Lily Yuan

How Do You ‘Manage Up’ in the Workplace? 7 Practical Tips to Excel

What is managing up in the workplace? Does it mean managing managers? Kind of, but it works most effectively through the lens of empathy. Managing up focuses on building a strong 1-to-1 relationship with your boss. You need to understand their goals and pain points for their company. Managing down, in contrast, is your typical definition of leadership: to lead your subordinates. When you manage up, sometimes you’ll need to be on your toes to take on additional responsibilities outside of your job description to ensure work processes progress smoothly. Your manager’s duties can be shared with you to ease …

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What Happens When Gen Z Makes Up Most of the Workforce?

The infamous “Okay, boomer” trend started from Gen Z, who had qualms about how communication worked between their age gap. Having proper “netiquette” and career stability will allow Gen Z to feel respected, included, and safe in the workplace. Opportunities for advancement and learning are also right up their alley. What happens when Gen Z makes up most of the workforce? With the highest ever exposure to social media and news, Gen Z have the responsibility to discern fact from fiction. News from questionable sources are everywhere, and easy to overlook when the producer is well-known or “reputable” within a …

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7 Key Factors that Influence Job Satisfaction

What makes a career fulfilling? Why do people stay at certain jobs and leave others, sometimes on a whim? What are some of the key factors that influence job satisfaction? When do people work the hardest at their career, and what motivates them? Kumari (2011) et al. conducted an analysis pertaining to the factors affecting job satisfaction of employees in both the private and public sectors. They found that employee morale is the deciding factor in an organization’s efficiency. Morale is, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary: The mental and emotional condition (as of enthusiasm, confidence, or loyalty) of an individual …

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A Simple Goodbye Email? Putting Empathy Back in Remote Work

With big tech making snap office-wide layoffs (especially in 2022), job security may be more in demand than ever before. How can we go about putting empathy back in remote work? Some companies have opted for impersonal, AI-generated mass “thank you for your time” emails. It’s cheap, quick, and easy for the company. Kind of like a breakup text.  But for the employee on the receiving end? Waves of shock, guilt, and stress are normal reactions. Before, in the office, human resources would coordinate a one-to-one meeting with the employee (the termination interview) to discuss what had led them to …

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Will the 4 Day Workweek Ever Exist?

Imagine having Fridays off every week—for a three-day weekend. Every single week. Sounds like a dream, does it? So many opportunities to plan a weekend getaway or trip with friends. Or simply having enough time to work on a side hustle while still getting adequate rest. Perhaps a stretch of time to explore new hobbies and hone in on old ones. An extra day to get some high-quality rest and relaxation. To run errands and check off all chores on the weekly to-do list. To binge your favorite TV show. The possibilities are endless. That’s what a 4 day workweek …

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Hugo Munsterberg

Hugo Munsterberg: Author of Psychology and Industrial Efficiency

We at The Career Project begin our series with the founding father for industrial-organizational (IO) psychology. Hugo Munsterberg (1863-1916) was a German-American psychologist who sought to improve the lives of workers through his gift for writing in science. Munsterberg was raised in an artistic family, where he spent his childhood writing poetry and playing the violin. When his mother passed away, his personality changed drastically. He became serious and sombre, which led him to dive nose-deep in his research. His paper Psychology and the Market, published in 1909, detailed the applications of psychology in many sectors. Some topics include: management, …

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Walter Scott

Walter Scott: A Shift in Applied Human Resources

Walter Dill Scott (1869-1955) was an American professor who taught psychology at Northwestern University. In 1903, he wrote The Psychology of Adversting, Theory and Practice. It’s one of the oldest copywriting books in print—a gem in the industry. His finesse with words and personal charisma drove sales and won him many business partners over his life. His contributions to the field of industrial-organizational (IO) psychology focused upon personnel selection and has influenced modern-day human resources (HR). He saw a future with a kinder, more tolerant workplace filled with peace and productivity. His egalitarian viewpoint earns the admiration from IO psychologists …

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Frederick Taylor

Frederick Taylor: Engineer Turned Psychologist

Engineering and psychology? How in the world is there any overlap between the two? For mechanical engineer Frederick Taylor (1856-1915) turned industrial psychologist, the answer lied in worker motivation. Taylor believed that all workers were motivated by their wages and monetary gain. Interestingly, in 1881, he won the tournament in doubles tennis at the U.S. National Championship (now “Open”). He conducted a study which showed that, with planned breaks in-between work, employees were more productive. His umbrella term for thinking is referred to as Taylorism. “In the past the man has been first; in the future the system must be …

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Lillian Gilbreth

Lillian Gilbreth: The ‘Mother’ of IO Psychology

Lillian Gilbreth (1878-1972) was a successful doctorate and remarkable jill of all trades—the first woman to become a professor of engineering at Purdue University, in 1935! She was born in Oakland, California, in 1878 and was the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in Industrial Psychology from Brown University in 1915. Gilbreth was a pioneer in applying the principles of psychology to industrial management, particularly in the areas of time and motion studies, workplace efficiency, and human factors engineering. Gilbreth was particularly interested in the way that motion and time interacted in the workplace, and she developed new methods for …

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James Cattell

James Cattell: Workplace Controversy and Objectivity

James McKeen Cattell (1860-1944), the first professor of psychology in the United States, taught at the University of Pennsylvania. His experimental methods were famously objective and focused on data and statistics. In his spare time, he also wrote for and edited numerous scientific journals, including Popular Science and Psychological Review.  Cattell is known for his work in the areas of mental testing, individual differences, and psychometrics, and he played a key role in establishing psychology as a distinct field of study in the United States. He founded the Vocational Bureau of Boston, which provided career guidance and counseling services to …

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