|Question||John James had been an installer-repairer for the power company for almost six years. The work kept him outdoors most of the day, and he liked the job, the pay was good, and his coworkers were congenial. John had gone to work on this job right after high school graduation and had never considered doing anything else. Through the years, others in the same job occasionally had been promoted into supervisory positions, taken advantage of company-paid educational benefits, or received recognition for outstanding service to the company.
John was close friends with Ross Bartlett, his partner on the line. Ross, who had been in his job about two years, was a good worker. About six months ago, Ross began to express dissatisfaction with the routine, mo notonous work, saying there had to be some better way to make a living.
Last week, John learned the company would pay Ross’s way to take college courses in business administration. That same day, John really began to feel some concern about himself and his status with the power company. He began having restless, sleepless nights as he thought back over the past years: what he had done with his life, where he was now in his career, and where he was going. His thoughts became so muddled that he realized he was going to need some .
John had never set any personal goals for himself other than to live reasonably comfortably from day to day and month to month. He had come from a poor family and had received little encouragement or from his parents to develop ambitions when he was young. The one thing his mother and father had insisted on was that someone in the family was going to be a high school graduate; luckily, John was that person. He never had any desire to go to college because graduation from high school had proven to be extremely difficult for him. John could not think of spending four more years in school when he needed and wanted to be out making money for himself and the family.
Now, with people around him moving on in their careers and John’s career at a standstill, he felt he was at a dead end. He realized suddenly that he needed to do something, but he was not sure just what.
1. What advice might you give John?
2. Would a career plan a person like John?
3. Is John’s situation atypical of that of most employees?