Posts Tagged Employability
As I have just started teaching on the Chartered Management Institute Level 5 Diploma at the University of London, I thought it would be sensible to continue my recent activity of applying management theories and models to the world of careers coaching.
Most of the early conversations about employability and career management tended to focus on asking the question ‘How do you help students to develop skills or competencies that will make them effective in the job market?’. There tend to emerge two types of answer to this question: you give them training or you give them experience.
This mirrors the argument that has been running in the area of leadership development for a long time. There are those who argue that training without experience is too abstract (and therefore worthless) and there are those who argue that experience without training is random (and therefore worthless).
A slightly different perspective that seems to be emerging lately is that training, experience and combinations of training and experience tend to be more effective when participants have greater levels of self-awareness or when the training or experience itself promotes greater self-awareness.
One aspect of self-awareness that interests me is awareness of one’s own default mindset. Partly because of my interest in MBTI, I am conscious of the various ways in which different people approach the same problems. That’s why I was excited to come across a management model called the Five Managerial Mindsets.
In last week’s post about employability I presented four approaches to employability (Careerist, Ritualist, Rebel and Retreatist).
This got me all enthusiastic about typologies that put people into boxes which describe their approach to career management and decision making. I’ve found a few, but I’m hoping that you can come up with some more for me.
In the last post I discussed the definitions of employability that had been created by a variety of groups (employers, policy makers and academics). Did you spot the glaring omission?
On the whole, students and graduates don’t tend to go in for definitions of employability; they are too busy trying to live it.
However, Martin Tomlinson from the University of Cardiff conducted interviews with a number of undergraduate students to explore their perspectives.
In my last posting about the E word I focused on various models of employability (the fun bit in my geeky world!). In this post I wanted to look at some of the various definitions of employability and what those definitions say about the people who construct them.
In the July/August edition of the Harvard Business Review, Monika Hamori writes about research she has been conducting on the career histories of 1,001 US and European chief executives. In the article she seeks to challenge what she claims are a number of fallacies propagated by career coaches:
- ‘Job-hoppers prosper’ — she claims that people whose careers were concentrated within a small number of organisations get to the top jobs more rapidly than those who hop between organisations frequently.
- ‘A move should be a move up’ — she claims that lateral moves are as valid and important as promotions in career success.
- ‘Big fish swim in big ponds’ — she reports that many successful people have moved between larger, well-known organisations and smaller, less-prominent ones.
- ‘Career and industry switchers are penalised’ — she indicates that a significant proportion of successful people have switched industries at some point.
I will avoid commenting on whether these are actually messages that career coaches promulgate (other than to mutter the phrase ‘straw man‘ under my breath). Instead, I will go with my original train of thought when I read the article, which was something like: ‘Is this a mixture of good news and bad news for the boundaryless career?’.