Career Planning


What strategies can Robert use to improve his chances to get a promotion?

Robert is a supervisor at a large bottling company. His job includes managing safety and breaks and setting schedules for his twenty-five employees who use forklifts and other machinery to package and move filled bottles on to trucks for delivery. Robert has career goals with the orga-nization. First, he would like to become the bottling manager, which is one step up from his current job. In five years, Robert would like to become the director of operations who oversees the entire factory floor.

Robert is an excellent, well-liked manager by his employees, but when it comes to his supervi-sors, he is very quiet. He never mentioned the fact that his shift had one hundred accident-free days in a row or that productivity had increased 10 percent since he took over the shift. Robert is also a bit shy, so he avoids any kind of social interaction such as the holiday party.

While Robert wants to be promoted in the organization, he knows he lacks some of the skills needed to do the job, such as the ability to put together budgets. Because of this, he has iden-tified two courses he would like to take to improve his financial skills.

Robert was recently asked to review the operational processes during his shift and excelled at it. In fact, because of the shifts’ awareness, Robert motivated his staff to change some of the procedures to be more cost effective. Since Robert would like a promotion, he knows he should assess his strengths and weaknesses

1. Consider each of the following topics discussed in this chapter and discuss Robert’s strengths and weaknesses in each of the following areas (making reasonable assumptions is fine). Then create a plan addressing what Robert can do to improve in each area: a. Power positioning b. Planning, action, and attitude c. Etiquette d. Personality characteristics e. Mentoring f. Continual learning

2. Once you complete some ideas for Robert, think about your strengths and weaknesses in each area. Make a plan on how you can improve on each point.

Sample Solution

Although in England politicians tend not to take a Stalinesque stance on fiction, there is nonetheless evidence that politics has an influence on attitudes to novels in general. One of the reasons offered for the decline of the influence of the novel is that ‘difficult’, ‘academic’ novels with intentional social or artistic messages have come to symbolise something unpleasant for many potential readers. As Will Self argues in his May 2014 article for The Guardian, ‘The Novel is Dead (This Time It’s for Real)’, ‘throughout the second half of the last century, the literary novel was perceived to be the prince of art forms, the cultural capstone and the apogee of creative endeavour’, whereas now ‘the hallmark of our contemporary culture is an active resistance to difficulty in all its aesthetic manifestations, accompanied by a sense of grievance that conflates it with political elitism’. Here the writer addresses a political and sociological issue potentially at the crux of the novel’s social decline: what Self calls the ‘high art’ of the novel has ceased to be regarded as an aspirational indicator of education and sophistication, but has become associated for many with intentional esotericism and snobbery. This is despite the fact that literacy rates in the UK have continued to rise since the 1800s (from 60% in men and 40% in women in 1800 (Mitch, 2004), to 99% overall in 2003 (Historical Data Graphs Per Year: Indexmundi, 2015)), which could have otherwise been presumed to be facilitating a greater readership of literary novels. For Self, what takes place is a misinterpretation of the role of the novel which ‘actively prevents a great many people from confronting the very real economic inequality and political disenfranchisement they\’re subject to’. The rise of populism in the UK, and the anti-elitist sentiment it can direct towards various aspects of culture that seem inaccessible, has been observable since _____ (talk about populism and other examples across time/geography of its anti-art/ anti-literature concomitants). A recent complaint about an essay in The Paris Review generated a great deal of online discussion about this issue: a twitter user condemned the use of the word ‘crepuscular’ in the essay, condemning it as evidence of literature being elitist, because the majority of readers were unlikely to understand the word offhand.

The ensuing discussion involved many literary bloggers and columnists, including Elizabeth Catton for Noted who commented that ‘The idea that a work of literature might require something of its reader in order to be able to provide something to its reader is equivalent’…‘to the idea that a cut-price mobile phone might require a very expensive charger in order for it to function’ and argued that literature ‘simply cannot be’ elitist because ‘a book cannot be selective of its readership; nor can it insist upon the conditions under which it is read or received. The degree to which a book is successful depends only on the degree to which it is loved.’ (Catton, 2013). Despite these prot