I rarely make New Year’s resolutions. In fact I kind of secretly despise them. I firmly believe that if you are going to do something you shouldn’t wait to take action; whether that is mapping out a plan, or diving right in to your goals. However, this year I did decide to make a New Year’s resolution: to read 2 books every month. I’ve started the year reading some amazing books and I want to share those books with you; so I created a reading list! Every book that I feel played a significant part in my life through a personal, career, or investment standpoint I add to that list.
I recently finished Susan Cain’s work of art Quiet: The Power Of Introverts In A World That Can’t Stop Talking. In her work, Susan Cain discusses not only what it means to be an introvert, and the importance of balance between introverts and extroverts in the world and workplace; but brought up a really good point that I wanted to focus today’s blog around. The topic is temperament and careers. How do we choose careers that match our temperament? Is this an innate sense? Do we choose passions based on the environment they will allow us? In today’s blog I’m going to discuss why it’s so important to choose a career that matches your personality and temperament; and more importantly how to find that career.
Dig Deep – Like most revelations choosing the right career that matches your personality takes tons of introspection. You need to really connect with yourself and think not only what you enjoy doing; but what environment you like doing it in! For instance it’s wonderful that you love numbers, but if dealing with stressed people during tax season isn’t going to give you gratification it might be worth trying to find another career that allows you to foster your love of numbers while providing an environment that isn’t so stressful. You can kind of see what I’m getting at here; your passion is what you love doing, but your temperament dictates the environment you like doing it in. So how can you find the healthy balance!?
Learn From Experience – Honestly the best way to find that healthy balance is to put yourself in various environments dealing with your passion or interest. Say you are so passionate about music. Take time learning and asking questions from music teachers, musicians, recording artists, acoustic engineers, instrument builders, etc… There are so many possibilities for each career. If your temperament is highly sensitive to stress and judgement you need to find a career that will allow you to feel relaxed while feeling like you have an impact. If you thrive under pressure you might love setting up for a big rock show minutes before it’s announced.
The key here (and I’ve said this before) is that our passions certainly are a driving factor; but I believe the human species is more impacted by the environment we do our passions in. In essence, are you geared to do your passion with people or alone? Do you prefer to travel or do you enjoy the safety of your own space? These things might not seem like important factors when deciding on a career; but they can become factors that might affect your happiness down the road. It’s important to ask: will this career/position fit my personality? Asking this question is just as important as asking about salary, benefits, or a 401k match.
Going Against The Grain – One thing I truly believe is that humans, in an anthropological sense, are the best adaptation creatures earth has ever seen. We went from discovering fire to creating the most unique ways to find a mate (#swipeleft?) but what we need to look at is what happens if you go against the grain. In essence what happens if you’re an introvert in an extroverted career? And vice versa. Is it possible? Well I have a little experience with this and would love to share that this is completely possible.
As I hope some of you know from reading the blogs on this site; I’m a real estate agent. Sales in general is perceived as one of the most extroverted careers there are. You are constantly talking to people, networking, meeting new clients, and mortgage reps. For me (one of the most introverted people on the planet) it wouldn’t appear to be a good match for a career. However, surprisingly I love sales! and another surprising thing is that I’m good at it! So how can this be? How can a person who really can get overstimulated easily make a career of being around people all the time?
The secret is looking into your career and aligning your passion. My passions are helping people, forming deep connections, and creating lasting relationships. A career in sales, somehow, meets all of my passions and needs. Being introverted, I admit, I’m not much of a talker (that’s why I write!) but this makes me a great listener; and it turns out people love to be listened to! Finding a passion is one thing, but digging into your values and personality traits and deciding how you are going to bring them out in a career is another story. Be creative, be innovative, but more importantly be yourself.
Conclusion – The important takeaway and message I want to convey is that when choosing a career it is incredibly important to not just follow your passion, but evaluate your temperament and environments that you thrive in. What values has your temperament gifted you? And how can you incorporate those gifts and values into your career? Let us know your thoughts and comments below, we always love to hear from you!