What keeps you drawn to your job? Is it the work, the benefits, the camaraderie of your team?
While each of these undoubtedly play a crucial role in job satisfaction
, research shows that personality fit
is a leading factor (HubSpot). The better your character traits mesh with your career – the more productive and positive your job performance will be
Take introverts and extroverts
, for example; extroverted people
are more likely to thrive in a social, customer-oriented workplace, while introverts
fare better with independent, analytical tasks. It’s these inherent traits that predict your success in a role, and the compatibility with others around you.
SkillsTalk dive into the top 4 reasons to choose a career that suits your personality
Why is personality fit so important for your career?
- Better culture fit.
- Better job performance.
- Higher job satisfaction.
- Personality determines your strengths and weaknesses.
1. Better culture fit.
One of the biggest advantages of matching your personality to your job is the greater ease of connecting with your colleagues and clients.
Those with outgoing, expressive traits will likely enjoy working with those who display the same openness; chances are, these types pursue the same career paths as you. Popular fields among these personas include sales
, public relations, or media entertainment.
People who are sensitive and express empathy and kindness
are likely to enjoy working in a position where they can help others. Suitable job roles for among people with these traits include those in community services
, such as counselling, mental health support, aged care and disability care.
Those who are more private and independent in nature may opt for a workplace where they can work in smaller groups or behind-the-scenes
. Common job roles among these character types are those in IT
, the sciences or fine arts.
By using your personality as a career guide, you have a higher chance of complementing your future associates
. This compatibility will further team cohesion and thus, the overall performance of your department.
2. Better job performance.
As with co-workers, your character traits also influence interactions with clients, customers, or patients.
Those who are naturally caring, empathetic, and open to others are well-suited for careers focused on helping people; such as doctors, youth workers, or roles in psychology. The “leaders” among us will likely pursue more managerial or entrepreneurial opportunities
, where they can guide and mentor others
for the growth of a business.
It’s important, however, to look beyond the subject matter of a potential career and at the actual work itself. This can give you insight on day-to-day duties and the social interactions required – and whether your personality traits line up with these tasks.
For example, as passionate as you may be about fashion
– the outgoing, customer-focused role of a hairdresser or stylist can get draining if you’re naturally shy or reserved.
At the same time, an article by ABC Life Australia
mentions the importance of considering your “empathy style”. There are those who exert compassion without necessarily taking on the emotions of others, while those on the flipside prone to doing so. Depending on which side you identify with, some people-focused careers may prove more emotionally overwhelming than others
Pursuing a career that best compliments your personality can help you achieve your best job performance
, and thus, boost overall results for your business.
3. Higher job satisfaction.
Due to greater productivity and chemistry with fellow colleagues, it’s no surprise that a positive personality-job fit leads to higher career satisfaction
among many. Having tasks and assessments that best match both your skills and character trait boosts your confidence in your work abilities, helping you develop a more positive attitude towards your career.
This also leads to feeling more valued as a worker, which 62% of Australian employees indicate as a leading factor of workplace happiness.
Additionally, when one’s values line up with that of the company’s, they often feel a greater sense of comfort in the workplace – and a higher commitment to their role.
This therefore poses a win-win for both workers and their companies. A positive personality-job match leads to higher motivation, better teamwork, and thus, increased job satisfaction; leading to lower employee turnover. Companies then get to reduce costs associated with recruiting, hiring, and training new workers.
Having your job suited to your personality is also linked to greater “innovation behaviour”, that is – your willingness to apply new ideas and processes to further enhance your work performance. Such drive is linked to the increased career commitment workers often have in well-suited roles.
The social effects of a positive career fit all connect: increased job satisfaction leads to a more positive attitude in the workplace, leading to a higher dedication to your role, and thus, encouraging further skills improvement. This, in turn, leads to improved job performance, linking back to greater overall satisfaction in the workplace.
4. Personality determines your strengths and weaknesses.
When pursuing your ideal career, considering your personality traits can help establish your strengths and weaknesses
. This reflection not only identifies your existing technical skills, but how you interact or behave around others, and how to mesh this well with potential job options.
While your strengths will help determine career paths you’d best excel at, recognising your weaknesses can help uncover areas that need improvement. You can then develop an action plan to best address these gaps in your abilities.
If you’re looking to pursue a freelance writing business, for example, yet lack the soft skills to seek and develop business connections – you can opt to pursue a short course in networking. A highly-skilled retail employee who wishes to advance to a managerial role, though may not have the leadership experience, can refine these abilities through training in business management
Knowing your personality well lets you define your limits and how to push them. As stated by an article from Typefinder, “Without understanding what traits drive us, we cannot understand how to manage being out of our comfort zones.”
It is thus crucial to place as much value on character as on technical abilities when seeking new career options, since a good job fit calls for far more than hard skills
or interest in a subject matter. Ensuring your personality melds well with the job leads to better work relationships, motivation, performance, and overall workplace happiness. The ideal match may turn out different to your original expectations, but you’re bound to find well-deserved success.
Does personality matter in choosing your career?
Choosing a career doesn't have to be difficult if you're already aware of your personality traits. By already knowing what type of qualities you already possess - whether that be having a creative or analytical mindset
or finding enjoyment in working with others or alone, knowing your personality can help you be strategic in forging a successful career path for yourself.
There are benefits that come with considering your personality traits when choosing your career:
- It can help you be more productive and happier in your role.
- You'll be making the most of your career strengths, which can help you move up the career ladder.
- You'll be more likely to earn more money because it's a role that comes naturally to you.
What would happen if personality types are not matched well with jobs?
When you pick a role that doesn't align with your traits and/or values, you're likely to disengage and experience a lower job satisfaction. It's important to recognise your career strengths early on and consider the options you may have that align with your personality.
As we go through the motions of life and experience different scenarios at work, you're likely to change and grow. You need to consider your career options and choose a pathway that you know will bring in the most satisfaction. Also, don't dismiss the opportunity of changing careers if you feel like you've hit a wall professionally.
Upskilled has courses offering Nationally Recognised Training – from information technology to community services. Best of all, each of these are delivered online, allowing you to study at your own pace and schedule. Dive into your dream field and enquire on a course today!
Editor's note: This article was originally published in January 2021. Content has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.