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Sarah Green Carmichael

Can Career Regrets Be Avoided?

A Q&A with Daniel Pink, author of “The Power of Regret,” about what people wish they’d done differently in the workplace — and why companies should encourage more of their employees to speak up.  

Don’t stop dreaming.

Don’t stop dreaming.

Photographer: Bloomberg/Bloomberg

This is one of a series of interviews by Bloomberg Opinion columnists on how to solve the world’s most pressing policy challenges. It has been edited for length and clarity.

Sarah Green Carmichael: When I started reading your new book, “The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves Us Forward,” I blithely assumed I didn’t have very many regrets. By the time I finished, I realized I did — but that so does everyone else. Your book is based in part on responses from 16,000 people who filled out your World Regret Survey. Most of their regrets fit into one of four categories: foundation regrets (financial instability), connection regrets (scuppered relationships), boldness regrets (insufficient risk-taking), and moral regrets (unfortunate transgressions). I’m curious specifically about career regrets. Did you see any trends in your survey?