Rethinking “Career” for HSPs and HSS/HSPs

https://warzel.substack.com/p/what-if-people-dont-want-a-career

How “bought in” are you? Do you “fit” into your workplace culture or just pretend to? Many HSPs may feel that conformity to a restrictive cultural environment that always dangles the carrot holding the hope of better times as a way to control, intimidate, or force workers to do more work than they are compensated for is not for them at all.

Do YOU really want a career? Or a job that pays you fairly for the skills you perform? Do you seek identity from career or do you derive your identity from other areas of life? There IS a disconnect between CAREER and WORK that sneaks past many people but that seems to be changing as people have now had a chance to step back and consider the nature of work versus career.

This very useful article speaks to the growing acknowledgement among many workers that they don’t truly want to buy-in to a company culture, particularly when what is asked of them comes from a deeply distorted view of the working life. When you are paid for 40 hours of work but often work 80, much of that outside of official work that inevitably intrudes on your REAL home life, it’s easy to see that HSPs especially were never the type of personality to buy-in to a harsh, draconian, manipulative “career.” When overwork is glorified and praised and LIFE is viewed as secondary, the mix is wrong to many HSPs and HSS/HSPs.

HSS/HSPs, especially are more likely to HAVE to blaze their own trail because their need to reinvent themselves continually is a strong driver of behaviors. If you are a high sensation seeking HSP, you will do better at short-term projects, gigs, or side hustles. You will likely NOT do as well in long-term employment which can quickly give way to stagnation, boredom, and repetition. Want to drive HSS/HSPs out of their minds, stick them in a never-changing situation! They will wither and likely just leave a position rather than spend the next 20-40 years in such conditions (my reason for not making my military service a “career”).

True, some HSPs and HSS/HSPs DO find careers that work for them but many more seriously struggle through burnout after burnout. One of the main ways they also struggle is in the conformity and inhuman expectations of total devotion to a fanatical ideal of “career.” HSPs don’t do culture, they invent it 🙂 One fMRI brain study in 2007 showed that the activation in the brains of HSPs were not as activated in considering their cultural context when performing a task. Meaning HSPs, across cultures, seem to pay less attention to the inherent bias’ in cultural beliefs and norms and prefer to accurately assess for themselves how to accomplish the task.

Conformity, with that in mind, is an imposition of workplace culture on employees. Over time, less sensitive employees may come to adopt the company’s norms as their own. HSPs may cast a snarky side eye at ALL of it…

Find or better yet, CREATE work that works for YOU folks!! You are more likely at this point to be happier in something of your own creation than attempting to fit yourself into a predefined culture within a career. Then, YOU will have the opportunity to create a workplace culture.

Hmmmmmm….what would it look like if HSPs or HSS/HSPs created the culture?

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