation, Mrs Yeo's self-concept changed due to the fact that she did not have the required knowledge to be a business woman hence she decided to turn to Human Resource management instead. This is when her tentative vocational preference became specific vocational preferences (Specification) and after which she was employed as HR at Ministry of Home Affairs (Implementation).
After 3.5 years, Mrs Yeo changed her self-concept and underwent a mid-career switch to become a teacher, where her abilities and personality traits matches the occupation. This might be the reason for her rapid progression in leadership roles and got promoted to become the HOD of science. Based on the following, we can identify that Mrs Yeo has reached career maturity as she is considered successful in her current career.
Super's Theory also addresses issues on the relationship between work satisfaction and life satisfaction. This is where we can see that Mrs Yeo work satisfaction has dropped significantly as her life satisfactions are compromised due to the heavy workload and long working hours.
Ms Wu Siew See is currently holding a degree of Bachelor of Science (Pharmacy) and Master of Business Administration. She started her first career as a pharmacist in both retail and hospital for 5 years. Being someone who loves to interact with people, she realized that the nature of the job was too routine and boring. Therefore, she moved on to become a lecturer.
Ms Wu has been working in Ngee Ann Polytechnic as a lecturer for the past 7 years. Her career requires her to provide an education atmosphere to students and also administrative roles. She was also appointed as counsellor in her third year of teaching. Having an outgoing character, she was given several opportunities to lead students for overseas service learning trip to third world countries.
After being in the teaching line for 7 years, Ms Wu believed the purpose of this career is to enrich the lives of her students. She believes in giving every student opportunities to grow academically and also build on their character development. Being a religious person, she shared that moving up the ladder of leadership was not her priority in her career, she believes that her goal is to influence the life her students.
Students are the source of her motivation that keeps her going. Ms Wu finds joy when she sees her student applying and translating what she has taught into their daily life. Also, was she very encouraged when she is able to provide counselling to her students who in a dilemma. Her students also expressed their gratitude towards Ms Wu, this keeps her going and she finds this career meaningful.
Ms Wu considered knowledge as the most important skills set needed in this career. However, she acknowledges that without communications, she would not be able to translate the information to the students. Good communication skills also allowed her to build into the lives of the students and also understand the students' mentality. She shared, "Teaching is about winning the hearts of the students. As long as they love you, they will be interested in the subject. I felt motivated seeing them succeed."
Being in the teaching industry, stress is inevitable and her main source of stress comes from the result of the students. She shared that being a lecturer is more than teaching, there are many administrative, open house, events that they would need to take charge. Ms Wu felt that politics also addition on to her stress level. However, to cope with stress, she would focus on the solution rather than the problem. In addition, she would also seek her religion and people for advices.
Career theories 4
As mentioned above, Ms Wu finds her first career very routine, therefore moved on to become a lecturer. Based on modified theory developed by Ginzberg, Ms Wu realised that work satisfaction was important in her decision of career choices. Some factors that contributed to work satisfactions are her beliefs in religion keep her motivated and a sense of purpose in her career. Also, she was given opportunities for occupational growth such as being a counsellor and bringing students for overseas learning. However, the most important factor was her attitude towards work which is to influence and impact the lives of her students beyond classroom knowledge.
Based on Holland's Theory, it is evident that Ms Wu belongs to Artistic (A), Enterprising (E) and Social (S) personality type. Therefore, she will probably search for a career that is AES classification. Ms Wu describes herself as someone is creative and flexible and does not like to follows a structure routine which contributes to her artistic personalities based on her experience working in the hospital. These are just as her career requirements; she would need to be creative in her teaching methods to get her students attention during classes. Also, because of her creativity, she was tasked to organize and plan events for the school.
Having an enterprising personality, Ms Wu is someone sociable and energetic which is important to motivate her students during lecturers to optimize learning for her students. Due to her popularity, the school awarded her with teaching award in 2008 and was appointed as a school counselor. She enjoys counseling and giving advices to students which made a difference in her students' life, this contributes to her social personality type. The above shows that Ms Wu personality profile agrees with Holland's Theory.
Career Planning and Development
Through the observation and analysis from the above four interviews, we are able to learn from their experiences and apply it into our own personal career path and vocation. By using the above interviewees, 3 key factors were identified that we will take into account in our career planning and developments. We both identified job interest, how our personalities fit into the career and meaningfulness of the job as part of the consideration in our career planning.
First, we will use Ginzberg Theory to identify our interest and abilities which matches our future career. Ginzberg's Process Theory to discuss about my stages of career development which include fantasy, tentative and realistic period. We realized how one's interest can impact our decision when planning one's career path.
Secondly, we will use Holland Theory to match our personalities with our future career. Holland's Theory proves the 6 different work personality types, RIASEC. Based on the interviewees above, we learnt that people would tend to look for jobs which match their personalities as it will maximize their strength and therefore achieve job satisfaction.
Lastly, Leonard will be using Super's Theory to address the issue on job satisfaction, where he explains the importance of it especially working in the 21st century. On the other hand, Wan Yan will use Herzberg's Motivation-Hygiene Theory to identify how motivation keeps us going at work. Wan Yan finds motivation important in her career growth, as she will find a sense of meaningfulness in career.
Leonard Ng Analysis
Job Interest- Ginzberg Theory
Since primary school, my results for Science and Mathematics subjects were outstanding and I was often praised by my teachers and parents. The recognitions from my parents and teachers motivated me and made me dreamt of being a science professor which I perceive it would be a glamorous and well-respected job. At age 17, I topped the school for Chemistry during my Junior College days for two consecutive years, which eventually embarked my Chemical Science degree course in my respective university. Compared to other sciences, Chemistry is where my interest is as I could excel it the most. However, after two years of studies I realized that although Chemistry is still my interest, I could not see myself in the research field and teaching. Moreover, I have taken a management course in my respective university that sparks my interest in business management. I intend to minor in Business and this where my realistic period that I realized I want to become a regional manager at a pharmaceutical company where it comprises of my interest in Chemistry as well as to manage people.
Job Satisfaction- Holland's Theory
Using the Holland's Theory, I identified myself as REC personality. With reference to Surin's interview, there are 2 similar personalities to mine, namely realistic and conventional personalities this coherence proves that I am on the right track. Moreover, the passion is pursuing business as a minor as well as leadership qualities and enterprising personality reflect in my past and current co-curricular activities which are positive attributes of a manager, I believe I will reach my desired goal and eventually find job satisfaction within my job of interest.
Job Meaningfulness- Super's Theory
Lastly, I will take into account with work satisfaction based on Super's Archway Model, I am more aware of the importance of taking ownership so as to cope with the demands of the work environment especially in the 21st century. Super's Theory also mentioned that one's life meaningfulness is also as important as job meaningfulness. This means to say, one cannot find job meaningfulness if one's personal life is not meaningful. Surin in Interviewee 1 who also emphasized in work-life balance which goes to show that how job meaningfulness and satisfaction are closely linked with the pleasure and satisfaction found out of work. With job meaningfulness, I would be able to perform my task given to me enthusiastically and this would eventually result in quick advancement up the corporate ladder.
Tan Wan Yan Analysis
Job Interest- Ginzberg Theory
Since 4, I enjoyed going to school and I always perceive a teacher a role model to students and an 'encyclopedia' that knows everything. Thus, this perception inspired me to be a teacher. The fantasy stage started as enjoyed role playing as a teacher when I was back home after school. Even though I was speaking to myself, I still find great joy as it was the start of the growth of my passion in teaching.
Unfortunately, my passion for teaching reduced as the years goes. After graduating from secondary school, I decided to work in a healthcare setting, so I went on to pursue Diploma in Pharmacy Science. At the initial stage, I enjoyed the course and my dreamt changed to becoming a pharmacist. However, during my internship in the hospital, I came to realize that I felt uncomfortable when handling patients.
Probably because of the tentative stage that I had went through, I realized that healthcare was not the choice that I would like to pursue in. At the age of 20, I had been through part time jobs from pharmacy technician to sales and eventually a childcare teacher, I had been pondering on my future career. I particularly enjoyed and find great motivation in being a childcare teacher and I was reminded of my childhood dream of being a teacher. Also, due to the involvement in working with youths during my polytechnic CCA; I find great joy and interest working with youths and therefore, I would like to be a Polytechnic Lecturer upon her graduation from university.
Job Satisfaction- Holland's Theory
In addition, I find great passion and interest during the 3 years of my CCA, which is serving in The Boys' Brigade Primers. I am still a currently a volunteer officer in The Boys' Brigade Primers where I will be actively involved in different activities such as National Day Parade, Share-A-Gift and Overseas Learning Trip. My roles as an officer requires building relationship, mentoring and managing youths to keep them preoccupy with meaningful activities. Using Holland's Theory, I identify myself as the CES personality type and am interested in working with people by helping, motivating and persuading youths just like Ms Wu. However, I prefer a structure plan to follow which falls was unlike Ms Wu's artistic personalities. I realized that my personality type matches a characteristic of teacher.
Job Meaningfulness- Herzberg's Motivation-Hygiene Theory
For myself, I am a highly motivated personal who is able to make decision and have the power to make things happen. Being involved in volunteer work, I am someone who is motivated to see and do something beneficial to the society such as grooming and building into lives of youths. During my years of service in my CCA, there were definitely challenges such as managing time with my university schedule. However, due to the learning growth of the members, I felt a sense of accomplishment and this was my source my motivation. Therefore, I would like to have the sense of satisfaction and job meaningfulness like Esther and Ms Wu, in seeing the students' growth in results and character. However, just like every company, there would be politics and I would need to be careful for my future career so as to stay motivated in my career.
In conclusion, the use of career theories would help us in our choice of future career and development. Through this assignment, we identified interviewee's career and applied into our own career planning. We learnt the importance that every individual is unique, thus it is important in knowing own personalities to match the future career.