The relationship between career anchors and job satisfaction amongst employees within a leading retail organisation in the Western Cape
In the current recessionary cycle in which individuals finds themselves, it is interesting to see whether organisations and individuals have changed their strategies or whether they pursued their tried and tested inherent mechanisms of recruitment/work selection. In recessionary times, organisations would usually have a bigger pool to select from whilst employees, in turn, would try to position themselves in a stable work environment. From an organisational perspective, organisations have also undergone major transitions such as downsizing, merges and acquisitions, right sizing, restructuring, and reengineering. These changes have a direct impact on employees' level of motivation and job satisfaction (Ellison & Schreuder, 2000). The concept of a traditional career that an employee occupies for a lifetime performing one type of work in an organisation no longer exists. Instead, employees now work for more than one organisation in their lifetime. These changes entail that employees need to be flexible and adaptive in making career decisions (Schreuder & Coetzee, 2006). Career anchorscan be operationalized as a representation of self- perceived talents, motives, values and abilities that guide employees to make career decisions. Schreuder and Coetzee (2006), are of the opinion that if employees are not familiar with their career anchors, they could find themselves trapped in work environments that are not satisfactory and would continually be questioning themselves. Suutari and Taka (2004) emphasize the fact that there needs to be a fit between the careers of employees and the work environment. If there is no fit between the career anchors of employees and the work environment then employees are likely to become dissatisfied which may result in a high turnover of staff with a corresponding low productivity rate. This study investigates and explores the phenomenon of career anchors based on Schein's 1978 career anchor theory and how these career anchors affect employees level of job satisfaction. The Career Anchor Inventory and the Job Descriptive Index were administered to a sample of 154 employees at a leading retail organisation who completed the questionnaires. The results of this research study indicate that there are significant relationships between biographical factors and career anchors as well as between biographical factors and job satisfaction and similarly between typology of career anchors and dimensions of job satisfaction.