Choose a Career That Matches Your Personality…

Don’t beat yourself up if you have the type of personality where you get easily bored or distracted. You’re not alone. And as long as you choose a job or career that matches your natural temperament, there’s no reason you can’t be successful. 

For example, you might consider entrepreneurship, a career path that provides lots of variety. From coming up with an idea, to finding the resources to turn that idea into action, to interact with customers or clients, there’s rarely time for boredom or routine. 

If you have difficulty switching off or disconnecting, you may want to consider a career in PR or media production. There’s never a dull moment in those jobs where you have to be prepared to react to news or learn how to communicate with very different audiences in a wide range of media. 

Another career if you want to avoid monotony and routine is consulting, where you regularly interact with new clients and take on novel problems. 

Your personality is an inherent part of who you are. Identifying a role that is a fit for your natural disposition will help you improve your job performance and maximize your career potential.

How to Answer One of the Hardest Job Interview Questions

The job interview question, “Tell me about yourself,” can be the most challenging to answer. It requires careful consideration to provide an effective response. Rather than sharing your life story or job history, focus on what the company needs from the role you are applying for.

Begin by reviewing the job description and identifying key requirements and desired skills. Look for phrases like “required,” “must have,” and “highly desired.” Then, research the company’s corporate culture and core values. Visit their website’s “About Us” section to understand what they stand for and what they’re looking for in a candidate.

Consider how you can connect your background and interests to what the company is seeking. Practice your response so that you can confidently deliver it during the interview. You want to sound like your career has been building towards this role and that you are the best candidate to fill it. Remember, the interviewer is not looking for a monologue of your professional and personal life, but rather a clear and concise statement of your qualifications and relevance to the role.

Effective Soft Skills in Any Job…

Even if you’re working in a job that feels temporary, dead-end, or just isn’t the one, you’re not wasting your time. You can use this opportunity to develop some invaluable soft skills that will serve you in any career you might pursue down the road.

  • Problem-solving. Every job has challenges, some more complex than others. Being adept at problem-solving—which includes understanding the problem and root cause, then brainstorming solutions and alternatives—shows structured thinking with logic-based reasoning.
  • Effective communication. Being able to translate complex ideas for any audience (customers, clients, coworkers) is a critical capability in every field. Think of your job as an opportunity to practice adjusting your communication with each person you interact with.
  • Teamwork. Every job, on some level, requires some degree of collaboration. Practice new ways to resolve conflicts, align stakeholders, and partner with colleagues to advance your team’s goals.
  • Leading and influencing (even without authority). You’re more than just a cog in a machine. Look for opportunities to voice your opinions and ideas, mentor others, and contribute to your workplace culture.

Don’t Hire a Friend?

Try and avoid hiring a friend into your company: Can a personal relationship coexist alongside a professional one? If you approach the situation carefully, it’s possible to work with each other while preserving the friendship. 

First, set their expectations about whether they’re likely to get the job. Say something like, “I want to explore the possibility of our working together — but I want to be clear that it might not be a good idea.” 

Next, make sure you’re comfortable saying no to the person. If you do become your friend’s boss, you’ll need to have confidence that their emotional maturity can make the dynamic work. 

Last, think together about how you’d deal with difficult situations that may arise on the job. This will help both of you set the psychological boundaries you’ll need if you’re going to be coworkers in addition to friends.

I have a Negative Relationship with My Boss…

Everyone wants to feel respected by their manager, but over half of the employees say they don’t. What to do if you’re in that unfortunate majority? Try these three things:

Manage your energy. 

Sleep, exercise, good nutrition, and stress management can help to ward off the harmful effects of being disrespected by your boss.

Thrive outside work. 

If you’re happy in your non-work life, you’re more likely to thrive at the office, no matter what your boss thinks of you. This is because enjoying outside work increases your emotional reserves and gives you a sense of growth and learning. Think about what will make you happier outside the office, and start doing it.

Seek positive relationships. 

Negative, draining relationships affect your sense of thriving which is four to seven times the effect of energizing, positive ones. To offset the drain of people who pull you down, surround yourself with a small group of energizers — the people in your life who make you smile and laugh and lift your spirit.

Help Out Introvert(s) on Your Team…

Chances are, more than a few of your employees are introvert(s) and sometimes feel out of place—regardless of how competent they are. They are part of your team and they high performing employees. But sometimes being introverted comes their way to perform. As a manager, how can you help them?

Watch for red flags. 

Unsustainable work habits, such as constantly working long hours, can be a telltale sign. To prove themselves, introverts will work long hours, as they feel they’re not contributing enough. So can disengage work habits, such as withdrawal from a social group, and hesitancy to ask questions or speak up. In either case, start an honest dialogue with your employee early. Proactively ask if a sense of self-doubt might be underlying their behavior.

Focus on their work. 

Acknowledge high-quality work and signs of development. Positive feedback builds confidence and helps dissipate insecurity which is sometimes the cause of being introverted. If they make mistakes, emphasize that this is an integral part of learning.

Be vulnerable. 

Share some of your own professional or personal insecurities and failures, particularly those failures that you overcame in a meaningful way. This will remind them that what they’re feeling is normal—and that they can overcome it.

Be an Active Listener to be a Good Manager…

If you are managing a team, the ability to listen, effectively break down, and analyze an issue in order to find a solution — will be core to your success. Whether it is an internal team issue, a technical issue, or an external dependency. 

Being an active listener and ability to formulate effective questions to get others to open up is crucial. Here are a few ways to boost your ability to do this.

Hold your hypotheses loosely, Don’t be defensive.

Approach any problem with an open mind, and hold any of your hypotheses. Asking good questions can lead you to fundamentally reconsider your assumptions — but you have to be willing to do so without defensiveness.

Listen more than you talk. 

Active listening allows you to fully grasp another point of view, making it easier to question your own assumptions and biases.

Leave your queries open-ended. 

Avoid asking yes-or-no questions. Instead, try to get the respondent to open up at length.

Consider the counterintuitive. 

Every group has someone who’s unafraid to challenge the status quo, sometimes he/she is the right person to discuss any approach or any conclusion you are formulating.

Sleep on it. 

A good night’s rest can actually help your brain see a problem more clearly, be more attentive to others, and hence be able to resolve any issue faster.