Successful career attainment entails a series of activities that allows one to undergo a gradual positive transformation over an extended period of time. The process requires individuals to be persistent in regards to the pursuit of personal aspirations. Several persons and institutions have provided the requisite framework responsible for the growth and development of my career thus far. Organizations have been instrumental in the provision of skills and knowledge that allowed me to perform various tasks and duties within my profession. Social interactions with people-fellow employees, subordinates, clients, lectures- not only permitted for the development of communication skills but also offered the motivation to scale up the career ladder .Social interactions are crucial for career progression as they offer different perspectives on ones approach to issues of careers and personal growth (American Psychological Association, 2016). Whether it happens through formal education or practical life experiences, personal growth and development necessitate that people learn from others and also from my own mistakes and achievements
Experiences during undergraduate studies set off a personal journey that has characterized by opportunities and challenges. During my undergraduate training at Benghazi, I acquired several skills and knowledge not only in geology but also in human relations. The university structured learning in such a manner that academic knowledge was majorly attained through regular interactions of students in the form of groups. A body of research shows that group work among college students plays a significant role in developing a host of skills for students in addition to imparting knowledge. According to Carnegie Mellon University (2015), group work among students improves communication skills as well as nurtures different approaches to resolving differences. These skills have an important position in developing leadership skills of students. From a personal perspective, group interactions at the university improved my social communication skills and also enhanced personal confidence.
The participation in sports activities also built social skills such as teamwork and relationship building. During sports training and competitions, students often engaged in group training to facilitate efficient management of sessions. Relationship building was evident in the sense that team captains advocated for close collaboration during sports competitions as it offered the extra strength to overcome opponents. The mentioned experiences improved personal confidence and leadership skills.
Conflicts in college groups as well as in teams at the institutions I have worked were commonplace. As Bercovitch (2008) and Allen (2008, p.1-10) explain, conflicts arise in groups a result of the several factors including goal incompatibility, motivation, and culture, among others. These differences make the group members generate different perspectives regarding the accomplishment of group duties and responsibilities. From similar lens, Hatif et al. (2016, p 72) post that task conflicts represent healthy divergences in terms of ideas, views, and thoughts among group members. According to Hatif et al., these divergent positions essential as they not only allow better decisions to be made but also builds the personality of the individuals involved. The interactions view holds that conflicts instill positive influence on groups and also promote efficient performance of groups in organizations. The view operates on the premise that peace and harmony in groups discourage creativity (Boateng, 2014 pp.1-3). As a result, such groups may not be responsive to the change or innovative ventures.
The preceding scholarship explains the influence of groups at university and those that I worked with at China National Logging Corporation. In both cases, the regular differences in groups provided a lot of lessons that continue to impact on my career choices. For instance, some students seemed to lack the right motivation in their studies at Benghazi University. From personal interactions and experiences, this situation strained group relations as discussions and group tasks were not conducted in a timely manner. Often, such occurrences caused conflicts with other students, especially when the outcomes of the assignments of the groups affected every individual member. The college experience enabled me to learn reconciliation and relationship-building skills which proved useful in my working life at China National Logging Corporation. At the organization, I learned the skills through several interventions that aimed at encouraging active participation in group discussions and also leadership during extracurricular activities. Similarly, working at China Logging Corporation accorded me a significant learning experience. The experience permitted me to evaluate my progress as well as further understand personal skills and strengths. Notably, I was able to identify issues at the workplace and communicated them to the management for appropriate actions to be instituted.
As indicated earlier, personal experiences at the University and China National Logging Corporation did not result in better working relationships with the groups. Some approaches to team relationships worked well while others flopped. However, both experiences have been in modifying personal relationship skills as well as enabled me to pinpoint weak areas of interpersonal abilities that require improvement. As such, the experiences have been a source of motivation to learn and also advance studies so as to enhance personal work ethic.
Collaboration with teams is one of the areas that posted a good experience in my working environment. To a larger extent, the skills that enabled success in teams were acquired during undergraduate training. Of particular mention is the impactful use of communication skills during team work deliberations and joint activities. Higgins and Gills (2008) describe impactful communication as that which allows the parties involved in a discussion to actively listen to each other, share different perspectives about issues, and make decisions based on joint observations. The decision is made in consideration of the alternatives proposed regardless of the positions such persons occupy in the organization. This style of engagement proved using while working as a data engineer at China National Logging Corporation. In this position, one had to involve the relevant members of the teams so as to ensure that correct and accurate data was processed for management purposes.
Learning was also aided by the focus on social aspect of the organization. Human beings learn through personal observation, social activities, and emotions, among other avenues (Ertmer & Newby, 2013). On a daily basis, I observed the desirable behaviors of managers and co-workers. As a result, I was able to understand various processes and procedures in the organization. Also, the opportunity to work in two different, but equally successful organizations (China National Logging Corporation and Emirates Oil Refining Company) has enabled me to experience and understand the contrasting leadership styles and organizational cultures in these companies.
Relevant knowledge and skills are vital for employees to navigate through the problems and demands of the workplace, translating into better chances of success in personal engagements (Bobek 2015, pp.40-47).This academic background helps employers in conducting on-the-job training activities as well as facilitates quicker understanding of the tasks at the workplace among new employees. Having studied geology, the process of integrating into the job requirements at China National Corporation worked well. Partly, this success can be attributed to the undergraduate knowledge about natural resources. However, I experienced some challenges while working at both China National Corporation and Emirates Oil Refining Company.
Members of organizational teams may experience coordination difficulties as a result of inadequate explanation of group expectations or unclear vision for the team. As Hatif et al. (2016, pp.72-78) document, the mentioned circumstances are more likely to reduce the motivation of teams as members often fail to embrace the purpose of the organization or derail their duties due to unclear explanations of the expectations. I encountered such scenario, especially in the initial working days. At the new working environment, it often occurred that the tasks were mostly conducted in an individualistic manner and, therefore, could not give the new entrants a favorable environment for learning. Besides, lack of reinforcement in some cases eroded my personal motivation during the first year of employment. Employees perform better in the workplace if the senior management accords them the right reinforcement through consultations and inclusion of their views in the process of decision-making (Higgins & Gills, 2008).This way, cases of sabotage and group conflicts can be avoided. In this regard, I felt some frustrations as it was not convenient to voice personal views on how certain tasks should be performed.
Despite the negative aspects of the experiences that I have acquired during employment, various lessons abound in regards to adapting to different corporate cultures. If faced with the same challenges in the future, one of the things that I would do differently is the recognition that new working environments often pose challenges to new employees. In this respect, I would take personal initiatives to promptly consult older employees on the organizations culture and the job expectations. This strategy would polish my interpersonal skills and also enable me to receive reinforcements from the top management and the older employees.
Motivation and Learning Theories in Perspective
Abraham Maslows Hierarchy of Needs Theory
Maslows theory postulates that human needs are arranged in a pyramid and those that occupy the lowest position are first satisfied before the individual seeks further satisfaction up the ladder(Kaur, 2013 pp.1061-1064).The social needs and safety needs categories of the theory offer an insightful explanation for personal motivation. The safety needs provide financial security essential for human survival while the social needs theory asserts that people always seek belongingness and work better in groups (Kaur, 2013 p.1062). From a personal perspective, seeking further education would be essential in satisfying some of the social and safety needs in the society. Education contributes to the development of individuals and societies. Higher education attainment results in higher earnings, lower unemployment, lower crime and better health (Kyllonen, 2012 p.85).However, the safety needs theory does not hold much relevance in the personal context as most of the needs in this category have been satisfied. Hence, personal motivation can be considered to stem from the desire for personal achievement.
Herzbergs Theory of Motivation
Fredrick Herzberg identified two principal factors that influence the productivity of individuals at the workplace. According to Burton (2012), the theory postulates that factors that lead to higher satisfaction and motivation include achievement, recognition, responsibility, and advancement, among others. The absence of the enumerated factors may not result in dissatisfaction, but their presence propels employees to work harder. On the other hand, hygiene factors can lead to dissatisfaction and reduced motivation if they are absent in the organizational setting. Such factors include salary, company policy, and relationship with managers and co-workers, work cond...
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