Archive for March, 2010
Two of the frequent aims of career coaching or counselling are to empower clients and to help them develop amibtious personal goals. Nothing could possibly be wrong with that, you might think.
However, according to studies performed by Mario Weick, from the University of Kent, and Ana Guinote, from University College London, people who experience feelings of power can seriously underestimate how long it will take to achieve their goals.
In a paper soon to be published in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Reeshad Dalal and Silvia Bonaccio tried to examine what decision makers want from people who give them advice.
See this post on the BPS Research Digest for a quick summary of the article.
The conclusion they came to was that people making decisions often prefer ‘the provision of information about alternatives’ to other types of advice or assistance.
I was recently in Bangalore undertaking a graduate employability research visit. The highlight of my trip was a meeting with colleagues from The Promise Foundation – a not-for-profit organisation involved in some ground breaking careers work in India. The ‘Promise’ team is made up of behavioural scientists who examine theory to develop careers interventions that are relevant to the Indian context. We spent time learning about the Jiva project and observed elements of the programme being applied in a local school.
I had a fascinating discussion with Sachin Kumar a fellow ‘Theories Geek’ and the Jiva Programme’s Project Manager about the concept of a career in the Indian context. I understood from Sachin that a major difference between the east and west in regards to career decision making is the notion of individualism and collectivism. In the west career planning focuses on the individual, his or her interests, skills and aptitudes; this coupled with the mobility across occupations gives the individual a sense of freedom with their career decision making. Where as in India, family and the wider society are very much intrinsic to the individuals career beliefs, aspirations and decisions. For example, divergence from family and parental directions could be taken as disobedience. A further layer of complexity within India was its caste system where the work one was expected to perform was based on the caste you were born into. Read the rest of this entry »
Have you ever been… in the zone … in the pipe … in the groove … with your head in the game … on the ball … lost in concentration … in hackmode?
Hearing about the ‘experiencing self’ from the post on Daniel Kahneman’s TED talk, made me think of the concept of Flow developed by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi (apparently pronounced Me-high-ee Cheek-sent-me-high-ee). When watching artists and composers as part of his research he would often see them so intent on their work that they were oblivious to the outside world. I can remember that feeling from times in the past when I did a lot of painting. Sometimes I would start soon after I woke up and when I finished it would be dark outside and I’d be stiff, starving and desperate for a pee. I hadn’t noticed anything apart from what I was creating. Read the rest of this entry »
I would love for all the people who visit this site to comment on the posts. However, I realise that it can be quite intimidating and time-consuming to commit your thoughts to writing, even though you really don’t have to dazzle anyone with your erudition.
Send me your requests
One way you can use comments is to tell me what you would like me to blog about. If there is a particular aspect of career theory (or anything to do with careers work) you would like me to turn my attention to, please let me know.
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There is another way that you can give me some feedback that requires nothing more than a click of the mouse. At the bottom of each post there is an opportunity to rate it. If you really enjoyed a post, let me know. If you thought it wasn’t up to my usual standards, take me to task.
I know from my stats that plenty of people are visiting this blog and I would like to hear from you in one way or another.
This fascinating 20 minute talk by Daniel Kahneman on happiness and the difference between the ‘experiencing self’ and the ‘remembering self’ has so many thought-provoking ideas in it, but I’m just going to focus on one. And I’m going to try to link having a camera inserted where the sun doesn’t shine to working with people who are changing career and a narrative approach.