Imagine a prevalent phenomenon in the workplace: A leader has several direct reports, but only one or some of them are included in his or her inner circle to enjoy more opportunities for learning and growth. You may wonder: What chemistry has this group of followers generated in the daily interaction with the leader so that they are “chosen” […]
As England basks in a glorious summer of cricket and presently, for those interested, look forward to the rugby world cup in Japan, it becomes clear how sport as a form of entertainment and a multi-billion dollar industry can capture public imagination. However, for every Ben Stokes, Lionel Messi or Lebron James there are thousands of elite athletes across […]
There is now ample evidence that socio-emotional skills are as important as basic cognition in driving individual success. Among these skills, grit clearly stands out. Grit is generally defined as perseverance in a productive task in the face of — often repeated and frustrating — setbacks. While it has been documented that grit predicts a large array of achievement […]
One of the motivations for writing my latest book was the reaction I got to the following story I told in my first book, Happiness by Design: “A few weeks ago, I went out for dinner with one of my best friends, whom I have known for a long time. She works for a prestigious media company and basically […]
To start a new venture, entrepreneurs need to recognise a profitable business opportunity, and to do this, they must have supportive and positive views about their professional past, present, and future (that is, a supportive and positive professional time perspective). Yet, they may have had negative professional experiences in the past and they may be having similar experiences in […]
“I’ve exceeded my performance targets year after year and finally found myself getting demoted without having asked to do a step back. It does make you wonder how this came about, all I know that it has nothing to do with my performance at work.”
Demotion, a downwards career move with a mainly negative connotation, is more common than […]
People are becoming more exposed to entrepreneurship careers through television and social media, and through the large rise in incubators and university entrepreneurship programs. As a potential career path, employees may want the flexibility and satisfaction of being their own boss and earning more through self-employment. But will they succeed on both these counts? When someone leaves traditional employment […]
Many of us are doing real work six or even five hours each day, while spending eight-plus hours “at work”, without realising the loss of time spent with family, on hobbies, exercise or energising side projects.
Instead of getting a full-day’s work accomplished, we’re losing productive time to interruptions from co-workers, needless meetings, and especially our perpetually pinging phones. The […]
The economics of attractiveness: teenagers with acne do better in school and later in the labour market
Acne has been the scourge of teenage boys and girls for as long as there have been teenagers. Indeed, acne is the eighth most common disease among humans, affecting nearly 650 million people worldwide. But might acne have a silver lining?
Economists are increasingly interested in the economic returns to physical attractiveness, an interest largely ignited by Hamermesh and Biddle […]
You have been in your current job for some time. You have learned a lot, acquiring valuable knowledge and skills as well as getting to know people in your workplace. You enjoy what you do. Now there is an opportunity to move to another job within the organisation. The job is quite different from what you have been doing, […]
Many CVs have employment gaps. When there are internal promotions or new jobs around, they can count against you. This is particularly unfair if they weren’t by choice. Though not quite sticking to the Queensberry Rules of employment legislation or natural justice, like it or not, CV gaps from taking time out to raise a family, go on maternity […]
As the idea of a ‘job for life’ fades into the past, individuals are left with the prospect of having to transition between roles and employers more frequently. Unfortunately, these transitions can be complex, stressful and traumatic. Whether these work transitions are upward, sideward, within the same organisation or not, they typically entail not only practical change (building new […]
The importance of perseverance is recognised by intellectuals, sportsmen, and business people alike:
“Great works are performed not by strength but by perseverance.” (Samuel Johnson, author, 1709-1784)
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. […] I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” (Michael Jordan, basketball player, *1963)
It starts early in life. Family members, teachers and friends enquire, ‘What do you want to do when you grow up?’ The question hounds us. Surely it should be a straightforward decision. Unfortunately, the abundance of career options available can encourage a prolonged state of analysis paralysis.
The New Year is the time when we tend to take stock of […]
While there are countless studies that focus on the working individual, there are fewer that look at retirees. Yet, the largest generational cohort in the U.S. is retiring in droves. According to the U.S. Social Security Administration, baby boomers are retiring from the workforce at a rate of 10,000 people per day! Thus, as people transition from being employees […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]