Choosing a Career That Fits Your Personality

By CSU Global - July 13th, 2020

When deciding on a college major or a career path, some people choose what fits their skills or aptitudes, while others choose what fits their passions by finding something they’re excited about. But what about choosing a major or career that matches your personality?

There are many aspects of a job that can make you much happier or more stressed, depending on your personality. Do you like to solve problems by yourself or work in large groups? Would you rather focus on one task at a time or multitask?

Why Finding a Compatible Career is Important

According to a 2017 study published in the journal Psychological Science

“Individuals can earn additional income of more than their monthly salary per year if they hold a job that fits their personality. Thus, at least for some traits, economic success depends not only on having a ‘successful personality’ but also, in part, on finding the best niche for one’s personality.”

Personality matters! Not only will you be happier at work, but you’ll have the potential for higher earnings. 

That leaves us with one question: How do you determine what kind of personality you have? There are a few different popular personality assessments that can help you determine your career path.

Holland’s Six Personality Types

Created in the 1950s by psychologist John L. Holland, the “Holland Codes” or “Holland Occupational Themes” divide people into six categories mapped on two underlying dimensions: people versus things and ideas versus data. The idea is that people tend to mostly fit one of these six types:

  • Realistic people  prefer to work with machines or animals rather than people. They tend to have more practical skills and value things they can see and touch.
  • Investigative people like to study abstract problems, science, and math, and see themselves as precise and intellectual. They shy away from tasks like selling, arguing, or persuading others.
  • Artistic people prefer to use their energy on creative activities instead of repetitive or highly ordered tasks. They value individual expression and artistic ability.
  • Social people like to interact with and help others. Teaching, nursing, and social work are good examples.  of “social” vocations. 
  • Enterprising people value their ability to lead, argue, and persuade. They avoid tasks that involve careful observation and analytical thinking.
  • Conventional people like to work with numbers, records, and machines in an orderly manner. They don’t usually enjoy ambiguous, unstructured activities.

Holland’s themes are easy to test for, but they’re not the only option to find out what kind of work you should be looking into.

The Myers-Briggs Personality Test

Perhaps the most famous personality test is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). An MBTI test can ask anywhere from dozens to hundreds of questions, grading respondents on four dichotomies:

  • Favorite world: If you like to focus on the inner world, you’re an introvert (I). If you prefer the outer world, you’re an extrovert (E).
  • Information: If you prefer to focus on the basic information you see, that’s called sensing (S). If you like to add your own interpretation, that’s called intuition (N).
  • Decisions: Those who prefer to prioritize logic and consistency are classified as thinking (T), while those who focus on feelings and other people are called feeling (F).
  • Structure: Some people like to jump to concrete decisions. These people are called judging (J). Those who prefer to stay open to new information are called perceiving (P).

Your MBTI will be a combination of these four groups in the form of a four-letter acronym. You could be an ISTJ, an ENFP, an ESTJ, or any one of 16 combinations described here.

There are plenty of unofficial MBTI tests online, but only a few are certified by the Myers & Briggs Foundation. When you take the test, you’ll answer a series of multiple-choice questions that will help indicate your type. The best part? There are no wrong answers!

Choose the Career That’s Right For You

Whether you’re just starting out on your career path or you’ve been in the workforce a while and you’re looking for something that’s more compatible with your personality, CSU Global can help. We offer career-focused certificates, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees in a wide array of fields to help you find the right career for who you are and what you care about.

We’re 100 percent online, fully accredited, and we offer monthly class starts with no set times or locations, so you can learn at your own pace. And our tuition rates are locked from the moment you enroll, so your rates will never increase. 

Ready to find the career that’s right for you and get started? Apply now!

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