Are you an information technology professional, wondering why you or some of your co-workers have engagement and productivity issues? Or, perhaps you are considering a career in this growing field and questioning whether you have what it takes to land and keep a great job.
Being successful in any field of endeavor requires more than passion and a good education. Your brain strengths need to be in alignment with the “neuro-signatures” of the job activities. Neuro-signatures are the sensory and cognitive modalities required to do the job properly. As an example, a telemarketer needs strong Auditory (listening, asking questions, and crafting responses) and Sequential (logical, following processes and procedures) skills. Analyzing the alignment of one’s sensory and cognitive pathway strengths with the job requirements is a major step on the road to achieve career success.
The following true story illustrates what happens when an IT professional‘s brain pathways strengths are misaligned with the neuro-signature requirements of his job. The author received an email from Jason (fictional name) who said, “I was pushing 40, married with two young sons, and was just discharged from work for the third time in three years.” Jason went on to say, “I graduated with a B.S. and M.S from a decent university with a GPA of 3.65; all three bosses said my people skills exceeded other IT professionals but I wasn’t performing to expectations.” Jason said he was pessimistic about getting and keeping another job. He was confused why his performance was sub-par and wondering if there was anything wrong with him or his brain. He was open to looking at practical neuroscience solutions to his career dilemma.
An analysis of Jason’s sensory and cognitive pathways preferences revealed the following:
- Sensory Sequence: Auditory, Kinesthetic and then Visual
Jason’s neuroscience sequence signaled an immediate misalignment for a traditional IT programmer. His least preferred sensory pathway is Visual, the most important pathway for his job. Jason told us that he had a difficult time staying focused on the computer screen. His world revolves on how things “sound” (Auditory) and “feel” (Kinesthetic), not on how things “look” (Visual).
- Cognitive: High Sequential and Global thinking preferences
Traditional IT jobs require high levels of sequential, logical and orderly thinking. Jason reported that his brain was like a pendulum, swinging from global, “big picture” thinking to sequential processing. He daydreams, multi-tasks, moves about and talks to his fellow programmers, when focusing on a task becomes challenging. Other programmers had higher productivity, getting more done in less time with fewer mistakes.
Performance is always an issue when there is misalignment between brain strengths and job neuro-signatures. Jason has a passion for IT principles, challenges, culture and people. He loves to interact with people and is a great listener. His high Sequential and Global thinking preferences enable him to see a wide range of points-of-view, without reaching a premature conclusion and taking a rash position. This is ideal for supervisory, consulting and teaching positions. He now plans to pursue this career path in IT. Jason remembers that “during my college days I was awarded Best Teaching Assistant of the IT Department.” He is optimistic about his future and confident that he can leverage his practical neuroscience brain strengths for a successful career.
- A Neuroscience View of Learning Styles (brainpathways.net)
- Two Quick Ways to Kick-Start Your Personal Productivity (brainpathways.net)
- Using Practical Neuroscience for Fast, Easy Learning (brainpathways.net)
- Three Steps to Become the Captain of Your Life (brainpathways.net)
- Three Secret Hot Tips for Exceptional Rapport and Communication (brainpathways.net)