Tag: careers and education
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.
Want to pursue an in-demand career? Check out these six fast-growing careers with solid earning potential. One health care career has a median wage of $86K a year and is projected to grow 22% by 2020.
Medical and Health Services Manager
With all of the changes in the health care system in recent years, it’s no wonder that the U.S. Department of Labor projects medical and health services managers to be in great demand.
In fact, the Department of Labor projects job growth in this sector to be faster than the average, at 22 percent, from 2010 to 2020. One main reason for their projected growth? An increased number of physicians, patients, and procedures, the Department says. In effect, managers will be needed to organize and oversee the medical information and staffs.
To get into specifics, medical and health services managers work to improve the efficiency and delivery of health care services, says the Department. How? By keeping up on new laws and regulations for facilities, managing hospital finances, communicating with the members of medical staff, and more.
Education Options: Most medical and health service managers have at least a bachelor’s degree in health administration. However, a master’s degree in health services, public health, or business administration (MBA) is also common.
Median Annual Wage: $86,400
Wage for Top 10 Percent of Workers: $147,890
Wage for Bottom 10 Percent of Workers: $52,730
Do you get fired up at the thought of balancing your checkbook? Do you absolutely love tax season – or at least not hate it? You could be accountant material, and that’s a good thing if you’re looking for a high-growth career.
In fact, the U.S. Department of Labor projects that nearly 200,000 accountant jobs will be created (a 16 percent increase) from 2010 to 2020. The Department of Labor says this stellar job forecast is due to the recent corporate financial crises and stricter laws and regulations in the financial sector – all of which require an increased focus on accounting.
As for their daily responsibilities, accountants do everything from help businesses reduce costs, prepare tax returns, examine financial statements, comply with financial regulations, and communicate with management about a business’s financial operations, says the Department.
Education Options: The majority of accountants and auditors need at least a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field. Some employers may prefer a master’s degree in accounting or business administration (MBA) with a concentration in accounting.
Median Annual Wage: $62,850
Wage for Top 10 Percent of Workers: $109,870
Wage for Bottom 10 Percent of Workers: $39,640
Elementary School Teacher
Do you want to pursue a growing career that involves mentoring the next generation? A gig as an elementary school teacher could be in your lesson plan.
Why? Because this career is hot – at least according to the U.S. Department of Labor’s 2012 list of “Occupations with the largest job growth.” Elementary teacher ranked number 15, with a projected 248,800 jobs created from 2010 to 2020. However, keep in mind that faster growth is expected in the South and West of the country, thanks to more student enrollment. Growth will be slower in the Midwest and Northeast.
Elementary school teachers teach grades first through fifth and sometimes sixth, seventh, and eighth, according to the Department of Labor. It goes on to say that these teachers often teach many subjects, like math, English, reading, and science.
Education Options: Every state requires public elementary teachers to earn a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and have a state-issued certification or license. Some states also require elementary school teachers to major in a specific content area, such as math or science.
Median Annual Wage: $52,840
Wage for Top 10 Percent of Workers: $81,230
Wage for Bottom 10 Percent of Workers: $34,910
Network and Computer Administrators
Can you name one medium-sized to big business that isn’t totally or partially dependant on computers? We’re guessing you’re drawing a blank right now. So it’s no surprise that the U.S. Department of Labor projects jobs for network and computer administrators to grow by a whopping 28 percent, or nearly 100,000 positions, by 2010 to 2020.
The Department of Labor says this is because businesses will invest in newer, faster technology and require better security. As a result, “More administrators with proper training will be needed to reinforce network and system security,” says the Department.
In terms of their day-to-day tasks, network and computer administrators organize, install, and support a business’s computer systems. If you’re a computer lover, you’ll likely also love this gig, since your work life will be dealing with such things as local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), and intranets, adds the Department.
Education Options: A bachelor’s degree in a computer or information science related field is most common for this career. Some positions, however, require only an associate’s degree or a certificate in a computer field, along with some related work experience.
Median Annual Wage: $70,970
Wage for Top 10 Percent of Workers: $112,210
Wage for Bottom 10 Percent of Workers: $43,400
Human Resources Specialist
Are you a good judge of people? Maybe you have a knack for ascertaining their strengths and weaknesses? If so, a career as a human resources specialist might be worth considering – especially since it is projected to have stellar job opportunities.
How stellar? According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the occupation of human resources specialist is projected to grow by 21 percent from 2010 to 2020. That’s due to a number of factors, including the increased emphasis on finding and keeping quality employees.
As a human resources specialist, you would help recruit, screen, and place workers into appropriate positions. You also might do things like assess company needs, interview job applicants, process their paperwork, and perform employee orientations, says the Department of Labor.
Education Options: “Most positions require a bachelor’s degree,” says the Department. “When hiring a human resources generalist, for example, most employers prefer applicants who have a bachelor’s degree in human resources, business, or a related field.”
Median Annual Wage: $54,310
Wage for Top 10 Percent of Workers: $94,700
Wage for Bottom 10 Percent of Workers: $29,850
Are you looking for a career that helps people improve their health? Look no further than registered nursing. These are the caregivers who perform diagnostic tests and explain patient treatments, among other things, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. You’ll also be happy to hear that these vital health care workers will be in great demand.
In fact, the Department of Labor put registered nurses at the top of its 2012 list of “Occupations with the largest job growth.” It projects more than 700,000 nursing jobs to be created from 2010 to 2020 (that’s a 26 percent growth rate, by the way).
What gives for this high growth? The Department says “Growth will occur primarily because of technological advancements; an increased emphasis on preventive care; and the large, aging baby boomer population who will demand more health care services as they live longer and more active lives.”
Education Options: An associate’s degree in nursing (ADN) or a diploma from an approved nursing program are two education paths commonly taken by registered nurses. They must also be licensed.
Median Annual Wage: $65,950
Wage for Top 10 Percent of Workers: $96,630
Wage for Bottom 10 Percent of Workers: $44,970