Photo By Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
Many younger career seekers can encounter significant challenges when beginning their careers. Typically, these individuals go to people who are closest to them and that they trust for career advice. These people can include parents, teachers and friends. Even though this advice when given can be well intended, it is usually wrong. But, why? Unfortunately, when people closest to you provide advice, the perspective it is filtered through their own distinct career experiences. More than likely, most other people’s career choices will not have any similarity to yours. In addition, most people who are close are too emotionally connected, providing advice that is not objective. The advice is typically biased. But most importantly, most people do not have all the necessary information and knowledge needed to successfully navigate today’s ever changing career market. With changing global conditions and technology, the career market today in the 2020’s is not even the same as 10 years ago. So, here’s a good starting place. Start with you. Begin with your potential!
Using the word “potential” might sound vague, but it is not as ambiguous as it sounds. The word potential as defined by a dictionary means, “having latent qualities or abilities that may be developed and lead to future success or usefulness.” When beginning your career, attempting to discern your own potential is a good place to start, because it will help you to identify and characterize your own unique and special qualities. These broad set of personal qualities will be ones that you and only you will possess. These special qualities will help you to establish your very own career path. Many people underestimate their own personal qualities, assuming that everyone is similar. However, this is very far from the truth. Your personal qualities are very distinct and individual to you. However, what exactly is meant by the word “potential” in relation to your career?
Your potential can be specifically defined by four major areas: skills, interests, values and personality. These 4 qualities are not the only aspects that you can use to help reach your greatest career potential. However, with regards to your career development, these are very tangible concrete aspects that can be used to figure out a good career fit. You can consider your skills, interests, values and personality endowments, because these are personal characteristics and qualities that you possess. Whether these endowments have been acquired through god, genetic evolution or plain old chance, it does not matter. Your endowments can be used towards your own career advantage, helping you to design, grow and develop a successful career.
When trying to figure out a career, most people tend to first think of their skills and interests. However, it’s also important to explore your values and personality. Career values are personal principles that assist you is defining your ideal professional environment. These values can help you identify your most ideal work setting and important role characteristics. In turn, these will enhance your job satisfaction, accelerate career advancement and support you in achieving success.
Another personal aspect that also supports your career is your personality. It’s your distinct and exceptional personality traits that can help you uncover your unique career journey. Ironically, you may have similar skills, interests and values to other people, but it is the distinct combination of your personality traits that makes you, uniquely you. In the career world, adapting to a specific organization and its culture can significantly impact your career satisfaction, which can be a function of personality traits. So, let’s take a deeper look at how your personality can impact your career, because your personality is a significant part of achieving greater career fulfillment.
Your Personality Predicts Career Success and Satisfaction
Research has discovered that certain patterns of personality growth predict career success. In a major 12-year longitudinal study, researchers from the University of Houston followed two groups of youth from 17 years to about 29 years of age, approximately a 12-year period. They found that personality has important effects on early career outcomes. The effects were revealed through stable trait levels and how people change over time. The researchers reported that personality trait levels predicted career success. In another study, researchers examined personality traits in relation to satisfaction. They evaluated 5,932 individuals in career transition. They found that personality traits were related to both career and job satisfaction. Specifically, they found that 3 distinct personality traits were related to career satisfaction and success: conscientiousness, extroversion, and openness. At the moment, I will not discuss the specifics of the traits, but only reinforce the idea that specific aspects of your personality will be important to you in achieving career success and satisfaction.
Your Personality Impacts Performance
Your performance on the job is not only about your skills. It can be influenced by many other factors, including your personality. There have been many great career accomplishments that have been reached, in the absence of strong skills and knowledge. People can attain extraordinary achievements, conquering significant challenges by employing personality strengths. An individual who was able to use his personal traits to overcome skill deficits was Jamie Oliver.
Jamie Oliver is a celebrity chef who has authored over twenty cookbooks. He is one of world’s richest chefs, with a net worth of over $230 million. However, you would be surprised by the fact that even though he has authored many books he only finished reading his first book in 2013. Oliver has Dyslexia, which is a specific learning disability that affects reading. Individuals with dyslexia have trouble reading accurately and fluently. Oliver has stated, “I’ve never read a book in my life, which I know sounds incredibly ignorant but I’m dyslexic and I get bored easily.”
To say that Jamie Oliver has had some very controversial moments would be an understatement. Oliver has a shocking career history of making people extremely angry with his personal views and perspectives, and sometimes downright hypocrisy. These controversies are the result of strong personality characteristics. Being a celebrity chef isn’t just about having cooking skills and knowledge, otherwise any chef could be on TV. It’s beneficial to have a big personality in the media world, so you can light up the television and get attention. This is where Oliver’s personality comes in. Because he is constantly in the spotlight, he needs people to listen and grab their attention. His celebrity survival depends on his personality. There are countless examples of people using their unique personality characteristics to shape their career, Jamie Oliver is just one person out of many. Pursuing a career that best compliments your personality will not only help you achieve the best performance on the job, but will support you in reaching your highest career potential
Personality is the Key to Strong Organizational Culture Fit
There are many people that do not take into consideration or appreciate the fit between themselves and the culture that exists in the organization that they work for. However, on the other hand, many companies today view organizational fit as a critical company aspect, especially when it comes to hiring new employees.
In a corporate recruiters’ survey conducted by GMAC Research Services, employers were asked to identify the skills and traits they felt were most important to consider when evaluating recent business school graduates to hire. The survey drew responses from 842 employers representing more than 530 companies in 40 countries around the globe. Among the 12 traits that respondents were asked to rank in order of importance, the survey found that a candidate’s ability to fit within an organizational culture was ranked highest overall across all world regions.
Organizational culture is generally understood to include all of a company’s beliefs, values and attitudes. The combination of these factors influences an employee’s behaviour, affecting his/her interaction with others and work performance. The importance of organizational fit should never be underestimated, as it can be a critical driver of your happiness in the workplace. Multiple research studies have drawn a connection to job satisfaction and productivity. It is also intuitively obvious that if a person feels like they are an important part of the greater organization his/her commitment will deepen. This person will feel greater work engagement and be motivated to “go the extra mile.” Your personality is a key aspect to achieving strong organizational fit, being vital in identifying the work environment that is best suited to you. More importantly, this will also allow you to maximize your greatest career potential.