Tag Archives: Highly Sensitive Person

HSP Career Advantage Summarized

I appreciate all the comments and e-mails on our series of blogs about Highly Sensitive People in the workplace. Many reached out to say, “this is me, I never knew, where can I turn now?”

DSC_0062Your comments are inspiring and wonderful. I want you to know that you’re not alone. You should see this outpour of response and recognize that you’re not the only one sitting at a desk or standing behind a counter with a fake facial expression, a bleeding heart, and a passion for something outside of your current job. You’re not the only one affected by sounds and atmosphere in a way that makes others doubt your abilities. And none of this makes you a lesser person.

I received explicit questions about specific career moves for the Highly Sensitive. In light of them, I’ve decided to do a recap for those who missed the discussion last year.

For the Creative:

The Creative HSP is the one who can take their sensitivity to their environment and translate it into amazing art. This can come in so many forms that you need to look deep down, explore online, and find the option that will fit you. If you can find writing positions that fit your life, go for it. Get into graphic design, filming and editing videos (even if you just start with small parties or weddings), or even marketing, which could showcase a remarkable amount of creativity for the right HSP.

For the Empathetic:

This is the kind of Highly Sensitive Person that works best with people, giving off warmth and compassion in a way that creates trust between the consumer and the business. Empathetic HSPs make amazing teachers, nurses, counselors, and even customer service representatives in the right atmosphere.

For the Precise:

The Highly Sensitive Person that is drawn to detail, flourishes in quiet independence, and excels in numbers, figures, and linguistics, genuinely should find a good home in programming, accounting, fact-checking, and researching, just to name a few. Working in a library might suit you incredibly. With your skills and determination to justify them, any employer would be lucky to have someone trustworthy, accurate, and talented like you sitting somewhere undisturbed to verify, catalog, or calculate.

The point is, you can’t sell yourself short. You don’t have to pretend to be someone you’re not. Employers need people just like you to balance the workplace and to offer the natural gifts that you have. No matter how old you are, or what level of experience you have, it’s never too late to start offering those gifts now. Begin with volunteer work, and share your talents with those who need them. You’ll find your way. Somehow, we always do.

Take care, and keep the e-mails coming!

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 Blog: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

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Highly Sensitive Person at Work

DSC_0044Many people know the feeling. You show up to work, most likely wearing something that meets dress code without standing out too much. As soon as you walk in, you notice the temperature, smell, lighting, and noise level. BAM – your day is set.

For the highly sensitive person, initial details have the capacity to either drain you completely or fuel your work day. For the HSP, many office details are almost always something you can’t control.

Work with me for a moment and place yourself in their shoes… the first agonizing moments of a Highly Sensitive Person’s day at a “regular job.”

Truth is: Environmental stimuli have a profound effect on the HSP; an effect often not recognized as “legitimate” in our Western culture. Think it about this for a moment before water-fountain fodder damages more than team morale.

Time to educate: Barrie Jaeger describes three categories of work in her book, Making Work Work for the Highly Sensitive Person. These can also be considered “stages” of work, as most people at least attempt to climb a ladder of employment to get to something more fulfilling. HSP or not, climbing the ladder and finding professional fulfillment is one thing we ALL have in common. Perhaps we are not so different after all in our pursuit to happiness.

Taking a look at how fulfillment becomes a reality, time to summarize Jaeger’s work:

Drudgery

This is the type of work that is just miserable, especially for the HSP. The misery of a job like this can get in your head and stay there, affecting your routine even far from work. Driving home, dinner, family time, and even your dreams can be preoccupied with the dread of returning to a Drudgery type of job.

For a Highly Sensitive Person, it most likely does not matter how well you are paid, you just. Want. Out. Interestingly enough, this type of work may only be this miserable to the HSP, and could be chalked up to the environmental stimuli of the workplace itself. It may very well be a normal job that is taken in stride by non-HSPs because it is much easier for the non-HSP to work strictly because “it’s a job” to just “make money.”

Truth is: Highly Sensitive People can develop physical illness due to chronic stress and other psychological injuries by feeling “stuck” in a job like this.

Craft

Jaeger describes a “Craft” job as something more tolerable for an HSP, one offering moments of genuine appreciation for the work performed (which is imperative for the Highly Sensitive). This is a job where the HSP competently works, completes tasks, and doesn’t mind going to work.

Craft can be considered as a middle ground where you won’t find yourself looking forward to going to work all that much, but it may (or will) have disperse great moments… and when it comes for the HSP, a little bit of greatness goes a long way. Being midway to happiness, crumbs now and then might muffle any desire to escape for just long enough to get the experience necessary to get to the next step.

Calling

Of course, everyone wants to find their calling. No one really wants to work a mediocre-at-best job their entire lives. For a Highly Sensitive Person, it’s about slightly more than wanting to find your calling. You need to.

A Calling is making a living by doing what you were born to do. What brings you to life? What are you most passionate about? Can you imagine the satisfaction of being able to do want you love all the time and getting paid for it? How liberating that would be.

Truth is: Many HSPs find their ideal calling somewhere in the self-employed arena but few take the risk and, for the HSP, taking risks appear more daunting than for the non-HSPs.

Unfortunately, many (if not most) Highly Sensitive People find themselves stuck in “Drudgery” type jobs for a large portion of their life. If this is you, don’t be as distressed as I’m sure this makes you feel at first. After all, there are things you can do to make the best of where you are, no matter where you are, and restore not only your productivity as an employee but also your overall well-being.

We will delve more into that next week; but in the meantime, feel free to e-mail me at rpayne@edu-cs.com with any questions, concerns, or for sneak-peak tips!

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
Blog: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

Career FEAR

Fear image

I want you to look very carefully at the picture above. Read the big word, feel its effect on you. The thoughts and pictures that fill your mind when the element of fear is introduced; let them flow. Then look again. Read the small words. Play it against everything that ran through your mind at the thought of fear, and try to find one instance where it isn’t true.

I charge you to find one fear in your mind that does not meet the requirement above. One fear that is logical. One fear that has a rightful place between you and your destiny. One fear that is true evidence proving your failures, inadequacies, and flaws to be real without a shadow of a doubt.

You can’t. If you say you can, you are not being fully honest with yourself.

One thing we have all got to let go of is our fear. It’s one thing to recognize danger or an uncertain situation. It’s an entirely different thing to change your course of action because you fear what is in front of you. Especially if your goal is on the other side of that fear. This is when you are charged to move ahead, regardless of what may seem to be blocking your way.

How many people stay in jobs they hate because they fear the unknown?

How many people keep their head under the radar despite excellent qualifications for a better job due to a fear of failure? Shirking the responsibility because they’re scared they don’t deserve it… Is that you?

Career Reality: You don’t have time to be scared. You don’t even actually have a reason. Behind every worst case scenario, there is another option. Another challenge, another opportunity to learn just what it is you are truly made of.

When you have a daunting decision to make, anxiety or fear is only going to cloud your mind. This will only make it harder to make a good decision. Here are some ways to beat the fear and keep your head in the right place to decide what’s really best for you:

The “5” Perspective

Ask yourself how this is going to affect your life in the next 5 minutes. Let that sink in. Now ask what it will matter in 5 weeks. How much is this, right here and now, going to affect your life in the next 5 months? And finally, ask yourself how much this is going to matter in 5 years. Be honest with yourself during this, and listen to the reactions in your mind. If tension pops up, hear it out, rationalize it, and move on. If you start to relax, relax. Don’t fight it. Changing perspective is often enough to quell uneasiness.

Write it Out

Of course this is my favorite. Write out the worst thing that could happen, write out any reaction you may have to that scenario. Then, even if it’s fiction, write a new ending. Write how you would want to react, what you would want to see happen next, what you would want to gain from it. As we’ve discovered recently, the power of visualization is not to be taken lightly. Therefore, make use of it. Use it to counter your fears and create the courage you need to move on.

Talk it Out

Never underestimate the positive influence of an outside perspective. As sure as there are people in your life that you admire, they are sure to want to help you come to a better understanding of the dilemma you face. Truth is, your fears could be entirely fabricated, and it just might take the advice of a good friend or well-respected colleague to point that out to you. Listen to them. If you go to someone that will only want the best for you, then you need to take the next step and put as much trust in them as possible. Line it all up with your values, and go from there.

Just Go For It.

It’s the career of your dreams! Maybe you’ve been comfortable long enough, just working the job that pays the bills, regardless of the strain it puts on you and/or your family. If you’ve worked out everything you can, it might be time to simply take the leap. Find what gives you the deepest peace, regardless of surface-treading fear, set yourself free, and go for it. You’ll be so glad you did.

In no way am I suggesting you give into reckless spontaneity that will damage your current standing and promise you no future. This is about finding your destiny and removing fear to listen to the inner voice that guides you. Follow that, not just superficial desires that will lead you nowhere. Don’t compromise your future, and that goes both ways.

If you’d like to discuss more, I’m always here. Write me anytime at rpayne@edu-cs.com. I’d love to hear from you!

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
Blog: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

Career Advantage: Highly Sensitive Precision

DSC_0057Ever find yourself getting hung up on details? Maybe your job is the fast-paced, big-picture kind, and maybe you find it frustrating. For highly sensitive people, details matter, and they matter hard. In the wrong place and to the wrong person, this can look less than desirable.

For the HSP, if the results of meticulous work are not instant and obvious, there is a tendency to be standing on the short end of criticism. For those not understanding what it means to be an HSP, there seems to be unfair finger-pointing, even to the point of being accused of procrastination, lack of dedication, or worse…

Reality Check: Being an HSP does not necessarily mean that you are easily distracted, lazy, or uncommitted. Being an HSP might just mean that you have a skillset that is not being utilized where you are.

That skillset is your attention to detail. It is precision. And that is something that many companies desperately need from you are unable to recognize only because they are unaware of the multitude of advantages you offer to a company’s bottom line.

Reality Check: How one is perceived and defined too often depends upon social conditioning and, unfortunately, social ignorance.

The Highly Sensitive Person’s brain does take longer to process information, but it does so more thoroughly than the average person. This means that the Big-Picture people can run around all day, overlooking things in trying to keep up. Truth is, companies need someone like you. Company’s need those who will keep them afloat with details that could be overlooked in pursuit of the big picture.

Showcasing the HSPs much needed contributions, suppose you were to notice an area in your workplace that could be improved with some fine-tuning only someone like you are able to recognize and resolve. You then take a moment to brainstorm ways that you could be of assistance in that improvement. Upon developing a strategic plan of action (as an HSP would do), you address the situation to your superior, highlighting an action plan and a most-likely result(s). Not only will your ambition be admired, but your ideas may be implemented. Who knows where you might go from there?

If you are looking for new employment, and you would like to utilize your precision, consider the marketable art of programming. There are a ton of training courses online, many of them free and fun for beginners. As you move up, you can find yourself subscribing to a site that could lead you directly into a career upon certification.

For more information on these training programs, check out this blog at http://jobsearch.about.com/od/careereducation/a/online-programming-training-courses.htm.

The Highly Sensitive Person is a uniquely added value requiring an innovative career management portfolio and plan. Over the next few weeks we’ll evaluate effective and industry-tested cover letter and resume strategies for your advantage.

Stay informed, confident, and know today is not just another day.

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
Blog: https://careerbreakout.wordpress.com
Education Career Services: www.edu-cs.com
West Orlando News Online, Event and Career Columnist: http://westorlandonews.com

Career Advantages for the Empathic HSP

DSC_0006It might be hard to imagine how being empathetic could turn into a successful career. Perhaps as a Highly Sensitive Person you found yourself in more corporate jobs geared toward marketing, sales, or something similar only to find that you were miserable to your very core.

True enough, there are plenty who enjoy these jobs and are able to do them to the fullest of their ability. Just as true, you may also know you are not one of those people. As a result, it may have been (or remains to be) quite frustrating to look for a job with the character traits you may exhibit as a Highly Sensitive Person.

If you have not considered the marketable potential of your empathy, then let’s take a look at a few careers where you may find consistent to comfort without compromising career success.

First and most obvious is the health industry. If you have empathy for people and their needs, then you just might belong there. It takes a special brand of compassion to make a career in this industry. If you have yet to consider a career within the health industry – it could be your calling and should be considered.

If you immediately think only of doctors and nurses while contemplating the health industry, think again. While these are good possibilities, and would be great uses of your empathy, consider all of the promising roles within the medical community. Customer service, for example, from hospitals to doctor’s offices, will always need warmth, kindness, and understanding.

If you find that your capacity to empathize with others is quite vast, look into becoming a counselor or social worker. Your gift of understanding another person’s point of view could drastically change someone’s life… the reward of such work can be quite immense. Some people with this capacity have also made successful independent careers for themselves as life coaches.

Additionally, you should consider education. There is a massive need for empathy within the industry of education. Students need someone who can understand their struggles in learning, and not blindly expect them to absorb mere information. Think back to a teacher who influenced your life… the catalyst sparking you to become who you are today can be brought forth by you.

When considering options, the best thing to do is still (and always will be) volunteer. Not only is it deeply rewarding to give back to your community, but you can gain invaluable experience and insight. Through volunteer work you have the opportunity to feed your empathy to levels rarely found in profit-driven establishments.

When it comes down to it, there are advantages an HSP individual offers over non-HSP candidates. The inherent ability to connect is one of the most sought after traits companies seek to acquire. Backed by knowledge and confidence, there’s no better time than this moment to step beyond the sidewalk and into challenges desiring and seeking what you have to offer.

We’ll continue evaluating effective career management methods as the holidays approach but always welcome your input, suggestions, and questions.

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

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