When we grow up, we have dreams of what we want to become. Some kids want to be firefighters. Others, doctors. Some want to be school teachers. Me, I wanted to be a performer. In my family it seemed like the only respectable job someone could have in order to get a lot of praise and attention was to be on stage. Sure, being a doctor seemed like a great job if you were smart and boring, but entertainment was the world I longed for. I wanted to be the center of attention, to make people laugh, to be incredibly talented and to make friends just because I was a star.
Of course, childhood dreams rarely come to fruition, and clearly I’m not an American Idol or Broadway star. God knows I sing slightly off key, I have two left feet and my acting ability is better suited for a walk-on role in a community theater production than a blockbuster film. As I grew up I realized that I would never actually be a performer so I tried out the next best thing in my limited worldview – being involved behind the scenes, designing the sets and costumes of shows, but of course that wasn’t good enough since ultimately I wanted to be performing, not backstage. I tried out directing for size, which I enjoyed more because I liked being in charge, but ultimately I didn’t have the conviction or drive to become a great director. I gave up quickly and without much remorse.
What I wish I knew what I was younger is that there are really five types of jobs in the world and generally speaking you naturally fit into one bucket. The good news is that even if you can’t do the most famous job for the bucket, there are other careers out there which maybe aren’t as renowned or as well paid, but at least enable you to be who you are deep down. And each bucket holds value in our society.
The Creators: The creators are entrepreneurs, innovators on R&D teams, designers, (certain) engineers, inventors and dreamers. Creators like to make something out of nothing. They work at startups inventing a new product, or big companies developing the next new formula that will sell like hot cakes. Creators love the unknown. They thrive in environments where outcomes are uncertain but there is a constant opportunity to make something new, or at least a variation on what already exists. Creators may be a little offbeat in their thought process, but this is something that should be encouraged and nurtured. Creators are those who change the world.
The Fixers/Analyzers: The fixers are the people who like to take something that already exists and see where it can be improved or packaged better. They are business consultants, marketers, electricians, and average business people who have moved up through the ranks to middle management. They like things fairly constant and routine, but are good at finding inefficiencies and other errors and improving processes. They are just as interested in facts as they are “what’s possible.”
The Healers: The healers are the people who care a lot about others and want to help “heal” the world. They are psychologists, doctors, social workers, veterinarians, religious ministers, charity workers, and people who have a strong desire to help others. The healers do not care as much about money as they do making the world a better place. They work relentlessly to improve the lives around them.
The Protectors: The protectors are people who go out of their way to make sure that others are safe. These people generally work in law enforcement, firefighting, or even the military and FBI. These people have a strong sense of what is right and have a drive to ensure public safety or to protect others.
The Educators: The educators are similar to entertainers as they like to perform, but to perform in a classroom with the goal of imparting knowledge on others. They enjoy broadening minds and sharing information. While some educators are similar to creators in that they like to discover information and use it to create something new, they are unique in that the core of what drives them is in educating others about what is already known, not in creating something from scratch.
The Politicians: The politicians are driven by convincing others that their point is correct. They are lawyers, actual politicians and senior business executives. The politicians are like entertainers in that they are comfortable in front of a crowd, but their goal is always to prove a point. They get a rush out of debating and winning a debate. They are detail oriented and have a love of facts, as well as using facts in a way that supports their point. They are confident, sometimes overly so, and often have a strong sense of what they think is right. This sometimes is challenged by performing certain jobs designed for politicians, such as the law, since often legal jobs require one to argue a case or point they may not believe in. That said, most politicians care more about winning than being right.
The Entertainers: The entertainers are the people who help distract the fixers, the creators, the protectors, the politicans, the healers and the educators from the hum drum of their everyday lives. They provide momentary escape from all of the bullshit that life brings. They are Hollywood stars and comedians, but they are also magicians and princesses that perform at children’s birthday parties, clowns who crack jokes in the circus, DJs and musicians and wedding singers. The entertainers love being the center of attention, but they also love to help others break away from reality for a moment in order to either just have fun or to really reflect back on their own lives and become all the better for it.
Which one of the seven are you? Do you think your job today aligns with who you are?