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How to Be a Happy Academic
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How to Be a Happy Academic
A Guide to Being Effective in Research, Writing and Teaching

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April 2018 | 256 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

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.

 
Chapter 1: Academic Knowledge Work as Extreme Knowledge Work
 
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  
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  

Supplements

Effective Academic website
Visit Alex and Bailey's website The Effective Successful Happy Academic for information about their workshops and publications.

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
Director of Postgraduate Studies and Coordinator of the Master of Intensive Care Nursing, University of Sydney

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
Graduate and Undergraduate Studies in Education, Brock University

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
Health and Life Sciences, De Montfort University

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
Assistant Professor, Public Administration Division, Centre for Economic Research and Teaching

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