Friday, January 11, 2013

HSPs and Work: The "Art" of Making a Living

Recently, I have been thinking (and writing) a lot about how we work, as HSPs. It's a complex issue, but one we pretty much all deal with.

When you're highly sensitive, you typically face a whole set of "issues" in work contexts; issues that are different enough from those faced by the rest of the world that most people don't "get it" when certain things cause us distress in work situations.

Often it boils down to other people not understanding why we are "bothered" by certain things-- the lighting, or noise, or people flowing in and out of our office or cubicle. At the same time, some people wonder why we "care" about some of the things we do; why we can't just "let things go" and simply be happy that we are "getting a pay check."

Work for the Highly Sensitive Person can be a delicate balancing act
Rather than just regurgitate (at considerable length...) what I have concluded about HSPs and working, I'd like to instead point you to three articles I ended up writing about this tricky subject, along with one written by fellow HSP writer Grace Kerina for the HSP Health web site. Each link will send you to another web site (perfectly safe, I promise!) where the articles are published. I hope you will get something useful from them!

Article One explores the nature of the many struggles we face in conventional work situations. It focuses on "identifying the issues" and talks a bit about how and why these are issues for HSPs. It is simply called "Work and the Highly Sensitive Person."

Article Two is a fairly in-depth look at what often turns out to be the "best answer" for the Highly Sensitive Person, when it comes to working... namely, Self-Employment. For some HSPs, self-employment is something they naturally reach for, knowing it's how they can best manifest their work ambitions. For others, it's more of a "defensive" strategy to get away from the drudgery of a "corporate" job. "The Highly Sensitive Person and Self-employment" takes a long-- and not always glamorous-- look at the ways working for your self can be both rewarding and challenging for HSPs.

Article Three examines the concept of pursuing our "true Calling" at work. You may have heard of the concept of having a "calling," but what does it really mean? But how do you identify it? And how do you turn something you truly love and thrive at doing into a profession? "Work and the Highly Sensitive Person: Identifying Your Calling" takes a deeper look at the issue of Callings-- what they are, how we identify them, and how we can develop them into an actual profession.

Grace Kerina's article about HSPs and work consists partly of sharing her own path to becoming a self-employed HSP and partly offers helpful suggestions on things to consider, when it comes to figuring out how we might pursue self-employment, as HSPs. Entitled "Highly Self Employed," it is definitely worth a read!

I realize that's a lot of reading, and I hope it doesn't feel too overwhelming! However, this is a very important topic, with many different facets to consider. If it seems like it might take a lot of time to get through, why not bookmark this page and come back for a later read?

Some of this information (but not all!) is also available in Barrie Jaeger's excellent book "Making Work Work for the Highly Sensitive Person," which I highly recommend. If you're and HSP who's baffled, distressed, concerned or otherwise in a state of flux in your work life, DO please consider buying and reading her book for some more valuable insight about HSPs and work. Here's a nifty link-- why not do it right NOW?

I would also love to read your comments and feedback about YOUR work experience as an HSP! Please leave a comment in the "comments" area.

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