Have you ever asked someone who was a specialist or expert in their field how it is they decided to enter that profession? Do you ever wonder why someone chose to be in medicine and another chose to be in banking?
Much of what we are attracted to in a profession or a career is based on our personality preference. If you are a detail person, you might prefer finance or surgery or engineering or computers. If you love ideas and creativity you might choose sales, marketing, the arts or advertising.
People who care about making a difference in the world might choose training, writing, social services or environmental work. Those with an analytical mind like operations, management, research or forensics.
There are many considerations to every job, not just the skills required to complete the necessary tasks. There is usually quite a different mind set between a patent lawyer and an employment lawyer or a pediatrician and an internist.
One aspect that should be at the top of every career decider＇s mind is how much interaction you are going to have with people. Ask yourself what kind of people you will be working with and servicing. And, if you don＇t like people and you don＇t like people with problems, then stay clear of professions that require you to be on in front of every customer or patient.
We all know that great customer service can make or break a business. If your garage mechanic doesn＇t do a good job and respect your gender, then you can just drive down the street and try out someone else. If the local barista doesn＇t greet you warmly every weekday morning, there is another shop two doors down.
Do we have higher customer service expectations of private service providers over government sponsored providers? Are we more forgiving of young up-starts than we are of mature, established bank tellers or cashiers?
When I moved to Toronto from Alberta 23 years ago, I was warned about the unfriendly attitudes of the people in Toronto compared to Calgary or Edmonton. I was warned of the same thing when I first traveled to Paris and New York. I quickly realized that if you treat people like you like to be treated, chances are you could love a New Yorker as much as someone from Winnipeg.
So what is my point? If you choose a career or job that provides a service or makes a difference in people＇s lives, then act like it. If imparting information and being pleasant to your customer or patient is too onerous or not your thing, then arrange for someone else to do it.
As a customer or patient, we don＇t expect all professional providers to be great at all aspects of communication and interpersonal relationships and be an expert, but we do expect respect and humanity and in some cases, sensitivity.
We can＇t fire our health care providers because there aren＇t enough of them to jump ship for, but we can speak up when we are abused or under serviced, as long as we are not an abuser as well.
In the late 90s, the word on the street was that every employee, no matter their position is a company, was going to have to learn presentation skills. Now the fear is that with technology such a big part of all our lives, communication is waning and interpersonal relationships are suffering. When deciding on a career, or if you have one that involves interacting with people, act like they are your sole reason for coming to work every day; your happy moments will be bountiful and your employment more secure.