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Maritime Logistics Community News : December 2008
NAVY SUPPLY NEWSLETTER SPRING 2008 41 A day at dSCM Fleet Base East It is 0750 on a day like any other, or so your Local Career Manager (LCM) thinks. The smell of freshly brewed coffee and the sea breeze gently drifting through the open window of the top floor office of Building 32, Garden Island, Sydney helps hone the senses that are required to make the many major decisions that will shape a sailor’s career. Feels like the calm before the storm, then it happens, the peaceful silence is broken by an all too familiar sound, the simultaneous crescendo of Career Managers’ phones ringing off the hook! It’s show time, the day has begun and the brain is quickly engaged. Looking like a telemarketer your LCM puts on his telephone headset, looks at the clock and while thinking it’s a good sign that the calls have started late today, takes the first call. Questions, questions, questions all day, the Career Managers will, as usual, be kept on their toes today. Yes, it does sound a little dramatic, however with competing priorities, Fleet Activity Schedules, training requirements, career progressions and of course Navy workforce priorities, every phone call, question, signal, memo or email could potentially force your LCM to yet again amend the posting plot. So, invariably each new day represents a whole new set of challenges, the key is to always stay a couple of steps ahead of the game. Keep a few options up your sleeve! DSCM Fleet Base East has a highly motivated team therefore it is no wonder so many sailors take time out of their busy schedules to drop into their local shop front for a chat and to discuss important career options. “When do you think I’ll be promoted? Is there a chance it will be soon?”, “Is Cairns still an option?”, “What positions out of branch are available, NOW?” These are the sorts of the questions asked of the DSCM FBE Career Managers on a daily basis. Your Local Career Manager will gladly engage with Sailors and their divisional staff on all subjects relating to career management, they’re even more than happy to just shoot the breeze, allow Sailors to get a bit off their chest. Working in partnership with the Sailor to assist them to achieve their goals and eventually meet their career aspirations is the main goal of all LCMs. With a staff of twelve, DSCM FBE support all Commands within the Sydney area extending north to Newcastle and south to Wollongong. In all, the team manages careers for 3704 Sailors. Leading the team is WO Mark Donlan. As the inaugural Officer-in-Charge, WO Donlan, along with his staff, realise the great opportunity they have to establish and leave a long and lasting impression on the way Sailors’ Career Management is conducted at the local shop front level. Having made it through the selection process for the position, each LCM has a passion for their job and the role they play in Sailors’ careers. The end result is a dedicated and highly motivated Career Manager that greets a sailor when he attends a one-on-one interview. With the Navy’s strategic personnel management being taken care of by DSCM Canberra, it is up to the Local Career Management Centres to address local workforce structure requirements and assist Sailors in making smart career choices and planning their future. At DSCM FBE there are two LCM supporting the 800 plus Supply branch Sailors within the region. CPOSN Tim Brading is responsible for SN, Writer, Medical and Dental categories, and CPOCK Peter Leech looks after the Cook, Steward and Musician Categories. Upon taking up their positions early in 2007, they quickly realised that their BY CPoSN TIM BRAdING ANd CPoCK PETER LEECH CPOSN TIM BRADING AND CPOCK PETER LEECH roles would be challenging and at the same time rewarding. In a dynamic workforce that is the Navy, one of the biggest challenges facing your LCM is the short notice personnel movements from sea due to medical or administrative circumstances. Whilst short term solutions are actioned by the Fleet Human Resource Manager, any short term personnel movement almost always has an effect on well laid out long term plans. The net result is a dynamic posting plot that is continually changing and responding to work force requirements. The best laid plans on Monday may well be out the window with the sea breeze by Friday! Establishment of Local Career Management Centres was a result of a Sea Change Initiative, an initiative that has clearly proved to be very successful. Moving the local management of the workforce into the local area has not only given Sailors access to their Career Managers, but allows divisional staff and local commanders the ability to better manage their workforce at a local level. LCMs are committed to seeing every Sailor face-to-face at least once a year. This represents an important opportunity for Sailors to play an active role in their own career management and progression. Obviously we live and work in an ever changing environment, so LCMs are available to Sailors more frequently if required as an individual’s circumstances change. Your LCM uses a number of career management tools in planning and developing Sailors’ careers, including Employee Preference and Restrictions forms (EPAR – AD148) and Five Year Career Plans (FYCP), so it is important that these documents are kept up to date and accurately reflect each Sailor’s career aspirations. For a LCM, there is no task more difficult than planning a career and posting for a sailor who does not have a current EPAR and FYCP. So after a busy day of phone calls, interviews, posting plans, changed posting plans and more phone calls, broken up by two coffees and a 30 minute lunch break, the day is finally coming to an end. It has been another successful day with a number of positive win-win situations for Sailors and commands that started out looking difficult. Your LCMs look forward to seeing you in the near future, if not to plan out your careers, then perhaps to have a chat and say hello. Being a Local Career Manager is indeed a very rewarding job. If at any time in the future you have the opportunity to become a LCM, grab it with both hands. It is one of the most satisfying postings you may ever have. To know that on a daily basis you are really helping Sailors progress in their careers and achieve their goals, whilst supporting our Navy in achieving its operational requirements is indeed a privilege.