How Your “Personality” Can Drive Your Career Goals

If you are a close follower of my work, you know I’m an HR Nerd!   So it shouldn’t surprise you that I love all the different personality assessments: DiSC, MBTI (Myers-Briggs), Strengthsfinder and Real Colors just to name a few.  No matter which assessment I take, my profile always has words like, relationships, organized, inspirational, community, action oriented.  And while I think these are fun and can be a great reflection into someone’s natural personality, the key is really what that means for how best to work with me.  How do I prefer to communicate, make decisions, influence, problem solve, lead, etc?  That’s where the rubber hits the road and turns it into a fun team builder to an actionable development tool.  

Everything about you is what makes you unique and specially qualified for a role. So let’s lean in to that! Below are some examples of how your “personality” (according to these products) can help you think about your career development.

Leveraging the strengths in your personality.  Every one of these assessments will tell you that there are no right or wrong answers to the questions.  That every profile is important on a team.  And that you can learn to stretch outside of your comfort zone if you are passionate about working in a field that may not usually lend itself to your profile.  All of that is true.  But your profile might lend itself to also being a strength in your career.  For example, in start-ups, there are often a lot of action-oriented, fast paced people (They love the adrenaline rush!).  So if you are comfortable in that environment but can bring a more reflective, steady approach to the team, giving everyone a chance to think through a decision and share their thoughts before jumping to action, that is a real value add!  Or for example, my trait of relationship building and influence was demonstrated every minute in theatre as I tried to bring very diverse and strong personalities together to get a show up and running.  So what in your personality profile can you identify as a strength in your career?

Flexing at different stages of your career.  It’s important to think about what others need in order to effectively make decisions and communicate with you.  As I have progressed in my career, my peers and stakeholders have changed.  And therefore their personality traits have changed as well.  Decision making as an executive has a much different impact than decision making at the associate level and therefore the process to make a decision is often different.  For example, while it may not be my natural tendency to lead with data, I know many of my key stakeholders need a lot of data to make a decision.  They want to make sure they are making a smart decision versus a reaction to something, or chasing a shiny object.  So I stretch and make sure that I have data ready to present as I make a recommendation for a decision.  As you look for a promotion or think about an expanded role you have recently taken on, how do you need to flex in order to best work with others at different levels or in different roles?

Driving home your impact to a team, even as you change careers.  Thinking about making a significant career change?  One thing I always work with people on is how to leverage your skills and experiences from one career to another (time management is key no matter what industry you are in or job you hold).  But so are your personality traits.  If you have the strong trait of being action oriented or results focused, that is a key trait from one role to another.  Leverage that in your interview or on your resume.  While you may not have experience in sales yet, your ability as an event coordinator (for example) to negotiate contracts with vendors, stay on budget and on time, handle last minute cancellations and answer 100 questions at once can translate into handling multiple prospects at different stages of a sales cycle, negotiate pricing and get different decision makers to say yes (even that surprise exec at the end), get creative on how to sell the deal while not break your company’s process or model, keep the relationship going even when they go cold.   So what pieces of your personality can you leverage in your new career?

Whether you are an ENFJ, an i/D, a Blue/Gold or you lead with Relationship Building…your personality can be your greatest asset to your role and your team.   And knowing more about it from a scientific approach could really help in your development in your current organization, as you transition into a new career or as you identify future career goals.  Never done an assessment before?  You can find some free examples online or I offer them as part of my coaching, so let’s connect!