Morning Knowledge /1. Career
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Morning Knowledge /1. Career

IN THE FIRST INSTALLMENT OF THE SERIES ON KEYWORDS FROM SCIENCES TAUGHT AT BOCCONI, SILVIA BAGDADLI EXPLAINS HOW INDIVIDUALS CAN STILL BE THE MAKERS OF THEIR OWN SUCCESS


Careers used to be interpreted as a race to the top, with salaries and hierarchical levels as the only measures of success. Now we know that that careers are a multifaceted and culture-dependent construct, with subjective considerations as important as objective ones. Nonetheless, individual behavior remains an important determinant of success across many cultures, according to a new paper that examines the relation between proactive career behaviors, perceived financial success and work-life balance.
 
The paper, co-authored by Bocconi’s Silvia Bagdadli with 11 other scholars of the Cross-Cultural Collaboration on Contemporary Careers (5C) research collaborative (https://5c.careers), finds that proactive career behaviors have a positive effect on subjective financial success. Effective behaviors include:
 
  • career planning,
  • skill development,
  • consultation with senior colleagues.
 
Furthermore, the effect of the same behavior varies, to some extent, according to the features of national cultures. Proactivity and financial success have stronger ties:
 
  • in cultures with high in-group collectivism,
  • in hierarchical cultures,
  • in cultures with a high regard of risk taking.
  
The results suggest that proactive career behaviors generally pay off in terms of perceived financial success and that organizations should therefore support employees to be more proactive, with only minor cultural adjustments needed for MNEs that manage careers across countries.
 
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