The Karmic Curve: How to have it (nearly) all, but not all at the same time, by “Mary I. Williams” (Ian Vollbracht and Nadine Toscani)

Second paragraph (with heading) of third chapter:

Tip 7 ā€“ Well-trained, well-educated, enthusiastic

We may be woefully out of date, but we struggle to improve much on the ancient advice on how to succeed in an Oxbridge interview. Well-trained means you know your stuff. Well-educated means you have some breadth, knowledge of the world, and at least an inkling of the social skills you’ll need to get on over time. We can’t teach you these things here, but any good interviewer will certainly test them.

I picked this up after a positive mention in POLITICO years ago, but have only now got around to it. It’s a book about managing work-life balance, a genre I used to read fairly frequently but haven’t looked at for years (perhaps because I feel my work and life are a bit more balanced than they used to be). The point of local interest is that the authors are based in Brussels, so some of the anecdotes have more resonance for me than might be the case for most readers.

It’s quite a thin book, to be honest, but there are a couple of good points. One nice tip is to have a special email account to which you send the venting emails that you might otherwise foolishly send to colleagues and contacts. I also liked the characterisation of the Scrappy-Doo in the workplace:

They work hard all of the time, battle for everything, and then wag their little tails whenever Uncle, or Auntie, Scooby gives them a cookie. And bosses love them for it. Note also that scrappies may be bright and capable, but this is certainly not a requirement for moderately ā€“ in some cases hugely – successful Scrappy-hood, however exhausting it may be.

We’ve all known people like this, and indeed a lot of us have been people like this at some point in our career; and the authors give some useful tips on dealing with Scrappies compassionately but effectively.

You can get it here.

This was the shortest book that I had acquired in 2016 which was still on the unread shelves. Next on that pile is Peculiar Lives, by Philip Purser-Hallard.