Managing You – an Exercise in Self-Analysis

As another new year stretches ahead,the thought of maintaining the status quo in an existing role with its continuing constraints on life, inside and outside career, is enough to spark some major self-examination. And an increasing number of managers are not happy with what they see.
An imbalance between work and home life with stress impacting on health and well-being and becoming out of synch with changing strategies, processes and technologies, are leading to major review of the brand ?You’. To flourish and survive in the new world of work, you have to present yourself as unique package with sustainable good health, current skills and an adaptability to change.

Managing your career
Career management and development is most certainly in your hands. The days of the old employer/employee relationships where an individual’s career development was dictated by the organisation and consisted of moving up the hierarchical ladder, have long gone. The new world of work calls for new competencies and these include the ability to self manage. Job insecurity, the global labour market, focus on career satisfaction and work/life balance have all meant that individuals must take responsibility for their own career survival and success. This involves developing employability, continually learning and looking for opportunities to learn.
Ana Reyes, of DBM Asia Pacific region, says organisations benefit from encouraging career management because it is strategic HR tool that contributes to retention.
DBM, which provides career transition services worldwide, conducted recent ?retention survey’ which showed that career management was one of the top four most effective retention strategies that organisations utilise.
“Organisations benefit from encouraging and supporting their employees in the career management process because it results in more flexible workforce. That workforce then looks for opportunities in change rather than resisting it and they have the self- knowledge to be aware of what their career drivers and goals are,” says Reyes.
Being aware of where you want to be requires high level of self-awareness – knowing your strengths, your values and how you best perform. Soul searching followed by feedback analysis can be as simple as monitoring your own decision- making over set period of time then comparing results with expectations.
Help with filling the gaps, whether it is in the knowledge area or with personal shortcomings that are inhibiting effectiveness and performance, is often initiated by the individual but there’s growing awareness in organisations that engaging specialists is sound investment.
Jean de Bruyne, registered psychologist with QED Services, says businesses seek psychological solutions for variety of human resource issues like redundancy, which is forcing change of ownership, or restructure, or life changes experienced by an individual. “The global trend is that we can expect five to seven career changes in lifetime and baby boomers are the most affected by that. It causes inner turmoil because they feel trapped and that they have reached plateau, but younger people have been brought up with completely different way of thinking. They know their job isn’t going to be there for the next 40 years and they go in with the view that they will see what they can get out of it for themselves,” says de Bruyne.
QED handles change and career management projects, personal development, coaching and mentoring, team building and conflict and mediation, psychological assessments, customised training courses, work performance counselling and values based development to identify and align individual and company values.
“We tell people that they need to understand things like luck in their careers. We cannot control luck but we can plan to recognise it and make the most of it. It’s that serendipity thing – and unless you recognise it, it will come and go,” says de Bruyne.
Someone who would consider himself lucky man is Steve Hinge, who runs his own company, Timeline International, from his beach house overlooking Waipu Cove north of Auckland. “I put out the fishing line in the morning, come back and sit on the deck and communicate with the world from my laptop and I think I must be the luckiest man around,” says Hinge.
But the young businessman’s good fortune has had lot to do with efficient self-management and hard work. Hinge was working as consulting project manager at Sky City when he decided to embark on the Henley Management Course through the Auckland University of Technology. For nearly three and half years he did an average of 22-25 hours study week on top of his normal job, but says it was worth it in every way – personally, financially and academically.
Hinge is now working for the Henley College teaching the MBA course and flies all over the world to run workshops and to lecture, as well as running his own project management consultancy business. “I now sell myself as virtual international resource all around the world and am earning living showing other people how to learn. The MBA made me academically respectable but it’s not just having the qualification that counts, it is where I got it from,” he says.
The Henley Management Course is recognised as the sixth most powerful in the world and Steve Hinge says it has been turbo boost for his career – especially in terms of earnings. “Before the MBA course I was trying twice as hard to be considered half as good. Now I have huge academic and professional network that has literally consumed me. I have made it internationally and am sitting back earning big money that is giving me fantastic, balanced life,” says Hinge.
Jude Nye, manager of the Henley Programme at Auckland University of Technology, says the average age of those taking the MBA course is late 30s and many are at point in their career where they are either climbing the corporate ladder, want to broaden their management skills or just want some academic credibility.
“All of our students undertake the course with their own development in mind and we see so many transformed from middle managers to senior executives on big salaries who travel the world. Generally people are becoming more aware of self managing their careers – they realise that you can no longer rely on being promoted in your own company,” says Nye.
Flexibility in learning, especially for managers in full-time, demanding jobs is being met in number of ways with specialist development and training courses – short courses, online and distance learning. Jo Wilson, training director of IIR Training, says two-day programmes and focused one-day courses are popular not just for the practical knowledge and skills gained, but also because of the opportunity to network with other attendees. “It gives people the chance to share experiences with others from wide range of industries and job functions. Development of networks is another key factor in developing your career and our courses provide forum to facilitate and make this easy,” says Wilson.
IIR Training offers range of different courses but one of the most popular is ?Finance for the non-financial manager’. Wilson says that understanding finance and accounting becomes core requirement and key success factor for so many people progressing through their careers and the “highly relevant” programme is often sell out. Other popular courses include those for support staff especially ?Essential management skills for executive secretaries, PAs and administration professionals’.
First level courses for managers are top of the popular list at Auckland University of Technology too and business development manager Corrie Cook says it’s because so many people are finding themselves in management positions very quickly. He says the courses give grounding and overview in areas like managing staff, dealing with difficult people and planning etc. Superv

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