Personality: The Secret to Career Satisfaction

"Our lives are shaped as profoundly by personality as by gender or race."
Susan Cain author of Quiet

The persistent fact that 60% of people are dissatisfied with their job has several contributing factors, with the most significant a poor fit between occupational choice and personality. In the book Do What You Are, the authors tell us that the right job becomes personally fulfilling when it nourishes the most important aspects of our personality.

Knowing our natural abilities, motivators, interests and values has long been an important consideration related to career choice. On the other hand taking the time to assess and fully understand how personality might impact our career can feel a little self indulgent. But when we find ourselves facing a significant career dilemma, with few ideas for how to resolve it, understanding our personality preferences is a great place to start.

Most of us probably began our career journeys with little thought given to personal traits or what might bring us joy as unique individuals. Initial career choices are often made based on the subjects we find easiest in school, what our parents or others think is best for us, or the pressure to become financially self-sufficient as fast as possible. In fact working at an "okay job" for a period of time can be an effective way to become oriented to the world of work.

But to achieve real and lasting career satisfaction individuals first need to thoroughly understand personal preferences and then determine the kind of work that would be most meaningful.

Here's what we need to know about our personality to improve our career choice,and to find a work environment in which we are more likely to thrive.

* our energy orientation - what drains or invigorates us
* how we gather and process information
* how we prefer to make decisions
* how we form conclusions
* how we respond to, mitigate and manage stress
* how we take action
* how we adapt to change
* how we manage conflict
* our personal sensitivity levels

When the above items are understood and accepted, you can then intentionally create strategies for managing the people and the situations you encounter in your daily life and work. The result can be a marked increase in your career success and satisfaction.

There are several excellent personality tools available. The Myers Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI) is regarded as a leading assessment for career planning. One source for the MBTI is the Kiersey Temperament Sorter-II available online - simply google the name. The initial assessment is free and provides you with your MBTI 4-letter type.  

Work is far more likely to feel satisfying when we acknowledge and apply our personality preferences. 

Take good care of yourself,

            Kathleen

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