Have you ever felt unsure about what career path to take? Or perhaps you’re an introvert who’s interested in a career path that some might incorrectly consider “just for extroverts.” If so, you’re in for a treat!
In this episode, our host David Hall is joined by career counselor Brad Minton to discuss how introverts can chart their own unique career paths. Brad shares his insights on why understanding yourself is key to finding an environment to thrive in and achieving your career goals. Brad describes the importance of creating your Authentic Impact Story to develop your personal brand. You’ll even learn about some career assessment tools and thought exercises to identify your strengths and weaknesses.
Plus, Brad brings his unique ‘GPS’ analogy to the show, which provides an amazing perspective on achieving career success.
Don’t miss out on this insightful conversation. Listen now!
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Brad Minton is a certified career counselor and resume writer who specializes in helping Gen Z develop their own inner compass to guide their career choices and ultimately land the roles that are aligned to their true north. He is the Founder of Mint To Be Career, where he offers 1:1 Career Counseling and job search assistance to young professionals. Additionally, he is the host of the Your Career GPS Podcast.
Podcast: Your Career GPS
Socials: Instagram | LinkedIn | TikTok
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Books referenced in this episode:
The Comfort Crisis by Michael Easter
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[00:02:12] Transition from mental health to career counseling, fell in love with career conversations, now has own business and podcast in career counseling.
[00:08:24] Career choices are no longer seen as one decision for a lifetime due to advancements in technology and globalization. People stay at jobs for an average of two years or less and are constantly evolving, exposing new opportunities for advancement and gaining skills. Stackable credentials and short-term skills certifications are useful in opening up new career paths.
[00:13:58] Introverts get energy differently than extroverts, preferring smaller, more intimate settings. Misconceptions about introversion existed until the author studied MBTI 16 personalities, influencing their career decision-making and helping them understand themselves better.
[00:20:13] The speaker’s strengths are active listening and connecting puzzle pieces together, which helps build rapport with people. They noticed their skills over time and received reinforcement from others.
[00:24:03] Recognize unique strengths, use CliftonStrengths or High 5 assessments, explore past successes and feedback to discover strengths and talents.
[00:32:02] Human tendency to focus on weaknesses, not strengths explained by evolutionary need to identify threats. Leads to difficulties in recognizing and expressing individual strengths. Coaching needed.
[00:37:25] Develop personal brand using STAR: Strengths, Target, Authenticity, and Reward. It’s a never-ending process of evolving and changing your brand, with an authentic impact story.
[00:42:21] Introversion is individual, with each person having different targets and energy sources. Understanding oneself and how introversion manifests is essential for thriving in different work environments and achieving desired impacts.
[00:46:36] Speaker uses analogies and symbolism to connect with listeners in podcast about career navigation, comparing it to a road trip with challenges and opportunities. Promotes clarity, self-awareness, and decision-making skills. Has solo show and diverse guest speakers.
[00:51:00] Understand introversion for career benefits.
Questions and Answers about this Episode
1. What is introversion, and how is it unique to each individual?
Answer: Brad Minton explains that introversion is not about skill or fulfillment but about what brings energy to an individual. He emphasizes that your target and what gives you energy can vary a lot from one person to another.
2. Why is it important to understand oneself, particularly in the context of introversion?
Answer: Understanding oneself and how introversion manifests for an individual helps them find an environment where they can thrive and accomplish the type of work they want.
3. How can someone identify their strengths and weaknesses?
Answer: David Hall suggests using assessments such as the Gallup Strengths assessment that has 34 themes of talent, and the concept behind it is to focus on your top 5 strengths. He also recommends exploring a person’s history, childhood and experiences to identify what they excel at and asking people around you for feedback on your strengths and talents.
4. Why should people focus on their strengths instead of their weaknesses?
Answer: David Hall emphasizes that everyone has different strengths, and we should spend the majority of our time on our strengths because that’s where we can go farther.
5. How can someone embrace their unique talents and abilities?
Answer: People struggle to accept or embrace their unique talents and abilities because humans are genetically inclined towards looking for what’s wrong more than what’s right. Self-esteem comes later in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and thinking about oneself and being content with who they are takes practice. Coaching and practice are necessary to help people recognize and articulate their strengths in job interviews or other situations.
6. How has career choice evolved over time?
Answer: Making a career choice is no longer seen as a one-time decision, but it evolves over time. Previously, career choices were about matchmaking, not necessarily about finding fulfillment in a job. Technological advances and globalization have made the career field more interconnected and provided significant gray areas to careers.
7. What is personal branding, and how can a person develop their own?
Answer: Brad Minton is a strong proponent of personal branding and believes that anyone can start developing their personal brand at any point in their career. Personal branding is never complete and always evolving. Brad came up with an acronym called STAR which stands for Strengths, Target, Authenticity, and Reward. When packaged together, it forms an authentic impact story.
8. What are Brad Minton’s strengths, and how has he leveraged them in his career?
Answer: Brad Minton’s strengths include listening and connectedness, allowing him to build rapport with people and make connections between pieces of information. He started his career in mental health and later transitioned to career counseling, launching his own business and podcast, “Meant to Be Career.”
9. How can GPS analogy be applied in career counseling?
Answer: Brad Minton is an analogies guy who connects symbolism to his work as a counselor, coach, facilitator, and instructor. He uses the GPS analogy in all his podcast episodes focused on different subjects. His work as a career counselor involves helping the next generation navigate the roads ahead like a road trip.
10. How can assessments help someone identify their strengths, and what types of assessments are available?
Answer: Assessments such as the CliftonStrengths and High 5 can help someone identify their strengths. Brad Minton also recommends exploring a person’s history, childhood, and experiences, as well as asking people around you for feedback on your strengths and talents.
Brad Minton [00:00:00]:
I think one of the things like from ground zero for me that’s really, really important is I always go into, whether it’s a meeting with a new client, a new student that I’ve never worked with or, or, or whomever it happens to be. To be, I always go in with the mindset that this person has superpowers, whether they are aware of them or not. Every one of us have a very, very unique set of strengths and talents that we can use under the right situation, under the right circumstances that can allow us to excel. And what’s super, super exciting is being able to start figuring that out.
David Hall [00:00:49]:
Hello, and welcome to episode 124 of the Quiet and Strong podcast, especially for introverts. I’m your host, David Hall, and the creator of quietandstrong.com. This is a weekly podcast dedicated to understanding the strengths and needs of introverts. Introversion is not something to fix, but to be embraced. Normally, while I air each episode on a Monday, be sure to subscribe on your favorite platform. Leave a review. That would mean a lot to me. Tell a friend about the podcast. Help get the word out there that introversion is a beautiful thing. Brad Minton is a certified career counselor and resume writer who specializes in helping Gen Z develop their own inner compass to guide their career choices and ultimately land the roles that are aligned to their true North. He’s the founder of Mint to be career, where he offers one-on-one career counseling and job search assistance to young professionals. Additionally, he’s the host of the Your Career GPS Podcast. All right, well, welcome to the Quiet and Strong Podcast, Brad, it’s so nice to have you on today.
Brad Minton [00:01:54]:
Thank you, David, it’s an honor to be with you.
David Hall [00:01:57]:
Yeah, Brad, you do some great work around careers and you’re also a fellow introvert and that also comes into play as you’re working with clients and students and things. So tell us about your story and how you became a career counselor.
Brad Minton [00:02:12]:
Yeah, that’s a good question. I originally started out my career in mental health and I think just like many people who are, you know, kind of going through school and kind of learning a little bit more about themselves, you know, it was kind of always apparent to me that I really just enjoyed helping people. And I was always fascinated with psychology and how people think and act and behave and that kind of thing. And so that’s what I measured in and in college and ultimately decided to kind of take that route into the mental health world and get my master’s degree in community counseling and, and started out and, you know, when, when you’re kind of young and naive, you kind of think, okay, I’m going to do this 1 thing for the rest of my life. That’s kind of the story that we’re told, at least a lot of the older generations. And at that point in time, that’s kind of what the mission and the plan was, is just to kind of work as a therapist and do that. And I did for a little while. I worked in Virginia where I graduated grad school and kind of launched my career working with families, working with kids, and it was awesome. But about a year in to that work, my wife and I were expecting our child, our first child, and kind of throws your world into a little bit of a, a little bit of a decision-making point where you have to go, okay, well, you know, what, how are we going to make this work? Because I wasn’t living near home. I didn’t have family support. And my wife wasn’t either. She was from the Metro Detroit area. And so ultimately, after, you know, a lot of thinking and evaluating and decision making, we decided to make the move to Michigan to be with her family or be near her family, I should say. And so I continued my work as a therapist. I started working in a residential treatment facility here. And then I shortly after transitioned into an outpatient facility. And I think it was just by pure happenstance. I happened to have a conversation 1 day with someone who worked with a local community college and she, her and I struck up a conversation and she said, you know, it just, you know, it’s interesting that I’m talking to a licensed professional counselor because we actually just had a job opportunity come up at our college. And have you ever thought about working in a school? And I was like, no, not really. You know, it just never, ever really occurred to me. But I actually started thinking about, you know, having, you know, an opportunity like that to work in a much bigger setting and be exposed to working with youth who I had worked with and really enjoyed with, but it was just a slightly different angle and a slant to that. And so applied and ultimately got hired. And About 2 years into that work, I was actually doing sort of 3 different things. I was working as a licensed counselor, meaning I could help support students with their mental health needs, but I could also do academic advising. And this was my first real exposure to actually having career conversations. And I started noticing just in that element that I really enjoyed that. I loved kind of talking about what’s next or what are you planning to do and how does your education fit into that? I was loving those conversations that I was having and then about 2 years in the we actually did have a career counselor who was on on staff. She actually ended up moving and that opened up the door to apply for her position. And so in doing so, not only was I now getting to focus a lot more on having those career conversations and meeting with students on what’s next, but that also included teaching a course there called Career Decision Making. And so now I had to really, really kind of dig in, learn a little bit more about theory and about all of these different factors into career choice and have all of these different multitudes of angles to be able to work with students, you know, in a very, very individualized way. And I just fell in love with that work. And all of a sudden my, my whole game plan of being a therapist suddenly was, you know, kind of thrown into the air and it’s like, no, I actually kind of found something I love just a little bit more. And now over the last couple of years, III worked at this community college for a couple of years. I worked with a small business school and then I worked with the university. So I kind of bounced around the higher ed world. And. Suddenly about 2 years ago, I transitioned into a role where I helped support recent high school graduates and provide a lot of career counseling and navigational support as they’re transitioning into their post-secondary plans, whatever they happen to be. So I’m still heavily involved in the career counseling world. And I’ve also started my own business Mint-to-be-career and started my own podcast. So I guess it would be easy to say that I just really, really fell in love with this work and just tried to soak up whatever experiences I could do where I’m utilizing it.
David Hall [00:08:03]:
Awesome. And I think there’s definitely a lot of misconceptions as, as people approach, like making career decisions. Like what have you found that Maybe people are misunderstanding and what they need to understand as they start to explore and really find that rewarding careers.
Brad Minton [00:08:24]:
Yeah, that’s a great question. You know, I think 1 of the things that, you know, certainly has has transpired just in the time that I’ve been working in the career development space is, you know, this, this belief that that making a career choice is 1 choice, and it’s 1 decision, and that, you know, we kind of collect all of these different elements and we kind of make sense of them. And then we ultimately say, okay, this is the direction that I’m going to go. And I’m not going to deviate away from that. I’m going to do that for 20, 30, 40 years. And, you know, I think, you know, a long time ago, that was sort of the assumption that was a little bit more of the norm. A career choice was about matchmaking. You know, that’s originally how it kind of got its start was, you know, we want to be able to kind of help people find use of their talents in the, you know, in the workplace. And so we’re not necessarily worried about what brings fulfillment. We just want to connect people to jobs. And so and so it was it was a matchmaking kind of style. And so if it brought you fulfillment, great. But it wasn’t about that. It was about finding a job that was going to make you money and support your family. But I think over time and particularly over the last, you know, couple of years, the last decade, as technological advances have happened at such a rapid rate and, you know, globalization and all of these different things that have made our world significantly more interconnected, it has provided significantly more gray area to careers. And the fact is, whenever you are making any sort of career choice, number 1, it’s not terminal, because if you go into a particular job or career, over the course of a year, 2 years, 3 years, it’s gonna change, it’s gonna shift. There’s gonna be differences there and different exposures that are gonna take place that you may not have encountered before. And so, you know, the research is pretty clear. People are staying at jobs for for 2 years on average or less now. And that number continues to drop. You know, when you look 20 years ago, it was about 5 years at each job. And then, you know, 40 years ago, it was 10 years at each job. So it was much more common to stay long-term in different positions. So I think that’s probably 1 of the biggest is that we’re not going to, we’re not going to be stagnant within our careers. We’re going to constantly be evolving, which means that we’re going to have new opportunities to advance and propel ourselves and gain skills and stackable credentials. And that’s 1 of the things that we’re exposing the kids today to is the fact that you can earn, you know, a short term skills certification and anything that will open up 678 new doors for you. And then, you know, you can continue to advance yourself that way rather than just saying okay I’m going to do this 1 thing and I’m going to stick to it.
David Hall [00:11:54]:
Right right. And I mean as people we continue to have experiences and grow over time and get new interests you know and we continually change and also the world changes like I don’t know about you but I know that podcasting wasn’t a thing when I was a kid. But here we are, 2 podcasters. And, you know, that wasn’t something that was available, you know, not too long ago.
Brad Minton [00:12:15]:
Yeah, absolutely. It’s it’s it’s incredible. I mean, you know, and the advances in, in technology really, really shift what is popular, what’s needed, how to, you know, how to make an impact within a business or, or the economy. You know, I, I think about things like, you know, social media marketing, you know, they, they have entire teams. Businesses have teams for individuals just to manage their social media, what used to be recreation is now a necessity. You know, you’ve got to be able to appeal to people in a way that connects with, with where they’re at. And so it’s just, you know, those, those types of things are, you know, big data, you know, being able to collect and analyze large amounts of data to make informed decisions about how to run your business effectively. I mean, that wasn’t a thing, but it’s now a necessity. Right, right.
David Hall [00:13:17]:
So I’m enjoying your podcast and of course, you know, when I heard you say that you were a fellow introvert, my ears perked up and that was very interesting, you know, because I do think that, you know, there’s not 1 particular type of job for introverts, but we need to understand our strengths that come from it and our needs and put that all into our careers. And I think that’s a very important aspect. And when you misunderstand your personality, you can be unhappier and unfulfilled in your job, but when you understand it, that can make all the difference. So when did you figure out that you were an introvert and then did you have to work to embrace that?
Brad Minton [00:13:58]:
Yeah, it’s a great question. And I think, and I certainly don’t want to speak for all introverts here. Yeah. But, but I, but I, I think most introverts that I’ve ever interacted with, they kind of know that where they get their energy is just a little bit different than extroverts. And that was always kind of the case for me where, you know, growing up socially, I just, I never quite felt like I just got it, you know, and I always felt like there was a little bit of distance between myself and my peers and I couldn’t quite pinpoint exactly what that was. And it’s it’s taken a lot of time and years and reflection to really, you know, start on kind of understanding that a large portion of it was what brought them energy. And I just happened to be friends with a lot of extroverts. What brought them energy and what motivated them was, you know, not appealing to me. And it was partying. It was being around people in large social situations and a lot of activity, a lot of external stimuli. And it’s not that I necessarily didn’t enjoy those things. It was just, I noticed that it took a lot more effort for me to do and that over a period of time, it almost kind of felt like it was a chore that I just, you know, would zap me over time. And I definitely started taking an inventory of that in college. College were some of the best years of my life, don’t get me wrong. And I had a great friend circle. I had some amazing experiences. But As college students tend to do, there was a lot of social gatherings. And I just noticed that I was not always quick to jump on the bandwagon of like, yeah, let’s go. And I enjoyed smaller, more intimate settings, a few groups of, or select few friends. I kept my friends very close, but I was not the kind of person that just wanted to interact with anybody and everybody. I was very, very selective of who I kept in my circle. And sometimes that rubbed people the wrong way. And I think that was 1 of the things that I certainly felt like I needed to explain. And in the process of going through my degree and learning about psychology and the way people interact, I definitely discovered Jungian psychology and started to understand this term called introversion that I don’t think I ever had a term for it before. I don’t think I ever knew what introversion actually was. The real meaning of it, I think I just submitted to the fact that, oh yeah, I just, I like being by myself or that I just didn’t do things the way that other people would do them or engage in the same things that other people would do to the same degree. And so I fell victim of a lot of the myths and misconceptions of introversion. I started actually understanding what the true meaning of it was. And so and then as I started teaching kids at the community college level and teaching them career decision-making, the MBTI 16 personalities came up because it’s part of the career decision-making process is kind of understanding your preferences and the way that you interact with the world. And that’s extremely important. So as I started teaching it, I started really, really stepping back and evaluating how has this impacted me in my life and what clues do I need to, to draw about this as to how I need to move moving forward. And so, as I was explaining these things to the kids that I’m teaching, I’m in a classroom, I’m an introvert. I’m in front of 25, 30 kids teaching, And they’re like, well, how can you do that? You’re an introvert. And that’s where I have to kind of break it down and say, it’s not necessarily about skill. It’s not necessarily about fulfillment. And It’s about what brings me energy at the end of the day. And so I’m sure we’ll talk a little bit more about that, but that was really a process over the years of just kind of gaining these clues and understanding how they interacted with me in my life.
David Hall [00:19:02]:
Yeah, and yeah, there’s a lot of misunderstandings. Even the classroom experience, there’s a lot of fabulous introvert teachers out there. I know for me, if I’m leading something, whether it be a class or giving a presentation. As an introvert, I have to prepare, you know? Yes. More than my extroverted colleagues would need. And afterward, I might need to figure out a break somewhere. So it’s not that I can’t do it. I just have to approach it differently. I’ve had a couple teachers on the podcast, you know, elementary and high school, and 1 just had a routine where she got there early, she had her space in the morning, she took her space at lunchtime. And at the end of the day, she was done because she had done her work early and she was off. And you just have to come up with those systems that support you. But I think the important part of this conversation is that introverts come with strengths. It’s not just that you have a bunch of needs, it’s that there’s some real gifts. What are a couple gifts that you have because of your introversion?
Brad Minton [00:20:13]:
That’s such a great question. And this is no way kind of bragging about myself. These are just things that I’ve just noticed over time. And I’ve gotten enough reinforcement from other people to kind of know that they’re strengths. 1 of which was something that just came very, very naturally to me as an introvert is just listening. Because I’m not going to be the person who is going to immediately jump in and start talking within a conversation, it allows me the time to sit back and listen and digest and really, really understand what’s happening and be able to see the connection points between those types of pieces of the puzzle, be it a problem, a system, you know, a dilemma or whatever is happening, you know, So I relate this back to my time working as a therapist, being able to kind of take a couple or a family or even an individual and really be able to kind of hear their story in totality, being able to sort of digest what’s happening at a very, very deep level. And then being able to take those elements that I have just now consumed, being able to reflect it back for the individual in a way that feels very new. They just told me a story and I’m now able to reflect it back for them in a way that almost sounds like they’ve never heard it before. Makes them feel very, very understood. It makes them go, okay, this person gets me. They really, truly understand where I’m coming from. They’ve taken the time to really, really assess that situation. And then I think the other point, which I know is a strength of mine, I’ve taken the Clifton strengths. It’s actually 1 of my top strengths is connectedness. And I think 1 of the things that I have been able to do over the years and develop this strength is really kind of taking those listening skills, but also understanding the connection points between disparate pieces and being able to see how it all fits together. I kind of feel in some ways like I’m a, you know, I’m a puzzle master. You know, I can kind of take something over here, something over here, I can take these these parts that maybe, you know, people are explaining to me or telling me and put the pieces of the puzzle back together and help them kind of see how they fit. And I think that that’s a really, really, it’s 1 of those other things that over the course of time, be it working as a therapist or a career counselor or a teacher, has allowed me to build rapport with people because they certainly appreciate that extra mile to be able to kind of put those things together in a way that makes them feel valued and understood.
David Hall [00:23:27]:
Very cool. And connectedness is my top as well. So that’s very cool. So I’m understanding exactly what you’re saying. But it’s not bragging. We, that’s the thing. We all have different gifts, as you well know, you know, we, we, everybody has their unique gifts and we need everybody to contribute those. And so your gifts really are a strength for the work you’re doing and helping other people finding their gifts. And that’s the thing. We’re not all the same and we need all the gifts, but sometimes they’re misunderstood. How do you help people find their strengths?
Brad Minton [00:24:03]:
So, you know, another, another great question. I think 1 of the things like from ground 0 for me that’s really, really important is I always go into whether it’s a meeting with a new client, a new student that I’ve never worked with or, or, or whomever it happens to be. I always go in with the mindset that this person has superpowers, whether they are aware of them or not. Every 1 of us have a very, very unique set of strengths and talents that we can use under the right situation, under the right circumstances that can allow us to excel. And what’s super, super exciting is being able to start figuring that out, being able to put those pieces of the puzzle together and seeing how they fit. So I think from, from ground 0, that’s, that’s 1 of the starting points that I would say is just recognizing number 1, that you do have them. So how you can kind of go about actually digging in and exploring those gifts. I know you and I were talking before the podcast about CliftonStrengths. And so that’s 1 of the natural first steps that I think are, are, are well worth the investment. It is a, an assessment by Gallup that any individual can take with a small fee, unfortunately, but it’s well worth it. And I think 1 of the coolest statistics that I heard about Gallup that I’m sure you know is, is that out amongst all of those different strengths and the different, you know, dimensions of those strengths, the, the likelihood that someone has the exact same configuration that you do is 1 in 33 million. I mean, how cool is that? You know, just, just to, to highlight the point of authenticity about the fact that we are unique beings with, with different sets of, of talents that we can utilize. I mean, I love that in and of itself. Another great assessment that’s in the peripheral as well as called high 5. This is a free assessment than anyone can take. It’s just high 5 test.com, I believe. And it’s a, it’s another different variation of a strengths assessment where an individual can kind of see what are, you know, the, the unique talents that they have. But 1 of the things that I love doing, and I started incorporating this into my career coaching practice a few years ago, was actually digging into an individual’s history, into their experience, into their childhood even. I actually look in the rear view mirror, which I don’t normally do, but I understood the value of this. And so through my intake assessment and through some of the questions that I ask in the very first session that we’ll have together, I start looking for the breadcrumbs and I start understanding where are the times and the situations where you’ve been most successful? Where, you know, What are the examples of times where you felt completely in the zone, where you feel like work doesn’t feel like work? And it doesn’t necessarily have to be work-related. It could be something that you’re doing for a hobby. But what are the times where you just feel locked and loaded and everything’s working? What are the examples that you can give of people giving you praise? What have other people said that you do extremely well? It’s actually an activity that I give my clients. If they’re struggling with this step, if they’re struggling kind of figuring out or owning up to the fact that they have strengths, I’ll say, all right, well, do me a favor. Go talk to the 5 or 10 people that are closest to you and ask them, what do I do well? And when you think of me, what adjectives come to mind? What are the things that immediately start coming to your mind that are uniquely me and nobody else? And start collecting that, like a scavenger hunt. And it’s so funny because they feel so awkward. Nobody wants to do it. They’re like, oh my God, that’s scary. That’s scary. But then they come back and go, oh my God, I’m so glad I did it. You know, cause they get these amazing responses back. And then I also ask questions about their childhood, you know, and accomplishments that they had in childhood. And basically it’s just a series of exploration that kind of looks at where have you been the most successful? What have been those times and situations where you’ve really, really excelled? And what are the commonalities in those things? What do you kind of see as the connection point that pulls all these things together? What elements are you starting to see that brings it home? Yeah, absolutely.
David Hall [00:29:15]:
And so there’s definitely assessments, but there’s some just some thought exercises that you can do to think about those kinds of things. And back on Gallup Strengths, because that was a really big part of my journey. Just for those out there that’s not familiar, there’s 34 themes of talent, and the assessment gives you your top 5. And the concept behind it is that you should spend your energy on your top 5, because that’s where your strengths are. You go a lot farther working in your strengths. And we all have weaknesses and you have to deal with those, but the majority of the time should be on your strengths. And when I took that and I ended up becoming a facilitator for it, I ended up giving it to my whole organization. And my big takeaway was, yeah, I have some strengths and they come very naturally to me and they are different than other people’s, but they’re mine and they come very natural like, you know, the the connectedness piece that we share Not everybody has that not everybody sees how things fit together You know or you know a big 1 for me is I’m a very analytical Person and a lot of good can come from that not everybody’s analytical, you know other people have different strengths that I definitely don’t have. My funny 1 is Gallup has, they define empathy, right? And normally you don’t see all your 34, you see your top 5, because that’s where they want you to focus. And, you know, but I did see all my 34 and empathy was number 34. And sometimes when I say that people judge me harshly. But you know, these kinds of exercises where you’re in a room, a workshop, or you’re at tables and having conversations can be so valuable because I was sitting across from someone that I knew pretty well and she, her number 1 was empathy. And if she described it to me, that she’s feeling the feelings of others and that kind of thing, I’m like, oh yeah, for whatever reason, that’s not happening for me. Does it mean that I don’t care about people? Absolutely not. I mean, in the work that I do, it’s very apparent that I care deeply about people. It’s just a different way. I am a more thinking person, you know, where she’s, she has the gift and it’s a gift of feeling other people’s emotions. If I want to help you, I’m going to think, you know, what’s it like to be Brad, it’s going to be a more it’s going to be a more thinking approach. And again, it’s just different. And why do you think, Brad, is it that we don’t understand that we have different gifts than other people and our gifts are unique? Why is that?
Brad Minton [00:32:02]:
It’s a good question. I actually, I’ve marinated on this as an introvert tends to do. I’ve marinated on this for a while. You know, the reason why people don’t are aren’t so eager to number 1, accept or embrace the fact that they have these unique talents and abilities and things that really can be superpowers. And I can’t remember exactly where I heard it, but it made so much sense to me. I know it came from a book. I’m an audiobook person and I have to admit that I bounce around audiobooks so I could not recall which book this is attached to. But It made so much sense. Actually, I think it’s the book is called the comfort crisis. I started I started listening to it a couple of weeks ago and I have like 3 books that I’m like, and at the same time. So I think I was getting them across. But anyway, but 1 of the things that really started occurring to me, and I kind of already knew this, but I think the book kind of put it in perspective, was that from an evolutionary standpoint, human beings are way more inclined genetically to look for what’s wrong more than what’s right. When you look at Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as an example, which despite all the many years still holds up today, you know, There’s the notion there that we have to take care of our basic biological needs of food, water, shelter, clothing, safety, those things are paramount first. And when you kind of think about human beings as evolutionary, you know, entities, our survival was paramount. Everything else kind of fell to the wayside. We are like we are. That’s part of us. That’s just like ingrained into our DNA that we have to look for threats in order to survive. That is that’s just part of that reptilian brain. And so self-esteem comes much higher in the hierarchy. Thinking about ourselves and actually being content with who we are, that comes a lot later. So I think just from an evolutionary standpoint, we have to kind of look for what’s wrong before we look for what’s right. So I think it’s just a trap that we kind of all fall into that we’re going to be self-critical as human beings more often than not. And I think we’re getting better at it, you know, but it takes practice. It really does take some time. I can work with, you know, a young kid and particularly, I mean, you know, this can be a cultural thing as well. It is very, very hard for an 18-year-old kid to tell you what they do well, because in many instances, they have heard nothing other than what they do wrong or what they’re not doing well. And again, that can vary wildly depending on the individual, the cultural group, the demographics where they live, all of those types of things. But they have been hearing this message of you need to do this, you need to fix this and this isn’t right and everything like that. So then they have to get out into the real world and quote unquote, 18, 19, 20 years old. And all of a sudden now they have to go into job interviews and tell them why they’re a stud and why they’re amazing and why somebody should hire them. That’s hard. That’s really, really hard for them to do because they haven’t looked at themselves, you know, as such a, you know, an important asset in that way, honoring their strengths and honoring what makes them unique and valuable. And you gotta coach them up on that. I’ve really had a lot of conversations and I will literally do that. Well, you know, we’ll, we’ll do like a mock interview and I’ll say, you know, tell me about your greatest strengths. Tell me about your greatest weaknesses, greatest weaknesses, they’ll give me answers a mile long, greatest strengths. It’s like crickets, good worker, you know, And that’s, you know, maybe about as far as it goes.
David Hall [00:37:07]:
Yeah, and that plays right into my next question. So on a recent podcast of yours, I heard you talking about an authentic impact story. How do you help your clients or students create that authentic impact story? Especially like you’re saying when they’re 18, 19.
Brad Minton [00:37:25]:
Oh yeah, yeah. So this is really, really cool and this is a little bit of a, I guess, a Bradism because I’m a huge, huge proponent of personal branding. And I think that anybody can start work on and start developing their personal brand regardless of where they’re at in their career so they could be 18 and start building now. I always preface that by saying a personal brand is never complete. It’s always evolving. It’s always changing. You’re going to continue to be building and expanding on it and kind of fine tuning. And then you’ll be exposed to new opportunities and new things and that’ll all take shape over time. But I was having conversations with clients and with students about this concept of a personal brand. And I was trying to think about a way to kind of explain it and try to summarize how to kind of start putting the pieces together. There was some information out there that I found about how to do it. Like, I mean, like from a, an asset standpoint, like how to distribute your personal brand, social media and LinkedIn and all of these different types of tools that are now accessible. But you know what actually composes it. And so, so I use this or I just started kind of thinking about, you know, what are the bare essentials that that individual can really, really start with that can kind of help them put this together. So I just use an acronym called STAR because people can generally remember acronyms pretty well. And so STAR stands for Strengths, Target, Authenticity, and reward. And so that’s what I kind of feel like at the, at the bare bones. Now, obviously, you know, as you grow and evolve, you could certainly add in more dimensions and make that a little bit more, more compelling, but I think really at the core, that really needs to be where the personal brand really starts with. It’s strengths, number 1, which we’ve talked a lot about here. You know, it’s like, what are the things that you know that you do well and that other people tell you that you do well. What are the talents that you bring to the table? Target is, you know, really who do you care about? You know, whose lives do you wanna impact? What are the differences that you wanna make in the world? What are the causes that you care about? What inspires you? And so if you really kind of think about and can kind of get a little bit more vision on the people that, or the people or the companies, the organizations that you want to be able to impact. What is that? And who are gonna be the beneficiaries? And then authenticity is really just saying that you have a unique story. You do things in a way that’s different than other people. Like you and I, that was a really, really great example. We both have connectedness as 1 of our top strengths. How we do it though is different. You’re a little bit more of an analytical person, whereas I probably would associate myself more with that friend you were talking about, who’s more the empathy. I’m a feeler, I’m a warm, compassionate, you know, cream puff, you know, and I’ll admit it. And so how we do it, you know, like, but, you know, we could still want to impact and inspire people and do it. We might have the same target actually, but how we go about doing that and what that looks like authentically can be quite different. The authenticity part is like what differentiates you from the other people who share that same mission? And then the rewards is what ultimately can you deliver on? What are they gonna get out of it? So you use your strengths, you take these superpowers that you have to create or to have an impact for the people that you care about in a way that only you can and you produce that type of result. So what could they expect from it? So when I kind of packaged all that up, I was like, it’s an authentic impact story. That’s what that whole thing is.
David Hall [00:42:08]:
Yeah. I love that. I love that. That’s a great way to frame that. I often get the question, David, What’s the best job for introverts? So what would you say to that, Brad?
Brad Minton [00:42:21]:
Yeah, that’s a loaded question. And so the, oh man, the answer really, I think boils down to it’s all individual because, as you and I know, no 2 introverts are 100% identical. And what provides fuel and energy and enthusiasm and what your unique target is could be very different. For example, you know, my target is young people. You know, I love working with 18 to 30 year olds in the early stages of their career. You know, they’re bright, they’re ambitious, they want to make an impact, they want to do things, they just don’t know how, they don’t know, you know, where it’s gonna, where it’s gonna end up, They need the tools to be able to kind of put things together. That’s my target. But this other introvert over here, their target might be technology driven. It could be creating the next piece of AI that’s going to revolutionize, you know, how we eliminate waste off the planet. I don’t know. It’s, you know, it could be, It could just be any number of different things. I think at the end of the day, how you apply your introversion has to be rooted into what is your understanding of yourself and how introversion manifests for you, you know, because that, that will, you know, transform the work environments that you feel that you can thrive in, the teams that you want to lead or follow in, depending on how this manifests for you, and then what type of impact and what are the work, what is the work actually meant to accomplish? All of those things can vary wildly from 1 person to another. Tim Draper
David Hall [00:44:43]:
Yeah, for sure. And Yeah, basically I say it’s a job where you can use your strengths and that your needs are honored, you know, and that’s going to look different for everybody. And there’s a lot of jobs that could be done by introvert or extrovert, but they might look different. You know, how you, how you succeed in sales as an introvert would be probably different than how you might succeed as an extrovert or how you approach leadership, but you can be successful. It’s just, It’s going to have a different approach to it.
Brad Minton [00:45:18]:
I couldn’t agree with that more. 1 of the examples that I give sometimes too is that there is this myth conception that introverts maybe aren’t the most effective leaders or, or, or can’t lead because they’re not going to be that, that 1 that’s going to take charge and immediately jump in and, and, and grab the bull by the horns and that type of thing. And I, I think about, I did, you know, uh, I got my certification in MBTI where I learned about introversion. Our facilitator for that training was an introvert. I can’t remember her exact personality type. I want to say it was an INFP, but she was phenomenal. Absolutely phenomenal. And she made it work and was extremely, extremely effective in that training. So yeah, I agree.
David Hall [00:46:20]:
Her approach was probably just different. She probably had to really prepare and she might have needed a break afterward, you know. All kinds of things like that. So again, I’m loving your podcast, Your Career GPS. Tell us a little bit about that.
Brad Minton [00:46:36]:
Yeah. So I’m an analogies guy. And maybe that’s the connectedness part for me, kind of manifesting a little bit, but I always kind of, I, that’s just how I think I, I use symbolism and I connect it back, especially for kids. It’s very helpful to be able to kind of have something that I could explain that they could get and, and, and be able to connect the dots a little bit on how, what I do and what I teach and the principles that I talk about, how it actually, you know, can work for them and what it actually relates back to. And so the whole aspect of GPS actually started from my time as a therapist, because I would always tell the clients that I’m working with that you’re in the driver’s seat. You’re the 1 who is ultimately in charge of where this car is going. I’m the GPS. I’m kind of helping you navigate the rows and kind of letting you know where you can go. So that’s so I always kind of thought that’s very symbolic for the work that I do in general as a as a counselor, coach, facilitator, instructor, you know, I don’t make decisions for people, I help them gain more clarity and more understanding about how to make the decisions for themselves. And so when I think about my work as a career counselor, specifically as helping this next generation navigate the roads ahead. I think about it like a road trip. There are going to be, a road trip can be long, it can be intense, it can have construction and potholes and traffic and all of the things that, you know, that our careers can come with, right? Our careers can come with layoffs and bad bosses and, and, you know, a very toxic work environment where we were, we’re subject to those types of, of unfortunate circumstances as well. But they can also come with, with, you know, a beautiful scenery, you know, wonderful avenues and and landscapes to explore. But I think the whole premise behind clarity and understanding and knowing where the words are is you’ve got to know your vehicle. You’ve got to know what your vehicle can do, you know, how it takes gas, what type of gas it takes, what kind of, you know, can it go off road, those types of things. You also need to know and be able to kind of see the roads ahead. So you need a clean windshield, you know, you need to be able to kind of know what was behind you in the rear view mirror. So all of these types of things. So I built that analogy and all of the, I mean, when you look at all of the titles of the episode, they all kind of come back to this road trip thing. And, but that’s kind of symbolic for how our careers go when you can kind of collect these clues and then the process of just leveraging amazing talent and guest speakers to be able to kind of tackle 1 specific issue is so great. So I started out my podcast 2 years ago in the midst of the pandemic and I, you know, co-hosted for quite a while with it. And just this year I’ve gone out solo with it and still plugging along and having some amazing episodes and talking with some awesome guests, a range of different subjects that are relevant
David Hall [00:50:46]:
to career development. Awesome. Brad, we have had such a great conversation today. I could talk to you for hours. Yeah. Is there anything else that you wanna mention that you haven’t yet?
Brad Minton [00:51:00]:
No, I just, I think this is such an awesome opportunity. It was really, really amazing to be able to speak with you on such an important topic. You know, I’m just like you when I hear the words introversion and how it intersects with career, my ears perk up as well because I’ve had an opportunity over my life now to be able to see how my own introversion has manifested in my career. Over time, more and more and more do I embrace the fact that it has worked to my benefit more often than it’s worked to my detriment. So I think for anybody that’s listening out there, I think that’s the message to really take home is when you understand what your unique brand of introversion actually looks like, it can become your greatest asset, but you have to understand that element of it, otherwise you’re gonna feel like you’re fighting with yourself.
David Hall [00:52:08]:
Yeah, absolutely. I’ve talked to so many people, had people on the show and myself included, where there’s many introverts, not all introverts, but many introverts felt like something was wrong with them and when you can figure out what your unique gifts are like we’ve been talking about all throughout this show and You can learn to embrace those and bring them into the work you do your work can be so satisfying when you’re bringing your unique gifts to the world. I’ve experienced that. I love what I do. That can be amazing. Thanks again for this great conversation. Of course, where can people find out more about the work you do and your podcast? Yeah.
Brad Minton [00:52:47]:
Yeah. I welcome any opportunity to connect with anyone. You can find me multitude of different places. I’m fairly active on LinkedIn under Brad W. Minton. You can find my business, Mint-to-be-Career in a couple of different locations. My website is MintToBeCareer.com. It’s spelled MINT to be career.com. It’s a play-off the last name. I’m on Instagram and tech talk at minttobecareer. And then you can obviously find my podcast that I’ve referenced Your Career GPS on all listening platforms.
David Hall [00:53:26]:
Awesome. And I will put all that into the show notes. Thanks again, Brad. This has been a wonderful conversation. Thank you so much, David. Thank you so much for joining me today. I look forward to further connecting with you. Reach out at davidatquietandstrong.com. Check out the website, quietandstrong.com. I’ll add social media channels for me and my guests to the show notes. Please comment on social media posts. Send me topics or guests you’d like to see on the show. There’s so many great things about being an introvert and so we need those to be understood. Get to know your introverted strengths and needs and be strong.