Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Career Planning - Listen To Your Psyche


By Al Walsh, Businessman, Finance, Consultant

We're all different; every single human,
mortal one of us.

Our personalities are pretty much set in
stone at an early age.

We can correct bad behaviors, but our basic likes and
dislikes stay with us to the grave.

It's important to listen to your psyche, and pay attention when choosing the work you do.

• We all fall into different places on the Introvert-Extrovert scale.
• Some people are natural leaders, and some abhor the very idea.
• Some people like group activities, and some crave isolation.
• Some people should never work with the public, while others excel comfortably.
• Some like working with numbers, while the very idea send others "running screaming into the night". The list goes on and on as to the character traits that shape us.

I'm always amazed at the people who, through dint of circumstances, wind up in the wrong job for their personality. They are generally unhappy, and create an uphill battle for themselves trying to excel at a job they're not fundamentally suited to.

Years ago there was a famous book about the "Peter Principle" - the basic idea being that people sometimes find themselves moving into positions a step above their level of competence. It is my experience that most people find themselves in this position because they didn't listen to their own psyches, and wound up in positions that made them uncomfortable.

A classic example of this is a supervisor we know with (details left out). The woman is a nurse-supervisor on a critical floor of a major hospital. She's an introvert, and has no business being in a leadership position. She stays in her office most of the time. When she does come out, she has difficulty relating to others and ends up shouting at everyone. She doesn't help the other nurses. Her misery shows daily, but she apparently can't see the reason why. Like many others, she's stuck in an inappropriate role. Her supervisor is unhappy, her fellow employees are unhappy, and she'll probably end up being pushed out at some point. She'll probably blame everyone but herself, and go right back into a similar mess.

The above case-study is not uncommon. There are lots of people out there who are in the wrong positions, and haven't come to grips with it. Sometimes we get so caught up in "the game" that we lose touch with ourselves.

You're just not going to be happy, and probably won't be successful, if you wind up in a job that grates against your core personality.

So sit down sometime soon and take an inventory of yourself. Measure that inventory against your current career path. If there's a mismatch, you'll probably want to make an adjustment.

Be true to yourself first.
Al Walsh, Owner/Founder Walsh Enterprises, Business Advisors

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