Turn Your Bad Habits into a Job

Managers often end jobs with phrases like "not a good fit," "just not working out," and "maybe there's something better for you out there." While these words can be painful, they may also be the catalyst you need to take your talents, and quirks, elsewhere.

Think about your habits – the natural ways you function. Some may flop in certain jobs but really shine in others. Let's take a moment to explore where you can best apply your unique... gifts.

Too chatty.

At your last job, were you asked to stop talking and get back to work? Hey, they don't call it the "gift to gab" for nothing. While some people couldn't make small talk if they took an all-day course on it, you work a room of people in minutes. Here are some jobs you may like to try.

Public relations. Companies need foot soldiers on the phone, in event halls and at industry conventions telling people why their product or service is the best.

Public relations, account executive - $49,200

Sales. You have to talk to people to find out if they want your product. If you excel at connecting with people and developing a rapport, that could help you seal the deal.

Sales associate - $44,200

Phlebotomist. Giving blood makes people nervous people – even sick. If the sight of blood doesn't bother you, you can be that friendly phlebotomist who helps people relax.

Medical phlebotomist - $27,300

Tour guide. Chirp away about your beautiful town, its historic mansions and get paid for doing so. What a deal.

Tour guide - $26,400

Slow in the morning.

Do the words "beautiful" and "morning" never pop out of your mouth together? If you stumble through the a.m. but perk up after dark, why not channel your nighttime energy into earning a living? There are thousands of late-night gigs out there for you to choose from.

Security guard. Bad guys like to do their deeds in the evening. You can help stop them and get paid to stay up all night – like you would anyways.

Security guard - $29,300

Mail sorter. You can be the reason that last-minute birthday cards to Grandma arrive on time.

Mail sorter - $32,900

Airport customer service. Parking lot van drivers, rental car company desk clerks and airline gate agents are all needed in the wee hours.

Van driver - $30,700

911 dispatcher. Crime, house fires, car accidents and other emergencies happen all night long. If you're alert at 2 a.m. you can make sure help arrives at the scene.

Police, fire or ambulance dispatcher - $35,900

Can't sit still.

While being "hyper" carries a negative stigma, having a lot of physical energy is an asset. There are plenty of jobs where your love of physical movement will make both you and your employer very happy.

Exercise class leader. Get out your spandex and get to work. Gyms need high-energy, enthusiastic leaders so the whole class stays motivated.

Aerobics instructor - $34,400

Mail carrier. From door to door you walk in rain, sleet and snow and, hey, it beats sitting at a cubical with your knee bouncing and your pen tapping your keyboard.

Postal service mail carrier - $53,800

Fire fighter. From forests to urban centers, this job requires that you are physically able, make smart decisions under pressure and work well with others.

Fire fighter - $46,800

Garbage man. You think taking the garbage out is work, try doing it for all of your neighbors as well. Yikes. That's a lot of activity.

Garbage collector - $39,000


Did your boss want you to charm customers when you were happy to work alone? Here are jobs where your quiet side can help pay your bills.

Paralegal. As lawyers ramp up for big cases or contracts get drafted, a paralegal makes sure the information is all lined up correctly, right down to indemnity clause.

Paralegal - $48,300

Lab technician. You can save lives by researching cures or run tests for medical results. Either way, labs provide a quieter setting where your hard work can benefit plenty of people.

Medical laboratory technician - $37,100

Librarian. Librarians need to be helpful, but not necessarily chatty. If you enjoy helping people learn and have a love of books, this job puts you in a great place to shine.

Reference librarian - $49,100

Data analyst. From consumer habits to population trends, companies and the government need people who can run the numbers and glean useful information.

Data analyst - $54,700

Next: Top 10 Companies Hiring This Week >>

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Source: Salary data provided by PayScale.com. Represents median annual salary numbers for US workers with 5-8 years of work and includes all bonuses, commissions and profit sharing.

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