Career & Success

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    A year in the life of MBA students – integrating achievement and self-discovery

A year in the life of MBA students – integrating achievement and self-discovery

Life invites us to wrestle with two existential questions: “Who am I?” and; “What do I do with my time here on earth?” Both have to do with our identity — how we make sense of ourselves and fit into the world around us. Individual identity is, ironically, a construct of our social systems.

We are products of the systems […]

September 21st, 2018|Career & Success|0 Comments|

Thirteen factors for a successful career

What determines career success? This question has occupied careers research, professional and career counselling, as well as individuals for decades. There is consensus amongst careers researchers that to develop oneself professionally, there is more needed than simply finding a job that matches one’s strengths and interests. The current world of work is increasingly characterised by individual, self-directed careers over […]

Is happiness a consequence or cause of career success?

Across the lifespan, society often pushes a subtle message with a basic formula: Work hard, become successful, then you’ll be happy. We hear it from our parents, teachers, employers, and even television ads. After a while, this way of thinking can become automatic. “When I graduate from college … When I land my dream job … When I make […]

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    The changing dynamic of career development in the age of portfolio careers

The changing dynamic of career development in the age of portfolio careers

The career landscape of the 21st century, characterised by work interruptions, opt-outs, and temporary contingent work assignments, requires that we think differently about linear careers. Until now, much of the career literature has been based on men in the twentieth century who had linear careers in a single corporation or industry. However, men and women in the 21st century […]

Whether you like it or not, office politics is unavoidable

We meet many people in organisations who have an ingrained aversion to organisational politics. They see politics as divisive, sinister and illegitimate. They say: ‘Without politics, this organisation would function smoothly’. They are wary of the competition for jobs, status and power which often leads to dishonesty and manipulation. They fear that political skill is incompatible with personal authenticity […]

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    Being the boss is not always good: power taints how we interact with others

Being the boss is not always good: power taints how we interact with others

Lord Acton’s quote that “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” probably conforms to most of our experiences with powerful people. People who feel powerful tend to be self-focused, less empathetic, a little more rude or pushy, and just generally difficult to deal with. While most people generally understand that power makes others more difficult to deal with, one […]

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    Political ideology influences how we do business and whom we want to work with

Political ideology influences how we do business and whom we want to work with

After the bruising and contentious 2016 US presidential election and the subsequent controversies of President Donald Trump’s first year in office, it’s not surprising that Americans’ evaluations of members of the opposite political party have reached an all-time low. According to data from the Pew Research Center, 45 per cent of Republicans and 41 per cent of Democrats think the other party […]

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    What power does to you – the psychological consequences of power

What power does to you – the psychological consequences of power

We often blame the behaviours of those who have power and abuse it on the individual and his or her personality. That is, we make what psychologists call a dispositional attribution. But there is more to individual and personality differences when it comes to understanding the behaviour of those in power. In fact, what is often occulted are the […]

We need to have a career plan B up our sleeves

Our societies, especially in developed countries, will soon have a majority of their adult population in the over 50 group. The UK will reach this point in the mid 2030s. This increasing healthy longevity means that at age 50 we likely have 25-30 years of health and energy to look forward to. At the same time, most of us […]

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    Digital hiring: what recruiters can see on your social media

Digital hiring: what recruiters can see on your social media

Twelve years since worldwide adoption, we now have an entire generation joining the workforce that do not remember a world before social media. Without professional experience or understanding of what companies expect to see (and not see), tomorrow’s workforce are faced with growing up and learning about the person they wish to become, publicly, traceably and ultimately, judged before […]

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    Nilofer Merchant: Ideas can now spread and scale through networks, rather than hierarchies

Nilofer Merchant: Ideas can now spread and scale through networks, rather than hierarchies

As a former executive at Apple and Autodesk, and consultant for a number of other Silicon Valley companies, Nilofer Merchant has a pretty good idea of how to move things forward in the business world. One key ingredient, if you ask her, is collaboration. How to get people to collaborate, and companies to value collective work more than hierarchy, […]

Is race a taboo topic in the workplace?

Helen feels uncomfortable chatting to Sasha, her work colleague, beyond exchanging pleasantries.  She is concerned that she might say the wrong thing and cause offence to Sasha, who is black, and so she avoids spending time with her even though she likes her. Sasha is aware that Helen is awkward around her, but she’s unsure why, and she also […]

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    The invisible entrepreneur: from unemployment to unstable self-employment

The invisible entrepreneur: from unemployment to unstable self-employment

Since the 2008 financial crisis, entrepreneurship has become the preferred public solution to combat unemployment. Public discourses in many EU countries, including the UK, portray entrepreneurship as socially desirable and feasible. However, this ‘solution’ makes the unemployed responsible for creating their own jobs by asking them to stoically transition between unemployment and self-employment with little or no institutional support.

Thus, the […]

When the only way is up: the pitfalls of upward mobility

For over two years, I have been working as an assistant professor at Delft University of Technology, making my way up the hierarchical, academic career ladder. I started as a PhD student at another university and, with every step up, from assistant professor to associate professor to full professor, I will get more money, more authority, more responsibility, and […]

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    Should you disclose an invisible disability in a job interview?

Should you disclose an invisible disability in a job interview?

Individuals with invisible disabilities face a dilemma when applying for work: Do I disclose my disability to the potential employer and, if so, how? This dilemma occurs because disabled applicants face potential biases that hinder perceptions of their employability: Although hiring managers might feel sorry for or pity these applicants they may not want to hire them because of […]

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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 […]