At age 39, Joe Francis should have been pleased. In fact, he has been proud of his rapid rise to…

At age 39, Joe Francis should have been pleased. In fact, he has been proud of his rapid rise to the position of vice-president of sales at Infotek (fictitious name), an established computer software development firm. Having started as a sales representative at InfoTech upon graduation from college, Joe’s sales performance at the district and regional levels was legendary. However, his promotion to the vice-presidency came as a surprise. He did not seek the position, always preferring sales to pencil-pushing and administration. But it was hard to turn down the promotion with its hefty salary increase and the other executive perks. Although he has not complained to anyone, Joe has had gnawing doubts about his work. For one thing, he has had strong reservations about the quality of Infotek’s products. He has found it increasingly difficult to get enthusiastic about software systems that fall short of personal and industry standards. Joe’s comments to the Research and Marketing Departments have fallen on deaf ears. In fact, he has offered suggestions in a number of areas that the company seems unwilling to consider seriously. In addition, his fears about getting drowned in paperwork and administration have been realized. Joe has been bored for quite a while. Moreover, although the travel was enjoyable initially, the seemingly constant business trips of the past few years have left him tired, irritable, and with little time for his family. Joe has had to suppress many of these feelings. After all, his salary and bonus reach well into six figures. His family has expensive consumption habits, two of his children are nearing college age, and his family wants a larger summer house at the lake. He doesn’t dare even discuss his feelings with his family, who have become pretty accustomed to “the good life.” Although he dreads going to work, Joe believes that he must do it for the sake of his family. He is unhappy much of the time but has been pleased with his status in the company. Anyway, Joe has found that the traveling isn’t so bad after four stiff drinks on the flight. For the sake of his wife and kids, Joe decided he would stay put for the next 15 or 20 years until early retirement. 1. What specific career exploration activities has Joe undertaken to gather information about himself (his values, needs, abilities, interests, and desired lifestyle) and his environment (different jobs, employers, industries, family and other nonwork domains)? What should he have done to acquire more information? 2. How much insight does Joe currently have about himself and his environment? 3. Is Joe successful in his career? Do you think if Joe conducted more extensive career exploration, it would lead to more positive career outcomes for him? 4. If Joe sought your help, what advice would you give to help him manage his career effectively? 5. If you had to make a prediction, where do you think Joe will be in his career five years into the future?

 

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