Career & Success

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    How to avoid burnout when you follow your passion in your career choice

How to avoid burnout when you follow your passion in your career choice

Emma always loved animals. When she accepted a position in her local SPCA, she thought she had found her dream job. Instead, she found herself shocked by the lack of training and resources, and the sheer number of heartbreaking euthanasias. Seeing her coworkers as less dedicated than herself, she distanced herself from other staff and compulsively hoarded animals in […]

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    Don’t curse the inflow of emails: It can help you do your job better

Don’t curse the inflow of emails: It can help you do your job better

Do you find yourself becoming frustrated because you keep getting bombarded with email at work? Do you think that email is not really interruptive because it is you who decides when — and whether —to read and respond to your incoming emails? But do you also find that while this might be true in theory, you often can’t help […]

Would you choose to be happy?

This might initially sound like a silly question. I mean, who would choose not to be happy? Well, no one, if it was an easy choice between happiness and misery. But what if it was a harder choice between happiness and wealth? Or happiness and health? What then? The study reported in this blog post sought to find out.

We now […]

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    Rolf Dobelli: ‘People will say about you what they want. Treat it as white noise.’

Rolf Dobelli: ‘People will say about you what they want. Treat it as white noise.’

More than a principle or a rule, we need a whole mental toolkit to help us understand the world and live a better life. That’s a key idea behind Rolf Dobelli’s new book, in which he shares 52 practical insights, one chapter at a time. Rolf is a writer, novelist and entrepreneur. He has an MBA and a PhD in economic philosophy […]

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    Which subjects bring the best career outcomes for UK university students?

Which subjects bring the best career outcomes for UK university students?

One of the most important dilemmas young people face if they’ve chosen to pursue Higher Education is which subject to study. Should they study something they’re passionate about, or the subject with higher chance of good graduate employment and higher income?

For young people graduating into the aftermath of the recession and experiencing more precarious employment, lower income in real-terms […]

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    If work stresses you out, give yourself permission to take control

If work stresses you out, give yourself permission to take control

One of the greatest expenses for organisations is, of course, people. And one of the greatest people expenses is absenteeism. And, in my 30 years of consulting, I’ve found that one of the greatest causes of absenteeism is stress. And one of the greatest causes of stress is the incorrect belief that we don’t know what’s going to happen […]

Emancipating ourselves from emotional repression at work

Are your emotions always yours? If you think so, you’d better think again. In a recently published book, I argue that emotions are often used by organizations to manipulate and repress workers.

“So what?” you might wonder . . . Are organizations not supposed to explore ways to control the behaviour of their staff so that it supports the bottom […]

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    The effects of good looks on professional success: It’s complicated

The effects of good looks on professional success: It’s complicated

Beauty can be consoling, disturbing, sacred, and profane; it can be exhilarating, appealing, inspiring, and chilling. It can affect us in an unlimited variety of ways. Yet it is never viewed with indifference: beauty demands to be noticed; it speaks to us directly like the voice of an intimate friend. If there are people who are indifferent to beauty, […]

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    Endless online distraction is hurting leaders’ ability to make decisions

Endless online distraction is hurting leaders’ ability to make decisions

Complexity has become our enemy. Complexity coupled with the ridiculous levels of distraction that now exist make us exhausted and feel that we are not on top of our game. Often that is true: we make things too complicated and the vast amount of noise that surrounds us confuses things.

The onslaught of social media in its many forms means […]

Flourishing at work is all about relationships

StoryCorps 2009/2010, by Alejandro De La Cruz, under a CC-BY-NC-2.0 licence
Pressing deadlines, endless meetings, micro-managing bosses. . . workplace stressors often leave employees feeling mentally drained and physically exhausted. But can we go from languishing to flourishing at work? Our recently published paper says: Yes! The key is to form positive work relationships. Based on over 200 stories we collected from […]

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    Serving on corporate boards plays a vital role in the career success of executives

Serving on corporate boards plays a vital role in the career success of executives

Image by Unsplash, under a CC0 licence
When Warren Buffett retired from Coca-Cola’s board in 2006, he said he no longer had the time for all of the retreats, travel, reading, meeting prep time, and committee meetings that were necessary for the role. In addition to the time requirements, board service also comes with reputational risks. For example, the current board […]

Success isn’t just about salary and title

The way social mobility is currently understood is leading us down an economic and social cul-de-sac. New research released by Professor John Goldthorpe showed that social mobility in this country stalled in the latter part of the 20th century and earlier part of the 21st. This builds on work released this year by the Sutton Trust showing unequal access […]

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    A good professional reputation is in the eye of the beholder

A good professional reputation is in the eye of the beholder

Build a good reputation. This is an adage-like career advice in the business world. And, of course, being known for being good at something surely helps. Reputations will get your foot in the door in the uncertainty-laden fields of careers and businesses. When we make a judgment about someone, we are quick to look for what they have achieved […]

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    Helping colleagues brings many benefits, but it may carry a cost

Helping colleagues brings many benefits, but it may carry a cost

“Do unto others.” The Golden Rule. As children, society socializes into us the value of helping others. Indeed, from an evolutionary standpoint, such activities were necessary to ensure the survival of the tribe in a hostile world. As it pertains to the workplace, helping others is no less important.

Although few job descriptions would list “helping co-workers” as an explicit […]

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    In sports, as in business, limited attention affects risk-taking behaviour

In sports, as in business, limited attention affects risk-taking behaviour

People typically focus on the left-most digit of a number and pay only partial attention to other digits. This is why most prices in supermarkets are just below unit values (such as 99 cent or 3.99 pounds). In World Cup alpine ski events, this human tendency to pay only limited attention to certain digits makes athletes liable to take […]

How to de-clutter your career

Devotion to a cause is the cornerstone of a successful career. But if we’re going to keep that commitment burning, we need to have the conviction that with enough willpower, we can get better at what we do, and overcome the inevitable setbacks.

The American psychologist Carol Dweck (see video below) explained the difference between a growth mindset, that makes […]

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    People feel much better when they get right back at an abusive boss

People feel much better when they get right back at an abusive boss

Imagine that your boss is abusive toward you. He or she regularly yells at you, belittles you in front of your co-workers, or prevents you from forming productive relationships with others at work. Interacting with a hostile boss is likely to leave you feeling scarred and defeated. You may experience dissatisfaction with your life or job, symptoms of depression, […]

Adult education can substantially improve careers

Precarious employment is a core concern in modern societies and an increasing trend worldwide. It is increasing among all occupational levels, including the traditionally protected, skilled and often highly unionised workforces of large firms. Is this a path of no return? Previous analyses have focused on the social structure to answer this question, and researchers have been devoted to […]

Is flirtation an effective negotiation tactic?

When I teach negotiation skills, my students and I explore a variety of strategies for reaching agreement, but we almost never mention flirtation. This may be because there is very little research on flirtation as a negotiation tactic – but it may also be because, as we found in one of our surveys, negotiation students do not consider flirtation […]

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    Students’ university degree classification affect their pay later in life

Students’ university degree classification affect their pay later in life

Since the early 1960s, with developments in the field of human capital research, analysis of the returns to education has established robust evidence of a strong positive association between earnings and years of schooling or level of qualification attained. But there has been little analysis of how returns vary according to the level of academic performance – for example, […]