Career aspirations as stock broker

Chosen occupation/role

I would like to pursue a career as Stock Broker. A stock broker is commonly characterised as any competent and regulated professional who is involved in the buying and selling (trading) of shares or stocks. Also, a stock broker is an individual responsible for a business deal on a stock exchange. Usually, a negotiation is made between two authorised members of the exchange. For the purposes of convenience, an ordinary person is no longer needed to walk into the premises of any institution, for instance, the New York Stock Exchange, to enquire on the trade stock. This exchange is done through a broker. However, a stock broker is not just confined in such plain participation in a transaction as there are other stock broking opportunities such as execution-only, advisory dealing, and discretionary dealing, and other related services. Execution-only stock broker involves the implementation of the client’s instructions to buy or sell. A stock broker who focuses on advisory dealing informs and gives important information to the client on which shares to buy and sell, but leaves the task of final decision-making to the jurisdiction of the investor. Meanwhile, a stock broker who is in-charge with discretionary dealing determines the client’s investment intentions and serves as the mainly involved person in all transactions and decision-making functions done on the client’s behalf. In general, stock brokers provide relevant and useful information on trading stocks, for instance on the cases of which stocks or mutual funds to be bought.

In order for me to be a full-pledged stock broker, I must be involved in activities and related opportunities that will increase my competencies, particularly those that I need to be a successful stock broker. Of course, it is necessary to finish my studies first. I will begin by providing assistance to a certified stock broker. This is my short term aspiration. By being an associate, I will have direct exposure to the business transactions that my employer deals with. Gaining experience is my key motivation. My medium aspiration is to get promoted or trusted with bigger responsibilities. For example, my employer will ask me to do things that are similar to his/her functions, allow me to decide on important things, expect me to be reliant to classified tasks, and the likes. After staying on this position for a significant period of time, I will try to evaluate myself if I am already capable of entering my long term aspiration – that is – being a stock broker. I will immediately take up the needed examinations and eligibility requirements

Skills/competences required/demanded for the chosen occupation/role

The chosen occupation entails the management functions including planning, organizing, directing/leading, coordinating and controlling. These functions are goal-directed, interrelated, and interdependent with each other. These are also needed in dealing with all elements of business – people, jobs or positions, technology, facilities and equipment, materials and supplies, information, and financial resources.

Planning is very important. It is the most primary and basic process of formulating courses of action or organised behaviour ahead of particular time (Hitt, Ireland, and Hoskisson 2003; David 2002). It appears to be foundational aspect to effective career management (Blustein 1997; De Voe 1998; Kaye 1997; Moses 1995; Orpen 1994; Shahnasarian 1994). While it is true that many people do not always plan their actions, it is important for an aspiring stock broker – like me, to plan. Organisations pay particular importance to the planning ability of every employee. However, whether dealing with the context by which planning is occurring or whether on the individual or organisational level, the process takes place according to the prevailing attitudes, beliefs, and goals that are involved. On this case, the presence of definite course of actions and organised behaviour is important in stock broking. Brokers have deliberate goals that needed immediate response in the most time- and cost-effective ways possible. When a stock broker is affiliated to any stock broker firm, the firm’s objectives should reflect standards of success in financial and competitive performance, as well as acceptable levels of risk and rates of long-term growth (Roney 2004). The broker then is expected to present plans and interventions on the tasks and the resources to be utilised in achieving the predetermined goals. The lack of formal planning or poor planning process and ability can decrease individual as well as organisational performance (Baird et al. 1993). According to most authors (Roney 2004; Hitt, Ireland, and Hoskisson 2003; David 2002; Matthews and Scott 1995), managerial strategic planning minimises the potential negative consequences of lack of formal planning or poor planning (i.e. uncertainty). The success of several organisations and people rely on the outstanding ability to plan, evaluate and materialise arrangement in connection to the achievement of goals.

Organising is the ability of putting similar elements following one or more rules (Morgenstern 1998). Generally, it includes the specification and distribution of tasks to appropriate components (e.g. people, departments, etc). It is also the assignment of authority and allocation of resources. The practice of organising is crucial in developing inputs to planning, making planning decisions, and implementing strategy. To be effective, however, comprehensive management function in the business must be done in a continuous pattern (Hornsby and Kuratko 2005; Roney 2004). Yet, it is argued that the organising process that is to be conducted within the firm or among the individual is dependent on the plans that must be implemented. On the case of a stock broker, organising includes the development of coordinated efforts and interventions especially in the performance of prescribed duties and eventual achievement of deliberate goals set ahead of time. This is highly needed to cope up with the soaring demand of clients and the industry itself.

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Directing or leading involves the execution of planned and organised activities and interventions for the achievement of predetermined goals (Hitt, Ireland, and Hoskisson 2003; David 2002). The task of directing or leading is also connected to other organisational factors such as the clients, the firm’s budget and assets, and all other firm’s resources (Roney 2004). Furthermore, it is encouraged to adapt participative approaches to directing/leading in order to elicit useful characteristics and elements that are useful for the individual’s and firm’s success level. Also, the development and execution of appropriate leadership style is a vital determinant of effective directing or leading process. In the stock broking industry, it is still fundamental to study the practicable directing or leading applications to be implemented in accordance to the achievement of individual’s and organisation’s most important motives.

Coordinating is the regulation of all the various elements needed in the achievement of set goals. It is the integrating and establishing of linkages to diverse elements in order to accomplish harmonious operations and execution of plans (Hitt, Ireland, and Hoskisson 2003; David 2002). Coordinating includes the effective flow of communication. Communication is the link to successful execution of plans and achievement of objectives because it serves a number of fundamental functions (Brown 2001). Among these functions include the management of data and information, its flow, and so on. Surveys focusing on areas of improvement among corporations state that communication usually ranked as key element within the organization (Harris 1993). Eckhouse (1994) suggested that communication serves four major functions within a group or organization including control, motivation, emotional expression, and information. Communication is needed in a stock broker career because of the presence of constant meetings and appointments with different groups and types of people.

Controlling is the task of management in the course of providing positive controls on the efforts of various elements of the organisation such as people and financial resources (Witzel 2003). It has been demonstrated that the emphasis in successful management lies on the man, not on the work (Gilbreth 1914 cited in Witzel 2003). According to Gilbreth, the man’s mind is a controlling factor in efficiency, and has, by teaching, enabled the man to make the most of his powers. A stock broker must be able to control the future of every transaction so as to uphold the premeditated individual as well as organisational goals. Every action is planned, organised, directed, and coordinated towards a general consensus. The future of every business deal is reliant on the ability of the stock broker to minimise potential hazards and increase productivity. Thus, controlling and all the other management functions mentioned above are relatively important.

All in all, the management functions discussed above are perceived to be the most important skills/competences required/demanded for the chosen occupation/role. Aside from outstanding scholastic record and personal virtues, these skills/competencies must be cultivated and maintained throughout the period and position as stock broker.

Self Analysis

Strength

I recognised myself as someone who possesses the strength of the task of coordinating particularly on the case of communication. Petit, Goris and Vaught (1997) noted communication’s function is essential for cases like allowing employees to conduct meetings, make memos, provide feedback and share corporate-wide information. I believed that the previous exposures and experiences that I gained help me acquired this core competency. Good communication skill was gained from giving presentations at seminars, supplier and customer service transactions (e.g. issuing clear and concise instructions, advising and assisting customers, etc). I am also used at working on team projects particularly during my course. This involved different roles, which have developed my impeccable negotiation and persuasion skills. Considering the significant role of communication in stock broking, coordinating is among the basic ingredients of my professional success. I also believed to the spill over effects of effective coordinating function like the development of teamwork and successful working relationship. Teamwork is also attributed to the positive effects upon the psychological health and well-being of organisations member (Carter and West 1999). Through effective communication, people are motivated to work in unity and towards the achievement of individual and organisational goals alike.

Weakness

I tend to be autocratic. This kind of attitude reflects as my weakness in terms of directing or leading. I consider this as my leadership style. Leadership is an important aspect of management. As stated by a few authors (e.g. Cohen and Brand 1993; Hyde 1992), management requires leader’s full participation and involvement instead of designating individual groups who will shoulder all the responsibilities. Furthermore, this also helps in creating a sense of commitment and loyalty (Hill 1991). In the business point of view, good leadership proves to be quite beneficial as aids in effectively meeting job-related demands, creating higher-performing teams, fostering renewed loyalty and commitment, increasing motivational level, and reducing absenteeism and turnover of employees (Drucker 1995). I presumed that I am the opposite of a favoured leader. I am autocratic which means I tend to be overly manipulative and domineering. I was engaged in an argument in my previous job placement out of my domineering attitude. This attitude hinders the development of harmonious relationship or esprit de corps among colleagues and most importantly on the part of potential clients. I recognised the need to learn a leadership style that will be instrumental on the achievement of my intended career role as well as the development of other important values useful in my future as stock broker and person as whole.

Reflection On My Skills Development

While I recognise my limitation of being an autocratic leader, I learned to lessen my domineering attitude and improved my leadership style. I had a petty fight with a colleague in my previous employment. I was asked to lead a team of three (3) in assisting customers on the shop floor. It was during the Holidays where there are a lot of people in the mall. I delegated their specific functions. I asked the one to guide the customers in the places they need to go and the other one on showing some sample of our products being offered. I do the talking all throughout the period. The one whom I instructed to serve as the guide do not know what are the areas to be visited. I scolded him without asking why. We had an exchange of words. After that, I was informed that he was just a new employee and do not actually have sufficient idea to serve as guide provided that it is not a part of his job description. On this incident, I realised that I am wrong. Due to my domineering attitude, I did not ask the side or explanation of the new employee. I immediately scolded him and when he answered back, trying to explain his side, I butted in and prevented him from speaking. From that incident, I considered having a reality check on my leadership skills – from autocratic to democratic or being friendlier. I gradually changed from domineering to accommodating leader. By doing so, I am able to listen on other people’s voices and study the situation before giving my personal judgments. I should have been more lenient to the new employee. With this experience, I learned that autocratic attitude is not actually relevant particularly in working with teams because it hinders the development of teamwork among team mates. Thus, I needed to reconsider other leadership style as option. Now, I am on the process of becoming an advocate of democratic or participative leadership. This is an important event particularly on my future profession because it allows me to think before acting every situation that I am into. Also, the shift from autocratic to democratic or participative leadership will eventually add up to my effectiveness in dealing with different people in the business as it allows me to listen and recognise the importance of every person I deal with.

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Also, I also increased my ability to communicate to people in all walks of life. My previous work experience as Sales Advisor/Supervisor entails daily interaction on people. My work includes advising them on mobile phone contracts, meeting and greeting them, assisting them on the shop floor, convincing them to buy our products, and at time supervising employees and assisting management. These responsibilities enhanced my interpersonal communication skills. Of course, it is expected that a person will get used to the things he/she does regularly. On my part, I am not just used to it; instead I am becoming a better communicator. I believed this is important to my future career as stock broker because these daily work experiences armed me with the needed confidence and competence in dealing with people particularly on oral communication. Being a good communicator is a plus factor on clients because it portrays an idea of quality job performance. This enhanced skill will be used in persuasion and closing deals to potential clients.

The importance of achieving balance between work and other life roles has also become an emerging topic in the career management literature (DeVoe 1998; Moses 1995, 1999; Shahnasarian1994). This aids the people to focus on the achievement of the goals imposed by the organisation and by his/her self. I developed a strong conviction on the protection of my body. Most likely, I can say that I am a workaholic person. I do not know how to balance my personal life and personal life especially my work. I am always on the go. Sometimes, I skip my meals and do not exercise. This lifestyle that I have is a contributory element to my overall outlook in life. The incident that happened in my previous employment was triggered by my bodily mechanism. That day, I was in a hurry and forgot to eat my meal. I only had coffee as breakfast. I felt irritable maybe because of the fact that I did not actually eat my meal. With this incident and other body signals that I felt, I decided to take care of my body. I went to a gym and registered as member. In this gym, I had regular exercise routine and recommended diet. The development of a strong conviction to the protection of my body illuminates my future ability to effectively balance personal life and work. If I will not take care of my body and maintain a balance on work and life, I will not be very much contented. I might have all the wealth and success in the world but my body suffers, it is useless. This new knowledge will be useful in my future career as a stock broker because it will reflect on my expected performance in the job. If I am healthy, I will be able to meet the demands of the work as well as my clients. I will deliver their needs properly and satisfactory. This will also have an effect on my ability to establish and maintain outstanding business relationships between me and my clients.

Career Management Action Plan

The following are the three (3) SMART and main objectives related to my career development over the next twelve (12) months.

Objective 1

  • To be able to pass my current education that will serve as my primary foundation in learning the theories and concept of finance and economics.
  • Specific Actions Associated With the Achievement of the Above Objective
  • Spend more time on academically related activities such as additional readings, researching, and others.
  • Engage and join in group studies and discussions about world economy, finance, marketing or management and business issues.
  • Maintain good study habits and predetermined courses of action.
  • Seek professional opinions on things that I needed to know more.
  • Explore other opportunities for outside learning and study regularly.
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Time Frame for Achievement of the Above Objective

For the period of the next twelve (12) months, the time frame of all the activities is singularly divided into increased efforts of studying. Aside from the regular class sessions, there will be 1-2 hours of extra research and doing of assignments. On free days or schedules, I will be seeking for potential venue for related learning. I intend to sacrifice few hours for other educational purposes.

Objective 2

  • To be able to seek for other opportunities for applied learning or part time employment on vacations (e.g. spring or Semester Break, etc.) that will serve as avenue for the execution of the theories and concepts that I learned at the university.
  • Specific Actions Associated With the Achievement of the Above Objective
  • Look for internships or residencies and potential job postings that is suitable on my academic qualifications.
  • Ask relevant sources, read newspapers or classified ads.
  • Evaluate the possibility of applied learning.

Time Frame for Achievement of the Above Objective

Approximately two (2) weeks before the scheduled university vacation, I will look for firms or organisations that need interns or part time workers. Upon waiting for results, I will have to plan for my future courses of action. I will also engage myself to other things that make me more productive. I will take each day one at a time.

Objective 3

  • To be able to establish linkage or connections to people who will be instrumental to my future professional career. Networking is an effective strategy used more consistently by individuals who actively engaged in either job search (as promoted in such programs as job clubs) or in building their careers in the organisation where they belong.
  • Specific Actions Associated With the Achievement of the Above Objective
  • Attend legitimate events such as forums and discussions involving credible speakers talking about my field of interest.
  • Begin establishing social relationship with professors, experts, and good students.
  • Create an updated business card.
  • Socialise and be friendly.

Time Frame for Achievement of the Above Objective

Every day is an opportunity to learn, to meet other people, and to improve myself. Every week, I will see to it that I am well informed on the upcoming activities of my university as well as the community I belong. Each month, I will try to make a record of the activities that I had attended and the people I met. I will reconnect with them and try to spend some amount of time for socialisation.

Reference:

  • Baird, I. S., Kuratko, D. F., Lules, M. A. & Orris, B. B. (1993) “Formalized Planning in Small Business: Increasing Strategic Choices”, Journal of Small Business Management, vol. 31, no. 2, pp. 38-50.
  • Blustein, D. L. (1997) “A context-rich perspective of career exploration across the life roles”, Career Development Quarterly, no. 45, pp. 260-274.
  • Brown, A. D. (2001) “Organization studies and identity: Towards a research agenda”, Human Relations, vol. 54, no. 1, pp. 113-121.
  • Cohen, S. & Brand, R. (1993) “Total Quality Management in Government,” San Francisco, CA, Jossey-Bass, Inc.
  • David, F. R. (2003) “Strategic management: Concepts and cases”, New Jersey, Pearson Education Inc.
  • DeVoe, D. (1998) “Plans are key to success”, Infoworld, vol. 20, no. 31, pp. 75-76.
  • Drucker, P. F. (1995) “The practice of managemen”t, United Kingdom, Heinmann.
  • Eckhouse, B. (1994) “Competitive Communication”, Boston, McGraw-Hill, pp. 53.
  • Gilbreth, L. (1914) “The Psychology of Management”, Sturgis & Walton, New York. In Witzel, M. (2003) Fifty Key Figures in Management, New York, Routledge.
  • Harris, T. E. (1993) “Applied Organizational Communication: Perspectives, Principles, and Pragmatics”, Hillsdale, NJ, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  • Hill, S. (1991) “Why Quality Circles failed but Total Quality management might succeed”, British Journal of Industrial Relations, vol. 29, no. 4, pp. 541-568.
  • Hitt, M. A., Ireland, R. D., & Hoskisson, R. E. (2003) “Strategic Management: Competitiveness and Globalization”, 5th ed., Singapore, South-Western.
  • Hornsby, J. & Kuratko, D. (2005) “Frontline PR: a Handbook for the Emerging Manager”, Crawfordsville, IN, Thompson.
  • Hyde, A. (1992) “The Proverbs of Total Quality Management: Recharting the Path to Quality Improvement in the Public Sector”, Public Productivity and Management Review, vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 25-37.
  • Kaye, B. L. (1997) “Up is not the only way: A guide to developing work – force Talent,” 2nd ed., Palo Alto, CA, Davies-Black Publishing.
  • Matthews, C. H. & Scott, S. G. (1995) “Uncertainty and Planning in Small and Entrepreneurial Firms: An Empirical Assessment”, Journal of Small Business Management, vol. 33, no. 4, pp. 34-56.
  • Morgenstern, J. (1998) “Organizing from the Inside Out”, New York, Owl Books.
  • Moses, B. (1999) “The good news about careers: How you’ll be working in the next decade”, Toronto, ON, Stoddart.
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  • Orpen, C. (1994) “The effects of organizational and individual career management on career success”, International Journal of Manpower, vol. 15, pp. 27-37.
  • Pettit, J. D., Goris, J. R., & Vaught, B. C. (1997) “An examination of organizational communication as a moderator of the relationship between job performance and job satisfaction”, The Journal of Business Communication, vol. 34, pp. 81-98.
  • Roney, C. W. (2004) “Strategic Management Methodology: Generally Accepted Principles for Practitioners”, Westport, CT, Praeger.
  • Shahnasarian, M. (1994) “Decision time: A guide to career enhancement”, Odessa, FL, Psychological Assessment Resources.
  • Witzel, M. (2003) “Fifty Key Figures in Management”, New York, Routledge.
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