When it comes to knowing how to find the best jobs and most fulfilling careers, men and women with certain dominant personality traits have a leg up on the competition. So learning about those characteristics and how to hone them in yourself is a terrific way to strengthen your chances in a job search, no matter which job sites, finders, openings and career path opportunities you choose to explore.
After all there’s not much I can think of that’s worse than getting up each day and dragging yourself to a soul-sucking job you hate. And yet, Jessica Pryce-Jones, author of Happiness At Work, found while conducting four years of research that, “The average American spends 90,000 hours at work over their lifetime.”
If you hate your job, you’re not alone.
According to Gallup, of the more than 100 million full-time employees in the American workforce:
- “One-third of those employees are what Gallup calls engaged at work. They love their jobs, enjoy their teams and customers, contribute, have great ideas, believe in the mission, feel their job uses their strengths — and they make their organization and America better every day …”
- “16% of employees are actively disengaged — they are miserable in the workplace and seem to exist only to destroy what the most engaged employees are building …”
- “The remaining 51% of employees are not engaged — they’re just there.”
After completing school, instead of taking a career path test or giving active thought to what job is right for them or what their career should be, many people make their career choices based pure chance or by someone else’s design, such as a parent or school guidance counselor.
By doing this instead of looking for a job and the types of career options that will be best for them and their specific personalities, far too many men and women make unnecessary and even unhealthy compromises. People who do build successful, fulfilling careers first create a vision for their future.
They navigate detours and roadblocks, invest in themselves, and construct an evolving sequence of positive workplace experiences over the course of their lifetime.
What does it mean to have a fulfilling career?
A gratifying career is self-defined.
It’s not limited to a particular profession, such as a helping one. You can seek employment opportunities in artistic, investigative, enterprising, hands-on or conventional fields. There is no mold; it is whatever is meaningful and satisfying to you.
When you know how to find the right career, a career that works for you, everything about it feels in alignment. You feel useful, valued, and driven by a mission. Your material and psychological needs are met, your self-esteem is high, and your work is a vehicle for self-expression.
You can succeed in virtually any job with the knowledge, skills, and abilities required, and, if you possess certain innate qualities, you’ll be miles ahead in getting further with your career. You’ll be more naturally attuned to game-changing insights, effective strategies, and easily executed goals.
And in all of this, your specific set of personality traits matter, as they impact your view of the world, your preferred ways of working, and the drivers of your behavior.
To find the best jobs and opportunities for your personal strengths, here’s a list of the 8 dominant personality traits people with the most fulfilling careers possess.
The biggest secret to a fulfilling career is knowing you who are.
Self-aware people reflect on themselves and their experiences and they course-correct as needed. They choose a career that matches their interests, passions, strengths, values, and ways of working — their personality.
When you love what you do and do what you are, you shine. You harvest your gifts and bring them to the world each and every day of your career.
Having a fulfilling career doesn’t mean you have to be ambitious; you just have to be brave. You have to move away from what’s draining you and move toward what energizes you. Be wise enough to know that a job is not a forever choice and that, sometimes, you need to step back before you can move forward. Some of the time, you won’t have perfect information, but you go for it anyway.
Simply put: courageous people take chances, and opportunities create careers.
Being open means being curious and having the capacity and eagerness to learn. People who are open are perpetual observers, listeners, and reflectors.
Think of it like being a tourist in your career: You’re always exploring new experiences, taking in information, and improving the way you work. You break boundaries and redefine for yourself what success looks like.
If you’re honest with people, you’ll get much further in your career.
Integrity is considered by many to be the number one sought-after quality in an employee. People need to be able to trust you and your work, whether it’s your boss, your colleagues, or your clients.
Most of all, people who have satisfying careers are honest with themselves — about who they are, what they want, and what it will take to succeed.
Humility might be the most crucial personality trait in leadership. Humble people don’t think of themselves as better than anyone else because everyone has a unique contribution to make. They are connected to what they’re good at and are not afraid to say what isn’t in their wheelhouse. They promote themselves in a confident, yet modest way, because their values drive them, and they’re secure in themselves.
Humble people empower others instead of knocking them down on their road to success.
No matter how much knowledge, skills, and abilities you have, you need to tap into other resources as well as your own in order to build a successful career.
Resourceful people leverage their network well, mine online resources, enlist support from a mentor or professional coach, and seize moments that can propel them forward in whichever direction they’ve chosen.
Nothing is constant. Agile people understand that a career is a journey, not a destination. Adaptable people are flexible when they need to be — even when it feels out of preference or uncomfortable. They can get along well with colleagues, manage changes in business strategies, and deal with the ebbs and flows of their careers.
Responsible people are organized, diligent, and dutiful. They take charge of their decisions and actions, and they answer to themselves for their outcomes. In their careers, responsible types are full of intent and guided by self-will. There is a stick-to-it-ness in them that propels them forward. Responsible people win in the long haul!
The reality is that engagement at work and creating a successful, fulfilling career starts with you.
If you’ve got the above personality traits in spades, congratulations!
You’re likely to have a career that you can look back on someday with pride and contentment. You’ll have made your 90,000 hours count. If you’re not quite there, don’t be disheartened. There is always time to begin again, uncover your natural gifts, stretch yourself, and be happier every Monday from now on.