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How to Be a Happy Academic

Want to be an effective, successful and happy academic? This book helps you hone your skills, showcase your strengths, and manage all the professional aspects of academic life. With their focus on life-long learning and positive reflection, Alex and Bailey encourage you to focus on your own behaviours and personal challenges and help you to find real world solutions to your problems or concerns. Weaving inspirational stories, the best of research and theory, along with pragmatic advice from successful academics, this book provides step-by-step guidance and simple tools to help you better meet the demands of modern academia, including: Optimising your effectiveness, priorities & strategy Workflow & managing workload Interpersonal relationships, and how to influence Developing your writing, presenting and teaching skills Getting your work/life balance right. Clear, practical and refreshingly positive this book inspires you to build the career you want in academia.
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Table of Contents

Introduction Why is this Book Needed Get the Most from this Book Doing the Right Things Right: The Success Pyramid and The Core Language and Terminology Issues Theoretical Basis and Features Chapter 1: Academic Knowledge Work as Extreme Knowledge Work What is Academic Knowledge Work? The Nature of Academic Knowledge Work The Challenge of 'Extreme Knowledge Work' for Academic Workers Section One: Choosing the Right Academic Work: The Success Pyramid Chapter 2: Values in Academic Work Values and Identity in Academic Work and Workers Exploring Your Values Values and Integrity Reactions to Value Conflicts in Academic Workplaces First Steps to Workable Strain: Increase Your Values Literacy Chapter 3: Success and Its Indicators What Success Looks Like in Academic Work Success Is Not Equal (Especially Around Gender) Success Is About Work and Life Success and Quality Are Different Is Success Subjective or Objective? Approaching Success in Academic Knowledge Work: Occluded Games and Genres Success Indicators and The Success Pyramid Success Indicators over Academic Careers Challenges in Selecting Success Indicators Chapter 4: Doing the Right Things I: Effectiveness, Priorities, and Strategy Priorities: The Key to Effectiveness What Is Strategy? Common Challenges with Good Strategy Chapter 5: Doing the Right Things II: Goals, Tasks and Time Time in Academic Work Goals in Academic Work Common Challenges when Goal Setting Tasks in Academic Work Handling Tasks Common Challenges with Tasks Section Two: Developing The Core Chapter 6: Creativity: Adding the Vital Spark Being and Staying Creative or `The Battle for Creativity' Threats to Creativity Chapter 7: Human Work and Self-Work The Scope and Nature of Human Work What Affects Human Work? Human Work Done Well: First Steps Relationships in Academic Work Building Relational Networks Feedback Teams and Working Groups Conflict Human Work, Self-Work: A Journey Without End Chapter 8: Learning: Success, Failure and the Growth Mindset Mindsets in Academic Work Learning for Growing: What and Why Failure: Necessary and Useful Successful Failure: A Six-Step Approach Chapter 9: Influence: Persuasion and Connection Rhetoric: The Basis for Better Influence Invention: Arguments, audience, and success Arrangement, style, and delivery: Connection and identification Memory: Practised, effortless spontaneity Above all: Be self-aware, but be yourself Chapter 10: Write Anything Better The Vulnerability of Writing in Academic Work Different Types of Writing in Academic Work The Quality-Prevalence Paradox of Academic Writing The Limitations of Trick, Tips and Social Media Genre: A Different Approach to Academic Writing Chapter 11: Developing Better Habits and Systems Everyday Tasks: Marginal and Fundamental Gains Taming Everyday Tasks Other Systems, Routines, and Habits Section Three: Bringing It All Together Chapter 12: Projections, Introspections, and Reflections on Academic Work Thinking Forward: The Future of Academic Work Thinking Inwardly: Reading Your Own Reactions Thinking On: What We Learned Writing this Book


It's always hard to distill general lessons on how one should approach academic life that can be applicable to different areas of scholarship. In this excellent book. Alexander Clark and Bailey Sousa do a superb job of finding those key lessons we can apply to be happy and reasonably balanced scholars. -- Raul Pacheco-Vega Does what it says on the tin. The authors aid the reader in exploring and reflecting personally on the quagmire that is academia both explicitly and succinctly in a highly engaging manner. Reading this text could seriously enhance your personal and professional well-being! -- Di Turgoose In a postsecondary climate of stress, disillusionment, and faculty burn out, this book shines light on the possibilities for value and meaning in our work - it is very welcome and long overdue. -- Nicola Simmons Drawing on influential, contemporary thinkers, this work explores the fears, compromise and intrinsic drive that underpin a scholarly career. It delivers a blue-print for career success and personal sustainability that places one's own values at the core of academic practice. I couldn't put it down! -- Janice Gullick The authors not only illuminate the realities of academic work, but also provide brilliant wisdom for keeping one's pilot light of passion constantly ignited, despite the challenges. This book is an excellent resource for doctoral students; it provides an inspirational process for success! -- Lori Pollard

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