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Can personality type influence career choice?

Choosing a career is one of the most important decisions you will ever have to make. Unless you are one of the lucky few who knows exactly what career path you want to take, choosing one can be daunting. It’s obvious that factors such as earning potential and industry play major roles in the decision. However, is it possible that the individual’s personality type can also influence their career choice?

We have explored this topic for you, and it turns out that your personality type has a bigger influence over your choices than just your personal preferences and interactions.  Knowing your personality type can therefore help you determine what your strengths and weaknesses are. Here’s how for example, your personality type can affect your career options.

According to John Holland’s Theory of Career Choice, your career is determined by an interaction between your personality and the environment. Holland’s Theory maintains that when choosing a career, people prefer jobs where they can be around others with similar personality types. “They search for environments that will let them use their skills and abilities, and express their attitudes and values, while taking on enjoyable problems and roles. Behaviour is determined by an interaction between personality and environment.” (careers.govt.nz, 2019)

The 6 personality types

According to Holland, there are six personality types that define the modern worker. The theory works by evaluating how a person approaches a situation in life. Most people fall under more than one category. The six types are Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising and Conventional. We have summarised them here for you. You can read the full article here: https://www.careers.govt.nz/resources/career-practice/career-theory-models/hollands-theory/

Realistic (Doer)

People with this personality type prefer to work with their hands by making, fixing, assembling or operating equipment. They often prefer working outdoors. The realistic individual works well with tools and machines and typically consider themselves practical.

These individuals prefer to work alone but are compatible with conventional and investigative personality types as well. Suitable careers include Carpenter, Electrician, Engineer, and Mechanic.

A good career choice for these individuals to pursue would be Logistics. If you see any of the above personality traits in yourself, learn more about our Logistics online short course and see if this would appeal to you. You can also try it before you buy it.

Investigative (Thinker)

Individuals with this personality type tend to be analytical. They love to learn and solve complicated mathematical or scientific problems. Investigative personality types are rarely skilled negotiators but consider themselves to be precise and intellectual. They also like to be acknowledged for their achievements.

These individuals prefer to work alone but they are compatible with Realistic or Artistic personality types. Suitable careers include Biologist, Mathematician, Pharmacist, and computer programmer.

A good career for anyone that identifies with these personality traits would be a career in Digital Marketing Analytics. Find out about our online short course and see if this would appeal to you. You can also try it before you buy it.

Artistic (Creator)

This group of individuals prefer to work with others who are expressive and independent. They admire the creative arts and see themselves as expressive and original. They avoid repetitive activities and enjoy working in groups but only if they are encouraged to share their ideas.

These individuals are compatible with Investigative and Social personality types. Suitable careers include Graphic designer, musician, Art teacher, and actor.

If this sounds like you, then a career in Social Media Marketing could be perfect for you. Try out our online short course and see how it feels.

Social (Helper)

People with a social personality type like to “dominate” their environment. This is the most common personality type. These individuals enjoy providing services for others and enjoy working closely with people. They prefer to work with people who are trustworthy and helpful.

They are compatible with Artistic and Enterprising personality types. Suitable careers include Counsellor, Librarian, Social Worker, and Nurse.

Want a career helping others? Why not take our Fundamentals of Marketing short course and offer your services to an NGO. Not 100 percent sure? You can try the first module before you buy

Enterprising (Persuader)

Enterprising personality types are most likely to lead and persuade others. They tend towards anything related to business or politics. They tend to be ambitious and skilled at getting others to agree with them. These individuals typically avoid people who are too scientific and analytical but prefer to work in groups with Social or Conventional personality types.

Suitable careers include Sales Manager, Real Estate Agent, Attorney, and School Principal.

Can you talk the chicken off a bone? Then you will love our Introduction to sales online short course. It even has a try before you buy option!

Conventional (Organizer)

Members of this category often prefer to work with numbers, records or machines. They enjoy repetitive tasks and consider themselves organised and good at following directions. They do best in small, systematic groups where they know their responsibilities.

They are most compatible with Enterprising or Realistic personality types. Suitable careers include Bookkeeper, Secretary, Bank Teller, and HR Consultant.

If numbers are your thing then our Understanding financial technologies online short course is just the ticket for you.

Take the Holland Code Career Test to find your personality type.

After taking the test, you may have a better sense of your personality qualities. This will help you to narrow down your career options. If you are still unsure of which career will suit your personality, remember that the Marketing, Supply Chain and Business industry is unique in that it can accommodate various personality types. The IMM Graduate School offers a range of options including short courses, Higher Certificates, Diplomas, Undergraduate Degrees, Honours Degrees, Post Graduate Degrees and a Master’s Degree. Take our “Not Sure What to Study?” quiz to find out which option is right for you. For more information on these, call 0861 466 476 or visit https://www.immgsm.ac.za/