Your career path, according to the Chinese zodiac

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Whether you plan your life around your horoscope (“The sun is in my commitment house! I am SO finding love this month”), or you think the zodiac is utter nonsense, you’re probably familiar with your Western zodiac sign. You know whether you’re a Scorpio or an Aries, and you might even be familiar with the personality traits, relationship patterns and career preferences to which your sign predisposes you. Chances are, though, you’re a lot less familiar with Chinese astrology.

The Chinese zodiac makes the same sort of generalities and predictions as the Western zodiac, but is based on the year you were born instead of the month. With the Chinese New Year on Jan. 23 (welcome, year of the dragon!), we thought it’d be interesting to see what astrology has to say about the career and work preferences of each of the 12 signs in the Chinese zodiac.

“Sometimes in choosing a career, we just don’t know where to start,” says Donna Stellhorn, an astrologer and author of “2012: Year of the Water Dragon.” “Many people in the world look to their Chinese zodiac sign to find their talents, strengths and weaknesses, and this helps guide them in their career choices.”

What does your sign say about your career choices? Stellhorn weighs in, below.

Rat (1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008)
Stellhorn says: “Rats are better suited to highly active jobs, where making more effort and taking chances yields higher material rewards. Owning their own business or doing outside sales — especially of luxury items — is great for them. Rats should avoid jobs that isolate them or that are routine (things like night watchman, toll booth operator, etc.). On the other hand, they should avoid jobs where gambling is a main focus (such as working in a casino) because they may end up giving their paycheck back to the house.”
Personality traits*: Imaginative, problem solver, magnetic, observant, selfish, motivated by money and status.
Other possible job matches*: Manager, counselor, lawyer, broadcaster, writer 

Ox (1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009)
Stellhorn says: “The ox is better suited to jobs where they can bring in a good income and still work at home. They also excel at jobs that have a steady amount of work throughout the day (like medical transcription, editor/writer). They should avoid jobs that call for cutting-edge technical knowledge (Ox likes to wait and see before jumping into a new trend), or jobs that require a lot of travel.”
Personality traits: Determined, reliable, detail-oriented, hardworking, loyal
Other possible job matches: Mechanicpainter, banker, real estate agent

Tiger (1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010)
Stellhorn says: “Tigers can be both territorial and restless. They need periods of intense action and then quiet reflection. They do well in emergency rooms or as firefighters. They also make good musicians who put all their intensity into their live shows, or event planners who pull off parties without a hitch.”
Personality traits: Competitive, confident, good leader, likable, adventurous, hasty
Other possible job matches: Writer, pilot, ad sales, office manager

Rabbit (1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011)
Stellhorn says: “Rabbits are patient and even-tempered. They thrive in calm workplaces where there is interaction with co-workers and customers. And Rabbits have an eye for value, so they do well in jewelry sales, clothing design and real estate. They make good tour guides.”
Personality traits: Outgoing, sincere, compassionate, avoids confrontation
Other possible job matches: Public relations, writer, therapist, teacher

Dragon (1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012)
Stellhorn says: “Dragons need space to grow and gain recognition. They can’t be trapped in closed-in cubicles without breathing fire. They understand trends and see the direction to take to be successful. They do well as pilots. They excel in advertising and television. They also enjoy careers where they can be outside, like environmental researcher or hiking guide, for example.”
Personality traits: Ambitious, free-spirited, innovative, enthusiastic (sometimes overly so), independent, can be tactless
Other possible job matches: Architect, sales representative, manager, lawyer

Snake (1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013)
Stellhorn says: “Snakes are the wisest but they often keep their opinions to themselves. Their emotions are under the surface and they guard their privacy. They make good writers, artists and composers. They also are excellent at scientific and medical research.”
Personality traits: Smart, intuitive, decisive, easily bored
Other possible job matches: Sociologist, analyst, investigator, dietician

Horse (1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, and 2014)
Stellhorn says: “Horses love their freedom. They are social yet competitive, though they are always a good sport if they lose. Horses are usually very talented at something. They do well in careers that deal with cars, roads and bridges. They also make good lawyers. And they often thrive if their career can include sports.”
Personality traits: Energetic, attention-seeking, team-oriented, adventurous, effective communicator
Other possible job matches: Journalist, publicist, bartender, librarian

Ram (1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015)
Stellhorn says: “Rams are sensitive and diplomatic. They are generally homebodies and like to surround themselves with like-minded people. They make good scientists and programmers. They do well in medical fields. They also often are the actors who really become the character they are playing.”
Personality traits: Team player, creative, calm, intelligent, sensitive
Other possible job matches: Editor, illustrator, pediatrician

Monkey (1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016)
Stellhorn says: “Monkeys are filled with energy and like to do multiple things at once. They get nervous or bored if things move too slowly. Monkeys are very intelligent and so they have a lot of career choices. They really thrive when they have a mentor, someone they can copy. They’ll do well in high-energy careers as a restaurant manager, building contractor or stock broker. They also do well in public relations and advertising.”
Personality traits: Intellectual, quick-witted, curious, adaptable, playful
Other possible job matches: Film director, trader, engineer, jeweler

Rooster (1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017)
Stellhorn says: “Roosters are always busy. They throw great parties and are always available to give their friends a hand. Because they are so in-tune to the energy of the people around them they do best in social careers, like customer service, entertainment and teaching. But they need rewards for their service too, so job titles like doctor or school principal fit well.”
Personality traits: Motivated, honest, confident (sometimes overconfident), hard-working, organized
Other possible job matches: Bookkeeper, dentist, insurance agent

Dog (1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018)
Stellhorn says: “Dogs are loyal and hardworking. They are resourceful and very inventive especially when challenged. They are good at careers related to sports, food service and hospitality management. They work well in teams and in project oriented businesses, like software development, especially gaming software.”
Personality traits: Loyal, kind, adaptable, stubborn, strong morals
Other possible job matches: Nurse, police officer, scientist, interior designer

Pig (1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019)
Stellhorn says: “Pigs are caring and take their responsibilities seriously. They love their homes and their families and don’t like to be away from them. For Pigs, home-based businesses can thrive. They have a good eye for design and do well in the advertising, clothing and accessories industries. They also have a talent for cooking so they make good caterers.”
Personality traits: Diligent, sincere, creative, detail-oriented
Possible job matches: Veterinarian, doctor, retail

*Personality trait and additional job match information from

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