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Career is a developing sequence of a person’s experiences in working environment. It does not need required a person to have a professional job, occupational stability or upward mobility to have a career. The desire of accumulated positive and psychological outcomes from work experiences shows a career success to a person. However, persons in nowadays like to keep changing their job. As we know in general, they keep changing their job to try for seeking a better job to them. The definition of a “better” job might be different belong with different persons. These “better” job may include a variety of factors such as nature of work, salary received, stress level, working conditions, relationship with colleagues, superiors and even working hours.
Career success is recognized into two categories, which are objective and subjective career success. The objective career success is defined as external component, which means that it can directly be observed, measured and verified by third party. On the other hand, the subjective career (internal component) is only experienced by the person engaged in his or her career. In another words, objective career can be defined through the salary received, promotions and the occupational status while the subjective career can be measured with the employees’ job, career, and life satisfaction level.
In this research, the career success among employees from the lowest level till top level in fast food restaurant will be studied. The employees’ perception on their career will be looking at and investigate the factors that affect them to decide for their success in career. Other than the employees, the employers are also be targeted to the purpose on this study. This research may lead more employers understand the perception of the employees toward their career path.
As an explanation further to the fast food restaurant, there are more than 1,000 fast food outlets throughout in Malaysia. The most of the fast food restaurants are dominated by the American fast food franchises. For instance, it included Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), McDonald’s, A&W, Burger King and etc. At present, Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) is the largest franchisor in fast food restaurant in Malaysia. They began with their first restaurant in Malaysia at Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, Kuala Lumpur in the year of 1973. There are currently over 600 Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurants in nationwide of Malaysia. The second larger fast food franchiser in Malaysia is McDonald’s. There are more than 260 restaurants in nationwide in Malaysia. They serves also over 13.5 million customers a month. It is not surprising that the fast food industry generates billion of Ringgit Malaysia in annual sales in Malaysia and it is a multimillion dollar industry in Malaysia. Besides that, McDonald’s employs more than 12,000 Malaysians in its restaurants across the nation and provides career, training and development opportunities to its employees.
Employees can advance to the position of shift leader, then going up to assistant manager and finally to manager. As an entry level employees who is performing well on the job, showing leadership qualities and initiative and having a commitment to their work will be promoted within the restaurants where they are working to. Most of the trainers or instructors crew and shift leaders are been paid in hourly. In the some chart, the position of assistant manager is also an hourly. However, both assistant managers and restaurant managers are monthly paid employees in the majority of restaurants. This is because there are different career positions in different brands of restaurant and even to the chain of restaurant. For example, the career path in Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) is found with the arrangement of Rider, Restaurant Crew, Assistant Restaurant Manager (Trainee), Assistant Restaurant Manager and Restaurant Manager.
Another example comes from our national fast food restaurant, MarryBrown. It shows that the career path started from team member, crew leader, supervisor, management trainee, assistant restaurant manager and restaurant manager. Thus, it is given a strong evidence to show that there is vary to every brand of fast food restaurants for their own management. The duties and responsibilities of employees in each level is clearly stated in company manuals. In the of crew trainer, their duties are to perform the same risk as crew members and also have the responsibility of give training to new hourly employees. In additionally, the employees who work at this level will be given an advance to build knowledge through attending on-the-job training of a shift leader’s job and do bits and pieces of this job. While to the shift leader, the employees will work in shift as the name suggests. Their major responsibility is to manage and plan the employees on a shift. Besides, they may also have to assume the responsibility for the restaurant when the assistant manager or manager is not in the restaurant. Additionally, the shift leader needs also to advise their managers of any problems regarding with personnel, products, supplies, equipment or customers on their shifts. They have also such task as opening or closing restaurants, making time schedule for every employee for duty, recording inventory and working at station. If there is a situation that the restaurant does not have crew trainers, then, the shift leader will often train the new employees. However, it spends time to promise shift leaders to learn how to handle the assistant manager position. In other words, it will take time to promote shift leader to the assistant manager level.
Fast food restaurants promote their employees more often in the stage of entry level. Therefore, the opportunity to advance is provided for the entry level employees who want to move up to a more responsible position. However, the time taken to advance from one to another level depends not only on the beginning employees’ ability but also on the need within the restaurant or chain for employees at each level. There are no obstruct and fast rules to be promoted in a fast food restaurant. It could take six months to one year for a crew member to become a trainer and from six months to two years or more to become a shift leader from crew member. It shows that the evaluation process is usually quite formal in the fast food restaurants.
On the duties and responsibilities of fast food workers, as it is advance within a restaurant, the employees’ responsibilities increase and their duties change based on their level. The employees is required to do at each level id often stated specifically in the company manuals. However, the duties and responsibilities of actual employees will vary not only between the chains but also within chains and even in individual restaurants. Virtually, the employees are usually receiving training that will help them advance to the next level as they are working at one level. Yet, the occupational mobility within this industry is extremely limited. As a comparison to other industries, the fast food industry has a lower percentage which is 2.2% of employees only on the managerial stage.
Nowadays, organizations that want to sustain their competitive advantage should be aware of the importance of “career” in their workforce. Traditional career types have disappearing and turning into protean career. Therefore, understanding and creating new approaches to achieve the perception career success among the employees is a vital mission for the organizations which want to survive and compete for a long time. The perception of the employees in fast food restaurant towards career success will be the main element to this study. Due to the rapid growth in fast food industry, understanding the factors that affect employees’ career success is important for organizations seeking to develop motivated and competent workforces. However, there are not much of researches has been done in the area of fast food restaurant industry. Besides that, there is also a recent issue found that the employees of one of the well-known fast food restaurants in United States demonstrated on street with the dissatisfied of having sexual harassment from their supervisors. It shows the employees’ right are not be taken important to the organization. Thus, this research will focus on the anticipant of perceived organizational support to study whether the employees’ welfare in fast food restaurants in Melaka are taken note from the organization.Moreover, there is a research gap in location study also on this topic.
Based on the researchers, Yao, Jeou Shyan, Shu Yun and Letitia stated that the limitation of researching is that their study in career success towards the food and beverage employees was only applicable to the area of Taiwan. Therefore, the results given cannot be apply to the other countries. They suggested also to the future researchers to extend the research to a cross-cultural study to compare Food and Beverages employees’ career success with other countries.
Furthermore, the researcher of “Career Commitment and Career Success: Mediating Role of Career Satisfaction” suggested future researchers need to re-look at the meaning of subjective career success and assess whether it is a construct or is a measure of career success. The advised also that the nature of subjective career success as well as the causal relationship between different objective and subjective career outcomes needs to be explored at greater depth. Based on the observations of researchers, they suggested the future studies can measure impact of the variables using a rival model. Apart from that, Osman M. Karatepe with the title of Perceived organizational support, career satisfaction and performance outcomes: A study of hotel employees in Cameroon also stated that testing the indirect influence of perceived organizational support on extra-role performance through career success in future studies would add to the current knowledge base in the hospitality management and marketing literature. The researcher also advised future research can state other dimensions to predict the career success. It would be useful for assessing the full mediating role of career success in the relationship between human resource practices and performance outcomes. According to the previous research, Seibert, Crant and Kraimer (1999) stated that proactive individuals will be more approached to their jobs and careers differently than the less proactive people. The behaviour of proactive involved creating changes, not merely anticipating it. To be proactive is to take the initiative in improving their working environment.
On the other hands, behaviour that is not proactive includes sitting back and letting others to try for making things happen. It affects directly to the organizational success and employees’ career success with the behaviour of proactive. This both researchers were shown the result that the proactive behaviour affect the career success among employees. Besides that, one of the researchers, Scott, Maria and Michael (2001) with the title of “What do proactive people do? A longitudinal model linking proactive personality and career success” recommended the future researchers to expand the proactive behaviour throughout other samples. This is because their sample was only focus on Caucasian.
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