Career Management: Why I Chose my Career. Why Did You Choose Yours?

I posted an article on Friday which I intend to conclude with this post. To enjoy today’s article, kindly follow this link to access the previous one:

Myles Munroe once said and I quote “when the purpose of a thing is unknown, abuse is inevitable“. I began this post last week Friday with the intention to help some people establish the purpose of their career. This is because times will come in our career where there would be reasons to give up on our career but only when there is a strong cause would we stand in the face of these challenges.

For instance, I have been tempted by the kind of offers my ex-university colleagues get in the Oil & Gas sector as Engineers but I am able to keep my eyes focused only because of the reason I chose my current career.

So, here is my reason for choosing HR…

In my previous post, I mentioned that I took a course in my final year which marked the turning point in my life because it influenced my career choice. The course, “Loss Prevention in the Chemical Industry”, revealed what can possibly go wrong in a process industry and what impact such wrong can have on the society in terms of the people and the environment in which they live. Two case studies which we treated that marked my mind are the Bhopal Gas Leak Tragedy and the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant Explosion which took place in December 1984 and April 1986 respectively.

These 2 incidents were noted as the world’s worst industrial disaster and nuclear power plant accident in history in terms of cost and resulting deaths. Although the specific cause or factors contributing the explosions could not be fully established, a couple of analysis revealed that human factors were included in these 2 incidents.

Some of the human factors include: lack of skilled operators (which can be due to poor recruitment or lack of /non-effective training programs, ineffective employee engagement and welfare management. It was recorded of Bhopal that there was a cost-cutting/saving culture which affected the factory’s employees and their conditions. According to Wikipedia, “cuts … meant less stringent quality control and thus looser safety rules. A pipe leaked? Don’t replace it; employees said they were told … workers needed more training? They could do with less. Promotions were halted, seriously affecting employee morale and driving some of the most skilled … elsewhere”. Workers were forced to use English manuals, even though only a few had a grasp of the language! Subsequent research highlights a reduction in staff strength. In addition, some observers, pointed to “serious communication problems and management gaps and “cross-cultural barriers” as part of the problems.

There are arguments which refute these claims and report that the Bhopal explosion was due to sabotage by one or more disgruntled employee. Whatever the case may be, there was a significant contributing factor to this explosion by humans. This, to me, is a reflection of poor human resources management!

At this point, I saw light! I saw that beyond process engineering, PEOPLE ENGINEERING which I fondly call HR is highly critical to any organization. The impact of a poor human resources management can be as far-reaching as that of Bhopal or the Chernobyl’s.

Chernobyl is a town in Ukraine (former Soviet Union) which is not marked-off as uninhabitable as a result of the explosion which took place 28 years ago! One of the causes of the nuclear plant explosion was poor equipment designs! These designs were done by humans! How bad can lack of adequate skills get when hundreds of thousands were claimed by these 2 incidents.

For Bhopal, in 2007, 1,029,517 cases were registered and decided. Number of awarded cases was 574,304 and number of rejected cases 455,213. Total compensation awarded was US$260 million! As a result of the Chernobyl explosion, asides the deaths, genetic mutations, cancers and injuries recorded, the entire region has been marked out by Ukrainian officials, who estimated that the area will not be safe for human life again for another 20,000 years!

After this course, I walked up to my lecturer to ask him when Human Engineering would be introduced to our curriculum! At this time, I did not know about HR but a passion woke up in me and in it lies my career objectives:

To help organizations realize the value of their human resources or capital, help them harness, manage and maximise this value in order to realize its corporate strategy. I also intend to assist in positioning employees through effective human resources management practices (such as employee engagement, training, recruitment, performance management etc) in a manner that would enable them align their personal objectives with that of the organization and eventually achieve the company’s overall strategy and personal satisfaction.

These are my career objectives. What is yours?

A lot of folks copy this section of their resumes from friends without giving thought to what they really intend to achieve with their career. Today, take a moment to think through yours, get a compelling reason for your chosen field because not until then, you may not really be able to add real value to your organization.

Thank you!

(Please note that stories about the Bhopal Tragedy & Chernobyl explosion were taken from and )

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