How To Make Your Personality Work For Your Career
This is a guest post written by Cassie Brewer.
Our careers can help positively define us, bring us joy…or cause us undue stress. You aren’t your job, but, let’s be real, our jobs are part of our lives. A big part. While very few of us can just up and quit our jobs--don’t quit unless you can afford to or you have another job offer IN WRITING--we all can figure out where we hope to go in the future.
So what does your work say about you? Are you passionate about your career? Are you doing what you love? Or maybe you’re working to help pay for the college that will get you where you want to be. Perhaps you don’t know what you want to be when you "grow up." That’s ok, too.
Figuring out the world and our place in it is difficult. Discovering your passions and your strengths takes time and a little self-reflection. Some of us always knew what we wanted to do and who we wanted to be. Others are still seeking and looking for that niche.
If you’re still in the process of knowing yourself, here’s a little tip: look at your personality when considering your future career. Many parents talk about how they want their kids to be doctors, lawyers, scientists…but our personality gives us a little indication as to what role we should take in the career world.
How we interact with others and our natural tendencies to be outgoing or introverted can help point the way to the right career. However, personality is more than just introverted or extroverted. Each of us has a lot of layers that make us who we are. Some people believe that our zodiac provides a personality indication, others look to which moonphase shined in the sky the night we were born. You may even have taken the Myers-Briggs test to uncover your four key personality traits.
If you’re still on the hunt for the perfect job or career, you need to take a step back. Think about what you love to do. Are you constantly writing? Do you love to cook? Maybe you’re an artist. What you do needs to sustain you financially--you need to be able to pay the bills--but your ideal job should also, in theory, help feed your soul. Not kill your ambition.
The answer as to what you do and where you go is up to you in the end. Sit down and make a list of your loves. Remember that you may need to compromise. You’re most likely going to begin at or near the bottom. Especially if you’re changing careers or just beginning your journey. If you’re looking for a change, could you afford a pay cut that could come with that change? Financial responsibilities come first--you have to eat and pay bills. Internships or other opportunities can help give you a foot in the door, but these opportunities may be pay very little or not at all. Many industries also offer mentoring programs through professional societies. While many professional societies charge membership fees, the networking opportunities may be invaluable.
Not sure if a society exists for your major or profession? You can do a quick search at the Directory of Associations.
If you’re still in college, talk to a professor about ways to break into your chosen profession. Find opportunities on campus that also can help you in your career goals. If you’re pursuing journalism, write for the university paper. Actively seek out opportunities to learn and grow in your chosen path.
There are no magic answers to how to find your dream job, because the dream is different for everyone. Your personality, though, needs to match your career ambitions. Find your passions, find your strengths to help you discover what you want to do and be...and then begin the journey of making it happen!