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How to Choose a Career Based on Your Personality Type

Sometimes you just need a job. But if you’re embarking on your career or approaching a crossroads, you have the opportunity to ask not only where you can get a job that pays the bills, but what kind of job might make you happy.


4996227879_12414bbf16_zSearching for the right career can be a stressful process. Not only do you have to look outward for new opportunities, but you must look inward to discover who you are — and what job will fit your personality.

I remember when I was laid off from my day job, I had to take my passions, my personality and my skill set and make sure they all fit nicely into the career possibilities I was considering.

You might be well aware of your passions and skills, but what about your personality type?

According to the Social Styles Model, there are four “styles,” or personality types:

  • driver
  • analytical
  • expressive
  • amiable

Take a look at each type and description, and consider some potential careers associated with each. Your next perfect job might be right around the corner.

Driver

If you’re a driver, you come across as being bold. You make demands, and you expect others to follow them. You’re going to get things accomplished — sometimes no matter what the cost. You control emotions well, and others have difficulty knowing what you’re feeling in a given moment.

As a driver you’re best suited for a career in management. You’d fit in very well in a corporate management environment and will get things done through delegation. There are many different types of careers in management, from managing retail stores to overlooking production lines. As a driver, be careful not to come across as overbearing or rude … You might be even if you think you aren’t. Be cautious about entering into customer service positions.

Some career roles to consider for the driver include:

  • Police officer
  • Retail manager
  • Security guard
  • Event organizer

Analytical

Do you think through things? Plan? Create to-do lists? You’re probably the analytical type. If you’re concerned about doing things the right way and planning every step, you easily fall into this personality type. Many who read personal finance blogs are analytical, as is evidenced by their love for budgets, numbers and long-term plans.

As an analytical person, top careers that fit your personality type include data entry, research and development, technical editing and many careers that require a great deal of focus. Unfortunately, because you’re analytical, speed of productivity is probably something you struggle with, so stay away from careers that require quantity over quality.

Some career roles to consider for the analytical individual include:

  • Tax preparer
  • Inventory specialist
  • Home auditor
  • Financial planner

Expressive

If you’re that guy who is the life of the party, you’re probably of the expressive personality type. You get excited about new ideas, and you share them with just about everybody you meet. You probably don’t care so much about getting things done as you do about rallying the team and changing the culture.

Expressive individuals do an excellent job on camera. Their personality type attracts attention, and many times holds it. If this is you, think about careers where you can be on stage, entertain and express your passions. You’ll do best in the spotlight.

Some career roles to consider for the expressive individual include:

  • Musician
  • Marketing director
  • Artist
  • Sales person

Amiable

If you’re easy going and simply want to live in peace, you’re of the amiable personality type. You don’t want to make waves; you want to relax. Decisions are for others to make, and you usually go with whatever everybody else is doing. You’re probably pretty emotional as well, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing … It’s just part of who you are.

Amiable individuals probably will struggle owning or managing a business. Instead, they should focus on careers working for a company as an employee who doesn’t have to make many decisions. They should consider jobs that are low stress and provide a relaxing atmosphere.

Some career roles to consider for the expressive individual include:

  • Massage therapist
  • Grocery store cashier
  • Career counselor
  • Widget maker

Final thoughts

If you’re struggling with which personality type you’re most like, that’s normal. You probably are a mixture of two (or sometimes more) types. However, you’ll probably find yourself identifying with one particular personality type the most. The purpose of this article is to get you thinking about careers that fit your personality, but don’t let this limit your options.

Years ago, when I first started looking for a new career, I sought out a career/life coach who helped me clearly define my perfect job. He helped me to realize I could achieve my dreams, if only I tried. His advice proved valuable, and today I’m in a career I greatly enjoy. I suggest you do the same. Find someone in your life who will help you in the process of discovering your ideal career, and you’ll be well on your way to a better career and a better life.

What personality type(s) are you? How will that knowledge affect your career pursuit?

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About Bob Lotich

Bob Lotich is a full-time blogger who regularly writes about personal finance and online business. You can find more from him at Christian Personal Finance.

Comments

  1. Baseball Beth says:

    This is an interesting read. I work at MakeMusic Inc., where, according to a survey 2 years ago by Human Resources, 80% of us have professional music careers outside of MakeMusic Inc. Most of us are in the Analytical category. Myself included. According to the Meyers Briggs exam, i’m INTJ. I make 100% of my income as a professional musician. It’s likely a common stero-type that musicians aren’t analytical, but rather primarily expressive. In order to be successful as a professional musician, middle class or higher, I might argue that it takes a lot of analytical and organization skills, and a lot of serious drive to continue skill building as ones career advances.

  2. Great point Beth – while the data suggests that certain people are drawn by their inherent characteristics, you bring up a good point in showing that those people may not do quite as well as some other folks in terms of success in those areas. Musicians really are a perfect example of this!

  3. Bob, I’m dying over here, brother! Where are the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) fields? I expected them to be well represented in the Analytical category beyond the realm of finance and the generic R&D. STEM fields are seeing a shortage of talent and are solid career choice. Salaries are high and 20% of jobs in the US depend on them. Salaries are high for bachelor’s grads as well as those with HS level education. Choices range from all types of engineers to meteorology, geology, chemistry, architecture (perfect for those that sit between analytical and expressive), aeronautics, space and exploration.

    Whew! Sorry, I had to get that out ;-) I understand you’re working with limited space to share here and appreciate the guidance you offer, as it seems our culture is taking longer that past generations to choose a path. Thanks for offering that nudge towards a solid decision and stable future!
    http://www.brookings.edu/research/reports/2013/06/10-stem-economy-rothwell