Brain Health Part I: Career Success
Are you concerned about your brain health as you age? Gretchen Reynolds, a physical education columnist for The New York Times, often writes about how learning a new sport as a midlife adult may be good for your brain. In fact, learning anything new produces positive benefits in the brain. But until recently, studies have only focused on higher cognitive learning in children. This study presents the need for adults to improve both physical and motor learning. And of course, this will affect your career!
How do different kinds of learning impact the brain? Physical learning develops gray matter in the motor control region of the brain. Language learning develops white matter in the language processing area. Familiar physical exercise, while beneficial to overall brain health, does not result in the same benefits as learning a new sport. This means your daily walk won’t necessarily cut it. Sedentary activities such as filling in crossword puzzles or playing video learning games have limited benefit on brain development.
Brain Health and Your Career
Why does this matter to The Career Profiler? There are two main ways. The first is how brain capacity affects career success. The second is how high brain capacity affects career choice. This article will focus on the first. Greater success can be found in those careers with a well-developed brain.
For example, a 21-year-old man recently took the BullsEye Career test package. He was raised without a television in his house. His mother, a preschool teacher, encouraged him to engage in non-screen activities like outdoor play. Much of his playtime included tinkering, building, music, reading, and journaling as required by his mother. In high school, he played all the team sports until injuries sidelined him.
He also earned top grades, becoming a valedictorian. Of all the people who have completed my BullsEye Career test package, he scored the highest on the ability profile as a whole, if not the highest on all individual ability test modules. Even if he was smart to begin with, his activities, as we now know from motor and cognitive learning studies, no doubt expanded his brain capabilities.
The same is true when you learn a new physical exercise as an adult. Especially for second career applicants, picking up a new hobby like juggling or snowboarding might be a way to ensure your brain stays sharp for your next job.
What’s a sport or activity that you want to pick up? Maybe this is an area that you need coaching in, either from a physical fitness coach or a career coach. The Career Profiler can help you identify your driving aptitudes and develop your capacity in the areas that you are already fit to expand in. Keep your brain healthy by learning new things and working with a career coach to expand your potential.