What Am I Good For? Hopefully Absolutely Something
April 16, 2014 4:11 AM   Subscribe

So I did an aptitude test way back when, and the results were thus: *is good at short-term transactions, interactions, is creative and possesses superior verbal skills.*.

When I queried the counselor about what it is EXACTLY I would be good at she merely said - *pretty much anything - as long as it was short-term because you aren't very good at maintaining long-term, drawn out interactions.* For whatever reason, my feeling it has more to do with losing interest. I like quick, fast, meaningful and creative. Also highly intuitive and have almost psychic abilities in reading people. Trouble is, I never found my niche. And I'm getting up there chronologically. This is really a cross-roads that I'm at. I need to find my calling. I love intrigue, investigating, innovation, justice, stick to morality, am totally open-minded, love avant-garde up to a point, am totally bored with posers. strive to walk the truth, money and wealth matter to achieve comfort but not longing for uber-wealth, have abilities to see the BIGGER PICTURE with insights into psychology, trends and technology.

So what am I good for? Help me find my niche. And if there is an app for that - apple friendly - I will tap it - if only for insight - must start my designated purposeful life - it's urgent.

Thank you kindly for any input. As always.
posted by watercarrier to Work & Money (18 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Bank teller is the first thing that comes to mind.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:30 AM on April 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Sounds like you'd be a huge asset for development (as in raising money) for an NGO or non-profit with a mission you believe in.
posted by bendybendy at 4:55 AM on April 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

You might be one of those rare unicorns that's good at and actually enjoys working in a call center- not necessarily telemarketing, but something like customer support, a help line, or as bendybendy mentioned, fundraising for an organization you believe in.
posted by damayanti at 5:08 AM on April 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Some kind of sales? Retail sales isn't really a satisfactory niche for anyone, at least not on a low level, but is there a product you know enough about-- or are interested enough in to learn about-- to get involved in outside sales? You will have to develop continuing relationships with some people, and probably call on existing relationships but basically any career is going to involve some type of compromise to what would be the ideal situation for your personality. And that's not an observation about you specifically; there are just trade-offs with any job.

Aside from sales, yes, fund-raising. There's also PR.
posted by BibiRose at 5:17 AM on April 16, 2014


If you want to make indecent piles of dough, go into sales.

What I liked about it was that it was seven different jobs in one.

1. Learning the technology of what I was selling. I was in Telecommunications and it changed all the time! So much interesting stuff to learn.

2. Understanding people and helping them to get what they needed for their business. Even if you deal with the same people, every day you're doing something different.

3. Reporting, all sales organizations require some sort of personal and higher level reporting. I loved extracting the data, analyzing it and using it to better my performance.

4. Teaching. Either helping team members with processes or systems, or helping with product design, or working with customers to design a solution.

5. Relationship building. Meeting with customers regularly to see how things are changing in their company.

6. Learning. When I was a data engineer, I toured a steel mill, coal mines, aluminium factories, a caustic chemicals plant, I got to learn about how distribution works in Latin America, I know that only 5% of the world drinks fresh milk and how dairy farms in Asia Pacific work. I've toured more telephone company central offices than I can shake a stick at.

7. Helping. I worked on the Katrina Restoration Team for the phone company. I helped people arrange their phone service after their houses were destroyed in Hurricane Andrew.

I started in customer service, in a call center, and worked my way up. It helps to have an inquiring mind and to be willing to be the one to work on the new team, or to learn the new product.

Good luck to you!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:41 AM on April 16, 2014 [4 favorites]

Primary care doctor? Or other medical technologist.
Member of the Geek Squad?
Insurance adjuster?

My suggestion being that many services are delivered via short interactions. I also wonder what the the frame of "sort" is. Lots of people work on multi year projects. By that standard, a one week project is very short.
posted by SemiSalt at 5:43 AM on April 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

A friend of mine who has struggled to succeed (and has done so, but with a lot of pain and sweat) in journalism and blogging recently transitioned to being a crisis counselor on a rape crisis hotline, at which she is excelling. She also just recently took on a new job as a peer counselor in a crisis treatment center in our town, at which she is also excelling. Both of these jobs are "responsive", in that there's not a lot of long term planning to do, and the bulk of the work she needs to do is responding with expert knowledge and compassion to other people's experience, and bring professional knowledge and resources to aid their situations. You might be good at something like that, and it sounds like something you'd enjoy more than sales, trades (electrician, plumber), or responsive support work.
posted by spindrifter at 5:58 AM on April 16, 2014 [6 favorites]

Tech support. Short interactions and a continuously moving target as the technology changes.
posted by Gungho at 6:42 AM on April 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

What kind of work have you done to date and what have you enjoyed/disliked about it? To me that seems more useful than a list of character traits, though obviously YMMV.

What about being a paramedic or EMT, something like that?
posted by mskyle at 6:43 AM on April 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Seconding journalism....you'd have a constant stream of new subjects to think about, and your ability to see the bigger picture would be an asset as well.
posted by three_red_balloons at 6:46 AM on April 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'd recommend doing a Meyers-Briggs test; a lot of people on this site dismiss it, but it has been extremely helpful to me in figuring out what I am good at and what weaknesses I have, and your personality sounds quite similar to mine. It's been very helpful in guiding me towards career choices. Some people are harder to type and may not find the test useful, but I have.

A good page to look at is www.peronalitypage.com; they have a career section for each type.

There's also a pretty good book about Meyers-Briggs and career called "Do What You Are"
posted by bearette at 6:49 AM on April 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

Sales or customer support?
posted by radioamy at 7:02 AM on April 16, 2014

Tour Guide
Teaching Adult Education Courses (they only last a few classes, then it's new people!)
Consultant (in some capacity...short projects)
posted by xingcat at 7:21 AM on April 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

mskyle - throughout my career of wearing a variety of hats - it's run the gamut of office support, translations, running my own food business, cleaning and sales. I've enjoyed sales the most and have a pretty good speaking voice. It would be possible to do this - except I do have a tendency now - for a few reasons - to get very impatient. That wouldn't go well with sales, pretty sure - unless all I'd have to do was sit there and have people come to me and do an exchange of goods/cash without thinking too much about the whole procedure.

Thanks guys, for the good wishes - much appreciated. Anyone have any other ideas - let them roll - very grateful and am listening to you all.
posted by watercarrier at 7:47 AM on April 16, 2014

Don't take the aptitude tests too seriously. In high school I had to take the Kuder Occupational Inventory test. When it came back, the two suggestions that matched the highest were "florist" and "park ranger". Ludicrous.

From your description, I'd wonder if you would do well in law enforcement.
posted by plinth at 7:48 AM on April 16, 2014 [2 favorites]

I immediately thought law enforcement as well.
posted by salvia at 8:16 AM on April 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

High energy, quick connections & then moves on.... you're a Social Butterfly!

Club promoter
Open your own coffee shop
Restaurant (waiter, bartender, host)
Public speaker / marketing communications
posted by St. Peepsburg at 8:27 AM on April 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

"Almost psychic," eh? Have you considered hanging up your shingle as a psychic?
posted by town of cats at 5:33 PM on April 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

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