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If you’ve ever been in doubt as to why you were successful at an interview or why indeed you were singled out amongst a legion of candidates for some important role, the reason is childishly simple

‘You my friend were hired for You’

With that in mind ask yourself this. How often have you seen someone newly hired into the Corporate environment who almost immediately begins to change themselves chameleon like into what they believe their new employer wants them to be? Why I ask do people change their personalities to suit the company they work for?

The understanding of our individual personality is profoundly important in maximizing our happiness and productivity at work. As we aim to maximize our potential, earn more money and achieve a better work-life balance it is vital that we prioritise what is most important to us. When you spend on average a third of your whole life at your place of work, choosing the correct work for you is something you just need to get right.

Like a river, work flows unceasingly into all areas of our lives, affecting our self-identity, our self-esteem, our friendships, our relationships and ultimately our opportunities for personal growth and inner fulfilment.

If it was just about the money then the work we did and where we did it wouldn’t matter but the bling is not the only thing.

Instead professionals advise to seek a ‘cultural fit’. According to organisational psychology guru Adrian Furnham “A fit is where there is congruence between the norms and values of the organization and those of the person.” (The Psychology of Behaviour at Work: The Individual in the Organization by Adrian Furnham )

Therefore it is vitally important to identify what job personality you are. In his book The Truth about Managing People…And Nothing But the Truth, Stephen R. Robbins writes about the six job personalities and work environment types he has identified:

  1. Realistic (Do’er) – Prefers physical activities that require skill, strength, and coordination. Traits include genuine, stable, conforming, and practical. Example professions include architect, farmer, and engineer.
  2. Investigative (Thinker) – Prefers working with theory and information, thinking, organizing, and understanding. Traits include: analytical, curious, and independent. Example professions include lawyer, mathematician, and professor.
  3. Artistic (Creator) – Prefers creative, original, and unsystematic activities that allow creative expression. Traits include: imaginative, disorderly, idealistic, emotional, and impractical. Example professions include: artist, musician, and writer.
  4. Social (Helper) – Prefers activities that involve helping, healing, or developing others. Traits include cooperative, friendly, sociable, and understanding. Example professions include counsellor, doctor, and teacher.
  5. Enterprising (Persuader) – Prefers competitive environments, leadership, influence, selling, and status. Traits include ambitious, domineering, energetic, and self-confident. Example professions include Management, Marketing, and Sales Person.
  6. Conventional (Organizer) – Prefers precise, rule-regulated, orderly, and unambiguous activities. Traits include conforming, efficient, practical, unimaginative, and inflexible. Example professions include accountant, clerk and editor.

So whatever your type of job personality, remember this, there exists somewhere out there, waiting just for you, a suitable career and a perfect fit. And if you ever find yourself in a job plagued with those nagging doubts, Am I a real benefit to my workplace? Do I really fit in here? I am the right person for the job? The answer on each occasion is yes because you were hired for you.

Or as that literary giant Dr. Seuss would put it “Why fit in when you were born to stand out”.

Articles by Lorraine Bolger