Turn Your Bad Habits Into a Job

Managers often terminate employees with phrases like “not a good fit,” “just not working out,” and “maybe there’s something better for you out there.” While these words can be painful, they may also be the catalyst you need to take your talents, and quirks, elsewhere.

Think about your habits — the natural ways you function. Some may flop in certain jobs but really shine in others. Let’s take a moment to explore where you can best apply your unique gifts.

Too Chatty

At your last job, were you asked to stop talking and get back to work? Hey, they don’t call it the “gift of gab” for nothing. While some people couldn’t make small talk if they took an all-day course on it, you work a room of people in minutes. Here are some jobs you may like to try.
Public relations. Companies need foot soldiers on the phone, in event halls, and at industry conventions telling people why their product or service is the best. Public relations, account executive: $59,200.
Sales. You have to talk to people to find out if they want your product. If you excel at connecting with people and developing a rapport, that could help you seal the deal. Sales associate: $54,200.
Phlebotomist. Giving blood makes people nervous people — even sick. If the sight of blood doesn’t bother you, you can be that friendly phlebotomist who helps people relax. Medical phlebotomist: $37,300.
Tour guide. Chirp away about your beautiful town, its historic mansions and get paid for doing so. Tour guide: $36,400.

Slow in the Morning

Do the words “beautiful” and “morning” never pop out of your mouth together? If you stumble through the a.m. but perk up after dark, why not channel your nighttime energy into earning a living? There are thousands of late-night gigs out there for you to choose from.
Security guard. Bad guys like to do their deeds in the evening. You can help stop them and get paid to stay up all night — like you would anyways. Security guard: $29,300.
Mail sorter. You can be the reason that last-minute birthday cards to Grandma arrive on time. Mail sorter: $32,900.
Airport customer service. Parking lot van drivers, rental car company desk clerks, and airline gate agents are all needed in the wee hours. Van driver: $40,700.
911 dispatcher. Crime, house fires, car accidents and other emergencies happen all night long. If you’re alert at 2 a.m., you can make sure help arrives at the scene. Police, fire or ambulance dispatcher: $45,900.

Can’t Sit Still

While being “hyper” carries a negative stigma, having a lot of physical energy is an asset. There are plenty of jobs where your love of physical movement will make both you and your employer very happy.
Exercise class leader. Get out your spandex and get to work. Gyms need high-energy, enthusiastic leaders so the whole class stays motivated. Aerobics instructor: $44,400.
Mail carrier. From door to door you walk in rain, sleet, and snow and it beats sitting at a cubical with your knee bouncing and your pen tapping your keyboard. Postal service mail carrier: $63,800.
Fire fighter. From forests to urban centers, this job requires that you are physically able, make smart decisions under pressure, and work well with others. Fire fighter: $46,800.
Garbage man. You think taking the garbage out is work, try doing it for all of your neighbors as well. That’s a lot of activity. Garbage collector: $49,000.

Shy

Did your boss want you to charm customers when you were happy to work alone? Here are jobs where your quiet side can help pay your bills.
Paralegal. As lawyers ramp up for big cases or contracts get drafted, a paralegal makes sure the information is all lined up correctly, right down to indemnity clause. Paralegal: $48,300.
Lab technician. You can save lives by researching cures or running tests for medical results. Either way, labs provide a quieter setting where your hard work can benefit plenty of people. Medical laboratory technician: $37,100.
Librarian. Librarians need to be helpful, but not necessarily chatty. If you enjoy helping people learn and have a love of books, this job puts you in a great place to shine. Reference librarian : $49,100.
Data analyst. From consumer habits to population trends, companies and the government need people who can run the numbers and glean useful information. Data analyst: $54,700.

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