As your personality determines your behavior, reactions, values, preferences, likes and dislikes throughout your life, it is required that at the time of career selection, you opt for a career that matches your personality. Most people choose a career and then pursue it lifelong. As career shifts are not easy at any stage, you should know and understand your personality type by the time the career choice period arrives.
It’s almost impossible to determine perfect career path for anyone but our Career Tips help you find career options based on your personality type. Please remember that an honest self-assessment is very essential before you start making a list of career options suitable for you. As the old adage goes, ‘Well begun is half done’.
If you begin with an optimal career choice aligned with your personality type, it will save you much headache and heartache later on.
Table of Contents
- 1 How to Determine my Personality Type?
- 2 Your Interests Are a Good Indicator of Your Personality
- 3 Find The Right Career Based on Your Personality
- 4 Which Personality Types Work Best In Which Careers?
- 5 Match Your Career to Your Personality
How to Determine my Personality Type?
Personality is made up of your own unique combination of characteristics, qualities and traits. Determining your personality type can be done in two ways. One, you introspect. You ask yourself pertinent questions like, what do I like to do most, what kind of things appeal to me, what all am I really good or bad at, do I like being around people over being alone, what do people praise about me, what has brought me rewards, and what has brought brickbats, would I do a particular thing even if it brought me nothing etc. and do self analysis to finalize what kind of personality you are. Your personal likes and dislikes too are a good barometer of your personality type. You will never be suitable for any career that involves what’s distasteful to you.
Two, you opt for a Personality Test (to find the right career for you) developed by psychology professionals and get to know which type you predominantly are. Whichever your mode of personality determination, you have to be totally honest with yourself. Your personality is not what you wish it to be. It is what you already are. Personality may develop over time, but it will remain the same. You already have your personality bedrock built by the time you step into teens, and start thinking of career options.
Your Interests Are a Good Indicator of Your Personality
Your personal likes and dislikes are a good and handy barometer of your personality type. So think deep and evaluate your likes and dislikes. You may not turn out to be so good at a career that you find interesting, if you do not have the skills for it. You will never be suitable for that career either that you can do tolerably well without being interested in it.
Believe it or not, majority of people around you fall in the latter category. They do their jobs reasonably well, but have no interest in it. One good way of applying this information to your career quest is imaginary role playing i.e. imagining yourself in a particular person’s shoes (a neighbor, a mentor, family member etc.) whom you know well.
Just imagine yourself doing their jobs day after day, year after year. Does it appeal, or does it leave you cold or scared? Needless to say, your career choice has to be one that you already have a little (or a lot) interest for.
Find The Right Career Based on Your Personality
Career types and personality types share a deep correlation.
Extensive research (most notably by John Holland) backed by practical experience has shown that career types and personality types share a deep correlation. Whether you are an extrovert or an introvert, a doer or a thinker, a by-hook-or-by-crook or a by-the-book person will have deep impact on what appeals to you in terms of career and vocation, and where you will feel most comfortable.
As you can understand, a misfit between your personality and your career can leave you miserable, and indeed affect the overall quality of your entire remaining life. Dr. John Holland is an authority in this field and has devised a theory that describe which careers suit which personality types. He divides personalities into six major groups. These six types are not mutually exclusive. It is the predominance of each type’s associated traits that determine what you majorly are, and what you are likely to be good at in terms of career choices based on personality.
Educational institutions the world over use this methodology to help students find their best ‘career fit’. These tests are also available online and at career counselors. Your tally of choices reveals your individual traits associated with various personality types.
Which Personality Types Work Best In Which Careers?
As mentioned in the beginning, there are 6 personality types. They are Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising and Conventional. Here are their basic descriptions and some suitable career for each one of them.
Such people are practical, hands on ‘doers’ who like to work with machines and/or equipment and make good shop floor engineers, pilots, dentists, chefs, technicians, mechanics, electricians, and carpenters.
Such people are analytical fact finders and like to work with ideas and solve problems. The investigative types are likely to succeed as doctor, dentist, psychiatrist, psychologist, veterinarian, paramedic, scientist, chemist, forensic science technician, mathematician, pharmacist, science teacher, statistician, oceanographer, geologist, astronomer, physicist, librarian, and historian etc.
Out-of-the-box imaginative thinkers and independent workers, the artistic personality types excel in creative careers. Such people are likely to do well in fields such as fashion, jewellery, interior, graphic or web designing and other commercial arts, photography, animation, advertising, architecture and landscaping, singing and composing, creative writing, critique, curatorships, choreography, movie making, editing, journalism, entertainment, video game creations, art, music or dance therapy, travel and tourism etc.
The social personality types are often gifted speakers who enjoy interactive careers where they get to deal with i.e. help, inform, counsel, teach, inspire or serve other people. Judge, banker, teacher, coach, trainer, dietician, librarian, banker, service manager, social worker, policeman, counselor, psychologist, hospitality industry professionals, customer service and preachers – these are some suitable career options for those with a social personality.
The enterprising types are persuasive and competitive risk takers who make good leaders, managers and organizers. They fit well into careers options such as lawyer, manager, supervisor, entrepreneur, auctioneer, appraiser, arbitrator, banker, administrator, financial planner, management analyst, politician, real estate agent and sales managers.
The conventional personality types are neat, methodical and detail-oriented. Preferring well-structured office work to any other, these are often attracted towards careers in insurance, economics, banking, general office management, business or computer teaching, proofreading, data entry operation, billing and booking etc.
Match Your Career to Your Personality
Determination of personality type is critical for optimal career selection. An artistic type will not do well as a banker, and a conventional type will be totally hopeless as a fashion designer. While choosing a career, imitations and persuasions of others can actually lead you to being a-round-peg-in-a- square hole kind of misfit, and erode your confidence in your own self. It may be a good idea to look around and check out people around you. What they are doing in terms of a career, how satisfied, how happy they appear to be, can you picture yourself doing the same thing etc.
If you can assess yourself honestly, your inner voice will guide you in the right direction. You have to know who you are personality-wise, to know what you can do well in terms of a vocation. Choose well now to have a productive, paying and enjoyable career for the rest of your life.
Other Useful Links
Mindtools.com: Career Development – Finding Career Direction
Personalitypage.com: Common Careers for Personality Types
Education.yahoo.net: Which Career is Right for You
Similarminds.com: Simple Personality Test for Career Choice