Highly Sensitive Person (HSP): Your Creative Advantage

Not long ago, we posted an article about the beneficial characteristics of being a Highly Sensitive Person, or HSP. The question is: Being an HSP, how can one capitalize on those underlying traits and use them to propel you into a successful career?

DSC_0105For the next few weeks we’re going to delve into four characteristics highlighted in our original article and learn how those traits can take you to the next level professionally. We’ll start with my personal favorite:

Creativity!

For the Highly Sensitive Person, whether artistically or professionally creative, it is of the utmost importance to learn to offer your gifts without fear of rejection.

But how?

Even people who aren’t Highly Sensitive have this fear and may seem like an impossible feat. The contradiction can’t be more obvious: How does an HSP simultaneously embrace their sensitivity and take action that defies it?

One word – skill. Build up your skill and sharpen it. Even if what you do comes naturally, your plan now is to offer it to the corporate world in exchange for a salary, supporting your gift with results. No one argues with results; always keep that in mind as a motivating force.

What area of your creativity can best be honed and shaped into a marketable asset?

Are you a writer? Take writing classes and workshops and get feedback. Most importantly, get feedback from strangers. Learn to write in multiple styles and voices and build a portfolio of objectively great samples. Don’t forget the depth of the writing field. Blogs, website content, social media marketing, movie/music/food/event reviews, and the list goes on – you can find your niche or explore all of them. Look into freelance work for any of the above, you might be surprised.

Are you an artist? Branch out. Take a break from your Jackson Pollock-style bedroom musings and volunteer to paint a mural for your community. Look into freelance work for logo design. Find anything that builds your resume/portfolio and reinforces your skill.

Now, for the professionally creative, you need to hone your skills as well. Where does your creative skillset lie? Organizing? Team-building? Streamlining?

Look around your current job. If you see an opportunity to creatively improve something within your work environment, discuss it with your superior. Your initiative will be recognized as the vast majority of companies are always seeking creative problem solvers… just like you. If this wouldn’t work for you, find a volunteer position to showcase your talent in some way.

No matter how much or what kind of creativity you possess, volunteer work is a great way for you to sharpen your skills and explore possibilities. Not only will this be gratifying for you, but it will look great on your resume and you will have tangible results to share with those who ask what your creativity can bring to their team.

To make things simpler, here are two links that can get you started with career opportunities (check them out and let me know your impressions and results):

www.volunteermatch.org

www.ifreelance.com

Personally inviting you to share, send questions and professional stories my way.

For those interested in developing proven career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused material, including interview best practice techniques or how to write effective resume/cover letters, visit http://www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact us directly: dhuffman@edu-cs.com to see how we can help you.

Rikki Payne, Career Consultant, Editor, and Writer, rpayne@edu-cs.com
Education Career Services, http://www.edu-cs.com
Follow us on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blog: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: http://www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

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Hooray, You Failed! More Than the Bright Side

I don’t tend to be an advocate of not-great movies. However, if a mediocre (or bad) movie holds a true nugget of wisdom, I am certainly not above digging it out and sharing it when I believe it to be helpful.

DSC_0038The movie “Meet the Robinsons” is one such case. It was not great. All it truly offered was one part with the power to make one laugh every single view. This one little nugget of share-worthy wisdom, the one which genuinely moved me, created an “ah-ha” moment is the driving force illuminating the bright side.

The main character accidentally traveled to the future and has been taken in by a very eccentric family. The traveler tries to show the eccentric family an invention, and it goes disastrously wrong. As he awaits their fury and begins to retreat into humiliation, a strange thing happens. They cheer for him.

Are you thinking, “Okay, what’s the point of humiliation and how can retreating possibly progress career aspirations?” Thing is, we’ve all experienced humiliation… but how we react to humbleness often defines personal AND professional success or failure…

Getting back to the movie, they celebrate his mistake and bring him to an understanding that it is only by failing that you can ever succeed.

As one (of many, I’m sure) who had never considered this notion before, it hit me pretty hard. Not in a position to deny or confirm, this moment may or may not have brought a tear to my eye. My “ah-ha” moment forced me to ask: how long have I prolonged my success by not embracing my failures?

Of course, the idea of celebrating failure seems oxymoronic. It goes against everything we’ve been socially, culturally, and professionally trained, it goes against our instincts, and, worst of all, it threatens the ego. Truth is (?), we have an inherent need to feel in-control and accepted at all times, and we will protect that need at all costs… even if it means stagnation.

Tom Harford states that the ego is the enemy of improvement, and in so many ways he is right. Sometimes, the idea of being wrong, rejected, or otherwise humiliated is so overwhelming that we will avoid anything (even something great) that bears the potential (Can you say network avoidance due to fear of rejection—I certainly can).

Let’s look at a couple of the factors behind failure’s massive intimidation factor.

Past Experience – Embarrassing moments from the past can stick out in your mind like a bad scene in a movie. If you had a physical reaction when it happened, chances are it’s magnified when you look back on it. One way to get caught up in an avoidance quagmire is by repeating negative thoughts you had about yourself in that moment. “I’m so stupid,” “I’ll never live this down,” “this always happens to me.”

This may seem harmless; it may seem like something you can’t help. But it isn’t harmless by eroding self-esteem, which only makes it harder to make better decisions or handle situations better in the future. Good news is, self-doubt is entirely something you can do something about. Take time to affirm and visualize events in a positive light… to believe is the first step to becoming.

Future Implications – There is a big difference between planning for a negative outcome and expecting one. Often we take our bad experiences from the past and project them onto our futures, and we most often do this inaccurately.

Our brains are hard-wired to make short-term predictions based on past experiences. The front-polar cortex, the front-most part of your brain, is what tells you to expect a light to come on when you flip a switch and gives you three different scenarios in the event you run that stop sign.

Problems are encountered by allowing our overactive imaginations to do this job instead. No matter what statistics you may have heard, you can still fear lightning in the same place you were last time it struck.

I am not suggesting the disregard of caution. I am suggesting the disposal of irrational fears that hold us back from our true and great selves, and to understand the difference between the two.

Allowing the irrational fears of an overactive imagination to stop you from trying is failure at its worst.
* Does a bad breakup keep you from dating?
* Would a bad interview bring your job search to a halt?

Slipping does not mean your next step will find you sliding. Quite the opposite, slipping often allows great insight while bestowing greater resolve to take advantages of opportunities to the fullest. Can you think of anyone who has not slipped? Unfortunately we all know someone who has slipped and allowed that one misstep to take control of their personal and professional life.

Ultimately YOU have control. It is up to you to act on a failure and conquer self-induced fears. The key is to be honest with yourself about past mistakes, the risks involved in current decisions, and the line between your reputation and who you know yourself to actually be. This can free you to take calculated risks and act with the kind of confidence that allows you to claim your rightful place in this world.

Personally inviting you to share your stories, send questions and professional stories my way.

For those interested in developing proven career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused material, including interview best practice techniques or how to write effective resume/cover letters, visit www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact us directly: dhuffman@edu-cs.com to see how we can help you.

Rikki Payne, Career Consultant, Editor, and Writer, rpayne@edu-cs.com
Education Career Services, www.edu-cs.com
Follow us on Twitter #dannyatecs
Blog: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

Your Career: Recharged and Relevant

Sometimes, it doesn’t take much to make you feel irrelevant.

Sometimes it takes a life-changing event.

DSC_0004Maybe you’ve lost your job recently, and you don’t know how likely it may be for someone else to hire you at this point in your life. Maybe a new-hire at your current job seems to threaten your career status.

Maybe you feel you’ve been performing on a lower level than you know you can, and you just feel like you’re in a bit of a rut.

Or maybe, and even better, you just want more: To know more, to learn more, to achieve more. This is an exciting place to be, though it can be uncomfortable if you don’t have the appropriate challenges in front of you.

Then again, maybe, you’re simply…bored.

If any of the above describes you, there are some great tools out there that will keep you recharged and relevant.

Refresh Your Network

When’s the last time you updated your LinkedIn account? Even if you’re not in desperate need of professional connections right now, it can only help to look at your network and your profile with new eyes, expand wherever possible. Hey, I know the hassles and how professional networks can be a total time drain but a nudge may be all you need. With this in mind, find one new person to professional connect with and you’ve introduced change into your life.

Learn Something New

Continuing education may initially sound like a no-brainer. But it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go back to school. There are many prestigious colleges that offer free courses (sans credit, sadly) online, ranging from film and music to history and economics. Whenever you feel you may be getting stagnant, be it mentally or professionally, go to http://www.openculture.com and add something to your current education.

Recharge Your Resume

Even if you haven’t been swept back into the job market just yet, pull your resume out and have a fresh look at it. Remind yourself of your experience, education, and skills. Rebuild your view of the asset you are, not only to your company, but to any team at any company. Go ahead and practice interviewing with someone you know and introduce a few affirmations or dedicated plans for the short term. Make the mock interview fun, but use it as a valuable reminder of your professional worth. This can give you a fresh confidence that can improve your overall demeanor and free up creative, productive thought processes.

We all go through peaks and valleys, so don’t think for a second you are alone. Good news is, you’d be amazed by what can be accomplished when you take small steps like these few mentioned above. Even if you are fully content with your life and your career, you stand more to gain by being proactive about staying content than by reacting to a sudden and desperate need.

Whatever you do, don’t let yourself get stagnant in anything. As Albert Einstein said, “Life is like a bicycle. To stay balanced, you must keep moving.”

Personally inviting you to share your career stories, send questions and professional stories my way.

For those interested in developing proven career success techniques or in securing cutting-edge career focused material, including interview best practice techniques or how to write effective resume/cover letters, visit www.edu-cs.com for a complete listing of available support. You may also contact us directly: dhuffman@edu-cs.com to see how we can help you.

Rikki Payne, Career Consultant, Editor, and Writer
Education Career Services, www.edu-cs.com
Follow us on Twitter #dannyatecs
Bloge: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com