Talent Management: A Journey Down the Career Road in Jamaica

“It’s not an easy road”, sang Buju Banton in his 1995 hit of the same title. For small, developing countries like Jamaica, economically the road has never been easy. Since the global recession which started in 2008, the road has got even more difficult. No sector has been spared the ravages of the recession, including the three major sources of income for many Jamaicans: tourism, remittances and mining. Tourism arrivals may be up now, but reportedly overall earnings are down as prices are slashed to attract visitors. Remittances from overseas, a mainstay for many Jamaicans, fell drastically in 2009 and although they have started to rise, have still not reached pre-recession levels. The bauxite-alumina industry, formerly one of Jamaica’s main foreign exchange earners, suffered a near collapse and, while showing signs of improvement, has still not fully recovered

  The loss of jobs during this recession should certainly have dispelled totally any notion of a “job for life”, which may have been held by some who felt secure in their job once they performed satisfactorily. Changes in organizations and ways of doing business over the past three decades, attributable in part to the new information and communication technologies, are altering the concept of long-term employment in any one organization. In the environment of the changing workplace, management consultant, Peter Drucker, in his 1994 article, The Age of Social Transformation, emphasized the importance of formal education, the acquisition and application of theoretical and analytical knowledge, and especially “a habit of continuous learning.”

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