A People-Person’s Professional Pocket Guide: Choose Your Career Path
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Your career choice could also depend on the type of your personality. If you’re a people person, then you should pursue a people-person-friendly career path. If you’re an extrovert, a social butterfly, you can opt to become a social worker, teacher, human resource development personnel, or any such people-person-friendly career. Know more about these career choices. ~ Ed.
Did teachers flashing the Quiet Coyote signal crown you with the title of “Chatty Cathy”? Does your extroversion have a long history of scoring in the 99th percentile when dabbling in “Are you an extrovert or introvert?” quizzes? Do opportunities to spread your social butterfly wings give you a dizzying rush of dopamine? If crowds of partygoers packed like sardines and networking events recharge your battery (rather than deplete it), you likely identify with the term people-person.
To scratch your itch for social connection, you might cram your weekends with coffee dates, shopping sprees with your inner circle, late-night dinner parties, and energy-packed concerts—an extrovert’s paradise brought to life. However, music festivals, amusement parks, or bustling downtown bars aren’t the only way to satisfy your craving for face-to-face contact. You can also cater to your people-person tendencies through your career ambitions.
While life as an accountant, freelance editor, or paralegal may pique your interest, these professions can quickly start to resemble a people-person’s makeshift prison cell. To avoid feeling stifled by workdays spent with your reverberating thoughts and the disappointing conversationalist that is your computer screen, choose your career strategically. For more information on people-person-friendly career paths, read on.
5 Careers for Those with Exceptional People Skills
If you’re a people person, then you might like to become a teacher, a caregiver, or even a journalist. Know more about these and more people-person career paths.
If you have an undying fascination with what makes people tick and an innate ability to work with even the sourest apples in the bunch, a career in human resources might be the path for you. With the ability to oversee employee benefits programs, remedy staffing issues, spearhead recruitment initiatives, and advise managers on potentially controversial matters like sexual harassment, dull moments will be few and far between in your day-to-day routine.
While an extroverted disposition is a plus in the HR sector, you’ll need to look within and conduct an inventory of the marketable (and HR-appropriate) skills you possess. To start, harness the power of introspection and confirm that you aren’t afraid to roll up your sleeves and dive headfirst into chaos when sticky situations arise. If high-stress events send you spiraling, you won’t be able to broach reports of discrimination, disciplinary issues, and harassment with the level head required.
Besides the ability to cope with truckloads of stress and confrontation, you’ll need to evaluate yourself as a perceptive and tactful individual. Otherwise, denying salary bump requests or reprimanding insubordination will leave your company’s star players running for the hills.
As an in-home caregiver, you’ll need to build rapport with high-risk seniors under your care, all while preparing a care plan, helping with housekeeping, providing transportation, and monitoring medication use. Though tending to chores and preparing meals for mobility-impaired senior citizens won’t exactly put your people skills to good use, gifting physically or mentally impaired elderly folks with companionship is a critical part of home care provider jobs.
Because physical impairments can render senior citizens immobile, isolation is a common side effect of aging-related ailments. Fortunately, with an in-home caregiver lending a helping hand, the sun will set on days of isolation. Instead, the affected senior will be greeted by an extroverted in-home caregiver’s smiling face and positive attitude.
Without refined people skills, winning over an aging adult’s trust can prove challenging, as those receiving care can often sense feelings of discontent, disgruntlement, and apathy. As the natural extrovert you are, you’ll feel equipped to strike up conversations during mealtimes and ask questions about their basic needs in a refreshingly approachable way.
If you’re talkative by nature, what better way to meet your daily word quota than to dedicate your career to teaching? As a teacher, you’ll need to implement the designated curriculum, develop lesson plans, prepare lectures, and grade assignments as necessary.
As a self-proclaimed extrovert, you’ll need to harness the power of your exceptional people skills to keep students engaged and morale high. When left to their own devices in a no-talking workspace, students might flounder. Whether debilitating fears of asking the wrong questions or anxieties about disrupting the peace are to blame, a hard shell or an unapproachable demeanor can negatively impact the teacher-student relationship. With the consequences of a reclusive, hands-off teacher in mind, extroverted educators are an asset to any classroom.
If you have a deep-seated desire to make a difference and connect with members of your community, consider a career in social work. As a social worker, you’ll assume responsibility for identifying people in need of help, assessing client’s needs/strengths, and following up with clients to ensure their situation has improved. Because social workers spend endless hours interacting with families faced with unthinkable challenges, a stern or disinterested demeanor can do more than unsettle a high-risk individual. It can inhibit or unravel progress.
By contrast, a people-person who radiates positivity and empathy is well equipped to build a bond with those dealing with abuse or injustice. Without this bond secured, a domestic abuse or substance use disorder sufferer might not feel comfortable divulging information about their high-risk situation.
Do the terms “principled” and “empathetic” accurately describe you? Is your knack for research and ability to approach sensitive subjects cautiously and respectfully two of your most marketable skills? If you have an unquenchable thirst for breaking a hard-hitting story and feed off the energy of your community, a career in journalism is worth your consideration.
As a journalist, you’ll spend your days pitching attention-grabbing story ideas to editors, managing tight deadlines, fostering trustworthy relationships, and keeping up-to-date with the latest news. While you may find yourself unplugged from the community pulse and tucked behind a computer from time to time, prepare yourself for long days consisting of energy-intensive social interactions.
Don’t chain yourself to a cubicle or sign your social life away in the name of career advancement. Release the social butterfly within by pursuing a people-person-friendly career path.
Unsure if you’re a people person or a wannabe extrovert? Answer the questions below:
- Does the thought of work-from-home life surface feelings of excitement or dread?
- Do you crumple into a ball of nerves when faced with a client or distant colleague?
- Is cold-calling a panic-inducing experience, or does it give you a rush of mood-boosting adrenaline?
Share your thoughts in the comments section.
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