Emotional Intelligence and its Importance in Career Success

This semester, I decided to take Sociology of Emotions at Pomona College, another one of the 5Cs. Having always wanting to take a sociology class and a genuine interest in the emotions of others and myself, I eagerly signed up. For one of our readings, Daniel Goleman’s Emotional Intelligence: Why it can Matter More than IQ, Goleman argues that EQ is a better predictor of success than IQ. After nearly four years of attending CMC, whose unofficial motto is “work hard, play hard,” I can see how my school’s culture of valuing both social events and academics have led to career success for many CMC grads.

For instance, Goleman talks about the five components of EQ:

  1. Self-awareness
  2. Managing emotions
  3. Self-motivation
  4. Empathy
  5. Handling relationships

When evaluating the components of EQ, the five factors boil down to understanding oneself and others as well. Though IQ is important, especially in higher education, the competition of “who attends a more prestigious school” or “who has the highest grade” often causes people to forget that success in academia does not automatically translate to success in career. While intelligence is important in grasping the challenging material within academia, in many career fields, the chances of using that information in daily situations is very rare. However, the constant that appears within any field is knowing how to deal with yourself and other people. CMC offers a variety of social events, including Ath talks, CPB events, and even weekend parties, to get CMCers comfortable in developing bonds with other people and how to handle conflict when it occurs. By encountering these situations early on, before entering the workplace, we are prepared for life beyond pure academia. Knowing how to take care of others and yourself are translatable skills beyond college and the workplace.

By: Sharon Chiang ’17