The Insecure Overachiever

Exacerbating this problem, elite professional organizations deliberately set out to identify and recruit “insecure overachievers” — some leading professional organizations explicitly use this terminology, though not in public. Insecure overachievers are exceptionally capable and fiercely ambitious, yet driven by a profound sense of their own inadequacy. This typically stems from childhood, and may result from various factors, such as experience of financial or physical deprivation, or a belief that their parents’ love was contingent upon their behaving and performing well.

As the recruiters I interviewed explained, these individuals are immensely attractive to elite professional organizations because they are entirely self-motivating and self-disciplining. The firm in effect tells the insecure overachiever, “We are the best in the business, and because we want you to work for us, that makes you the best, too.” But upon joining the firm, insecure overachievers discover that the rigorous up-or-out policy exacerbates their insecurity and their fear of being “exposed” as inadequate — and ultimately rejected.


Folksonomies: employment

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Management (0.930927): dbpedia_resource
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 If You’re So Successful, Why Are You Still Working 70 Hours a Week?
Periodicals>Journal Issue:  Empson, Laura (2018-02-01), If You’re So Successful, Why Are You Still Working 70 Hours a Week?, Harvard Business Review, Retrieved on 2019-03-02
  • Source Material []
  • Folksonomies: employment