For as long as I can remember, I’ve felt very different from the people in my life…about almost everything.
It wasn’t until I started taking personality tests later in life (in my 30s) and reading more about zodiac signs, that I started putting pieces of the puzzle together.
^I know a lot of people roll their eyes so far into the back of their heads that they think they might lose their vision from hearing about zodiac stuff. Those people (yes, if that’s you), probably should keep reading this particular post anyways, even though it will bug you.
I am an Aquarius through and through - non-conforming, unconventional, independent, fascinated by learning new things, intuitive, “ahead of their time”, enjoys what they achieve in life, inventive and eccentric.
“Although Aquarians have little notion of time, little respect for rules and regulations and a liking for doing things their own way, they will not use their original or inventive ideas in a destructive fashion. Their aim is always to use their intelligence to bring benefit and insight not just to themselves or a select group of people but to everyone. Aquarians don’t just cope well with change, they thrive on it.” (Element Encyclopedia of Birthdays - I’m obsessed with this book - It’s incredibly entertaining while hosting in your home.)
So here’s the thing about the statement above. A lot of employers SAY they love forward-thinking people, innovators, and people that think 3 steps ahead…but in reality, those traits are harder to deal with than you think. Because they come in all shapes and sizes, and different ages and different skill levels. So what happens to these people if they aren’t at the top? They get shushed. You shush them because you don’t understand why they think they should be able to contribute things that are beyond their pay-grade, or beyond their scope.
Being an Aquarian often feels like being regarded as a “millennial” (even before that became a thing people categorized us as). It’s a classic conundrum because you do feel “ahead of your time” and that you can contribute more than you’re being asked to do, but you also feel like what you’re being asked to do…should probably be done by someone who finds comfort in the mundane. And that’s DEFINITELY not you. You’d rather do anything than a repetitive, mind-numbing task.
So now what?
That’s what I’ve been asking myself for 10 years. Is the only option for people like me to not have a boss at all? I honestly don’t think that’s the case. I think it’s about our generation and future generations actually taking personality tests into consideration when dealing with people. Mine for example is ESFP. Several of my zodiac traits (if you hate that stuff) are VERY clear and apparent in the ESFP profile.
“As subordinates, ESFPs thrive on change and new ideas, and loathe repetitive and strictly defined tasks. ESFP personalities’ managers find willing and able experimenters who can brainstorm, quickly grasp new methods, and actually put those methods to practical use – so long as ESFP have a little leeway apply their own creative style.” (16personalities.com)
As a leader, you should pay attention to those things because turnover and a lack of productivity are expensive. And those are exact results of not understanding your employees and what makes them tick. As an employee, you should try to approach the personality topic and see if your company would be open to utilizing something like 16personalities.com.
In case you hadn’t noticed yet, I’m reading Rare Breed : A guide to success for the defiant, dangerous, and different by Sunny Bonnell and Ashleigh Hansberger. I’m only 8 pages in, but here is my favorite part so far:
IF YOU WANT TO SUCCEED, YOU HAVE TO OWN WHO YOU ARE
“In a society that profits from your self doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act” - Caroline Caldwell
So if you’re like me (a rare breed), you’re not crazy (despite constantly being shushed), your specific stand-out talents are just not currently being cultivated by your company. Maybe you should just find one that will.
Or maybe it IS time to be your own boss.
Either way - spend some time reading about it. It helps.
Find this article and others similar to it on Stephanie's personal blog, Radical Afternoon.