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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about a person's occupational history; for the board game, see Careers (board game).
Look up Career in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.A career is traditionally seen as a course of successive situations that make up a person's worklife. One can have a sporting career or a musical career, but most frequently "career" in the 20th century referenced the series of jobs or positions by which one earned one's money. It tended to look only at the past.
As the idea of personal choice and self direction picks up in the 21st century, aided by the power of the Internet and the increased acceptance of people having multiple kinds of work, the idea of a career is shifting from a closed set of achievements, like a chronological résumé of past jobs, to a defined set of pursuits looking forward. In its broadest sense, career refers to an individual’s work and life roles over their lifespan.
In the relatively static societies before modernism, many workers would often inherit or take up a single lifelong position (a place or role) in the workforce, and the concept of an unfolding career had little or no meaning. With the spread during the Enlightenment of the idea of progress and of the habits of individualist self-betterment, careers became possible, if not expected.
Career counseling advisors assess people's interests, personality, values and skills, and also help them explore career options and research graduate and professional schools. Career counseling provides one-on-one or group professional assistance in exploration and decision making tasks related to choosing a major/occupation, transitioning into the world of work or further professional training. The field is vast and includes career placement, career planning, learning strategies and student development.
By the late 20th century a plethora of choices (especially in the range of potential professions) and more widespread education had allowed it to become fashionable to plan (or design) a career: in this respect the careers of the career counsellor and of the career advisor have grown up. It is also not uncommon for adults in the late 20th/early 21st centuries to have dual or Multiple Careers, either sequentially or concurrently. Thus, professional identities have become hyphenated or hybridized to reflect this shift in work ethic. Economist Richard Florida notes this trend generally and more specifically among the "Creative class."

1 Labor and Employment Research

Labor and Employment Research
Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations
Institute for Women and Work at Cornell University
Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School
For a pre-modernist notion of "career", compare cursus honorum.

For more information on Career, please visit
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For the Kaiser Chiefs album, see Employment (album)
Employment is a contract between two parties, one being the employer and the other being the employee. In a commercial setting, the employer conceives of a productive activity, generally with the intention of creating profits, and the employee contributes labour to the enterprise, usually in return for payment of wages.
Employment also exists in the public, nonprofit and household sectors.
In the United States, the "standard" employment contract is considered to be at-will meaning that the employer and employee are both free to terminate the employment at any time and for any cause, or for no cause at all.
To the extent that employment or the economic equivalent is not universal, unemployment exists.
Employment is almost universal in capitalist societies. Opponents of capitalism such as Marxists oppose the capitalist employment system, considering it to be unfair that the people who contribute the majority of work to an organization do not receive a proportionate share of the profit. However, the surrealist and the situationist movements were among the few groups to actually oppose work, and during the partially surrealist-influenced events of May 1968 the walls of the Sorbonne were covered with anti-work graffiti.
Labourers often talk of "getting a job", or "having a job". This conceptual metaphor of a "job" as a possession has led to its use in slogans such as "money for jobs, not bombs". Similar conceptions are that of "land" as a possession (real estate) or intellectual rights as a possession (intellectual property). The Online Etymology Dictionary explains that the origin of "job" is from the obsolete phrase "jobbe of work" in the sense of "piece of work", and most dictionaries list the Middle English "gobbe" meaning "lump" (gob) as the origin of "jobbe". Attempts to link the word to the biblical character Job seem to be folk etymology.[citation needed]

1 Employer
2 Employee
3 Alternatives
4 Employment Research and Education
5 Films

An employer is a person or institution that hires employees or workers. Employers offer wages to the workers in exchange for the worker's labor power.
Employers include everything from individuals hiring a babysitter to governments and businesses which hire many thousands of employees. In most western societies governments are the largest single employers, but most of the work force is employed in small and medium businesses in the private sector.
Note that although employees may contribute to the evolution of an enterprise, the employer maintains autonomous control over the productive base of land and capital, and is the entity named in contracts. The employer typically also maintains ownership of intellectual property created by an employee within the scope of employment and as a function thereof. These are known as "works for hire".
Within large organizations the management of employees is often handled by Human Resources departments.

An employee contributes labor and expertise to an endeavour. Employees perform the discrete activity of economic production. Of the three factors of production, employees usually provide the labor.
Specifically, an employee is any person hired by an employer to do a specific "job". In most modern economies the term employee refers to a specific defined relationship between an individual and a corporation, which differs from those of customer, or client. Most individuals attain the status of employee after a thorough process of interviews with several departments within a company. If the individual is determined to be a satisfactory fit for the position, he is given an official offer of employment within that company for a defined starting salary and position. This individual then has all the rights and privileges of an employee, which may include medical benefits and vacation days. The relationship between a corporation and its employees is usually handled through the human resources department, which handles the incorporation of new hires, and the disbursement of any benefits which the employee may be entitled, or any grievances that employee may have. An offer of employment, however, does not guarantee employment for any length of time and each party may terminate the relationship at any time. This is referred to as at will employment. While the terms accountant, lawyer and photographer might refer to professions, they are not employee titles, which may include Senior Developer, Executive Assistant, or Regional Sales Manager and the like.
There are differing classifications of workers within a company. Some are full-time and permanent and receive a guaranteed salary, while others are hired for short term contracts or work as temps or consultants. These latter differ from permanent employees in that the company where they work is not their employer, but they may work through a temp-agency or consulting firm. In this respect, it is important to distinguish independent contractors from employees, since the two are treated differently both in law and in most taxation systems.
Some companies feel that a happier work force is a better one and thus offer extra benefits to improve team spirit and performance. However, other employers try to increase profits by giving low wages and few benefits. To resist this, employees can organize into labor unions (American English), or trade unions (British English), who represent most of the available work force and must therefore be listened to by the management. This can lead to considerable ill-will and sometimes even violence between the two sides, but it can also lead to a peaceful and prosperous society, especially in countries in which the government plays an active mediator role in collective bargaining. This has helped produce prosperous economies in many countries due to the employees' increased spending power. Collective bargaining has in addition proved to be a powerful conflict resolution tool that has also enabled social dialog.
Associate is a term used by some companies instead of employee.

An individual who entirely owns the business for which he labours is known as self-employed, although if a self-employed individual has only one client for whom he performs work, he may be considered an employee of that client for tax purposes. Self-employment often leads to incorporation. Incorporation offers certain protections of one's personal assets. Laws of incorporation vary from state to state with California having the most incorporated businesses of any state in the U.S.
Workers who are not paid wages, such as volunteers, are generally not considered as being employed.
Someone who works under obligation for the purpose of fulfilling a debt without pay is known as a slave and slaveowners are also not considered employers. Some historians suggest that slavery is older than employment, but both arrangements have existed for all recorded history.
Employment Research and Education
Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations
Labor and Worklife Program at Harvard Law School

For more information on Employment, please visit
Human Resources
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article is about human resources, as it applies to business, labor, and economies. For information about the French film Human Resources see Ressources humaines
Human resources has at least two meanings depending on context. The original usage derives from political economy and economics, where it was traditionally called labor, one of three factors of production. The more common usage within corporations and businesses refers to the individuals within the firm, and to the portion of the firm's organization that deals with hiring, firing, training, and other personnel issues. This article will address both definitions.

1 Human resources in political economy and social sciences
2 Human resource development in relation to recruitment and selection
3 Human resources within firms
4 Shared Services
5 Notes

Human resources in political economy and social sciences
Modern analysis emphasizes that human beings are not predictable commodity "resources" with definitions totally controlled by contract, but are creative and social beings that make contributions beyond "labor" to a society and to civilization. The broad term human capital has evolved to contain the complexity of this term, and in macro-economics the term "firm-specific human capital" has evolved to represent the original meaning of term "human resources".
Advocating the central role of "human resources" or human capital in enterprises and societies has been a traditional role of socialist parties, who claim that value is primarily created by their activity, and accordingly justify a larger claim of profits or relief from these enterprises or societies. Critics say this is just a bargaining tactic which grew out of various practices of medieval European guilds into the modern trade union and collective bargaining unit.
A contrary view, common to capitalist parties, is that it is the infrastructural capital and (what they call) intellectual capital owned and fused by "management" that provides most value in financial capital terms. This likewise justifies a bargaining position and a general view that "human resources" are interchangeable. The unicist approach defines the integration of humans and business as a sole unified field.
A significant sign of consensus on this latter point is the ISO 9000 series of standards which requires a "job description" of every participant in a productive enterprise. In general, heavily unionized nations such as France and Germany have adopted and encouraged such descriptions especially within trade unions. One view of this trend is that a strong social consensus on political economy and a good social welfare system facilitates labor mobility and tends to make the entire economy more productive, as labor can move from one enterprise to another with little controversy or difficulty in adapting.
An important controversy regarding labor mobility illustrates the broader philosophical issue with usage of the phrase "human resources": governments of developing nations often regard developed nations that encourage immigration or "guest workers" as appropriating human capital that is rightfully part of the developing nation and required to further its growth as a civilization. They argue that this appropriation is similar to colonial commodity fiat wherein a colonizing European power would define an arbitrary price for natural resources, extracting which diminished national natural capital.
The debate regarding "human resources" versus human capital thus in many ways echoes the debate regarding natural resources versus natural capital. Over time the United Nations have come to more generally support the developing nations' point of view, and have requested significant offsetting "foreign aid" contributions so that a developing nation losing human capital does not lose the capacity to continue to train new people in trades, professions, and the arts.
An extreme version of this view is that historical inequities such as African slavery must be compensated by current developed nations, which benefitted from stolen "human resources" as they were developing. This is an extremely controversial view, but it echoes the general theme of converting human capital to "human resources" and thus greatly diminishing its value to the host society, i.e. "Africa", as it is put to narrow imitative use as "labor" in the using society.
In the very narrow context of corporate "human resources", there is a contrasting pull to reflect and require workplace diversity that echoes the diversity of a global customer base. Foreign language and culture skills, ingenuity, humor, and careful listening, are examples of traits that such programs typically require. It would appear that these evidence a general shift to the human capital point of view, and an acknowledgement that human beings do contribute much more to a productive enterprise than "work": they bring their character, their ethics, their creativity, their social connections, and in some cases even their pets and children, and alter the character of a workplace. The term corporate culture is used to characterize such processes.
The traditional but extremely narrow context of hiring, firing, and job description is considered a 20th century anachronism. Most corporate organizations that compete in the modern global economy have adopted a view of human capital that mirrors the modern consensus as above. Some of these, in turn, deprecate the term "human resources" as useless.
As the term refers to predictable exploitations of human capital in one context or another, it can still be said to apply to manual labor, mass agriculture, low skill "McJobs" in service industries, military and other work that has clear job descriptions, and which generally do not encourage creative or social contributions.
In general the abstractions of macro-economics treat it this way - as it characterizes no mechanisms to represent choice or ingenuity. So one interpretation is that "firm-specific human capital" as defined in macro-economics is the modern and correct definition of "human resources" - and that this is inadequate to represent the contributions of "human resources" in any modern theory of political economy.

Human resource development in relation to recruitment and selection
In terms of recruitment and selection it is important to consider carrying out a through job analysis to determine the level of skills/technical abilities, flexibility of the employee required etc. At this point it is important to consider both the internal and external factors that can have an impact on the recruitment of employees. The external factors are those out-with the powers of the organisation and include issues such as current and future trends of the labour market i.e. skills, education level, government investment into industries etc. On the other hand internal influences are easier to control, predict and monitor, for example management styles or even the organisational culture.
In order to know the business environment in which any organisation operates, three major trends should be considered:
? Demographics – the characteristics of a population/workforce, for example age, gender or social class. This type of trend may have an effect in relation to pension offerings, insurance packages etc.
? Diversity – the variation within the population/workplace. Changes in society now mean that a larger proportion of organisations are made up of female employees in comparison to thirty years ago. Also over recent years organisations have become more culturally diverse and have increased the number of working patterns (part-time, casual, seasonal positions) to cope with the changes in both society and the global market. It is important to note here that an organisation must consider the ethic and legal implications of their decisions in relation to the HRM policies they enact to protect employees. Employers have to be acutely aware of the rise in discrimination, unfair dismissal and sexual/racial harassment cases in recent years and the detrimental effects this can have on the employees and the organisation. Anti-discrimination legislation over the past 30 years has provided a foundation for an increasing interest in diversity at work which is “about creating a working culture that seeks respects and values difference.”
? Skills and qualifications – as industries move from manual to a more managerial professions so does the need for more highly skilled graduates. If the market is ‘tight’ i.e. not enough staff for the jobs, employers will have to compete for employees by offering financial rewards, community investment etc.
In regards to how individuals respond to the changes in a labour market the following should be understood:
? Geographical spread – how far is the job from the individual? The distance to travel to work should be in line with the pay offered by the organisation and the transportation and infrastructure of the area will also be an influencing factor in deciding who will apply for a post.
? Occupational structure – the norms and values of the different careers within an organisation. Mahoney 1989 developed 3 different types of occupational structure namely craft (loyalty to the profession), organisation career (promotion through the firm) and unstructured (lower/unskilled workers who work when needed).
? Generational difference –different age categories of employees have certain characteristics, for example their behaviour and their expectations of the organisation.
Recruitment methods are wide and varied, it is important that the job is described correctly and any personal specifications stated. Job recruitment methods can be through job centres, employment agencies/consultants, headhunting, and local/national newspapers. It is important that the correct media is chosen to ensure an appropriate response to the advertised post.

Human resources within firms
Though human resources have been part of business and organizations since the first days of agriculture, the modern concept of human resources began in reaction to the efficiency focus of Taylorism in the early 1900s. By 1920, psychologists and employment experts in the United States started the human relations movement, which viewed workers in terms of their psychology and fit with companies, rather than as interchangeable parts. This movement grew throughout the middle of the 20th century, placing emphasis on how leadership, cohesion, and loyalty played important roles in organizational success. Although this view was increasingly challenged by more quantitatively rigorous and less "soft" management techniques in the 1960s and beyond, human resources had gained a permanent role within the firm.

Shared Services
There is currently a move towards converging and consolidating HR provisions into shared services within an organization. Rather than an organization having a number of separate HR departments performing the same tasks from different locations a more centralised version can be created.

SHRM refers to both the Society for Human Resource Management and "Strategic Human Resource Management."

For more information on Human Resources, please visit
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

This article or section does not cite its references or sources.
You can help Wikipedia by introducing appropriate citations.
This is the article about work professions. For religious professions, see Profession (religious).
A profession is an occupation that requires extensive training and the study and mastery of specialized knowledge, and usually has a professional association, ethical code and process of certification or licensing. Examples are accounting, law, medicine, finance, the military, the clergy and engineering.
Classically, there were only three professions: ministry, medicine, and law. These three professions each hold to a specific code of ethics, and members are almost universally required to swear some form of oath to uphold those ethics, therefore "professing" to a higher standard of accountability. Each of these professions also provides and requires extensive training in the meaning, value, and importance of its particular oath in the practice of that profession.
Sociologists have been known to define professionalism as self-defined power elitism or as organised exclusivity along guild lines, much in the sense that George Bernard Shaw characterised all professions as "conspiracies against the laity". Sociological definitions of professionalism involving checklists of perceived or claimed characteristics (altruism, self-governance, esoteric knowledge, special skills, ethical behavior, etc.) became less fashionable in the late 20th century.
A member of a profession is termed a professional. However, professional is also used for the acceptance of payment for an activity, in contrast to amateur. A professional sportsperson, for example, is one who receives payment for participating in sport, but sport is not generally considered a profession.

1 History
2 Common qualities of professions
3 How to find definitions of professionalism

Historically, the number of professions was limited: members of the clergy, medical doctors, and lawyers held the monopoly on professional status and on professional education, with military officers occasionally recognised as social equals. Self-governing bodies such as guilds or colleges, backed by state-granted charters guaranteeing monopolies, limited access to and behaviour within such professions.
With the rise of technology and occupational specialisation in the 19th century, other bodies began to claim "professional" status: engineers,educationalists and even nurses, until today almost any occupational group can -- at least unofficially -- aspire to professional rank and cachet, and popular recognition of this trend has made possible the widespread recognition of prostitution as "the oldest profession".
With the church having receded in its role in western society, the remaining classical professions (law and medicine) are both noted by many as requiring not just study to enter, but extensive study and accreditation above and beyond simply getting a university degree. Accordingly more recently-formalised disciplines, such as architecture, which now have equally-long periods of study associated with them, and which are becoming considered as their equal.

Common qualities of professions
In modern usage, professions tend to have certain qualities in common. A profession is always held by a person, and it is generally that person's way of generating income. Membership in the profession is usually restricted and regulated by a professional association. For example, lawyers regulate themselves through a bar association and restrict membership through licensing and accreditation of law schools. Hence, professions also typically have a great deal of autonomy, setting rules and enforcing discipline themselves. Professions are also generally exclusive, which means that laymen are either legally prohibited from or lack the wherewithal to practice the profession. For example, people are generally prohibited by law from practicing medicine without a license, and would likely be unable to practice well without the acquired skills of a physician. The term 'architect' is protected by law in many countries. Professions also require rigorous training and schooling beyond a basic college degree. Lastly, because entrance into professions is so competitive, their members typically have above average mental skills.
There is no standard definition of a modern professional, however. Beyond the classical examples (lawyers, doctors, etc.) there are many groups that claim status as a profession, and many who would dispute that status. For example, school teachers often refer to their occupation as a profession, even though it is not exclusive (people teach others outside of the traditional school environment), nor is entrance competitive, nor are they self-regulating (laypeople in state legislatures or on boards of education typically set the rules for and regulate teachers). The process when trade unions or other bodies try to elevate an occupation to the level of profession is called 'professionilization, and it's often an attempt to enhance one's position in the labour markets.
The existence of a traceable historical record of notable members of the profession can serve as an indicator of a profession. Often, these historic professionals have become well known to laypersons outside the field, for example, Clarence Darrow (law) or Edward Jenner (medicine). In modern times, however, there is no standard definition.
It has also been suggested that some professionals feel an obligation to society, beyond their client relationship. Doctors may not merely sell their service if a procedure is inappropriate, however much the client may want it undertaken, architects may refuse to work on a project that would be detrimental to its surroundings, lawyers may refuse to take cases which are merely exploitative. The obligation to educate the client is often seen as a key part of the definition.

How to find definitions of professionalism
Many organisations have codified their conduct, often designated “code of ethics”, and what they require for entry into their organisation and how to remain in good standing. Some of these codes are quite detailed and make strong emphasis on their particular area or expertise, for example, journalists emphasise the use of credible sources and protecting their identities, psychology emphasis privacy of the patient and communications with other psychologists, anthropologists emphasise rules on intrusions into a culture being studied
Most of the codes do show an overlap in such concepts as,’ do no harm’, ‘be honest’, ‘do not use your position for private gain,’ etc.
Another area of enquiry that will allow a student of this subject to define concepts of professionalism may be inferred from guarantees. But these are inferences only. The idea behind a guarantee is that the person offering the guarantee is accountable to the extent of damages that will be compensated.
One thing these sources hold in common, implicit or explicit, is the idea of accountability—those who are members of these organisations or professions are held accountable for what they do. Links to these sources are made in External Links.

For more information on Profession, please visit