KSAOs/Individual Differences

A Perspective on Success

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From childhood, we are told that if we simply believe in ourselves, we can do anything. Although cliché, there is some truth to this concept – the way we view ourselves can shape our career and define our professional experiences, both financially and emotionally. This view of ourselves is known as our core self-evaluation.

What is Core Self-Evaluation?

Core self-evaluation is the way an individual views himself/herself, specifically, the basic assumptions one makes. These views can ultimately affect success as a self-fulfilling prophecy, in that if a person views himself as a poor performer it can lead him to actually perform poorly and vice versa.

How Can Self-Evaluation Ultimately Affect Career Success?

Career success is not only one’s status, as compared to others, but also how quickly status is obtained and how content the individual is with the position. Individuals with high core self-evaluations:
  • Perform better
  • Hold more challenging jobs
  • Feel more satisfied with their jobs
  • Recover more easily from job loss
  • Feel happier in life
Individuals with positive core self-evaluations often have a positive start to their careers. Consequently, these individuals are awarded with incentives and resources which are motivating and allow them to become more established within the organization.  Over time, an individual will experience more success as he/she is, generally, more satisfied with the job, performs better, and is open to challenges.

What Effect Does Core Self-Evaluation Have on Education and Health?

Education and health are related to core self-evaluation. The more positive your core self- evaluation the:
  • More likely you are to attain a higher education early in life
  • Less likely you are to get sick, or face adverse health effects
Core self-evaluations are extremely important, as they can influence educational goals. Negative core self-evaluations can be particularly detrimental, since they can become part of a reinforced cycle – the lower a person’s core self-evaluation, the less likely the person is to pursue a higher education, the less education obtained then reinforces the lower core self-evaluation. Additional negative outcomes, such as increased risk for illness, a decreased likelihood for work success, can ultimately affect pay, occupational status, and job satisfaction.

Final Thoughts

It is easy to see how a positive core self-evaluation can lead people to become more successful. Simply believing in yourself, and knowing what you can achieve can make you more happy and successful (and possibly rich!)

Interpretation by:

Elizabeth Allen

The DeGarmo Group

This was a summary of the research and practice implications from: Judge, T. & Hurst, C.  (2008). How the Rich (and Happy) Get Richer (and Happier): Relationship of Core Self-Evaluations to Trajectories in Attaining Work Success. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93 (4), 849-863.
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