Serve Others, Find Success

By Anahid Modrek | September 28, 2010 | 3 comments

Research suggests that young people motivated to help others are poised for a successful career.

“Nice guys finish last,” the saying goes—but not according to a recent study, which finds that serving others might be linked to personal and professional success. 

The study, published in the Journal of Career Assessment, investigated the relationship between students’ motivation to help others and their career paths. Researchers Ryan D. Duffy and Trisha L. Raque-Bogdan measured how motivated 265 undergraduates were to serve others and found that students with greater motivation had more optimism about their career, greater ability to adapt to new tasks and working environments, and less indecision about their careers.

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What’s more, their results suggest that the motivation to serve others may actually cause career optimism, not the other way around.

Duffy and Raque-Bogdan speculate that thinking about the altruistic aspects of one’s work may help young adults become more motivated and focused as they approach their careers. “It may be that viewing one’s career, in part, as a way to make a difference in society gives students added drive to meet their future career goals,” they write.

Based on their findings, the researchers recommend that people advising young adults should encourage them to think about the “pro-social” dimension to their career choices, considering how their careers can help others in addition to themselves.

“As a primary goal for many college-level career counselors is to help students make a particular career decision,” they write, “encouraging an exploration of the pro-social components of one’s career may be a fruitful process.”

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About The Author

Anahid Modrek is a Greater Good research assistant.


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Sometimes if you listen with a caring heart, you wrecords managementill find an area where your ... Serving Others

records management | 3:44 am, September 29, 2010 | Link


Scientific proof of the golden rule!

Document Management | 11:23 am, January 12, 2012 | Link


Motivation comes from within. While this may be true but today’s students are much aware of what they want to do. They search for opinions from their peers on facebook, read blogs and even look at the job sites for the potential in their chose fields. It would be nice to see a social media forum specifically for students at a regional where they can participate and exchange ideas more interactively. In my days, this was non existent.

Legal Track | 11:48 am, January 17, 2013 | Link

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