Note: This post is targeted to introverts and the 70% of highly sensitive people who are introverts.
How many of us didn’t realize (or ignored) that we were highly sensitive and/or introverted until after we selected our career?
How many of us have struggled for years in our career because what it takes to be successful in our careers goes against our inherent personality and nature?
How many times have we felt like we are a square peg being forced into a circular hole that is too small?
In western first-world societies, the “Extrovert Ideal” came into being in the early 1900s. Some qualities that are admired and sought after under this extrovert idealism are:
- Having charismatic magnetism
- Possessing off-the-cuff wit and charm
- Being attractive
- Having a glowing personality
- Being dominant
- Being assertive
- Being forceful
- Having an unlimited inner supply of energy
Not many of these attributes are naturally inherent in introverts or highly sensitive people. In fact, many of us aren’t able to fake most of the above idealistic attributes … no matter how hard we try.
That is why we need to be careful when selecting a career. We need to select a career that allows us to succeed with the qualities that come natural to us such as:
- Working best alone
- Working best with little supervision
- Having the natural ability to stay focused
- Having the natural ability to plan and implement the plan
- Having the ability to think through the pros and cons of a course of action
- Possessing a natural empathy
- Having patience
In most cases, those people who are a good salesperson would be a terrible accountant. Those people who are good at personal and family counseling would make a terrible motivational speaker at large conventions.
When selecting a career, we need to acknowledge and understand our personality type (HSP, introvert) along with our interests, passions, skills and talents. Doing this will save us a considerable amount of life-long unhappiness, frustration and money on psychotherapy.
Most importantly, we need to educate and advise our children and grandchildren on the importance of honestly recognizing their inherent personality type and to select a career the “fits” them instead of one that will be a daily struggle.
I am interested in hearing your experience in selecting a career that didn’t fit your personality type and the struggles that followed. Please use the comment section provided.
If you prefer to contact me directly, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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