Archive for April 2nd, 2012
I just finished reading Susan Cain’s excellent new book about and for introverts (I posted my review of her book in the comments here). In this post, I’d like to highlight simple yet powerful advice she offered in her book, Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking. She provided this test in the context of introverts, but this test applies to everyone who feels like a misfit at work.
Ms. Cain was an attorney who struggled in the field of law, finding herself deprecating her own efforts and abilities because they didn’t match up to the extroverts at the firm. Eventually, she started forcing herself to listen better; people were telling her that she was a actually a skilled negotiator, not inept. One reason for the compliments is that she invited lots of feedback from the participants. She started recognizing that her introversion gave her many advantages as a lawyer.
But she kept asking herself whether she was a good “fit” for her job, mainly due to her exhaustion trying to keep up with the social end of her job, including the constant pressure to hang out with co-workers after work, to “have a drink.” Was she in the right career? If not, what was the right “fit”? Here are three questions that lead her to change her career:.
First, think back to what you loved to do when you were a child.
Second, pay attention to the work you gravitate to.
Third, pay attention to what you envy.
These strike me as excellent tests, and they make me wonder how many of us are well suited for our jobs?
Two of my friends have become active in a non-profit organization dedicated to saving a Costa Rican rainforest. While discussing their new interest, it has become a delight to know that people I know are doing more than talking in the abstract about saving the Earth. I’ve recently learned from my friends that Friends of the Children’s Eternal Rainforest has focused its efforts toward purchasing and preserving a 55,000 acre multi-elevation tract of land that is has far more than its share of threatened species. Consider the extensive biological diversity of this preserve:
- 154 species of amphibians and reptiles
- 121 kinds of mammals
- 450 bird species
- 3,000 different kinds of plants including 800 species of trees and 500 types of orchids
- 1 million insect species
If you’d like to learn more, or get involved, you can follow these links. You can even take an eco-tour. If you live in the St. Louis area, consider attending a talk by Dr. Peter Raven at the St. Louis Zoo on Thursday, April 26, 2012, from 6-8pm. Here’s a glimpse at Dr. Raven’s upcoming talk and his bio:
Saving the Forest, Saving Ourselves: An awareness and fundraising forum
BY DR. PETER RAVEN
Keynote speaker: Dr. Peter Raven, one of the world’s leading botanists and advocates of conservation and biodiversity, is described by TIME magazine as a “Hero for the Planet.” He is President Emeritus of the Missouri Botanical Garden after serving 40 years as Director. In addition, he is chairman of the National Geographic Society’s Committee for Research and Exploration, and chair of the Division of Earth and Life Studies of the National Research Council.