Get ‘Em While They’re Fresh: New Books for April 2016

Many DePaul students will soon be leaving the academic environment to begin their careers. This month’s blog post presents three examples of the wide-ranging books in our collection that provide work and career guidance and inspiration.

The Psychology of Becoming a Successful WorkerSuccessful careers are often equated with climbing the ladder, money, and material goods. This narrow, exclusionary view of work is upended by two Finnish professors in The Psychology of Becoming a Successful Worker: Research on the Changing Nature of Achievement at Work.  They embarked on their research to discover if everyone can achieve work-related success. Framing their research in positive psychology, Satu Uusiautti and Kaarina Määttä present a holistic view of success as a process, not an endgame. Through their investigation of Employee of the Year nominees across 20 industries in Finland, they determined that success “is achievable by anyone who discovers his or her strengths, finds the motivation to use them, applies positive strategies, but also realises [sic] the opportunities and limitations of the context” (p. 129). Available at the John T. Richardson Library, call number 158.7 U93p

HBR Guide to Office PoliticsOffice politics exist at all levels of organizations, from the boardroom to the mailroom, and can undermine productivity as well as careers.  Karen Dillon brings her expertise as the former editor of the Harvard Business Review  to her straightforward guidebook for navigating this thorny dynamic. She advises deflating the games by being “constructively political” (p. xii) which not only benefits individuals but also the enterprise. Instead of being wary of colleagues’ motives, examine your own reactions to workplace situations with an open mind; surprisingly, your assumptions about your colleagues may be off target.  Practice three maxims to remain free of the political brambles:  not everything is personal, conflict can be useful, and keep a cool head. Check out the HBR Guide to Office Politics to steer you down the path to work-related success. Available at the Loop Library, call number 650.13 D5793h 2015

Uusiautti and Määttä discuss the importance of exogenous factors to work-related success: relationships, family life, and outside interests such as hobbies. Being engaged with people and ideas outside of work not only enhances work life, but help sustain it.  In The David Suzuki Reader: A Lifetime of Ideas from a Leading Activist and Thinker, the author has gathered together a considerable collection of his essays about science, the environment, and his activism. Suzuki’s book also tells the story of how his interest in the natural world evolved from avocation to a passionate career as an environmental activist, and also about the family and friends who guided, supported, and loved him along his journey. Available electronically at call number 304.2 S9681d2014

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