Personality and Career interests: Everything you need to know

Personality and Career interests: Everything you need to know

Ever wondered why certain individuals seem to excel in their careers and scale up so quickly, while others seem not to be so lucky? Well, apart from being competent at the job, personality fit plays a crucial role in job satisfaction and overall job success. This shows that it is not enough to be interested in a certain career. It is more important for your personality to fit your career interests. Consider introverts versus extroverts: extroverts are more likely to thrive in a sociable, customer-focused business, whereas introverts are better at autonomous, analytical tasks. These innate characteristics determine your success in a role and your compatibility with others.


What is Personality?

According to both cross-sectional and longitudinal research, personality is a major predictor of job and career success (Penney, David, & Witt, 2011). Personality is defined by Corr & Matthews (2009) as a distinctive combination of behaviors, cognitions, and emotional patterns that emerge from biological and environmental influences. Each person has distinguishing qualities that set them apart from others. These attributes play a role in determining one's ability to succeed in the workplace.


Personality, according to the Encyclopedia of Psychology, refers to individual variances in thought, feeling, and behaviour patterns. Understanding individual variances in particular personality qualities, such as friendliness or irritability, is one of the main goals of personality research. The other is comprehending how a person's various pieces come together as a whole.


Many aspects of personality have been connected to professional advancement. Almost every part of a person's professional life is influenced by their personality. Personality influences essential professional decisions such as occupational choice, early-career socialization, work performance, career satisfaction, and career transitions.


Why is personality important when considering a Career Path?


Any good career interest choice begins with a thorough understanding of one's particular interests, personality, talents, and strengths. Developing a working knowledge of the world can also help you identify a location where your skills and abilities can be put to good use. According to several studies, people who work in occupations with qualities and responsibilities that match their personality are more productive, happier, and earn more money (Riggio, 2018). Employment satisfaction is a notion described by Locke (1976) as a happy or good emotional state coming from evaluating one's job or job experiences.


The "Big Five" personality qualities of neuroticism, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and openness were investigated in a 2001 study published in the Journal of Vocational Behavior to understand their relationship to job results. On the five personality traits, Cleveland State University researchers polled 496 personnel (318 men and 178 women) from various vocations and organizations. 

Related: The Big Five Personality Traits and Job Performance

According to the statistical analysis of findings, extroverted employees were more content with their pay, promotions, and overall career satisfaction. In contrast, workers with high neuroticism (moodiness, anxiety, concern, dread, or frustration) were less satisfied with their jobs. High agreeableness ratings were inversely connected to pay level, while high openness scores were negatively related to career satisfaction.


Conscientiousness is the only personality characteristic that consistently exhibits a strong association with job performance and satisfaction, out of all the big-five personality traits: openness to experience, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. It is possible to argue that it is the most significant personality feature in the profession. 

You could wonder, "What does it mean to be conscientious?" or "Am I conscientious?" Conscientious people have a strong work ethic, are dependable, and timely, pay attention to detail, and display dedication and purpose. Therefore if this describes you, you are conscientious. Children with conscientious personality traits fare better in school, according to Peter Toughs' book "How Children Succeed," because they can meet deadlines, stick to plans, and obey regulations and social conventions.


Further research into the success and power of the conscientious has discovered that these persons tend to have the most predictable work growth and that conscientious employees are also less likely to be absent from work. This means they miss fewer deadlines, attend more meetings, and save the organization money in the long run. According to a study conducted by the National Institute of Mental Health, men with conscientious personality traits are more likely to earn greater earnings than men who do not. Further research has backed up this notion, revealing that conscientious people are more likely to earn more money in general.


According to Brent Roberts, a psychologist at the University of Illinois, "Very conscientious employees simply do a series of things better than the rest of us."/"Being conscientious is like cleaning your teeth; it prevents issues from arising," he continues, implying that one reason conscientious individuals are so successful, and hence the most significant trait in the workplace, is that they avoid unfavorable events from developing in the first place. According to Maria Cubel, et al.s research "Do Personality Traits Affect Productivity? " there is a positive association between conscientiousness and productivity.


Why is it important to understand your personality?

According to Kerry Schofield, chief psychometrics officer of Good. Co. (a self-discovery platform and network for professionals seeking more purpose in their work) understanding oneself better would increase your job prospects for the following reasons:


1. You will narrow down your options:

Don't get caught up in the broadest aspects of the job, such as whether it pays well, has good prospects, or is in a good location. These are all crucial factors to consider, but many jobs meet these simple, practical requirements.


"Self-assessment can help us get beyond these questions to make more informed judgments from the options available, based on our personalities and how they fit with the cultures of the organizations were evaluating," Schofield says. Do you like a structured atmosphere with hands-on instruction or a more flexible environment where initiative is recognized, for example? Is having a supportive, nice team of coworkers more vital than working as independently as possible? Your personality will influence your responses to these questions.


2. You will understand yourself better:



You may have prepared for an interview to address your strengths and flaws, but how well do you understand them? "You'll want to examine any gaps in your talents," Schofield adds, "but when you look at them through the lens of your personality and values, you can get a realistic, genuinely perceptive picture of your underlying pattern of strengths and limitations." What's the result? 

In applications and interviews, you'll come across as more sincere, mature, and self-aware. "Everyone has flaws; if we can show that we're aware of our own and know how to improve or channel them in a good way, that will come across a lot better than a half-hearted stock-up." When you're honest about whether or not you're a good fit, you'll be more prepared for interviews.


3. You will avoid applying for unsuitable roles:

If you know what went wrong in the past, you can be more confident in your job search. You'll want to figure out what went wrong if you continually miss out on positions that appear to be excellent matches. "Self-awareness and an understanding of business culture and cultural fit can assist us in identifying the reasons why past applications or employment did not work out," says the author " According to Schofield," This knowledge provides us with the tools we need to make changes in the future – we can learn more about the organization's culture and our fit with it before applying for a job, for example, identify any potential personality, goals, or value mismatches, and plan for how to deal with them right away."


4. You will avoid joining the wrong organization:

Companies are increasingly attempting to detect and evaluate individual differences and match for cultural fit, knowing the penalty of making a poor recruiting decision. While not every company includes a personality test as part of the application process, Schofield believes it is common for potential and current employers to demand applicants and current employees to complete some psychometric test. To be well-informed and prepared, the easiest method to achieve this is to complete self-assessment tests yourself.


5. You will improve your communication skills and become a better candidate:

It's just as vital to know about other people's communication styles and how they connect with you as it is to understand your own. You'll be a better applicant and more likely to land the job when interviewed if you have a firm grasp on your talents, personality, and interests as they apply to your job hunt.


To better understand your personality, one can use personality assessments or psychometric tests which are easily available at caliper practice test. According to the Myers-Briggs Foundation, personality testing helps people better recognize, and appreciate their abilities.  This can help them perform better at work and advance their careers. It can also assist people in appreciating and comprehending others. It can be utilized to understand and strengthen a variety of aspects of your life, including relationships, career, education, spirituality, job, and counselling. Although research reveals a link between personality type and career choices, incorrect career choices are made in practice due to a lack of understanding of an individual's personality type (Hirschi et al., 2010; Onoyase and Onoyase, 2009).


Tatenda Sayenda-Havire is a consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd a management and human resources consulting firm. Phone +263 4 481946-48/481950 or email: or visit our website at 

Tatenda Sayenda
This article was written by Tatenda a Guest at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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