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For we’ve got, high hopes….

For we’ve got, high hopes….

A new study says optimistic graduates do better professionally than negative ones. Do you agree? If so, you’re probably one of those pesky upstarts shooting past us on the career ladder.

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November 30, 2010 3:19 by



Graduation was a sad day for Kipp. Not because of our results, which were bearable, but because it meant being inevitably thrust into the real world: the world of work, and debts, and responsibility. We’d be lying if we said we approached it with boundless enthusiasm.

Now, years later, a new study has landed on the desk to tell us too late: Optimistic graduates have brighter career prospects than their pessimistic peers. The study by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and Yale School of Management focused on the effects of a positive disposition on job searches and promotion among MBA graduates. The PR bumf says, “The researchers found that MBA graduates that are dispositional optimists experience significantly better job search outcomes and are more likely to be promoted than pessimists with similar skills.”

It’s bad news for Kipp, which makes a living from being professionally cynical. But we’re not bitter. Well, OK, we are – that’s sort of the point. What we mean is, we understand. You can argue all you like whether positivity is infectious, but we’ll tell you this for sure: negativity is. Negative people drag themselves, and ultimately anyone near them down.

So if you have two graduates, equal in statue, and one of them is positive and one is negative, who are you going to promote? Who’s more likely to motivate the staff, and who’s more likely to bring them down? It’s obvious when you think about it.

The researchers also pointed out that, “Optimists are more willing to disengage from unrealistic courses of action, and re-engage in new ones; they are choosier and more willing to adapt which in part is the reason for their success.”

Kipp was unwilling to disengage from this particular blog in favour of writing about a baby monkey riding a pig (the suggestion of a colleague), so we guess we’re stuck as pessimists. But hey, maybe we can fake it? As we go back to work with a forced smile plastered on our face, tell us what you think. Do positive people really do better? Or is it just a question of perception? And should we have written about the monkey?



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