Posts Tagged gladwell

Lucky shot

Lucky four-leafed clover

How lucky is that?

On my recent trip to New York  I visited a number of interesting places that made me think about how people deal with change. (I know! Even on holiday I’m generating material for blog posts! How sad!).

I also read a book that made me think about luck. This blog post is an attempt to put all that thinking into one place in preparation for a possible training session on navigating change.
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Why am I here? (Part One)

Recently, I have been asking myself what is my purpose as a careers adviser. I’ve been examining a few assumptions about what my role is and should be. This questioning has been prompted by various things, amongst which are: a reminder of something I had forgotten, a self-imposed target, a good read and a constrained conversation. I would like to describe those things in this post and then talk about my thoughts in relation to them in the next post.

The reminder came in the form of a blog post by Tristram Hooley on The Politics of Guidance in which he describes Tony Watts’ typology of guidance ideologies. Check it out and then come back.

When I saw the post, I remembered reading about Watts’ framework when I was slogging through the theories module of my guidance qualification. At the time, I was struggling to get to grips with working with clients. I didn’t pay much attention to this bit of thinking because I couldn’t see how it would help me in my immediate day-to-day work.

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Outliers

Vancouver Canucks v Anaheim Ducks

Was he born in January?

I have just enjoyed reading Malcolm Gladwell’s new book Outliers. It is a book about success — extraordinary success — and what is behind it. As with Gladwell’s other books, Outliers contains a treasure trove of surprising facts that make you stop in your tracks. Why are most successful ice hockey players in Canada born in January, February or March? Why did many of the most successful corporate lawyers in New York have almost identical biographies? Why were commercial planes flown by Korean pilots more likely to have accidents than those flown by Americans?

Gladwell takes on the pervasive myth that extraordinary success is purely the result of extraordinary talent in individuals. He examines the social, cultural, racial and systemic factors that hide behind the success stories.
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Choice cuts

Radiolab is a programme on WNYC New York Public Radio. It seeks to cover mainly scientific and philosophical topics in an entertaining and thought provoking style. Whether you like the style or not, the content is usually fascinating, and it is well worth signing up to the two-weekly podcasts.

A fairly recent show was on the subject of Choice, looking at different aspects and quirks of human decision making. Examining how people make (or fail to make) good decisions should be of interest to every career practitioner.

The news that the vast number of choices available to relatively advantaged students in the modern world is likely to lead to paralysis, indecision and stress is not necessarily news to any careers adviser. However, the ‘poster test’ effect described by Malcom Gladwell which seems to demonstrate that making people explain their choices can lead them to making bad decisions should raise a few eyebrows and make us think about our practice.

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