Have you ever wondered "what career suits my personality?" Your thinking is right - your personality influences almost every aspect of your life, from the sort of activities you enjoy on a daily basis to your choice of friends, so it makes sense that it can also have an impact on your professional life.
Understanding your personality puts you in a better position to choose a career that will be challenging and fulfilling, and research shows that when your career is well-suited to your personality, you’ll not only be happier but also more successful.
Matching your career to your personality
Career advisor and adult education consultant Karen Southall Watts explains that selecting a career where the demands match your natural personality tendencies can be especially advantageous early on in your career.
“A fit between personality type and career frees you up to concentrate on learning about your new position and duties instead of trying to change your personality to ‘fit in,’” explains Watts. “Introverts who enjoy one-on-one communication and rank high in intuition make great teachers, counsellors and school advisers,” she says. “Extroverts often enjoy sales and chatting with many different people during the course of a workday, while those who tend to be logical and base decisions on facts often blossom in STEM careers.”
So how do you go about finding the career that best suits your personality?
Taking a career personality quiz is one way to get an insight into your specific strengths and the career areas you’d be best suited to, and while you can’t rely solely on a test when choosing your career path, it can help you narrow down your options.
Once you have a better idea of the careers that might be a good fit, you can start researching each one in depth to find out more about the education, skills and experience required as well as the employment outlook and potential earnings.
But, don’t let your personality hold you back
It’s important to keep in mind that while pursuing a career that allows you to be yourself can be fulfilling; your personality shouldn’t hold you back from doing what you want to do. Watts points out that it would be wrong to assume you can't succeed in a certain career or industry just because it doesn’t match up perfectly with your personality, or what the MBTI test recommended.
“Not all entrepreneurs need to be extroverted risk takers, nor do all scientists fit the quiet ‘geeky’ stereotype,” she says. “It’s also possible to succeed in work that doesn't normally attract your personality type.”
Of course, a career path that requires personality traits that differ from yours will mean a lot more work and preparation, so the most important thing, says Watts, is to understand your preferences when it comes to the amount and intensity of personal communication in a job, the role your feelings will play in decision-making and how you prefer to process information.
Are you ready to discover your own career personality? Take the Open Colleges Career Quiz to see some of the career paths that might be a good fit for you.