Are You a People Person
There is a spectrum of personality types that can be thought of with “introverts” at one end vs. “extraverts” at the other. Introverts tend to be shy and hesitant to strike up conversations, especially with strangers. Extraverts are outgoing, “life of the party” types. They are often labeled as “people persons.” Jobs that entail sales and other frequent customer interaction tend to attract extroverted personalities. Desk jobs that entail mostly working with numbers tend to attract introverts.
I’m oversimplifying, of course. Most people fall somewhere in between life of the party and folks who stare at their shoes in social settings. However, most people know themselves well enough to judge whether they are more introverted or extraverted. This is something to keep in mind as you explore a trade career path.
Trade work entails a significant distinction between construction and service jobs. New construction jobs require working mainly in solitude with the tools of your trade. You may be working alongside buddies and exchange some friendly banter with them throughout the workday, but for the most part construction workers have limited interaction with the public. Even with co-workers, you can be chatty or silent, depending on your personal preference. Introverted personalities can be very successful in construction jobs, where they are judged solely on the quality of their work and their productivity.
Service work requires frequent interaction with the public. A key part of a service technician’s job is to project a friendly demeanor. No matter how good you may be working with the tools, service workers also need people skills or else they are likely to generate complaints from the customers they serve. Employers do not take kindly to trade workers who force them to respond to unhappy customers.
Again, I’m oversimplifying. Introverts can succeed in service work as long as they are good listeners and work hard to satisfy customer needs. But as a rough guide, it’s good to think more in line with a construction career if you don’t particularly like working with other people, or service work if you consider yourself a “people person.”