Career Advice

Work Anxiety and Phobias

by CareerFitter

I about faint at the sight of blood.  Another way to say it is: I have an aversion to the sight of blood.  This information is critical to my career choice because "Surgeon" actually fits my personality strengths. 

What went wrong with my career assessment?

Answer: Nothing. Being a surgeon does fit my personality.

But my dislike for blood doesn’t come from my personality.   These factors are called career aversions and aptitudes. They can cause a strong disinclination to specific environments, stimuli, and factors present in a career or job.

Career fear man peeks around corner.

Most career assessment tests that focus on personality will not take into consideration my aversions and aptitudes.

Examples of Career Aversions and Aptitudes:

Airline or Commercial Pilot that works in heights,

Physicians or Surgeon that work with blood,

Veterinarians that work with animals,

School teachers that work with children,

Nurses who work with old people,

Construction workers who endure physical labor.

One work personality assessment test that will integrate your aversion assessment results into your career test results to further refine your list of optimal careers.

construction workers fearfully climbing heights.

The power of Aversions

Imagine moving across the country to work as a wind turbine technician and on the first day of the job, when you are climbing 150 feet up the narrow shaft interior of the generator, you realize you made a huge mistake due to your dislike of small spaces or heights.

Don’t overlook the power of your aversions. Evaluate the strength of your discovered aversions (if any) and determine through discussion and job shadowing if it is worth your time and money to pursue the career.

Two women having a conversation about career anxiety.

Overcoming Aversions

“With enough therapy anything is possible”

So, your goal is to determine the level of your aversion. Let’s say you want to be a nurse but you have an aversion to working with older people. Investing in creating new and positive experiences could be the solution for you. However, not all Aversions are created equal and you might find that overcoming the fear of heights in one lifetime is a tremendous amount of money and therapy. So, don’t be afraid to lean in the direction of your other suggested careers that are free of any of these challenges.

diver with stingray who is anxious about his job.

Not all career aversions are fear-based.

If being a lawyer fits your work personality and so does being a carpenter, your aversion to scholastic education and school debt isn’t necessarily fear. You might prefer to invest in careers that do not require a degree and allow you to work with your hands, or have somewhat of a physical aspect to them. Let’s face it, lawyers don’t get too much exercise researching cases.

Or, perhaps you consider yourself more “Street Smart” than “Book Smart” and being a lawyer leans more into the formal education zone than you want to go.

It's not an aversion, it's your aptitude.

You may just not have the “adventure gene”. In other words, some people are genetically more predisposed to certain behaviors than others.  New research shows that risk-taking actually has a genetic contribution.  Again, genetic aptitudes are not always rooted in fear.

Other physical aptitudes may inhibit you from career success.  You may want to be a surgeon, but you were born with hands that shake. Although not impossible, this would make your job challenging.

man painting has anxiety about being an artist.

Aptitude isn't personality

Being an artist requires natural skill… it’s not personality… ever met a person that had the personality of Bob Ross and you were slightly disappointed to learn they couldn’t even draw a stick figure?   Having a personality that fits more creative jobs doesn’t mean you have the skills (whether acquired or genetic)  to create on a professional level worthy of making painting your career choice. It could also mean that your artistic ability is better suited for another creative field like being a digital designer.

If your goal is to choose the career or job that will give you the greatest chance of succeeding, start with the best career assessment test that will expose insights into your work personality as well as your aptitudes and aversions.  Then do your career research and job shadow someone in that career to experience it for yourself before you invest your time and money.


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