The workforce: What is this extremely Type B and right brained person to do?

I’m coming close to graduation. It also wouldn’t hurt if I was employed right now. However, I’m afraid that I will not fit in the majority of workplaces, because of their fast paced, competetive, and rational culture. I have worked several (part-time) jobs in the past. I was miserable, and so were my employers and co-workers. The work was not worth the paycheck. I felt I had to be someone or something that I was not. I’m EXTREMELY spontaneous person. I don’t remember planning that often in my life. When I did plan, I rarely followed through. I’m also ten times more relationship-oriented than task oriented. When I was working, I’ve tried like everything in the book to try to be more productive. I’ve even resorted to drinking tons of energy drinks and experimented with supplements that mimicked stimulants. They did indeed boost my performance and productivity. But, aren’t those crutches? They also made me feel sick as hell.

Lately, I’ve been thinking that I simply may not be cut out for traditinal jobs or careers. However, I do want to be a bum or anything. Are they’re careers for people who are very easygoing/laidback, creative, people-oriented, and spontaneous?

I have a history of depression and ADHD, if this matters…

Retail? Store-window decorator? Ad Creative? What’s your degree in? Do kids and you like each other?

I have always figured that there is some worth in (most) every person that could be employed as something useful, if you can just figure out what that is.

Off the top of my head I could suggest something time-consuming and somewhat creative. For instance, painting restoration. I could also see leading tours or whatever.

There’s no need to go into an office environment if you’re not an office person. It’s just a question of what non-office, other jobs there are that would be attractive to you…and within your skill set of course.

House painting, handyman, old folk’s home, cab or limo driver (though you’d have to be on time), gardener/landscape helper.

You have to understand that you’ll always be required to do things you don’t want to do. THat’s part of life…even if you work for yourself. You will nearly always be required to interact with people who may or may not be your cup o’ tea. If you’re representing someone else, you have to do things their way sometimes.

Believe it or not, many people who are successful in the business world are just as creative, people-oriented and spontaneous as you. But one thing becoming successful in any area of business is going to take is discipline. You’ve got to learn to deal with things you don’t want to do, and you’ve got to learn how to plan ahead no matter what your job is. That doesn’t make you any less ‘creative’, or take away from your spontaneous nature, it just adds to the number of skills you have available to use.

The good news is that you can learn the skills you will need in the workplace if you’re willing to put in the time and effort. Knowing how to plan ahead and become task-orietned doesn’t make you any less a creative, spontaneous person, it just gives you a new set of tools to use in the workforce.

Sales??? It’s not for everyone, but with a little discipline and a lot of creativity, it just might be your gig. Do people trust you? If they generally do, then this one’s an option.

If someone is going to pay you to work, you are going to have to develop discipline. Brainiac4 and I both worked in advertising (he on the agency side, me on the client side) - and while it can be creatative and great for people people - its hard to be spontaneous when you were given copy to write at 3:00pm that needs to be back to the client at 10am tomorrow. You HAVE to follow through (advertising is really stressful - I went into TAX from advertising because TAX was less stressful - and from there into IT). Sales? - your sales manager is going to want to see your call book - who you had appointments with, you you talked to. You’ll have to do projections (planning) and then meet them. It isn’t easy.

What is your degree in?

Ironically, it’s been my experience that the more responsibilities/the more “professional” a job has, the less structured it is. The comparison of hourly to salaried is like that of high school to college. In high school, you pretty much have a robotic schedule: class from 8 to 3 and a couple hours of homework afterwards. In college, you have 10 hours of class a week and it’s up to you how you do your homework. If you’re someone whose creativity and productivity was truly repressed by a micromanaged hourly pay job, you’ll do fine, but if like many others you’re someone who doesn’t have much productivity in the first place and needs the “encouragement” of a micromanager, you’ll do very poorly.

Very true, but its also been my experience that the higher up you go, the more you are expected to both plan and execute on those plans - says someone currently 300 lines into a 450 line spreadsheet that is supposed to tell me how much time project planning is going to take me. (Arrrgh!). And stress is different.

Maybe I’m reading too much into this. “However, I’m afraid that I will not fit in the majority of workplaces, because of their fast paced, competetive, and rational culture. … I’m EXTREMELY spontaneous person. I don’t remember planning that often in my life. When I did plan, I rarely followed through. I’m also ten times more relationship-oriented than task oriented.”

So I get “I want a slow environment where rational is not highly prized and I don’t have to worry about someone who works harder getting more money than I do or keeping their job when layoffs happen. I don’t want to have to follow through on someones plans, but I’m a poor planner myself. I want to be able to do what I want when I want.”

I’ve “been around the corporate block” enough that I think most Twin Cities companies have “for a good time, call Dangerosa” on the bathroom stall. IT/Marketing/Legal/Corporate Accounting/Tax/Retail/Manufacturing/State Government. I’d suggest a government job - slow, non-competative (often union), not rational from what I could tell in the slightest. And planning in government is a useless activity recognized as useless because with every change in administration, the old plans are trashed.

Become a firefighter.

Seriously. As I understand it, as a general rule firefighters work twenty-four hour shifts ten days a month. That leaves twenty days off a month. When they’re on shift they have beds, TVs, cable, internet, Barcaloungers, all the comforts of home. They get to sleep while they’re on the clock. Most of the calls they go on are medical assist calls - they roll when the paramedics roll, and help out.

Of course, occasionally, you have to run into a burning building. You have to pass a somewhat strenuous physical test, and stay off drugs.

But you don’t have to plan anything, or be competitive. You have to respond correctly and accurately when the need arises, but it doesn’t arise all that often.

And you make a reasonably good salary.

So, Dangerosa, how ya doin?

Agreed on all counts. The OP doesn’t sound like a true my-creativity-is-repressed-by-micromanagement kind.

My first professional full-time job was at a government, followed by 3 years of working in an academic non-profit. I don’t think it was a coincidence that my depression happened during these years; after all, if you can’t drag yourself out of bed in the easy world of the government & academia, how can you make it in the corporate rat race?

Boy were all my perceptions turned around. It was never that the work was too hard to do, it was the mindblowingly stupidity of government & academia that caused me to hate work. I must thank you Dangerosa. Your extremely valuable advice from last year helped land me a wonderful job as a corporate drone in a cubefarm, and it’s been pure bliss since.

Do you have any experience with sound recording? Do you have a good reading and speaking voice? Maybe consider broadcasting. We all work in it so we don’t have to do that stuff that gives other people ulcers. If you prove you know how to do what they need, they pretty much leave you alone. Creativity is a bonus. Thing is, you aren’t going to get a job with no knowledge of sound equipment and digital recording software, nor work in any city near a major market until you get experience in small markets. You won’t get rich, but I can’t think of much I’d rather do with my life than work in radio.

From my fairly extensive experience in riding along with a large suburban fire-rescue department, this is pretty true, but the not-competitive part is most certainly not true for actually becoming a firefighter. Once you get the job (usually union) you have to make a fairly large mistake to actually get fired and you can hang out at the rank of firefighter for 25 years if you really want to, but I think that becoming a firefighter might be harder than getting into medical school.

Your degree will certainly help but you need to be a fast learner with excellent strength and endurance. You’ll probably have to pay for your own academy (training) and be worried about how you perform throughout the whole months long ordeal and then you’ll be competing with literally thousands of other people for a single spot or five within a department. Then you’ll be probationary for six months to a year and you had better be 'effin motivated for that too.

In short: firefighting is indeed a sweet job but it isn’t easy to become one by any means. Also, some more cash-strapped municipalities have started using their firefighters more and more for non-fire duty. You could be painting park benches with a radio in your pocket waiting for the next call.

I was thinking daycare. Dealing with toddlers is about as creative and spontaneous as you can get!

There is no job where you will just be able to do whatever you want whenever you want to do it.

That said, there is no single “office environment”. Some companies have a very intense competitive culture. Others are more laid back. You’d be better off figuring out what you want to actually do and then find a company that does it that also fits your personality.

Those are personality traits. What are your SKILLS?

I would consider being “laidback” and “spontaneous” negative attributes for just any job where you would be working for someone else.

In what ways are you creative? Artistically? Just ‘creative’ doesn’t cut it.

“People-oriented” is mumbo-jumbo.

The first thing that comes to mind when I hear, “laidback, creative, people-oriented, spontaneous” is being a hooker,and if that doesn’t work, maybe a sex-phone operator.

You’re joking, lol? How do you associate those traits with being a hooker or sex-phone operator?

-Great short-term memory
-Great recognition memory
-Good recall
-Good episodic long-term memory
-Great sense of direction
-Good visual skills
-I try to understand people before I judge them (which is probably considered more of a soft skill than a hard one, I consider it as a skill nevertheless)
-According to my science reasoning ACT subtest, I’m good at science.
-When I say I’m creative, it isn’t so much as in artistic sense as in seeing things from unusual angles.

There’s other skills I probably have, but I can’t think of them right now, I will get back to you. Then there’s skills I would like to develop but I don’t know how and/or no one will give me a chance to develop them.

Ok, that hooker comment threw me off so much that I somehow missed this sentence. This is part of the issue. On a scale of 1-10 on those attributes, I’m like a 20 on both. I value those attributes pretty highly in myself AND in others. I think spending 40+ hours a week in certain environments will only set myself up for failure.

Okay. These aren’t skills. These are personality traits. A personality trait is not equal to a skill. Having a memory and being able to see (which is how I’m choosing to interpret “visual skills” since you’re not being any more precise than that) are not job skills.

Skills are representative of tasks you are trained and/or able to perform. Examples of skills would include typing, auto repair, computer programming, surgery, legal research, cooking, etc.

There is no such skill as being “good at science”. If you got a high score in science reasoning on the ACT, then you may have ability at deductive reasoning, which is, again a personality trait more than a skill.

I must ask - in your OP, you indicated you were close to graduation. Graduating from what, precisely? High School? College? If so, with a degree in what, precisely?

In this sense, what I mentioned were not skills, but I wouldn’t say they are personality traits either. How about abilities?