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Your Career Plan for 2014 – Part 5

Your Career Plan for 2014 – Part 5: Stop Being So Type A?

Here is an interesting article in the Huffington Post for the Type A woman, suggesting we need to chill out. I say we because sometimes I have a very Type A personality. I see the value in this article but I think we need to balance it a little and add to it.

Good advice: Sometimes we do (and I would include men in this as well) need to chill out. Often my clients will tell me what their perfectionism gets in the way, of not just their life balance and going home at a reasonable hour, but also their work performance. They will spend too much time on a project over-perfecting it, when they really need to move on to the next task. My career coaching client, Laura, in Chicago struggles with this sometimes. She rarely goes home before 8 pm. They will also tell me their internal perfectionist voice will hold them back from speaking up at meetings. There is a great point in this article about being the first to speak up, even if you are unsure your answer is correct. We often do need to push ourselves out of our comfort zone instead of worrying so much about being right. But I think this needs to be balanced with an additional perspective.

Our type A personality can hold us back at times but sometimes it is the thing that enables us to move up in our career. The determination, the motivation and the desire to get things right is why our employers value us so much as well. So we want to learn to leverage that side of us when it is needed. The key is to learn to manage it; use it when it is time to, let it go when it’s time to chill out and speak up or move on to the next task.

I attended a coaching workshop years ago called the Inside Team. The concept was to identify then leverage each element of our personality or each skill set to our advantage. And not to rely on one too much or let one take over all the time. Type A is one of those skill sets so to speak. Use it when you need it, tone it down when you don’t. That is what will make you successful, understanding your set of skills, and your personality type, to use each element to your advantage. Taking a career test in the new year (we like the as a start) will help you start off on the right foot. This is all part of your career plan for 2014.

Hallie Crawford
Job Search Coach

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