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Judith Malveaux COMM 635 Reflection Paper

Judith Malveaux COMM 635 Reflection Paper

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Published by: Judith Malveaux on Oct 02, 2012
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11/30/2012

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Running head: COMM 635 REFLECTION PAPER
COMM 635 Reflection PaperJudith MalveauxQueens University of Charlotte
 
Running head: COMM 635 REFLECTION PAPER
For most of the 20
th
century, the social construction of work remained easy to define. Aperson got a job with an organization and stayed there
 – 
forever. The socially constructed
“company man” got a
 job with an organization, went to that place to work and, at the end of theday, returned home to his family and personal life. Though the company man evolved from awhite male to a more representative sampling of the globe, the idea of a people
“marrying” an
organization and defining themselves by the job done and the responsibilities and roles withinthe organization was understood. In short: Identity was closely aligned with corporate titles.This is no longer the case. As Safian points out
, “
the rapid changes in our economy,culture and technology make forecasting changes difficult (Safian, 2012). Long-term jobcommitments were once stalwart, but the aforementioned changes have now guaranteed there isno guarantee that your job today will exist tomorrow or the skills you have today will benecessary next week. This has redefined what work is and how it is done. This new socialconstruction of employment includes the technology that blurs the lines between personal andprofessional time. Answering emails or texts at home are not only commonplace but expected
from today‟s workers. This new definition of employment
includes people defining their ownroles and hopping from organization to organization, freelancing their talents without long-termcommitment to an organization. This reality became prevalent with downsizing and job cutsbrought on by the economic uncertainty of the recent recession. Organizations look for ways todo more with less and innovate while keeping the bottom line firm. Employees look for outlooksfor their creativity and, understanding how long-term employment may be more of a 20
th
 Century practice that no longer meets their needs, seek out ways to craft their professionalidentity outside of one employer. The new job landscape is enabling this type of journey andaspiration. This is because economic uncertainty, constant technological innovation and the
 
Running head: COMM 635 REFLECTION PAPER
ability to communicate whenever and wherever blurring the lines of professional and private life.The merging of personal and professional life can be a considered a drawback in the newemployment reality. In
 Eslewhere U.S.A.
, author Dalton Conley says
“Leisure is work and work is leisure.”
Work is all-consuming. It can be even more so when someone seeks to redefine theiridentity outside of a company or job title. Social media, texting, emails and other technologyportals keep workers constantly on their toes, awaiting the next idea, order or discussion.
While this can be unsettling, it‟s also an opportunity for those with innovative i
deas toseek out their niche and create their own brand outside of the confines of a single company or jobdescription. The innovators can market themselves and their talents and not have to work withina specific brand and its guidelines and confines. Conley states
, “You never know from where the
next big project
 – 
that great idea
 – 
 
is going to come from in today‟s „knowledge economy.‟”
 Many of the top-level executives would shop their talents and creativity, demanding heftysalaries to accompany their knowledge and experience. As Conley points out, this previouslypushed those not in top positions to work harder to attain success. Nowadays, however,professionals of every level look to create such a reality for themselves through developing theirown expertise and using the existing mobile technologies to market themselves. Since much of what professionals produce today is not tangible products, technology allows constant change.
If the “company man” image of old represented a decades
-long marriage of an employee
with an organization, then today‟s employment reality can be
st be described with a Facebook 
relationship status: It‟s complicated. An individual, with an individual brand and skills, no longer 
feels the need to commit to only one organization or skill set. She can shop for the organizationwith the most inviting brand to suit what she most wants to do. Such a reality includes the

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