Does Your Career Fit Your Personality?

Revised January, 2011

Everyone knows how hard it is to get along with others when there's a personality clash -- so imagine how hard it is to be happy in career that does the same thing.

Similar to when you're looking for a mate, you want to find a career that complements your character, not conflicts with it. For example, if you're active and outgoing, you might not do well sitting behind a desk all day. On the same token, if you're shy and soft-spoken, you might not do well in a job that requires a lot of social interaction, and if you like working alone, you wouldn't thrive in a team setting.

Here are several vocations that are sure to complement your temperament. Please note that each requires different education, training and qualification requirements.

Personality: Artistic

What you're like: Artistic personalities are creative by nature, with imaginations that stretch further than others can conceive. These people like to express themselves through their work versus completing structured tasks. They like to work without rules, and enjoy working with forms, designs, colors, words and patterns.

Job matches:

Personality: Conventional

What you're like: Conventional people like conventional things: Rules, procedures, schedules and instructions are all things that appeal to them. They prefer working with details and data versus ideas; they are practical and like routine and order.

Job matches:

Personality: Enterprising

What you're like: Enterprise people are leaders. They like to see projects through from start to finish, business ventures in particular. They are doers more than thinkers and are more interested in the "big picture" than the small pieces that make it up.

Job matches:

Personality: Investigative

What you're like:Investigative people prefer to work alone. They like using logic over imagination, solving problems and mysteries, putting together pieces of a puzzle, precision, science and they pay extreme attention to detail.

Job matches:

Personality: Realistic

What you're like:True to their name, realists are ... well, realistic. They are results-driven, hands-on people who like problems and solutions. They like working outdoors, as well as with machines, tools and jewelry.

Job matches:

Personality: Social

What you're like: Social people like helping others and working with teams. They communicate well, thrive on human interaction and they'd rather talk than work with machines or data. The best jobs for them are ones that let them be with other people.

Job matches:

Next: Your Career is In the Cards (of Destiny)

*Salaries according to

Rachel Zupek is a writer and blogger for She researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues.

Copyright 2009

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