Being an empath or a highly sensitive person can be a boon or bane. Having this personality can help you succeed in some circumstances while making your life difficult in others.
As sensitivity is an inherent trait, there is little you can do about being a sensitive person. However, you can always choose the circumstances you put yourself in so that you can have better control over the outcome.
This article talks about the jobs a highly sensitive person may find difficult to manage. Some scenarios at the workplace may be hard for sensitive people to handle, especially if it involves hostile and uncooperative superiors, coworkers, or customers.
Read on to learn about which jobs you should avoid if you have a highly sensitive personality.
Pros and cons of being highly sensitive
Every cloud has a silver lining. Being a highly sensitive person, it may be difficult for you to handle certain situations or work in certain jobs. But you can do better than others if you make the right choices. A highly sensitive personality comes with some benefits as well.
Advantages of being empathetic or highly sensitive
Highly sensitive people are:
- Considerate and thoughtful
- Reliable and trustworthy
- Independent, requiring less supervision
- Good listener and loyal friend
- Thorough and diligent
- Organized and attentive
- Intuitive and empathetic
- Creative and resourceful
Disadvantages of being highly sensitive
With high levels of sensitivity, you are:
- Easily hurt or outraged even by mild insults and criticisms
- Easily rattled and overwhelmed by mildly stressful situations and become less productive
- Unable to control your negative reactions to certain circumstances
- Prone to anger, depression, and anxiety which can lead to sleeping disorders and health conditions
- Unable to make quick decisions as you need time to weigh the pros and cons in detail
- Emotionally deprived and drained as you tend to be self-sacrificing
- Overly emotional and easily misunderstood
- A people-pleaser to avoid conflicts and criticisms
- Easily affected by the moods and energy of the people around you
Jobs to avoid for highly sensitive individuals
As you may know, the job scene, in general, is highly stressful and competitive. This may not work well for sensitive people. This means sensitive people should take extra care when taking up jobs.
Not all jobs are this demanding. There are jobs out there that are less competitive and stressful. The trick is to choose a job that will fit in with your personality.
Highly sensitive people should avoid jobs that:
- Place you in confrontational situations
- Are high-risk, competitive, and demanding
- Require interactions with people
- Entail entertaining people
- Time-bound, controlled or assessed
- Involve crowded, busy, and noisy workplaces
- Demand you to do repetitive tasks
- Require you to call or approach strangers for marketing (for introverts)
- Involve teamwork (for introverts)
- Are unrelated to your interests
- Don’t conform to your values
Highly sensitive persons can be both introverts and extroverts. For introverts, working in a team environment and interacting with strangers may cause problems. It is best to avoid jobs that necessitate these situations.
Worst jobs for empaths
Now you know which situations to avoid if you are highly sensitive. However, some jobs put you in exactly these situations. If you are highly sensitive, you better avoid them. Here is the list of the worst jobs for highly sensitive person.
1. Sales and marketing
If you are a highly sensitive introvert, it is a no-brainer that working as a salesperson is not for you. The very idea of constant interactions with the public can be overwhelming and unbearable. Even if you force yourself to take up this job and continue with it, you will be miserable, depressed, and suffering from anxiety.
The reasons why you are unable to succeed in this field are obvious. Being highly sensitive you are:
- Intensely aware of how people react to your approach
- Able to understand the unseeable reactions and unsaid responses by reading their body language
- Unable to mask your behavior, making it easy for others to notice the discrepancies in your actions and talk
- Bound to think of every unsuccessful transaction as a personal failure and rejection, leading to overanalysis and overthinking
2. Public Relations
For sensitive people, interacting with the public and establishing relationships are the most difficult of them all. So, from the job title itself, it is clearly evident that this is not the kind of job suitable for sensitive people.
Those in public relations need to be in the limelight throughout the working hours. This can be troublesome for sensitive people as they prefer peace, quiet, and solitude. When such a person is forcibly placed in a highly demanding situation, they would feel like a fish out of water.
Sensitive people, especially if they are introverts, need their own time and space to function normally and efficiently. This is not a choice they will have when working in public relations day in and day out.
3. Executive jobs
Jobs that require you to manage others are also hard to hold on to for sensitive people. Such as positions of authority and managerial positions which involve being in charge of a group of people and making them work together to get results.
It can be highly challenging for sensitive people to take responsibility for the actions of others. When you are emotionally vulnerable, the everyday issues and troubles at work can become too much for you to handle. Listening to the problems and grievances of your team members can be highly stressful and add to your anxiety.
All these can make it extremely hard for you to disconnect from work even after returning home. Your continuing to dwell on office issues is not healthy for your emotional well-being.
4. Customer Care Representatives
Another job that demands constant public interaction, a job in customer care is not your cup of tea if you are a highly sensitive introvert. During working hours, you need to interact with many people, all of them may not be genial or polite.
Most customer care positions involve listening to the grievances and complaints of customers, pacifying them, and finding satisfactory solutions for their problems. You may end up absorbing their emotional turmoil and this can wreak havoc in your life.
A person will engage an attorney when there is a dispute or conflict to be resolved. Or when they are in trouble or distressing situations. None of these are good for your mental health if you are a highly sensitive person.
Attorneys have to do their work in emotionally-charged circumstances and ensure that their clients get justice. Even if you work really hard and with sincerity, there is no guarantee that the verdict will be in your favor. The stress, heartbreak, and at times the unfairness of the situation can be too much to handle for sensitive people.
Another profession that needs you to be in constant touch with the public is that of a politician. Though it is desirable for a politician to have high levels of sensitivity, for the person himself, it would be extremely challenging.
Besides the demands of the job, politics also entails messy situations like heated arguments, false allegations, underhand tactics, and backstabbing. None of these are conducive to the mental well-being of sensitive people.
7. Jobs in the corporate world
The “dog-eat-dog” corporate world is difficult to handle even for a regular person. The typical inflexible and uncaring corporate attitude of “This is how it is done” can be too much to deal with for sensitive people.
When faced with such a mentality, sensitive people will feel as if they have come up against a wall and the higher-ups don’t care about individual needs or talents. Not being given choices or explanations can be frustrating for sensitive people. Regular team meetings can be difficult to handle, so are the aggressive, ruthless, and power-mad colleagues.
All jobs demand hard work, commitment, discipline, integrity, and cooperation. However, the demands of some jobs can be too challenging for a person with a sensitive mindset. This doesn’t mean you are unsuitable for the job or you should quit.
If you can find a way to make the job comfortable and appealing, you can be as effective at the job as anyone else. As long as you are happy doing the job, sensitive persons make better employees.
If you are a highly sensitive person (HSP) and looking for support and help, you can approach Highly Sensitive Refuge, a community catering to the special needs of HSPs.
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