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Pushing the boundaries

Pushing the boundaries
Opinion

Pushing the boundaries

Finance | 29 Jun 2008

Paul Bennett looks at negotiating the career deal. 

Wouldn’t it be great to wake up after the weekend and say “thank God it’s Monday”, which by implication would mean you have the dream job.

The new generation of worker in the knowledge age will, without doubt, shape and own their chosen career path. This is especially true for the generation of people born after 1980 (generation Y) as we are already seeing the first signs of movement away from a traditional career to that of a boundary-less career. They see work as a thing to do not a place to go. For them it is not a destination and 75 per cent of them would like a flexible working environment outside the traditional office regime for half of their working life.

A traditional career suggests job security for loyalty, one or two firms, specific skills, success in pay, promotion and status, formal training, the organisation responsible for career management and age related milestones. A boundary-less career means employability for performance and flexibility, multiple firms, transferable skills, success in meaningful work, on-the-job training, the individual responsible for career management and learning-related milestones.

In the not too distant future all generations will want to negotiate the job and career deal. In order to negotiate effectively, you will need a clear understanding of your worth and your individual value to an organisation, based on your unique skills, knowledge, experience and ability. In return you will expect appropriate rewards, conditions, training and personal development opportunities from those who choose to use your services.

In negotiating a career deal, you will want to ensure that the deal gives you what you want. Rate the following work values on the five point scale, according to their importance to you in your career. The work values you identify as very important will probably reflect one or two of the following list of career anchors identified by Schein. You need to identify your personal purpose and motivation, and whether it can be achieved through our current work role, or through another role in our lives.

Career anchors include technical-functional competence, managerial competence, autonomy/independence, security/stability, entrepreneurial creativity, service/dedication, pure challenge, and lifestyle. How far does your present job allow you to satisfy your most important values?

If your job does not satisfy your most important values it may be time to negotiate. You should take the boss out for a meal to have the discussion, maybe at a restaurant that truly reflects how you feel at work. Thank God it’s Friday.

Paul Bennett is client director at Henley Management College

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