Choosing a job: How many interruptions can you handle?

If you are considering a new job, one of the important, and often overlooked, things to consider is how many interruptions will you be expected to handle on an on going basis.hold the line

Do you thrive on a busy environment?

For example if you are working in reception in a busy office, you will have the phone ringing, clients coming in, members of staff asking you questions.  You will have e-mail to contend with, probably filing, fax and scheduling.

The chances are you will never be able to concentrate on one thing because you are constantly having to include, fit in, or change over to another thing.

Some people love this. They see it as fun, and change and never boring.  Give them a job where they just have to sit quietly and do one thing all day and they will go nuts!

Others would run screaming from the room after only an hour or so of this pandemonium.


Do you prefer a quiet, calm work environment?

These people are the ones who like to take on a task, concentrate on it, and only it, until it’s done, then move on to something else.  They get frustrated and exasperated when constant interruptions happen.

There are of course, people who can handle a bit of both, but prefer neither extreme.

Where you fit on this continuum shows clearly in your writing.

The smaller your writing the more your concentration. The larger your writing the more you are “present”, aware of your surroundings and ready for new happenings.quiet office

Someone who has really tiny writing can easily shut out the world around them as they zero in on what they are doing, and will probably continue to be oblivious to every thing else until they have completed the present task.  Interruptions will annoy and distract them.

Hopefully your receptionist does not have this type of writing.  She will do better with larger writing that says she can happily flip from one task to another, not losing track of where she was.

Don’t promote her to a job where she has to do the same thing all day – you’ll lose her – she’ll leave.  Keep her busy with multiple tasks and she, and her large handwriting, will be happy.

So when choosing a job for yourself, or hiring someone, take into account the concentration factor.

It can make a huge difference.

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