One thing I’ve noticed in the land of characterization is that oftentimes, a character’s profession and their personality are pretty tightly entwined. Sometimes, it seems like character is extrapolated backwards from a profession. For example, ‘they are a scientist, so they are analytical.’
I definitely see what your saying here and it’s true in the vast majority of cases out there. So, let me just point out one small caveat about what I’ve noticed that when it comes to female “action hero” protagonists in Urban Fantasy, Fantasy, Horror, and YA where this one bucks the trend. Your advice at the end is important in this respect, because the inverse there has proven to be true. In the cases of the vast majority of female protagonists trying to fill the role of cop, private investigator, military (officer or enlisted), or various other types of professionally trained combatant, it’s clear that the author started with the kind of personality they wanted and tacked the profession nameplate on top of it.
There are professions out there, like the above, where the training is designed around breaking down the personality and reshaping it to suit the profession. I’ll point to cops, since they’re the easiest ones. Police and detectives, regardless of gender, have a very specific outlook on how they view the word, what they’ve been trained to look for, what violence is acceptable (within reason) for them to get away with. Everything, from the way they move to, to the way they think, to the way they dress, is informed by their profession. Female cops, especially, tend to be tougher (though not in the way they’re usually presented in fiction) than their male counterparts. The reason for this is simply that they face an uphill battle towards being accepted by their partners as an equal and as a force to be both feared and respected by the criminals. Some of them can be very stereotypically feminine when off-duty, but you’ll never know it when they’re on.
The problem is that authors conflate “violence” like pushing, shoving, general bullying, demands, and yelling with toughness and authority for these characters. It’s true that violence is a part of the job, but there’s a difference between the way a trained professional handles violence and interrogation and some untrained lout off the street does.
In some, albeit select, cases prioritizing personality (especially the personality the author wants or thinks is appropriate) over the profession and the sort of personalities the training is meant to develop is detrimental to a character’s believability. There’s nothing inherently wrong with a wish-fulfillment character and that’s what most of these protagonists are, but it’s also important to balance that desire with an understanding that there are many, real women out there who fill the same role as a character in a book. They deserves some representation too.
So, study up.
To the rest of it, kudos.