Why Software Careers Are Great for Empathetic People
Do some call you overly sensitive or too emotional? Do crowds drain you? If a coworker is distraught, do you feel it too?
If this sounds like you, then you may be a highly empathetic person. You might have it more difficult than others, especially at work, because you may find yourself feeling more drained than others after a long day, needing a lot of time to revive yourself, and often being stressed. You tend to take on the pain of others; of course you’re drained.
But you also have special abilities. You are emotionally intelligent and can sense others’ energies. These qualities bring tons of value to your position and company, particularly in the tech industry.
In a skills-driven world like IT, you need programming knowledge, good communication skills, and problem-solving abilities. But being a highly empathetic person means you also have a set of soft skills, including critical thinking, creativity, and attention to detail.
Having an inquisitive mind is critical for any position in the software industry. You can get lost in solving a problem, learn concepts quickly, and convey your message to those who may not be tech-savvy. You can focus on facts and use your logical reasoning to build systems.
But empathetic people bring one skill to the table that sets them apart from all others: emotional intelligence. This is not a skill that can be learned; it is part of being particularly empathetic. It also helps to bolster the hard skills you have, and when hard skills are equal, emotional intelligence accounts for 58 percent of success in all types of jobs.
Your empathetic soft skills can give you an edge and equip you better for a great career in software:
- Communication: Effective communication, both verbal and nonverbal, is crucial to getting proper feedback
- Understanding different perspectives: Detecting and responding to others’ moods, desires, and motivations brings new points of view
- Managing conflict: Predicting the effects that emotions have in the workplace can help you act against such triggers arising and defuse conflicts among coworkers
- Leadership: By taking on responsibility and motivating those around you, you are able to build relationships in a healthy, fulfilling way that translates to trustworthiness
Although these strengths are useful professionally, being an empathetic person also means you may need to make some changes in your work life so you don’t get overburdened.
Try to work from home as much as possible. That’ll remove you from the office frenzy and drama. Take time for breaks and schedule them appropriately. Give yourself quiet time to emotionally decompress—a short walk outside for lunch helps. Reduce the excessive stimulation of working nonstop. You’ll feel less stressed and tired by the time you end your workday.
Consider these important self-care tips and you’ll notice a tremendous difference. But remember that the tech world welcomes you and your special abilities wholeheartedly.