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The Influence of Unpaid Leaves on the Career Planning of Electronic Engineers-An Empirical Study of T and M Companies
determinants of career planning
The information revolution of the twentieth century started a new chapter in the history of science and technology, and Taiwan has now gained global recognition. However, the 2008 financial crisis caused the decline of the high-tech industry. In order to reduce costs, enterprises implemented the system of “unpaid leaves.” This study focuses on the influence of unpaid leaves on the career planning of electronic engineers, with the engineers as objects of the research. The qualitative research case studies here comprised of eight participants chosen from two companies by gradual sampling, and each participant was interviewed. The main purpose of the study is to investigate the influence of unpaid leaves on the career planning of electronic engineers and to identify the determinants of their career planning. Finally, the researcher has proposed concluding remarks and suggestions for the staff, enterprise, and government. The following results were obtained by analyzing the data collected for the study: 1.In the self-assessment step, the participants generally felt that it was more difficult for them to find a new job during unpaid leaves; however, those with dual professions did not feel so. 2.In the environment check step, the participants considered homogeneous and heterogeneous industries as an option, and were inclined to start a small-scale enterprise. Heterogeneous industries refer to the participants’ secondary vocations, civil services, and part-time jobs. 3.In the goal revision step, some engineers failed to transfer because their unpaid leaves duration was too short, and there was little change in job responsibilities before and after the unpaid leaves. Therefore, the careers of these participants remained unchanged. Further, the desire to find a new job increased among half of the interviewed engineers. Moreover, owing to the unpaid leaves, some engineers lost their confidence in the high-tech industry, and therefore they focused on their entrepreneurial plans. 4.In the action planning step, nearly all the engineers gained new knowledge and skills to enhance their competence for their current or future positions. The remaining group planned to remain in the high tech industry in order to earn entrepreneurial capital. 5.Even after unpaid leaves, there exist many determinants of career planning for electronic engineers. Some personal factors include the duration of leave, financial stability, and also the engineer’s personality. The organization’s stability and its compensation plan also affect engineers’ career planning. The environmental factor implies that some engineers see unpaid leaves as a warning that the high tech industry is no longer lucrative, and thus their entrepreneurial inclinations rise. 6.The researchers suggest that employees on short-term unpaid leaves should consider self-improvements or enhance their social network by participating in volunteer work. Employees on long-term unpaid leaves should consider part-time jobs or start an enterprise. The organization should formulate clear unpaid leave plans to prove its stability. The government should also offer funds to those who aspire to start an enterprise in order to reduce the unemployment rate.
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