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What Does the Halo Effect Do to Your Career?

Posted by Brian Spence on Jun 27, 2018 8:00:00 AM

Halo Effect, CareerHave you ever worked with someone who could do no wrong in the eyes of the people in charge? Maybe you are fortunate enough to be that person yourself! No matter what decision you make, it is the right one. No matter what you say at the meeting, it is perceived as important. You get promotions easily, and your career soars because of the positive way others view you. There is actually a real term for this phenomenon. It's called "the halo effect." Sounds pretty appropriate, right? Halos belong on angels, and that's the way you've been treated.

Those employees who don't have the halo effect are probably wondering how to get one! Well, you can't buy it on Amazon.

But you can learn about the real science and psychology behind the halo effect. It has to do with something called "confirmation bias."

"Confirmation bias occurs from the direct influence of desire on beliefs," says author James Sudakow. In other words, when an employer starts out liking you and trusting your decisions, that same employer desires to continue liking you. She desires that you will keep making great decisions, and this will bias her way of looking at you. Your employer sees the halo, but maybe not the truth behind the halo. In other words, the employer wishes that you are an excellent employee instead of looking closely at evidence to conclude that your work is excellent. That wish directly influences the employer's belief about you.

So how do you obtain the highly desirable halo effect? Make a great first impressions. Make sure your first work for your new job is your absolute best work. Once those first impressions work their magic, the halo effect helps you succeed at your job.

The halo effect and confirmation bias are fascinating aspects of career psychology. If you'd like to learn more about this and related topics, visit the Career Advice section of our blog.


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