Book Review by Professor Abiodun Adegbile, Institute of Education, UI, Ibadan
Easy Guide to Career Success and Comfortable Retirement

Book Review by Professor Abiodun Adegbile, Institute of Education, UI, Ibadan

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE BOOK
“GUIDE TO CAREER SUCCESS AND COMFORTABLE RETIREMENT”

It is quite a thing of joy to be privileged to write on this highly educative book written by somebody who is very much in the area of industrial relations. To be precise, the author had his master’s degree in Industrial and Labour Relations, and has gotten a wealth of experience to the tune of more than seventeen years. This implies that the author must have been interacting with different ideas in the area of industrial and labour relations out of which the concepts of ‘career success’ and ‘comfortable retirement’ have been seriously considered in this book.

This is a 17-chapter book and it can be structurally grouped into three main parts viz:   Conceptual Issues on Career, Employment and Comfortable Retirement. However, the author has decided to put the book into three sections with the sections having 7, 5 and 4 and the conclusive remarks being the last and seventh chapter. I think it is highly commendable for organizing the book into three sections and the captions given to the sections together make clear the comprehensiveness of the coverage of the title of the book. The structural design also arrests the interest of the reader as well as helping him to have a brighter idea of the message which the author is conveying.

In the section devoted to career choice, planning and development. I noticed that all the conceptual issues are spelt out in clear and unequivocal terms. The ability to do this thoroughly and effectively is quite impressive.

Section 2, which captions, “Self-employment”, is highly educative. This is a section where a great number of people will immensely benefit from the impressive ideas in the book. It provides different ways of making life comfortable for people; and more importantly, making them to be self-reliant. A very good idea that is established here is the fact that there are alternatives to paid jobs.

Section 3, which is the last section, is titled “Comfortable Retirement”. This concerns mostly workers who are in paid employment. The concept of “retirement” and fears associated with it are carefully and exhaustively discussed. A research report given in chapter 16 in the third section makes the book more intellectual. This gives an additional feather to the cap of the book. A pertinent question raised in this report is ‘Can a government or employer who finds it very difficult to pay salaries be able to pay gratuity and pension?’ This is a food for thought for every reader. And to fail to prepare very well for one’s retirement is to prepare to fail or suffer during the retirement days.

On the basis of the foregoing, and because succeeding in a book writing task is obviously great and no mean task. I wish to congratulate the author on this great feat. Therefore, in view of its useful contents, I heartily recommend this book to students, teachers, guidance and counselors, those who are still in active service and retirees.

Professor Joseph Abiodun Adegbile
Institute of Education
University of Ibadan.

 CONTENTS

SECTION ONE

CHAPTER ONE

 Conceptual Issues               …             …     …     …     …     …         16

 Definition of Concepts

  • Job
  • Vocation
  • Profession
  • Work
  • Occupation

CHAPTER TWO

Preparing A Job Winning Application and C.V. … …     …         23

  • Job Application
  • The Job Winning Curriculum Vitae/Resume

CHAPTER THREE

Job Interview                …             …     …     …     …     …         31

  • Basic Information
  • Preparation and Background information
  • Checklist for interview
  • Types of Interview
  • On the interview day and during the interview process
  • Negotiation of salaries and incentives
  • Why people do not secure their most desired jobs
  • General preparation for interview

CHAPTER FOUR

Career: General Perspective                …     …     …     …     …         41

  • What is Career?
  • Factors Affecting Career Choice
  • Other factors Affecting Career Choice
  • Types of Unemployment
  • Implications of gainful employment and unemployment

CHAPTER FIVE

Career Choice, Planning and Development   …     …     …         57

  • Definition
  • Basic Process of Career Planning
  • Career Planning and Development, A joint Responsibility
  • Involvement in Career Planning and Development
  • Positive steps towards Career Choice and Decisions
  • Personal and Practical Guide for Formulating Career Action Plan
  • Sustaining Career Planning Development
  • Framework for Successful Career Planning and Development

 CHAPTER SIX

Trends in Career Development  …     …     …  …                 73

  • Multi-Disciplinary Employment Approach
  • Casualisation and Contractualisation of Labour

CHAPTER SEVEN

Coping with Work Environment     …  … … …                          87

  • Contemporary Work Environment
  • Future Work Environment
  • Challenges and Coping Strategies

SECTION TWO

CHAPTER EIGHT

Self-employment: Alternative to Paid Employment ……     92

  • Introduction
  • Relevance of Early Self-Employed/Entrepreneurship
  • Transiting from paid Employment to Self-Employment

CHAPTER NINE

Organisational Framework of a Business Take-off……          96

  • Pre-Incorporation/Registration Activities
  • Post Incorporation/Registration Activities
  • Factors Affecting Business Decision

CHAPTER TEN

Feasibility Studies/Capital Requirement     …    …          …. 102

Feasibility Study

  • Business Review
  • Stages of Business Development
  • Capital Requirement
  • Source of Capital/Finance

CHAPTER ELEVEN

Principles of Sustainable Business Development   … … … … 107 

  • Introduction
  • Issues in Sustainability of Business
  • Secrets of Business Success
  • Investment Opportunity

CHAPTER TWELVE

Family Business            …      …      …      …      …      …      … 121

  • What is Family Business?
  • Characteristics of family business
  • Contributions of family business to growth and development
  • Planning for continuity and effective succession

 SECTION THREE

CHAPTER THIRTEEN

The Concept of Retirement            …      …      …      …      … 128

  • Introduction
  • Retirement is inevitable
  • The age factor in retirement
  • Fears associated with retirement
  • Family factors in retirement decision

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

Action Plans for Retirement                    …      …      …      …      … 145

  • What is retirement planning all about?
  • Retirement checklist/information
  • Retirement business
  • Retirement phobia questionnaire

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

Handling Life After Retirement      …      …      …      …      …      159 

  • Stages of retirement.
  • Life: Your Greatest Treasure.
  • Issues on stress

CHAPTER SIXTEEN

Research Report on Retirement   …      …      …      …      …      170

  • Introduction
  • Theoretical Framework
  • Analysis of Continuity and Disengagement Theories

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN

Conclusion                …      …      …      …  …          …      …      …    184

Appendix 

Pension Fund Administrators in Nigeria  …   …   …  …         189  

Bibliography              …      …      …      …      …      …      …  …      195   

CHAPTER ONE 

CONCEPTUAL ISSUES

INTRODUCTION

The definition and clear understanding of the connection between certain key concepts will no doubt help to achieve meaningful career choice and development. These concepts are: Job, Vocation, Profession, Work and Occupation. Furthermore, their interrelationship brings into fore their importance to a person’s career choice and career as a whole.

In view of the above, we shall first consider in-depth definitions and interrelations.

DEFINITION OF CONCEPTS  

  1. JOB

A job is a particular task, duty or specific schedule that is performed on a regular or agreed basis in an organisation or within the society for several reasons. The series or combinations of various jobs being performed usually culminate in occupation or work and this varies from one organisation to the other. For instance, teaching is a job which is part of the overall work of a Lecturer; others being research, writing and community development.

A job is either classified as high or low trust and this varies from country to country. The examples below are drawn from the Nigerian experience.

High Trust Jobs

High trust jobs are jobs that are termed to be honorable and they attract societal recognition. They are termed noble professions and anyone who engages in any of such jobs is treated with respect in the society. Those involved in high trust jobs carry along with them their job-based personalities; anywhere they find themselves, they enjoy front seat recognition and have access to comfortable work and post work opportunities. Apart from the above, the more experienced they become on the job, the more valuable their input.

The list of jobs that could be regarded as high trust is long and relative. However, the dynamism with which you handle your job, coupled with the societal perception of such jobs goes a long way in determining your job rating. Examples of high trust jobs include, occupying important management positions within an organisation, performing highly skilled jobs within the society etc.

Low Trust Jobs

Low trust job holders are those who render extremely personalised services for the well-being of those who perform high trust jobs. Low trust job holders are often known to display high level of self-pity, resentment and job alienation and their income is usually low. Those in this category include watchmen, drivers, stewards, cooks, etc. Some professionals could be categorised here but as they develop their skill and get more experienced, they are apt to get jobs with much better condition of service.

VOCATION

Vocation refers to activities, trade or occupation and others constituting a life-style expressed in time, energy and ability. Examples of a vocation include pastoral and related activities, the Military, Para-military, politics and all forms of counseling work. Elements of a vocation include being specifically gifted, absolute commitment to work, enjoyment of great autonomy, deriving feeling of importance and intrinsically rewarding. 

PROFESSION

Easy Guide to Career Success and Comfortable Retirement

This is a form of employment that is respected in the society as honourable and is available only to an educated person after training in some special branch of knowledge. Those who engage themselves in making living by satisfying the needs of others could also be referred to as professionals. Therefore, to be a successful professional, one must possess the capability, skill, ability, and talents that are suitable for such profession in many professions, the practitioners have to develop their skill and show high level of performance to enjoy or attract high level of recognition or patronage. The following are types of professions:

Realistic Profession

The realistic professional belongs to the group of persons who do their work by seeking objective, concrete goals and tasks. They use things, tools, machines, people, animals etc. to perform their duties. These professionals include skilled labour workers in agriculture, engineering, outdoor conservation work, and the like.

Intellectual/Investigative Profession

The intellectual professional is one who does his work through the use of intelligence, manipulation of ideas, words, and symbols. Such a person is best matched with an environment that brings him in contact with abstract and creative abilities. Such occupations include writing, teaching and so on. A person involved in investigative work on the other hand is one who does his job by selecting goals that frequently involve working with ideas and require an extensive amount of thinking. It involves searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Social Profession

The social professional is the person who does his work by selecting tasks that demand the use of interpersonal skills and has interest in other people. Such a person is best matched with an environment that requires him to interpret and modify human behaviour, such as social work, counseling, religious activities, teaching, and work which requires organising others.

Conventional Profession

The conventional professional is a person who copes with life by selecting goals and tasks that are sanctioned by society and custom. Conventional professionals frequently get involved in following set procedures and routines. Such professionals are best matched with environments that require systematic and routine processing, various types of office work and administration. It can include working with data and details more than with ideas. There is usually a clear line of authority to follow.

Artistic Profession

The artistic professional is one who uses feelings, intuition, emotions, and imagination to create art works or products. Such a person is best matched with an environment that requires the interpretation or creation of artistic forms through taste, feelings, and imagination, such as writing, fine arts, and performing arts.

Enterprising Profession

The enterprising professional is one who copes with life by selecting goals and tasks that permit the expression of high energy, enthusiasm, creativity, adventure, dominance, and impulsiveness. The enterprising profession frequently involves starting up and carrying out projects. It sometimes requires risk taking and often deals with businesses. Such a professional is best matched with environment that places a premium on verbal capability, directing and persuading other people, salesmanship, entrepreneurship. management, politics, Foreign Service, and the like.

However, some people train for a profession which they may not eventually practised due to one circumstance or the other or because it is in contrast with their personal disposition, orientation and environment.

WORK

Work could be described as the combination of jobs, duties, or tasks that a person does, or responsibilities assigned to a person especially in other to earn money. Work may be classified into either brain or hand work; it can also be distinguished by its nature into different categories:

The Classifications of Work

Brain Work

Brain works are those works that are done through the creation of ideas, decision-making, execution of policies and other intellectual activities. The performance level of brain workers is measured in abstract terms such as the quality, efficiency and effectiveness of their output. They are usually highly skilled. For instance, Managing Directors, Vice-Chancellors, Accountants, Teachers, Administrative Officers, Entrepreneurs, Engineers etc. are examples of brain workers.

Hand Work

Unlike the brain works, hand work, require the engagement of intensive labour. They also demand the physical dissipation of energy and are usually evaluated in concrete terms such as numbers of blocks molded, unit completed or areas covered. Examples of hand workers are bricklayers, gardeners, load carriers etc.

Nature of Work Extension Work

This is a kind of work that has no starting or closing hour. It has no specific workplace, and no distinction between office and home in the course of performing one’s duties. The work of Pastors or Military personnel could be regarded as extension work because they are on duty at all times and places.

Neutral Work

This is a kind of work that terminates at the office or work place. This does not extend to the home front. For instance, the work of some technical operators ends the moment they close for the day as the type of equipment they operate could only be found in their workplace.

Opposition Work

This is a type of work people are not comfortable doing. At the slightest opportunity, those engaged in opposition work usually abandon it due to either lack of interest, lack of dignity or low economic returns. For example, some who engage in labour intensive work usually look for a way of escape while those who feel they are engaged in uncomplimentary work do not want people to know what they do. Certain categories of workers are noted for hiding their uniforms or tools in bags while going to or returning from work. Therefore, opposition works are principally determined by the individual perceptions of those who engage in them.

Generally, possession of adequate knowledge of the nature of work by employees is imperative for a successful career as this will assist in the course of assessing the degree of work value, involvement and satisfaction which will in turn assist in taking appropriate steps towards choosing a career or taking steps to correct unfavourable work related experience.

OCCUPATION

This is an individual’s main source of earning a living. It is the main job, employment, business, trade, handwork, vocation and others in which he or she is engaged at a particular time and done on a regular basis. Occupation could further be described as productive activity or a clearly defined work that could be found in various settings in which one is engaged permanently and which occupies one’s productive time. For instance, farming, teaching, processing of shipping documents, pastoral ministries are forms of occupation. In a similar vein an occupation may be a network or combination of various activities drawn from the above examples.

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Easy Guide to Career Success and Comfortable Retirement

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