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14 Typical Types Of Workers In An Office (Which One Are You?)

14 Typical Types Of Workers In An Office (Which One Are You?)

It takes all kinds, doesn’t it? If you work in an office, then you know the workplace can be a zoo of personalities. The commotion of the work environment can bring out the best and worst of us. And that’s just it – all of us have these internal opposing sides. We have strengths and weaknesses too, and the unique combination of these characteristics is what makes us distinct.

In the office, as in all work environments, it’s important for employees to focus on communication, teamwork, morale and an overall professional tone. Being the people we are, we can get in the way of our goals. One step that can help improve how we interact is to identify our personality archetypes, weaknesses and strengths alike. We can only improve how we work with others once we’ve acquired some sense of self-awareness.

With at least 14 personality types to consider, this process could get interesting. Yes, think of it at least in terms of entertainment, if nothing else. It’s an invaluable skill to be able to laugh at oneself.

Which One Are You?

The Micromanager

No one wants to be the micromanager, as they’re disliked by everyone. Yet, the micromanager is ubiquitous, transcending all industries and workplace environments. Without doubt, you’ve them in the office. You’ll know them by their compulsive ‘hovering’ behavior. Typically micromanagers are managers, or bosses of some kind. They question employees’ every move, demand constant updates, and struggle to delegate work or give up control.

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The Overcommitted Colleague

Similar to the overachiever, the over-committer cannot say ‘no.’ They stay at work late, chair fundraisers, volunteer to bring the donuts to every meeting, host work parties. The overcommitted do it all. They can be nice to have around, clearly, because they’ll take care of all the little jobs no one else wants to. This behavior creates a number of problems. It can make it impossible for their coworkers to get new opportunities. Overcommitted workers may be sincere do-gooders. But they may be manipulative and uber-controlling. They’re unpredictable and definitely hard to read.

The Office Gossip

This personality requires little explanation. They were likely the gossipers on the playground when you were little, gossipers in high school and college. Now they gossip in your professional life. Stay away. It’s hard not to be swept away once you involve yourself, so just don’t go there.

The Connector

The connector personality can turn your work life upside down – in a good way. They are the colleagues in the know. Connectors excel at hooking people up to build more productive teams. They connect work-seekers with employers. Once you find a connector, treat them well, and learn how to appreciate their gift. If you’re a more withdrawn personality, you may find the connector intimidating. Just remember that the connector type tends to like everyone, or at least can appreciate aspects of every personality.

The Anti-Social

It’s hard to say if the anti-social types are lonely. Maybe they dislike the company of others, and therefore find solitude a more satisfying experience. You’ll know the antisocial type by their absence, if that makes sense. They won’t be at the office parties or Friday happy hours. You won’t find them hanging around the lunch room. They’re just not to be found.

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The “Know-It-All”

They have an answer for everything. Everything. Know-it-alls interject their glowing insights at every chance. They speak up (and won’t shut up) at meetings, at social events. They give unwarranted advice and, unfortunately, don’t seem to take ‘no thank you’ for an answer. Another problem is that though they may seem knowledgeable, they often aren’t.

The Lazy Ones

The lazy workers depend on the overcommitted, even the micromanager. It’s a mystery to everyone how the lazy coworker is still employed, but there they are, doing nothing every day. They may frequent your cubicle, stopping by to chat, find out what you’re having for lunch, or maybe they just stand there, staring. It may be worth it to give them the benefit of the doubt, though. If you have an office full of overcommitted, go-getter types, maybe the ‘lazy one’ is actually an average worker.

The Talker

Similar to the know-it-all, the talker is successful at distracting their peers with their annoying, attention-seeking behavior. The talker wants to talk, not work. It makes a person wonder what the talker would do with themselves if they were out of the job. Who would listen to them? The talker can be nice to have around, though, if you struggle to interact socially. Sidle up to the talker at an office party, and it’s smooth sailing.

The Stressed-Out

You may know them as the office ‘drama queen,’ a derogatory term in my opinion. I’m taking the liberty to defend the stressed worker because I self-identify as one. Everything is a big deal for us. Every deadline, every change coming down the pipeline. Go easy on the stress freaks. We’re doing the best we can!

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The Chillax

The so-called ‘chillax’ workers are the type everyone in the office should probably hang around more often. Their keep their personal lives at home so they can roll with the punches at work. The chillax keep the stress in check. They may be seen as lazy by workaholics, but the chillax don’t care . . . because they’re chillax.

The Clown

You may love or hate the office clown. It’s a real toss-up. At their best, the clown can add value by breaking the ice in tense situations, livening up dull meetings and making their coworkers laugh on dreadful Monday mornings. At their worst, they aren’t funny at all. They may not know how to end a joke, take their job seriously, take anything seriously.

The Real Leader

The real leader at the office is the one people listen to, trust, admire and respect. They may not be at the top of the company, but they take their job seriously. Leaders embody the core values of the company without pretension. Real leaders inspire others by showing enthusiasm for working together toward goals. They’re socially astute but don’t go overboard like the talkers or the office gossips. They keep their priorities in balance.

The Stable Performer

Maybe less exciting, the stable performer is also known as the average worker. They’re the bread and butter employee, the one employers can depend on to show up and perform well on a regular basis. They may not be real leaders, but they’re not lazy either.

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The Genius

Think Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Warren Buffett, Oprah Winfrey – the visionaries among us. The geniuses are the gods and goddesses of the professional realm. Many are entrepreneurs, some work inconspicuously from within the company. The genius has the big ideas and they typically need some extremely capable business partners to make those ideas reality.

Featured photo credit: Freepik via freepik.com

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Last Updated on April 6, 2020

How to Make a Career Change at 50 for Great Opportunities

How to Make a Career Change at 50 for Great Opportunities

Turning 50 is a milestone in anyone’s life, after all you are half way to 100! But seriously, turning 50 is often a time in life when people can sit back and take a look at where they’ve been and contemplate what the future holds.

Can you change careers at 50? It’s not uncommon for people in their 50’s to consider a career change, after all if you’ve spent 20 to 30 years in a career, chances are that some of the bloom is off the rose.

Often, when we are starting out in our 20’s, we choose a career path based on factors that are no longer relevant to us in our 50’s. Things like our parents’ expectations, a fast paced exciting lifestyle or the lure of making a lot of money can all be motivating factors in our 20’s.

But in our 50’s, those have given way to other priorities. Things like the desire to spend more time with family and friends, a slower paced less stressful lifestyle, the need to care for a sick spouse or elderly parents can all contribute to wanting a career change in your 50’s.

Just like any big life changing event, changing careers is scary. The good news is that just like most things we are scared of, the fear is mostly in our own head.

Understanding how to go about a career change at 50 and what you can expect should help reduce the anxiety and fear of the unknown.

What are Your Goals for a Career Change?

As in any endeavor, having properly defined goals will help you to determine the best path to take.

What are you looking for in a new career? Choosing a slower less stressful position that gives you more time with family and friends may sound ideal, but you’ll often find that you’re giving up some income and job satisfaction in the process.

Conversely, if your goal is to quit a job that is sucking the life from your soul to pursue a lifelong passion. You might be trading quality time with family and friends for job satisfaction.

Neither decision is wrong or bad, you just need to be aware of the potential pitfalls of any decision you make.

Types of Career Changes at 50+

There are four main types of career changes that people make in their 50’s. Each type has it’s unique set of challenges and will very in the degree of preparation required to make the change.

Industry Career Change

In this career change, a person remains in the same field but switches industries.

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With an industry change, a person takes their set of skills and applies them to an industry that they have no previous experience in.

An example would be a salesperson in the oil and gas industry becoming a salesperson for a media (advertising) company. They are taking their skill set (selling) and applying it to a different industry (media).

This type of career change is best accomplished by doing a lot of homework on the industry you want to get into as well as networking within the industry.

Functional Career Change

A functional career change would be a change of careers within the same industry.

For example, an accountant at a pharmaceutical company who changes careers to become a human resources manager. It may or may not be with the same company, but they remain within the pharmaceutical industry. In this case, they are leaving one set of skills behind (accounting) to develop a new set (human resource) within the same industry.

In a functional career change, new or additional training as well as certifications may be required in order to make the switch. If you are considering a functional career change, you can start by getting any training or certifications needed either online, through trade associations or at your local community college.

Double Career Change

This is the most challenging career change of all. A person doing a double career change is switching both a career and an industry.

An example of a double change would be an airline pilot quitting to pursue their dream of producing rock music. In that case, they are leaving both the aviation industry and a specific skill set (piloting) for a completely unrelated industry and career.

When considering a double career change, start preparing by getting any needed training or certifications first. Then you can get your foot in the door by taking an apprenticeship or part time job.

With a double change, it’s not uncommon to have to start out at the bottom as you are asking an employer to take a chance on someone without any experience or work history in the industry.

Entrepreneurial Career Change

Probably one of the most common career changes made by people in their 50’s is the entrepreneurial career change.

After 20 to 30 years of working for “Corporate America”, a lot of people become disillusioned with the monotony, politics and inefficiency of the corporate world. Many of us dream of having our own business and being our own boss.

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By this time in our life, we have saved some money and the financial pressures we had with young children have passed; so it’s a perfect time to spread our entrepreneurial wings.

Entrepreneurial career changes can be within the same industry and using your existing knowledge and contacts to start a similar business competing within the same industry. Or it can be completely unrelated to your former industry and based on personal interests, passions or hobbies.

A good example would be someone who played golf as a hobby starting an affiliate marketing website selling golf clubs. If you are considering an entrepreneurial career change, there are a lot of very good free resources available on the internet. Just be sure to do your homework.

Practical Tips on Making a Career Change at 50+

So you’ve decided to take the plunge and make a career switch in your 50’s. No matter what your reasons or what type of a career change you are embarking on, here are some helpful hints to make the transition easier:

1. Deal with the Fear

As stated earlier, any big life change comes with both fear and anxiety. Things never seem to go as smoothly as planned, you will always have bumps and roadblocks along the way. By recognizing this and even planning for it, you are less likely to let these issues derail your progress.

If you find yourself becoming discouraged by all of the stumbling blocks, there are always resources to help. Contacting a career coach is a good place to start, they can help you with an overall strategy for your career change as well as the interview and hiring process, resume writing / updating and more. Just Google “Career Coach” for your options.

I also recommend using the services of a professional counselor or therapist to help deal with the stress and anxiety of this major life event.

It’s always good to have an unbiased third party to help you work through the problems that inevitably arise.

2. Know Your “Why”

It’s important that you have a clear understanding of the “why” you are making this career change. Is it to have more free time, reduce stress, follow a passion or be your own boss?

Having a clear understanding of you personal “why” will influence every decision in this process. Knowing your “why” and keeping it in mind also serves as a motivator to help you reach your goals.

3. Be Realistic

Take an inventory of both your strengths and weaknesses. Are your organizational skills less than stellar? Then, becoming a wedding planner is probably not a good idea.

This is an area where having honest outside input can be really helpful. Most of us are not very good at accurately assessing our abilities. It’s a universal human trait to exaggerate our abilities while diminishing our weaknesses.

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Requesting honest feedback from friends and co-workers is a good place to start, but this is another area where a career coach can come in handy.

4. Consider an Ad-Vocation

Sometimes, making a career change all at once is just too big of a change. Issues like a severely reduced income, geography and lack of benefits can all be impediments to your career change. In those cases, you may want to start your new career as an ad-vocation.

An ad-vocation is a second or ad-on vocation in addition to your primary vocation. Things like a part-time job, consulting or even a side business can all be ad-vocations.

The benefit of having an ad-vocation is being able to build experience a reputation and contacts in the new field while maintaining all the benefits of your current job.

5. Update Your Skills

Whether it means acquiring new certifications or going back to school to get your cosmetology licence, having the right training is the foundation for a successful career change.

The great thing about changing careers now is that almost any training or certifications needed can be free or at very little cost online. Check with trade associations, industry websites and discussion groups for any requirements you may need.

Learn How to Cultivate Continuous Learning to Stay Competitive.

6. Start Re-Branding Yourself Now

Use the internet and social media to change the way you present yourself online.

Changing your LinkedIn profile is a good way to show prospective employers that you are serious about a career change.

Joining Facebook groups, trade associations and discussion boards as well as attending conventions is a great way to start building a network while you learn.

Here’re some Personal Branding Basics You Need to Know for Career Success.

7. Overhaul Your Resume

Most of us have heard the advice to update our resume every six months, and most of us promptly ignore that advice and only update our resume when we need it.

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When making a career change, updating is not enough; this calls for a complete overhaul of your resume. Chances are that your current resume was designed around your old career which may or may not apply to your new goals.

Crafting a new resume emphasizing your strengths for the new position your looking for is key. There are many places that will help you craft a resume online and it is a service included with most career coaching services.

8. Know Your Timeline

There are a lot of factors when it comes to how long it will take to make the career change.

Industry and Functional career changes tend to be the easiest to do and therefore can be accomplished in the shortest period of time. While the Double Career Change and the Entrepreneurial Career Change both require more effort and thus time.

There are also personal factors involved in the time it will take to switch careers.

Generally speaking the more you are willing to be flexible with both compensation and geography, the shorter time it will take to make the switch.

Final Thoughts

Changing careers at anytime can be stressful, but for those of us who are 50 or above, it can seem to be an overwhelming task fraught with pitfalls and self doubt.

Prospective employers know the benefits that come with more mature employees. Things like a wealth of experience, a proven work history and deeper understanding of corporate culture are all things that older workers bring to the table.

And while the younger generation may possess better computer or technical skills than us, if you’re willing to learn, there are a ton of free or nearly free resources available to you.

Deciding on a career change at 50 is a great way to experience life on your own terms.

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Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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