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We use both sides, or hemispheres, of our brain but most of us rely on one side more than the other. Each side processes thoughts differently and affects how we think and solve problems. But being left-brained or right-brained affects more than personal identity, it also affects our professional identity. Understanding the different characteristics of left-brained and right-brained people can help you choose the type of career and work environment that best suits you.
Determining the Dominant Side
Your learning style is a key indicator of whether you're left-brained or right-brained. Left-brained people are auditory learners; they like to listen and engage in discussion. They like to work on individual assignments in a quiet atmosphere and enjoy projects that involve taking notes, doing research and working with details and numbers. Right-brained people are visual learners. They prefer active, busy environments and hands-on projects. If your learning style doesn't help you figure out which side of your brain is dominant, take an online [quiz] (http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/article/left-brainright-brain).
Getting a Job
Left-brained people have more difficulty getting jobs than their right-brained peers. Job hunting is a marketing exercise, author and corporate trainer Rob Sullivan explains in an article for TheLadders.com, and left-brained people have difficulty with effective self-promotion. Left-brained people are less comfortable talking about themselves and are less likely to explain how their skills and talents benefit an employer. They believe raw skills and credentials make them qualified job candidates, whereas right-brained people sell themselves by linking their qualifications to results, Sullivan notes.
On the Job
Right-brained people desire more autonomy and control over their work. They like to decide what to do, when to do it and how to complete a task, explains Sam McKeeman of Maine's Training and Development Unit in his article, "Right Brain/Left Brain Comparisons and Their Impact on the Workplace." Left-brained people appreciate structure and authority and they have respect for hierarchy. Left brainers are logical and sequential; they're planners. Their forethought and step-by-step approach help them prevent avoidable errors. Left-brained people are organized and work well with schedules and deadlines, in contrast to right-brained people who are more intuitive and have difficulty prioritizing and managing time.
You have better chances for a successful career if you consider left-brain vs. right-brain characteristics when you pursue work opportunities. Right-brained individuals make good psychology, sales and arts and design professionals. Left-brained people are problem-solvers and like computers and data, so they do well in information technology, statistics and financial analysis. They're detail-oriented, analytical and critical, traits that make them strong candidates for quality assurance, investment consulting and legal careers. Given their respect for rules and law, left-brained people thrive as law enforcement and military personnel. Their organized, decisive and practical nature also makes them good candidates for office management, supervisory and planning jobs. If you're left-brained, look for jobs that fit well with your natural abilities.