Category: Career and Jobs
It is important to begin the article with the mantra of an obvious fact – that wine is an amazing way to meet new people and get a between the lines look at who someone is.
Knowing your wine means knowing geography, culture, history and the art that goes into making the most sophisticated beverage known to us. Now, I don’t mean to say that you need to be a so called “wine snob” – because that only says you’re a snob. I mean getting to know more about the bottle you’re sharing together to show a sense of passion and culture to your character. What’s more attractive in a person than that?
Bringing a bottle of Yellowtail to a party, or ordering something that ordinary at a restaurant with someone is comparable to discussing how cultured and well traveled you are, then emoting on a recent trip to Daytona wearing a shirt that needs ironing. This doesn’t mean you have to break the bank for a better wine, but just to put more thought and care into the bottle you open.
For the novice in wine, a great way to start is to know what you like. What varietal do you like? Do you like Merlot? Then look at an independent wine agency, or simply head to your LCBO (especially one with a strong vintages section) and talk to someone there about different regions (BC and Oregon make amazing Merlots) and look for something in a comfortable zone price range that you’ve never heard of.
Being uncommon, doesn’t make a wine necessarily more expensive. Google it and learn more about it so you can discuss what you know. Learn some tasting notes, the layers of flavour, find out what cheese will go well with it, and show some care into what you’ve opened – that will go a long way to say a lot about you.
The advanced oenophile will already know what I’m talking about, but that doesn’t mean you can’t grow further, and use your knowledge to even host a wine tasting – is there a better way to meet someone?
The people who are thriving and will continue to thrive in this era are those who are agile and skilled at changing easily and elegantly in response to their changing environment, and as they proactively create more of the life they want. So here are some tips to help you become more agile:
Accept yourself exactly as you are
I know that sounds totally counter-intuitive, but the paradox is that when you try to change yourself from a perspective of negative judgment of yourself, your self-criticism will make you feel bad, which will have a negative impact on your motivation.
Attacking yourself with self-criticism will also activate your stress response, which actually changes the biological functioning of your brain and body and reduces the flexibility and quality of your thinking. This in turn uses up more of your energy, makes you think and behave defensively rather than proactively, stresses your body out and makes you tired and even ill.
When you accept yourself, you stop fighting yourself and your relaxed state will improve your motivation and the flexibility and quality of your thinking. This makes it much easier for you to make your changes – and to enjoy the process of making them. We think and perform much better when we’re in a state of love, rather than fear. Love opens our hearts and minds and we change much more easily when we have open hearts and minds.
Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want
We have a natural tendency to focus on problems and sources of stress in our lives. And, this makes sense – we do it because we want to “keep an eye” on potential threats so that we can respond more quickly, and ensure our survival. This usually is a good strategy for ensuring survival but it’s not a good strategy for thriving.
Focusing on what you don’t want will elicit your stress response and close down your thinking, making it more difficult to think creatively when you respond to the threat. Knowing, and focusing on what you want, rather than focusing on what you don’t want is also important because it’s the beginning of getting familiar with what you want.
Get familiar with what you want
We move towards what’s most familiar, and we resist what’s unfamiliar. If you’re familiar with how your life has been or is, but the way you want your life to be is unfamiliar and vague, then a part of you will resist going towards the unfamiliar and you will seek to repeat your current habits.
Because you’ve survived by doing what’s familiar, a part of you assumes that familiar is safe, even if it doesn’t make you happy. Guess what, if we ever feel that we have to choose between safe and happy, we’ll usually move towards what’s safe. So, to dissolve your own internal resistance, get familiar with being the way you want to be by going their mentally, and filling out the detail even before you start making your changes.
Focus on changing your thinking, rather than focusing on changing your behavior.
Our behavior flows from our emotional state, which is informed by our thinking patterns and the stories we tell ourselves. So discover the thinking patterns and stories you’ve been using that have prevented you from already having the life you want and being the person you want to be. You can do this by asking yourself,“What have I been assuming that’s prevented me from having what I want?” And then question those assumptions, ask yourself what other assumptions are possibly true in that context, and choose to operate under those liberating assumptions instead.
Focus on the feelings
Ultimately, it’s feelings we want and we only want other stuff because of the feelings we think it’ll give us. So become aware of the feelings you’re seeking. This will have two great results: first you’ll have what you ultimately want right now rather than having to wait till you’ve changed your circumstances. Second, by feeling the way you want to feel, you’ll be getting familiar with the changes you want to make, making it easier to make those changes without your own internal resistance.
Break your change into small, achievable steps you can take on a daily basis
It’s much easier to make change incrementally than it is to make major changes in a few areas of your life all in one go. This is because more change means more unfamiliarity and the greater the unfamiliarity, the more likely that a part of you will resist the changes and try to go back to what’s familiar.
Focusing on big changes can also cause overwhelm and stress, which closes down your thinking, causing de-motivation and making it harder for you to make your changes. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the changes you want to make, break your changes into small steps and focus on doing only the next step that feels achievable and liberating.
The deeper we delve into minimalism, the more convinced I become that any and everyone can benefit from this mindset. Here are some benefits of a minimalist lifestyle that we’ve already found to be true in our own lives over the past couple of years, and I’m confident you could experience as well.
Less clutter, kore space, more organization
It’s probably most obvious that embracing minimalism means you will have less clutter in your life, which follows that you have more space, and organization flows naturally out of the process. The less you have, the less organization you even need!
Less laundry, less cleaning, easier maintenance
As we get rid of excess from our wardrobes, kitchen, and living spaces, we are able to spend less and less time trying to stay on top of it all. There is less laundry to do, fewer dishes, and the random piles that used to build up have dwindled and are starting to stay away. The kids have also found that it is so much easier and faster to clean up their playroom, which definitely equates to fewer headaches for us.
When you recognize that you have what you need and start to develop a more content mindset, you naturally spend less and are able to save more.
As you pare down, the focus becomes quality over quantity. Instead of having 10 thingamajigs that sort of work or that you sort of like, you are able to afford 1 thingamajig that you really like and that does the job right.
Minimalism isn’t only about trimming away the excess “stuff” (which does also save time), it’s also about refining obligations and habits that take time away from what matters most.
Greater focus and çlarity
I can’t tell you how much switching over to a minimalist mindset has increased our clarity and focus. It’s like all the excitement of Times Square with none of the ads 😉
Less stress and worry, more peace
Refining focus and cutting out everything that isn’t life-giving lowers stress more than you can imagine. When you’re not chasing a million loose ends, and aren’t surrounded by clutter, you find yourself being able to breathe easier and be ever-so-much-more content.
As we need less time to spend cleaning and maintaining at home, our time becomes more flexible to give to others, which is one of our personal goals now. Saving more money also frees up more money to give.
More flexible life
The farther we come on this journey of minimalism, the more flexible we get. We’re no longer tied down by sentimental clutter, and we don’t have a bunch of things we never use. When we moved to this home 4 years ago it was a bit of a nightmare. Now, I think we’d be able to move in a day. Travel is also simplified, so it doesn’t feel at all overwhelming to pack and go somewhere spontaneously.
More confidence, less comparison, easier decisions
As you whittle down your stuff, time, and focus to what really matters, you know why you are doing what you’re doing, and why you are who you are and are becoming. In short, you become much more confident. Decisions are simplified. You don’t waste time playing the comparison game because you are focused on the right things.
Want to explore more of what it means to be a minimalist and the resulting space and freedom it creates in your life? Let’s take simple living from something you wish for to something you actually do. Check out the whole series here for real-life application and practical tips.
One of the best ways to dip your toes in the waters of a minimalist lifestyle is to first purge the obvious excess. Here’s a cheat sheet to get you started: 20+ Thins You Can Get Rid of Without Even Missing – Common Duplicates from Your Home | 31 Days Exploring Minimalism | simple living, declutter, unclutter, get rid of clutterdealing with sentimental clutter without losing the memories | 31 Days Exploring Minimalism | simple living | keepsakes | upcyclingThe question to ask yourself when getting rid of stuff is hard… | 31 Days Exploring Minimalism | minimalist living, simple livingWhat if having less gives you the chance to BE more? | 31 Days Exploring Minimalism | simple living
Here are eight things you can do to be sure you are getting the lifestyle you want first, and building your business around it. Because your happiness should be your number-one priority. Because “I wish I had worked more” is not one of the top regrets of the dying.
1. Establish your vision
Without a map, you go in circles. Your vision is that map. When you write it down, visualize yourself inside of it. Feel it, smell it, sense it. You may wonder how you are going to know what you will want 10 years from now, but your vision is a living, breathing document. It changes as you change. The important thing is to let it guide you every day.
2. Set lifestyle goals
We tend to focus only on goal setting when it comes to business. But what about your life? Some of my lifestyle goals are to salsa dance weekly, to continue my pursuit of being in the Olympics and to visit Africa this year.
3. Cultivate meaning
A purpose-filled life is the key to happiness. Each day as I meet people and interact, I plan to spread positivity and brighten the day for others.
4. Give back
I give as much as I can to many favorite charities, but I have a special love for Pencils of Promise. I am working on building my third school with them. Giving back is your unique way of adding value in the world. When we give, it multiplies. You are guaranteed to generate more prosperity than you could imagine by giving selflessly.
Call it karma. Call it cause and effect. Whatever you call it, it is the simple truth.
5. Strive for balance
There are plenty of nights when I am up later than I should be and times when I have spent more hours in a plane than I would like. I balance these times with eating healthy, relaxing with friends and connecting with family and loved ones.
I say strive for balance because there will be times when you are pushing hard for a deadline, or for a championship game, or a launch, and you will be outside the comfort zone for maybe longer than you wish. Set up some down time after big pushes to recharge for the next big thing. If you are playing big in life, there is always the next big thing, so balance isn’t necessarily about slowing down but being in touch with what recharges you and doing that when you first feel the need to avoid overwhelm and burnout.
6. Don’t forget to play
I am committed to add an element of play to everything I do. I live life with passion: dancing, laughing, playing my guitar, listening to music. I am always encouraging my friends, clients, or strangers to do the same.
I am blessed to have been to many amazing places around the world like Guatemala, New Zealand, Hawaii, Argentina, Spain and more. Travel keeps life in perspective and pushes me out of my comfort zone, challenging me to expand my understanding of the world.
8. Say “I love you”
Gratitude and love are the keys to fulfillment. I tell my family, friends, and employees how much I appreciate them as often as I can. There is no point in withholding, because you can’t take it with you. Your love is your wealth, so spend away.
According to Merriam-Webster, “lazy” means not liking hard work or being active, as well as moving slowly.
If we think about it, “being lazy” then, is open to interpretation. Would you call a colleague who’s always on social media but manages to submit his reports on time lazy? How about a locksmith that over time, has mastered enough skill to fix locks in a matter of minutes? Is he lazy because he doesn’t spend hours on his work anymore?
It’s All in the Brain
One of the most energy-consuming activities humans do everyday is decision-making. From the second we wake up, we are instantly faced with a multitude of decisions: from what to eat for breakfast, how to get to work, what to wear – or whether to just forget it all and lie down in bed again. If you’re like millions of “lazy” people who need that extra five minutes before getting up, don’t feel bad. It’s all in your brain.
A recent study conducted by scientists at Oxford University found an interesting difference between “lazy” versus motivated people. The participants were instructed to complete certain tasks with different levels of reward, while an MRI machine scanned their brains. Surprisingly, they found that there’s an area in the brain of apathetic people that showed HIGHER activity when taking action.
Professor of Neurology and Cognitive Neuroscience, Masud Husain, explained that perhaps it is due to inefficient connections that’s why their brains ended up using more energy than usual. This means that if a certain decision requires more effort, “lazy” people would either pass on the chance OR feel totally exhausted afterwards.
It may seem as if apathetic individuals aren’t doing the hard work you expect – but that’s only because they approach work a bit differently.
They Work Smarter – Not Harder
“I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.” – Bill Gates
Like mostly everyone you know, you were also probably brought up to believe that working hard is the only way to get what you want in life. Apparently, that’s not the rule that “lazy” people follow. Often, it’s not what you do but HOW you do it.
Back when Bill Gates and his team were working with IBM on developing MS-DOS, they had to beat a tough deadline of only a few months before upper management pulled the plug on the project. Instead of creating an operating system from scratch, Gates bought the rights to an OS made by another software company in Seattle and just built MS-DOS on it.
They Avoid Burnout by Taking Breaks
“It’s important to prepare for the demands of the everyday, but it’s equally as crucial to enjoy life.” – Richard Branson
One of the things that scare busy people – especially entrepreneurs – is taking a break. There’s something about NOT doing anything on a hectic Monday morning that gets a good number of people upset and illicit such responses as “you’re wasting time”. However, being swamped with work isn’t good either. In fact, being too busy may in fact, lead to burnout and less productivity.
That’s why businessman Richard Branson invests a lot on his vacations. In one of his blog entries on Virgin Australia, he encourages busy folks to stop, relax, and be inspired. According to Branson, his breaks have been crucial to his decision-making and they have helped him achieve a work-life balance.
They Focus on Quality – Not Quantity
“Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.” – Steve Jobs
People often assume that someone is lazy when they see a person doing only one thing, as opposed to a million other tasks (i.e. multi-tasking). It’s built into our system to feel impressed when we see folks with a hundred tasks to cross off their to-do list. But the real question is: what kind of work are you really doing?
Wharton management professor, Matthew Bidwell, states that often, managers focus only quantitative aspects of work to measure productivity simply because well, they’re easier to calculate. But producing more doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re also doing better. Instead, why not just do better?
Steve Jobs made a similar statement after he talked with Nike CEO, Mark Parker. Jobs was blunt when he mentioned that while Nike produced a lot of cool products, they also made tons of bad stuff. To Jobs, productivity happens when people focus on only one thing. Focus on this single task, hone it, and improve on it – until you have something that a lot of folks would find hard to live without.
Lazy In Thought – Not In Action
Don’t feel bad if people think that you’re “lazy”. It could be your strongest point if you know how to act on it. Just because you’re not juggling 50 tasks today doesn’t mean you’re not doing something productive.
Whenever somebody points out your apathetic tendencies, just remind them of Bill Gates, Richard Branson, and Steve Jobs: all professional, successful, lazy people who rose in their fields thanks to how they patterned their actions. By working smarter, taking plenty of breaks, and focusing on only one task at a time, they were able to become more productive – not only in their careers, but also in life.
Ariana is 29 years old, attractive career woman – or rather, she retains the last vestiges of her youthful beauty. OK, Ariana was never a stunner, never a first-rate head-turner. But with her slender body, her long, thick black hair and a mischievous face that suggested a profound appetite for naughtiness, she was sexy.
I use the past tense for a reason. In the two years we have worked together, I have observed a definite depreciation in her looks. In part, this is due to her love of binge drinking. Alcohol remains endemic in many industries in London, not least ours, where entertaining clients is a central part of the job.
Ariana attacked that duty with gusto, and the empty calories she loaded into her system over many drunken nights meant that she ended up carrying considerably more weight than when she started. Not enough to make her obese, but enough to render her formerly shapely legs matronly, and to give her once-angular features a doughy appearance. These unfortunate adjustments amended my rating of her from “would definitely bang” to “would probably bang, provided it were easy and there were no other options available.”
But Ariana was much-loved at work for her madcap ways and the amusing stories that her frequent inebriation provided. For her last day in the office, another (female) colleague prepared a PowerPoint presentation displaying some of her “finest” moments. The slides were largely composed of photographs taken from Ariana’s Facebook page. Many of them featured close-ups of her increasingly bloated, drunken face as she careened from one crazy night out to the next. One slide was dedicated to her love of drinking whiskey. Another to her penchant for red wine. A third focused on the short skirts she liked to wear.
More slides revealed her “yolo” exploits in the various five-star hotels in New York and Berlin the company had put her up in for business events. Her talent for attracting beta orbiters was referenced; and the fact that she had been banged by a male colleague was revealed on a slide celebrating her “horndog” nature. My assembled colleagues hooted and guffawed at these images, while Ariana looked on, held in the embrace of another girl, close to tears at her impending departure.
Tellingly, not one of the slides referred to her professional capabilities. To be fair, her skills were complimented by two of her managers in their summing-up. Apparently, Ariana had proved herself to be a linchpin of her team, and she had been personally responsible for managing multi-million pound accounts. Personally, I am skeptical. I worked on projects with her a few times: she was rubbish.
What do I need to do before pursuing a career? What types of goals should I set for myself? How will I stay motivated? Developing a career plan can help you outline a clear path as you begin looking for a new job.
In this article, you’ll learn how to assess what you need to develop your career objective, how to write S.M.A.R.T. career goals, and how to create your own career plan. We’ll also provide some different techniques you can use to stay motivated as you work toward your goals.
The 9 most important career planning tips is listed below:
1. Never Stop Learning
Life-long learning is your keyword.
The world is constantly changing, and everybody is looking for new ways of doing business.
If you have decided that your current skills are good enough, you have also decided that your current job is good enough.
But if you want a career in the future, you should add regular updates to your skills and knowledge.
2. Ask, Listen And Learn
A good listener can learn a lot.
Listen to your co-workers, your boss, and your superiors. You can learn a lot from their experience.
Ask about issues that interest you, and listen to what they say. Let them tell you about how things work, and what you could have done better. Most people will love to be your free tutor.
3. Fulfill Your Current Job
Your current job might be best place to start your career.
It is often very little that separates successful people from the average. But nothing comes free.
If you do your job well and fulfill your responsibilities, this is often the best way to start a new career.
Talk to your supervisor about things you can do. Suggest improvements. Offer your help when help is needed. In return ask for help to build a better career. It is often possible – right inside your own organization – especially if you have proved to be a valued employee.
4. Build Your Network
Your next career step might arise from your contact network.
Did you know that more than 50% of all jobs are obtained from contact networks?
If you have a good contact network, it is also a good place to discover future careers, to explore new trends, and to learn about new opportunities.
Spend some time building new contacts, and don’t forget to maintain the ones you already have.
One of the best ways to get serious information from your network is to regularly ask your contacts how they are, what they do, and what is new about their careers.
5. Identify Your Current Job
Your current job should be identified, not assumed.
Make sure you don’t work with tasks you assume are important. This is waste of time and talent.
When you start in a new job, talk to your superior about your priorities. If you’re not sure about what is most important, then ask him. And ask him again. Often you will be surprised about the differences between what you assume, and what is really important.
6. Identify Your Next Job
Your dream job must be identified.
Before you start planning your future career, be sure you have identified your dream job.
In your dream job, you will be doing all the things you enjoy, and none of the things you don’t enjoy. What kind of job would that be?
Do you like or dislike having responsibility for other employees. Do you like to work with technology or with people? Do you want to run your own business? Do you want to be an artist, a designer or a skilled engineer? A manager?
Before building your future career your goal must be identified.
7. Prepare Yourself
Your dream might show up tomorrow. Be prepared.
Don’t wait a second. Update your CV now, and continue to update it regularly.
Tomorrow your dream job may show up right before your nose. Prepare for it with a professional CV and be ready to describe yourself as a valuable object to anyone that will try to recruit you.
If you don’t know how to write a CV, or how to describe yourself, start learning it now.
8. Pick The Right Tools
Pick the tools you can handle.
You can build your future career using a lot of different tools. Studying at W3Schools is easy. Taking a full master degree is more complicated.
You can add a lot to your career by studying books and tutorials (like the one you find at W3Schools). Doing short time courses with certification tests might add valuable weight to your CV. And don’t forget: Your current job is often the most valuable source of building new skills.
Don’t pick a tool that is too heavy for you to handle!
9. Realize Your Dreams
Put your dreams into action.
Don’t let a busy job kill your dreams. If you have higher goals, put them into action now.
If you have plans about taking more education, getting a better job, starting your own company or something else, you should not use your daily job as a “waiting station”. Your daily job will get more and more busy, you will be caught up in the rat race, and you will burn up your energy.
If you have this energy, you should use it now, to realize your dreams.
Career planning is not an activity that should be done once — in high school or college — and then left behind as we move forward in our jobs and careers. Rather, career planning is an activity that is best done on a regular basis — especially given the data that the average worker will change careers (not jobs) multiple times over his or her lifetime. And it’s never too soon or too late to start your career planning.
Career planning is not a hard activity, not something to be dreaded or put off, but rather an activity that should be liberating and fulfilling, providing goals to achieve in your current career or plans for beginning a transition to a new career. Career planning should be a rewarding and positive experience. Here, then, are 10 tips to help you achieve successful career planning.
1. Make Career Planning an Annual Event
Many of us have physicals, visit the eye doctor and dentist, and do a myriad of other things on an annual basis, so why not career planning? Find a day or weekend once a year — more often if you feel the need or if you’re planning a major career change — and schedule a retreat for yourself. Try to block out all distractions so that you have the time to truly focus on your career — what you really want out of your career, out of your life.
By making career planning an annual event, you will feel more secure in your career choice and direction — and you’ll be better prepared for the many uncertainties and difficulties that lie ahead in all of our jobs and career.
2. Map Your Path Since Last Career Planning
One of your first activities whenever you take on career planning is spending time mapping out your job and career path since the last time you did any sort of career planning. While you should not dwell on your past, taking the time to review and reflect on the path — whether straight and narrow or one filled with any curves and dead-ends — will help you plan for the future.
Once you’ve mapped your past, take the time to reflect on your course — and note why it looks the way it does. Are you happy with your path? Could you have done things better? What might you have done differently? What can you do differently in the future?
3. Reflect on Your Likes and Dislikes, Needs and Wants
Change is a factor of life; everybody changes, as do our likes and dislikes. Something we loved doing two years ago may now give us displeasure. So always take time to reflect on the things in your life — not just in your job — that you feel most strongly about.
Make a two-column list of your major likes and dislikes. Then use this list to examine your current job and career path. If your job and career still fall mostly in the like column, then you know you are still on the right path; however, if your job activities fall mostly in the dislike column, now is the time to begin examining new jobs and new careers.
Finally, take the time to really think about what it is you want or need from your work, from your career. Are you looking to make a difference in the world? To be famous? To become financially independent? To effect change? Take the time to understand the motives that drive your sense of success and happiness.
4. Examine Your Pastimes and Hobbies
Career planning provides a great time to also examine the activities you like doing when you’re not working. It may sound a bit odd, to examine non-work activities when doing career planning, but it’s not. Many times your hobbies and leisurely pursuits can give you great insight into future career paths.
Think you can’t make a hobby into a career? People do it all the time. The great painter Paul Gauguin was a successful business person who painted on the side. It actually wasn’t until he was encouraged by an artist he admired to continue painting that he finally took a serious look at his hobby and decided he should change careers. He was good at business, but his love was painting.
5. Make Note of Your Past Accomplishments
Most people don’t keep a very good record of work accomplishments and then struggle with creating a powerful resume when it’s time to search for a new job. Making note of your past accomplishments — keeping a record of them — is not only useful for building your resume, it’s also useful for career planning.
Sometimes reviewing your past accomplishments will reveal forgotten successes, one or more which may trigger researching and planning a career shift so that you can be in a job that allows you to accomplish the types of things that make you most happy and proud.
How many times will you change careers in your lifetime? If you’re like most people, you’ll change careers at least several times over the course of your life. How successful you’ll be in making transitions among careers can at least be partially attributed to the amount of career planning and preparation you’ve done.
Every job-seeker needs to take the time to step way from the day-to-day grind of work and spend quality time reflecting on your career and developing some plans for your future. Whether you love your current job and employer or feel frustrated and confined by your job, career planning can help. Think of career planning as building bridges from your current job/career to your next job/career; without the bridge, you may easily stumble or lose your way, but with the bridge there is safety and direction.
This article provides you with some basic guidelines for both short-term and long-term career planning.
Short-Term Career Planning
A short-term career plan focuses on a timeframe ranging from the coming year to the next few years, depending on the job-seeker. The key characteristic of short-term career planning is developing realistic goals and objectives that you can accomplish in the near future.
As you begin your career planning, take the time to free yourself from all career barriers. What are career barriers? There are personal barriers (such as lack of motivation, apathy, laziness, or procrastination), family pressure (such as expectations to work in the family business, follow a certain career path, or avoidance of careers that are below your status/stature), and peer pressure. And while career planning and career decision-making is an important aspect of your life, do not put so much pressure on yourself that it paralyzes you from making any real choices, decisions, or plans. Finally, career planning is an ever-changing and evolving process — or journey — so take it slowly and easily.
Long-Term Career Planning
Long-term career planning usually involves a planning window of five years or longer and involves a broader set of guidelines and preparation. Businesses, careers, and the workplace are rapidly changing, and the skills that you have or plan for today may not be in demand years from now. Long-range career planning should be more about identifying and developing core skills that employers will always value while developing your personal and career goals in broad strokes.
Feel like your quiet personality makes you the office outsider? Here are six careers where a reserved nature is an asset, not a limitation.
Does the phrase “small talk” make you cringe? If you’re a quiet person, navigating the social niceties of the professional world could be a real drag. You may even feel like your personality is holding you back from getting a leg up in your current career. But don’t count yourself out just yet. A quiet demeanor could conceal great powers of observation or analysis.
“People who are quiet might focus on data and things, rather than people, so there are some occupations [in which] they might be able to do a better job,” says Laurence Shatkin, a career expert and author of several books, including “50 Best Jobs for Your Personality.”
Ready to let your quiet attributes do the talking? Consider pursuing these careers where your natural inclinations could be your greatest assets.
Career 1: Accountant
When data talks, are you usually listening? An ability to sit quietly while poring over numbers could serve you well as an accountant.
If you prefer to keep quiet and focus on the details, this number-driven occupation could play to your strengths, Shatkin says. Reviewing financial statements, computing taxes, and reviewing accounting systems are some of the duties required of accountants, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Accountants carry out their duties in either an office or at home, according to the Department of Labor. Sounds like you’ll have plenty of quality time to spend with your number-friends. Just keep in mind that this job may require meeting face-to-face with clients on occasion, in order to provide recommendations or explain your findings, the Department notes.
Career 2: Graphic Designer
Would you rather express yourself through images than words? Your skills as a visual communicator could take center stage in a graphic design career. Quiet people are often considered better listeners, Shatkin says, which means they may have an advantage in this creative field.
Why do graphic designers need active listening skills? In order to “really focus on what the client is trying to convey with the graphic,” Shatkin says.
But taking direction from clients isn’t the only time you’ll find yourself keeping mum. As a graphic designer, you might spend much of your time figuring out the best way to use colors, images, text, and layouts to communicate ideas, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Sounding a little lonely? Don’t worry, graphic designers aren’t completely solitary. Being able to work in teams is also an important quality, as graphic designers often collaborate directly with a client or in conjunction with marketers, programmers, or other graphic designers, the Department of Labor notes.
Career 3: Software Developer
If you come up with your best ideas during quiet contemplation, a career as a software developer could deliver rewarding work. “Software developers are the creative minds behind computer programs,” according to the U.S. Department of Labor. While they may work in teams, most of the day-to-day work is solo, Shatkin says.
Daily tasks might include designing computer applications such as word processors or games, or creating the operating systems used in consumer electronics, the Department of Labor reports. Still, software developers don’t work in a vacuum. They will need to address feedback from customers about programs they develop, says the Department.
Career 4: Database Administrator
Do you like to quietly and thoroughly think over the task at hand before taking action? If so, you may want to think over a career as a database administrator. Talk about the need for quiet concentration: According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in this career “a minor error can cause major problems.”
That’s because database administrators are responsible for organizing large amounts of data for important processes, like credit card transactions, the Department of Labor reports. Of course, where there are important databases, there are also users of those databases, which is why this career can also require “a fair amount of collaborative work,” Shatkin notes.
Career #5: Writer
Do you feel most comfortable when you’re up to your eyeballs in research and facts – with not a person in sight? Then you might have a calling as a writer. Quiet people often have a great ability to concentrate on slogging through information, Shatkin says. This kind of endurance can be a prized skill for writers, who, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, need to demonstrate strong research and proper citation methods to establish credibility in their work.
Writers produce work for many different mediums. In addition to writing for books and magazines, writers might create content for an advertisement, website, or TV or film script, according to the Department of Labor.
Yes, writing is often a solitary endeavor, but a supporting cast is needed to see manuscripts through to publication. As a writer, you would likely communicate regularly with an editor or client, the Department notes.
Career 6: Survey Researcher
Surveys are used regularly to help organizations test the waters of public opinion, but did you ever wonder who designs the questions? Survey researchers – that’s who. If you’re one for long hours of quiet contemplation, this could be the career for you.
The listening skills that seem to go hand-in-hand with quiet personalities can be the key to designing surveys that deliver reliable, meaningful results, Shatkin says.
No, surveys won’t tell you how they should be designed, but your employers might. “Part of [survey research] is finding out what someone needs to learn from the survey, and that requires really listening,” Shatkin says.
As a survey researcher, you could enjoy a good amount of silent work – like researching the survey topic, determining the best method for accurately capturing the desired information, or using statistical software to analyze the results, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
Just note that you won’t be spending all of your time on Silent Street. Survey researchers can also be responsible for conducting surveys themselves by facilitating focus groups or interviewing people over the phone or in-person, according to the Department of Labor.