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Real Business : Winter 2008
6 +#8; REAL BUSINESS+#8;ISSUE+#8;2,+#8;2008 GET+#8;THE+#8;EDGE what i’ve learned david sofra Cpa was a managEr in kpmg’s intErnational ExECutivE sErviCEs group in mElbournE. last yEar hE quit his job to travEl through EuropE and asia. wE wondErEd how a yEar on thE road had altErEd his pErspECtivE. “quitE frankly it’s thE bEst thing i’vE EvEr donE,” hE says. “onE of thE most valuablE lEssons that CamE from my travEls is not that wE arE diffErEnt from othErs, but that wE sharE so many Common nEEds and fEElings.” this is what hE’s lEarnEd: fEmalE grads morE likEly to bE marriEd Female graduates in Australia are more likely to be married than their unqualified counterparts. A study in 2006 by Monash University’s Dr Genevieve Heard found 61 per cent of women aged 30–34 with degrees were married, compared with 53 per cent of women aged in their early 30s without a degree. A decade earlier the results were rather different. In 1996, 64 per cent of women aged 30–34 with a degree were married, compared to 65 per cent of those with no degree. 4. good things take time Graduates in particular joining big profes- sional service firms sometimes become disil- lusioned with their role, expecting too much too soon. But accumulating experience, building trust and establishing a reputation for reliability can never occur instantane- ously, so don’t expect it to. 5. be adaptable We are continually required to make changes to our lives and within our career in order to provide an environment of growth. Travel has provided a great opportunity for reflec- tion – of my career, and life in general. One year of travelling the world has been my most intense learning activity. 6. don’t worry. be happy It’s important to make time for the things you enjoy. This helps you obtain a fresh perspec- tive on life, recharge your batteries, increase your motivation and enthusiasm and improve your physical, mental and spiritual health. Sport, further study or an enriching travel experience are some ways I have attempted to tip the work/life scale in my favour. Remember: we only have one life. 7. don’t compare yourself to others Be passionate about your life, and be proud of what you do, and more importantly, who you are. Don’t be preoccupied with compar- ing yourself or competing with others, as this is likely to distract you from focusing on your own individual skills, talents and aspirations. n 1. Continuous learning It is never too early or late to learn and improve. You should always strive to be open, to continue to learn new business and personal skills, ideas and behaviours. People who remain closed-minded, feeling they have learned all they need to know, will remain stagnant or fall behind. If you feel you’re in an environment in which you have stopped learning, it may be a signal to re-evaluate. 2. don’t act only on emotions Make time to really plan your objectives and follow through, rather than relying upon and being pulled away by the demands of others. I have learned that sometimes advice provided by others may not always be in your best inter- ests, as their motives will differ from yours. 3. no one is indispensable Your employer will survive without you. But you are very important to those few individuals who are close to you. Respect your role and responsibilities to others, but try to keep some perspective. News Briefs giving away monEy – it fEEls good! Researchers at the University of British Columbia and Harvard Business School say money can buy happiness after all, especially when you spend it on others. Students at the University of British Columbia were surveyed, and most said they would be happier with $20 in their pockets than $5. When the research team (which published the results in Science) gave another set of students envelopes containing either a $5 or $20 note and told them how to spend it, those who donated to charity or gave a gift were happier at the end of the day than those who used the money to pay a bill or buy a treat. whErE’s your (nEw) habit at? Old habits might still die hard but new ones can make us more creative, Utah-based exec- utive change consultant Dawna Markova says. According to Markova, parallel synaptic paths and even entirely new brain cells are created when we challenge our brains by stepping out of our comfort zones. She says when we try to consciously develop new habits, the new synaptic paths jump our trains of thought onto new, innova- tive tracks, which bypass old habits and usual ways of doing things. nEt gains http://tinyurl.com/5jphmo nEt gains http://tinyurl.com/6jwhkq
Issue 3 2008