It is extremely appalling when you look at the statistics of the people unhappy with their careers. Have you ever wondered what could be the reason behind this major dissatisfaction in everybody’s career life?
When a person is coerced to do a job that does not complement his/her interests and personality, discontentment is inevitable. Imagine a salesman who hates interaction with people and prefers to sit quietly in a room. Or imagine a graphic designer who loves brainstorming with like-minded people and interacting with them about ideas. If the career of a professional does not go with his/her personality, the only growth they will see is the growth of frustration. It is of utmost importance that your personality matches your career.
Many times a person gets stuck at the crossroads thinking how to choose the right career? The following points can help you get an idea about which career path will be suitable for you.
How Can You Identify Your Personality?
Ask questions to yourself:
Whenever you meet a new person, you try to know them better. You ask them questions about their likes, dislikes, what they do in their free time, etc. The reason we do that is to understand the type of personality they have, the kind of people they are.
Believe it or not, the first step you need to take to identify which career would match your personality, you need to ask yourself similar types of questions that you would ask a new person. A few examples of the kind of questions you need to ask yourself are:
- What do you like to do?
- What are you never bored of doing?
- Where does your passion lie?
- Would you rather spend a free day socializing or relaxing by yourself?
- Do you like travelling?
- What are topics that you love researching/reading about?
- What are your expectations from the future?
- Would you prefer a steady paycheck working under someone or unsteady income but being your own boss?
Questions like these will help you understand yourself better. Do not get anxious if there are certain interests that clash with each other. If you enjoy graphic designing and you also love making people laugh, you could be a social media cartoonist! Keep asking yourself questions, come up with things that would keep you hooked and identify the careers related to it. Mix and match if you have to. There is never a need to stick to conventionality.
Take Personality Tests:
The next option is to take personality tests. For this, you can visit a career counselor, who will not only ask you relevant questions to identify your personality, but will also give you a detailed insight on what type of career can match your personality and how can you go about pursuing it, whether you are in high school, college, or a working professional looking forward to shifting his/her career.
Alternatively, there are various paid and unpaid personality tests available online that you can take. However, it is important to note that not all of these tests are reliable. Some of them are published online only for fun. You need to research before taking any sort of personality tests. Some reliable tests that are easily accessible online are: Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the Sixteen Personality Factor Questionnaire (16 PF), Edwards Personal Preference Schedule (EPPS), and the NEO Personality Inventory (NEO PI-R). All these tests are based on psychological theories of personality. The Myers-Briggs, for example, is based on Carl Jung’s theory of personality types.
It is important to be completely honest while answering the questions to these tests. There is no right or wrong here. You need not choose “extrovert” just to feel better if what you really prefer is cooking alone or watching movies at home rather than going to a party.
Important Things to Note…
More often than not, people end up working in a job which they don’t really enjoy, but they are surprisingly good at it, and it pays well. A lot of people have the skill set for a particular job, but lack the interest in doing it. You need to distinguish between your skills and your passion. Think about it, if you enjoy doing something while being good at it is undeniably going to give you more career satisfaction.
Another thing to keep in mind is that what you love isn’t always going to be something you’re going to enjoy doing. Your passion in a subject cannot guarantee satisfaction in its career. For example, you may love animals to the core, but becoming a vet might not give you job satisfaction because you will constantly have to treat sick animals, and the job of a doctor is demanding beyond doubt.
Keep feeding your curiosity. If something sparks an interest in you, follow it. A single extra class in college could also help you discover what you’re passionate about. Even Mac looks the way it does now because Steve Jobs took that one typography class. Never stop questioning everything around you and about yourself. Always keep your curiosity alive.
It might take years for you to come to a decision, while it might take someone else a few weeks. There is no right time to come to an undeterred decision. Hence, do not panic if you cannot arrive at a decision immediately. It’s okay not to have an immediate answer.
Take advantage of internships, seminars, clubs, and societies. Capture every opportunity that you can to enhance your skills and feed your curiosity. This will not only give you valuable information, it will also make your CV look good.
Mohit Mangal is a renowned career counselor who provides career counseling and guides to select the right career based on a person’s aptitude and personality.