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Why Pursuing Jobs Based on Your Personality is the Key to Career Success

Working a job that demands more than you are willing or able to give is common for a lot of people in the workforce. It can be because you have reached a point of stagnation in your current role and are no longer feeling challenged or perhaps you just weren’t that interested in the job in the first place.

What many of us don’t realize that our personalities can determine which jobs we are best suited for.

For example, while an introvert can be a team player they may do their best work independently. Similarly, an extrovert is a people person and may thrive in a team setting or sales role opposed to an analytical job where they spend hours working alone.

The truth is, there are jobs that simply work best for people with specific personality traits. Finding the right fit can mean the difference between being stuck in a job you hate or climbing the corporate ladder of success.

The next time you apply for a job opportunity, consider these personality points.

Understanding your personality type

John Holland was a 19th century psychologist who dedicated his life to studying personality types and the workplace. Through his research, he developed six personality types —realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising and conventional (RIASEC), as well as six types of work environments that can be matched to these different personalities.

For example, a realistic professional enjoys working with animals, mechanics and the environment, while an investigative person appreciates a job where a problem is solved through research, science and math. An enterprising individual leads employee and succeeds in business or politics. A conventional person values a job business or prefers to work with a structured plan. A social person does well in nursing, sales or customer-facing positions, while an artistic professional is good at art, music, writing or creative professions.

Understanding your personality type and which jobs you are suited can help you streamline your job search efforts and find a career that really suits you. There are a ton of online career assessments out there that use the RIASEC model, so you may want to go for the well-known versions such as the Strong Interest Inventory® and O*NET® Interest Profiler™.

Management can tell if you love your job

If you are currently working in or studying in a field that doesn’t fit your personality, it is unlikely that you will stick with that job for long because you won’t be interested, driven or challenged by the work you do. Therefore, it is essential to be realistic about your long-term career goals and the work environment you desire.

Not only will being in the wrong career hinder your ability to do the job, it is likely that your superiors will be able to tell. Human resources and management are skilled in discerning employees that are unhappy, feeling disengaged or have a personality that is best suited for another department.

Thoughts and emotions impact work performance

If you’ve ever had a job you truly loved, you can surely remember how it felt when you achieved that sales goal, satisfied a customer’s needs or launched that new website successfully. The ability to do something you love and achieve the desired results is rewarding and makes going to work every day worth the effort. If you are in a position in a career where it feels as if it is heading in the wrong direction, it can be because you are not in the right place.

According to a Gallup Survey, 85% of employees worldwide are not engaged at work. And while experts point to how performance is managed and specifically, how people are being developed as the major issue behind this troubling number, finding work you are interested in can keep you out of this group. If you feel undervalued at work or don’t feel challenged by what you do, it can cause you to disengage and become unmotivated.

Understanding the signs that you are in a dead-end job is important, but if you can use career assessments to your advantage, you can avoid getting into that dead-end job in the first place.

It devalues the quality of the organization

Imagine an employee that is unmotivated and works at a fraction of their potential. What value does it provide the organization? The moment an individual realizes their passion for a job no longer exists, it is a ripple effect that can negatively impact their reputation and potentially the ability to enhance their career.

If you are feeling demotivated by your job, you don’t have to feel like you are stuck there forever. Take a career assessment, do some research on your field(s) of interest, set up informational interviews, hire a career coach and make a successful career change to something that ignites your soul! Here is some great information on how to make a successful career change.

Thinking of hiring a career coach to help you find your dream job? Browse our directory of career coaches and get a FREE consultation or request a personalized coach recommendation!

About the Author Makeda Waterman

Makeda Waterman is a professional writer with an Education in Journalism, Mass Communications, and Public Relations. She writes for Huffington Post Canada and Glassdoor on career advice with the goal of helping people improve the quality of their lives.

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