Career: “A pursuit of consecutive,
progressive achievement in public, professional or business life. A
profession for which one trains and which is undertaken as a permanent
Job: “A specific task or piece of
work to be accomplished for a set fee or compensation”.
Source: Webster’s New College
We often hear or use the term credit
professional but how many of the “credit professionals” among us look at
what they are doing as a career or a job? How many employers consider credit
positions to be careers rather than just a job?
Continuing education is no longer a
typing class one night a week at the local high school. It was written in
the early 1960’s that the store of human knowledge would double within our
lifetime. Today, it is doubling every two years. This is an overwhelming
achievement, no one person can know it all and many of us cannot access the
majority of knowledge available to us. However, all information is, for the
most part, potentially accessible and one must not only educate one-self on
the basics but also determine how, what, and why they want access.
Educational opportunities today are
immense. The Internet now provides all manner of study opportunities from
virtually every major university or college. Every type of degree offered
can be obtained on-line. The perspective surrounding education has changed.
Today, more than at any previous time, ignorance is merely ignorance; there
is no bliss to
Every individual has an inherent
responsibility to educate him or herself. Regardless of position or prior
achievements, ignorance is dangerous. Continuing education is a matter of
simple necessity because all of us are replaceable by someone who is better
informed, or perceived to be better able to perform our duties. The work
concept of our parents and grandparents of entering the workplace, doing a
good “job” and being rewarded for it, after twenty years, is as
practical today as typewriters.
Every employer, also, has a stake in
continuing education. As often as it has been said that expertise can always
be hired, today that is simply not true anymore. Our workforce is maturing
and there is not an adequate supply of young workers from the Baby Bust
generation to meet the needs of business to assume responsible roles.
Who in the organization knows what
needs to be done and how to best get it done? Warren Buffet, the second
richest man in the world, achieved his success and wealth by “never
investing in anything he did not understand”? Organizations cannot
continue to prosper with employees that “do not understand”. For
example; how many of us understand the difference between credit analysis
and risk analysis? How many of us understand the consequences of not
following the guidelines of Regulation B? How many of us understand the
usefulness of Adequate Assurance of Performance? And how many of our
subordinates understand the above and so much more?
Continuing education must be seen as a
mutual program between employee and employer. As the human resource capacity
of “Western” countries continues its downward spiral, the best interests
of an organization can be met by investing in existing staff.
Although there are many organizations
that have recognized this, the majority has yet too and these organizations
need to go beyond providing just the economic rewards (paycheck).
Organizations need to address more educational opportunities for their
employees and require accountability to advance their careers. One method to
meet this objective would be for the employer to provide time and study
environments during working hours. Many organizations, today, provide
recreational activities during working hours but how many provide time to
improve knowledge and work skills?
Think of the individual coping with
home, family and other outside pressures of life. Does attending class after
work and than studying close to or after midnight, two to three times each
week, really enhance the learning process? What about the growing majority
of single parents who do not have the outside time to devote to continuing
Alternatively, a study hall environment
for a four-hour period each week at the office can help to enhance learning,
and more importantly, it can enhance employee loyalty, allowing the
organization to retain better-educated employees with careers.
I wish you well.
information is provided as information only and not legal advice.
Legal advice should be obtained from a competent, licensed attorney,
in good standing with the state bar association.