Guest Post by Miles Maftean
You feel the same way every day after a day at work. You feel as if you’re carrying a literal weight on your shoulders. And it doesn’t make sense.
Are you dealing with traditional burnout from your job?
Or — you’re an empath.
But wait, what is an empath? And what does that have to do with my career?
If you’re asking these questions, you’re in the right place.
Being an empath means you feel overwhelming emotions on a daily basis. You deal with stress on a different level than others. You are a sponge absorbing good and bad emotions. But it’s taken its toll on you and a change is needed.
Fear not. This post will help you manage the downside of being an empath so it doesn’t affect your career. You’ll learn the tools needed to manage stress at work. Our career path section offers a guide on which work-from-home roles best fit for an empath.
The journey to a healthier work-life balance is now.
What is an Empath?
Are you an empath? Let’s test this a bit more. Judith Orloff, an MD who specializes in highly sensitive people, created a simple quiz to answer this question.
Ask yourself the following:
- Do people tell you that you are “too emotional” or over-sensitive?
- Do you feel when others are distraught?
- Do crowds drain you emotionally?
- Are your nerves jarred when there is non-stop talking, smells, and sounds?
- Do you often find that your feelings are hurt?
- Do you prefer to use your car to go to places so you can leave by yourself?
If you answered yes to some of the questions. Don’t worry. Being highly sensitive is not a sickness. You’re different. But different is good, especially in the workplace. Being an empath also means you have a unique set of skills. You might not even notice you have these skills. But trust me, they are there. Let’s highlight a few.
What Skills Does an Empath Possess?
- Emotional intelligence. Being in tune with your feelings and emotions and those of others is a skill many do not have. It helps you connect with others and achieve success in an impactful way.
- Creativity. Empathetic people are more creative than others. Your powerful emotions help make your creative juices flow.
- Communication. You are able to understand where people are coming from because of your empathy. You can communicate your emotions and needs to others. Likewise, you listen to the other person. You pay close attention to what the person is asking or telling you and do your best to understand their position.
- Leadership. You take responsibility for your actions and care about the environment around you. You treat others in the same way. Being self-aware and apologetic in the workplace is rare. This makes you a natural born leader.
Being an empath is both a virtue and a vice. Sure, you may take on the emotions of others and feel overwhelmed at times, but you do have a set of skills that any employer would be thrilled to have in their company.
But before you decide what position is best for you, make sure that you have a proper work environment for your needs.
Implement Changes in Your Work Environment
As an empath, you have it more difficult than others in the workplace. You need some guidance to ensure it does not take a toll on your career. Let’s start with some simple changes.
- Work Setting. Highly sensitive people work great by themselves at home. You like to be away from the frenzy of the office and all it contains. Work drama will bother you more than others. Noises and different personalities may be too much to take in all at once. If you decide to work remotely permanently, you may choose to become an at-home employee or start your own business. Self-employed workers do not have to deal with co-workers, bosses, and packed schedules.
- Coping Mechanisms. You will need time to decompress during the workday. Coping mechanisms help here. Make sure to build in breaks during your workday. Take your dog on a long walk during an afternoon break. Go into nature during your lunch break. Distance yourself as much as possible to a more quiet space where you can be alone with your thoughts.
- Establish Boundaries. Define your needs for yourself and communicate them with others. Safeguard your sensitivities. If a manager or co-worker is asking too much of you, politely tell them you have too much on your plate right now. Time adequate time outside of work to detach.
Great Work-at-Home Jobs for Empaths
Now, let’s recap what you’ve learned. You’re an empath. Check. You’ve implemented some changes. Check. You already are feeling better about facing the workplace tomorrow with your new knowledge. But what if you feel a complete career change is needed? The thought alone shoots you into panic mode.
What stay-at-home job is good for an empath? Are my skills transferable? Let’s take a look at some online career paths that are best for empaths now.
Let’s say you’re an administrative assistant. You love your job, but going into work is draining. Start your own business or become an independent contractor on a business to business contract. This allows you to work from home and set your schedule. Many professions have this option:
- Virtual Assistant
- Freelance Writer
- Graphic designer
- and so forth.
- This is a great first option.
As an empath who experiences strong emotions, the creative arts offers the ability to channel this emotion into your work. You want to connect with others and are more in tune with the emotional currents of the world around you. Creative outlets are a great place for you.
Empaths do best in nature. This makes outdoor work a great option. Try to find a position where you are outdoors the majority of your time. You can be a gardener, or a landscape designer, for instance.
Much of the work done in an academic setting is independent. When working in this role from home, you can often set your schedule and still do work you find interesting. You work well as a teacher because you offer support and want to see others achieve their dreams. A few work-from-home options:
Empaths care about others. What better place to have a career in the health care profession? When considering at-home roles, these range from a physician, nurses, to yoga instructors and speech therapists. However, these jobs require setting proper boundaries. You can’t take on the stress and symptoms of all your patients, so be careful not to stretch yourself too thin in this field.
- 12 Work from Home Healthcare Jobs
- Ginger.io frequently hires online mental health coaches in addition to psychiatrists, therapists and more.
- Top 15 Companies for Remote Healthcare Jobs
Prepare for the Change
The one thing about empaths that you should know about: they take time to adapt to new changes. This change to a new position will take time. And it is stressful. For your disposition, it will be difficult to go through that process. The best way to not be stressed is to know you are prepared. Remember that you have unique qualities and abilities. Highlight your skill set in a personable way through a strong cover letter.
Whether you are looking for that change, applying to new positions, or helping your current situation, you now know what can be done to balance your career as an empath. You will not feel as emotionally and physically exhausted as you currently are. After some time, you will be a better, more fulfilled, and less-stressed worker!
Author Bio: Miles is a career writer who has a passion for helping those achieve the best possible career growth imaginable. He’s a world-renowned taco enthusiast. He loves poetry and old Americana literature.