Do’s and don’ts for (high) sensitive persons at work

hsp-work-aufziehmanAs a (high) sensitive person you might feel that working life bears a particular challenge to you. On one hand, a standard 9-5 job has the pitfalls that it might bore you rather soon and that, for some, five regular working days may be too much. Working less hours or not working at all, on the other hand often is no option because of general company standards (working less) or your personal drive and situation (not earning money).

Do not panic!

There are some simple points to take into consideration on your way to the perfect job. And it is always good to start by asking yourself ’what do I really want?’

Your calling

“What is my calling?” “What kind of work is right for me?” For many people this is a question that they ask at some point in their lifes. For (high) sensitive people this might be even more prominent, because they are more sensitive to, for example, working conditions and are naturally more concerned with working a meaningful job. Some people know from an early age what they want to be and heading purposefully towards it. For others, including many (high) sensitive persons, it is quite a quest to find work that suits them and it feels good. Work where you come to your right and can utilize talents.

The quest

What should you be aware of during your quest for the perfect occupation? Because, make no mistake, also as a (high) sensitive person you can contribute in a meaningful and rewarding way to the present society. Just accept a few things and account for who you are, and you will be successful and happy! One of the ‘out of the box’ themes that you may face in your professional life is that you are drawn to many different things inUntitled-1 life. And in work. So changing your career path once, twice or even more often is rather the rule that the exception for a (high) sensitive person.

There, now I’ve said it. I hope that this will help to strengthen you whenever you need to make the decision to get out of a job that became tedious, tiring or just boring and start something new. And when, during this process, you get the well-meant advise from people around you to think twice, or even don’t think at all and just ‘be happy with what you have.’ Because, while this attitude might perfectly well work for them, it will, in the end suffocate you.

General approach

When looking for a job, you want to consider the following:

  • Find a balance between your own needs and the needs of society or an employer. Both society and an employer might require you to suppress your essential needs.
  • Don’t let a lack of self-esteem (“I can not do it’), stop you from finding your own truth rather than desperately trying to meet the expectations of the outside world.

Challenge: to listen to your inner voice and to respond to it. Keep searching for the job and working environment that are most suited for you.

(High) sensitive persons in any profession

Don’ts

  1. Not makeing choices. Not making choices is often keeping your thoughts busy and drains energy. Making choices gives you the feeling of having done something and getting ahead.
  2. Fear of failure. If a decision or choice does not deliver the result you had in mind, this is not the same as failure. It is part of a learning and growing process that will make you stronger and more self-assured. See it as a ‘failing forward’ that will speed up your learning process by lightyears, as compared to not choosing or deciding.
  3. Perfectionism. It is natural that you want to do well. But you need to find the optimal balance between overtime, quality and the effort made to deliver the product.
  4. Overstimulation. Make it a routine to take a small rest and to relax during the day. Reserve a few minutes and breathe as deeply and consciously as you can.
  5. Too much compassion. The problems of others (real or imagined) are the problems of others, not yours. Keep a professional distance. This will also enable you, with your capacity to notice context and conations, to give wise and valuable advice, when asked.
  6. For every adversity you learn something and it enriches you as a person. Remember the saying ‘Either you do it right thing, or you learn something!’
  7. Insecurity. Insecurity is an enormous brake on your professional (and personal) development and work pleasure. Therefore, see to it that you are well informed before you need to make a decision. Do not loose yourself in how something might turn out, but demand concrete information and talk to people. This will help you to come to a decision that you can stand by.
  8. Making decisions is difficult. You want so much, there are so many opportunities that appeal to you; But do develop decisiveness. It is usually better to make a decision and later have to do, then not go with anything and stay lingering behind, stagnating.
  9. Letting anxiety make the decisions. The fear of not being good enough will block your creativity, drive and energy. Instead of letting the anxious feeling take over, focusing on your qualities and successes; remember: ‘Where you focus your attention on grows’!

Do’s:

If finding your ideal profession, you might want to remember:

  • The better you feel, both physically and mentally, the more you can do for others.
  • Oftentimes, a more advisory role might come more natural to you than a dogmatic leadership.

hsp-werk-vipYour operating environment

  1. Time (pressure) and environment are important factors for your work pleasure and performance. Too much continuous time pressure may wear you out soon.
  2. Opt for a quieter work environment. It will help you relax and use more of your inborn flexibility and intuition to benefit your work.
  3. A quieter job also helps to prevent the possibility for overreacting as a consequence of stress. And overreacting does not benefit anyone’s status among colleagues nor does it contribute to your reputation as being reliable and good do work with.
  4. See to it that you have sufficient time for your duties.
  5. The working environment -does the level of sound and light appeal to you? Is the atmosphere ok for you?
  6. Consider avoiding hectic office gardens with lots of noise and stress (from others, that you naturally are inclined to take over)
  7. Take good care of yourself regarding type of work and working conditions. Most (high) sensitive people will not be very productive for very long if they can’t stand behind the work ethics or behavior of their colleagues.
  8. Stand up for yourself and feel free to ask for another chair, a quieter workplace or whatever makes you feel better at work.

In short: if you have the strength to pursue a career that goes well with your convictions and needs, you may excel in it equally well as any less sensitive colleague. And your career will be a career that is stimulating you and assist your growth instead of overstimulating you and draining your energy!

Now you:

  • Which of the above points resonate most with your current situation?
  • Is there a career switch that you have been dreaming of for a while but not yet dared to go for it?
  • How many career changes have you had during your life so far?

If you are looking for help to improve your job situation or reorientate yourself professionally, just give me a call (06-53667256) or send me an email and we will find a way to help you finding the right kind of work for you.

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Do you like this article? Be sure to read: “8 points about how technology changes the brain (high sensitive or not)”. Online March 1st.

Are you triggered by this article? Know then that I’m offering a (free) Inspiration session where you can get more general tips or tailor-made advice for your personal situation. Call 06-53667256 or send an email to info@ankewebersmit.com.

Don’t want to miss an article in the future? Sign up for my (monthly) newsletter with all articles and more interesting information! Go to: http://www.ankewebersmit.com.

Image credits 1, 2, 3

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