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Effect of Personality on Career Choice

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Psychology
Wordcount: 2415 words Published: 5th Apr 2018

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Which personality factors would be most likely to inform an ambitious choice of career? Discuss in reference to concepts drawn from at least two theories of personality.

Personality is a set of psychological processes which emerges from our brain, which defined as ongoing natures that craft the characteristic patterns of interaction with individual’s environment (Goldberg, 1993; Olver and Mooradian, 2003; Parks and Guay, 2009). The relationship between personality and career planning has been researched for decades suggesting that there is a significant relationship between personality factors and career choices, however, practically, wrong career choice are made due to the ignorance of specific personality type of the individuals (Roberts and Robins, 2000; Onoyase and Onoyase, 2009; Hirschi et al., 2010; Gunkel, Schlaegel, Langella, & Peluchette, 2010; Hussain et. al , 2012). Therefore, the objective of this article is to discuss compatibilities among career choice decisions and the personality type of the incumbents opting for job because people make decisions of their career choices based on their personality types (Onoyase and Onoyase, 2009; Hussain et al., 2012).

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The first theory that is discussed is on Carl G Jung’s belief personality. His theory led to a self-reported psychological preference framework known as The Myers Briggs Type Inventory (MBTI) which is developed by Kathryn Briggs and Isabel Myers Briggs. The combination of the descriptions of each of the four preferences of the MBTI make up 16 possible personality factors (Blackford, 2010), which indicates the strength of the preference for each dimension (Fretwell, Lewis, & Hannay, 2013).

Fretwell, Lewis, and Hannay (2013) explained that Extraversion and Introversion index reflect where individual prefer to focus their attention, the extroverts receive their sources of energy from the outside world of people, the interactions with people and things are their main focus, and urged to be involved in things. They work quickly and dislike complicated procedures, but they can be impatient at long slow jobs. They prefer oral communication and can communicate freely with others that is why they tend to fall towards careers where there are interactions with others. Where else Fretwell, Lewis, & Hannay (2013) explained that for introverts energy comes from the inner world of experience including, concepts, thoughts and ideas. Introvert Individuals tend to be more into facts and more idealistic which explain and underlie what goes on in the world. They tend to gravitate towards careers where ideas need to understood and organised. Introverts are more contemplative, like quiet concentration, are careful with details and enjoy working on one project for a long time. They are content to work alone and prefer to utilize written communication (Filbeck et al., 2005; McPherson, 1999; Myers & McCaulley, 1989; Opt & Loffredo, 2003; Tan & Tiong, 1999; Varvel et al., 2004; Fretwell, Lewis, & Hannay, 2013).

The Sensing and Intuition Index reflects how individual receives information around him and perceive the world (Fretwell, Lewis, & Hannay, 2013). Sensing Individual choose concrete details of a situation using their five senses to discern facts or events (Fretwell, Lewis, & Hannay, 2013). Sensing types (Blackford, 2010). Individual with intuitive focus on looking at the overall experience as a whole, relying on a sixth sense or personal hunches or insight rather than on the five senses. They enjoy novelty, change and the unusual. Sensing types tend to be more realistic, practical and tend to be attracted to work where the products can be seen and measured while intuitive types focus on the future and the possibilities that it holds and more attracted to work which requires the big picture, a future orientation, such as strategic planning. (Filbeck et al., 2005; Fox-Hines & Bowersock, 1995; McPherson, 1999; Myers & McCaulley, 1989; Opt & Loffredo, 2003; Tan & Tiong, 1999; Varvel et al., 2004; Blackford, 2010; Fretwell, Lewis, & Hannay, 2013.

The Thinking and Feeling index are basic mental processes that reflects the partialities of individuals’ decision making, data processing, and evaluation of perceptions. Logic, facts, and fairness are preference of thinking individuals. They Objective driven and the application of principles to a decision. They are often uncomfortable dealing with the feelings of others. Thinking individuals are more drawn towards careers which require logical analysis such as science, engineering and finance. Those with a feeling preference use personal or social values when making decisions. Their decisions are more subjective in nature, and they consider the impact that their decisions will have on others. They enjoy pleasing others and are more likely to offer appreciation and sympathy. Feeling types individual are drawn to careers where communicating, teaching and helping are valuable tools. (Filbeck et al., 2005; Fox-Hines & Bowersock, 1995; McPherson, 1999; Myers & McCaulley, 1989; Opt & Loffredo, 2003; Tan & Tiong, 1999; Varvel et al., 2004; Blackford, 2010; Fretwell, Lewis, & Hannay, 2013).

Fretwell, Lewis, & Hannay (2013) explained that The Judging and Perceiving index looks at how individual’s preference in organizing and orienting themselves to the external world. Individuals who uses a judging mental processes to focus on leading an organized and orderly life. They are punctual, orderly, seek closure, and prefer control over their lives through detailed planning and collecting enough data to make a decision. They are action-oriented, decisive, and may see things as black and white, which can manifest itself as a closed-minded attitude. Those with a perceiving mental process, they are more spontaneous and open to new ideas. They are more flexible and relaxed; they go with the flow, and resent time constraints because they keep their options open for new developments, deferring decisions in case something new and interesting turns up. They see more greys and tend to be more open-minded. These individuals prefer to adapt to situations rather than control them (Filbeck et al., 2005; Fox-Hines & Bowersock, 1995; McPherson, 1999; Myers & McCaulley, 1989; Varvel et al., 2004; Blackford, 2010; Fretwell, Lewis, & Hannay, 2013).

After reviewing each personality factors in the Myers Briggs Type Inventory, Davies (2008) concluded that itis a personality preference rather than a trait instrument. There are no right or wrong answers or better or worse personality types to be in making a career choice. All the sixteen possible personality types are good and have the potential for development. Blackford (2010) acknowleged that the MBTI is not about pigeon-holing people and forcing them into one box, rather to raise awareness of one’s own strengths and areas for development.

However, Different theory have different explanation too, like the Five-Dimension Personality Model also known as the Big Five Model in personality research (Goldberg, 1992; Sucier and Goldberg, 1998; Hussain et al., 2012). The Model consist of five personality trait, first,opennessess to experience which is the inclination to be imaginative, independent, and interested in variety (Hussain et al., 2012). Conscientiousness is the affinity to be prepared, chary, and disciplined. Third, Extraversion which is the propensity to be gregarious, fun-loving, and warm (Hussain et al., 2012). Fourth, the tendency to be sympathetic, trusting, and supportive is termed as Agreeableness (Hussain et al., 2012). Lastly, the tendency to be anxious, emotionally unstable and self-blaming known as neuroticism (Goldberg, 1993; Hussain et al., 2012).

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According to Hussain et. al, (2012), he actually associated a few of the career choices with the Five Factor Models, as he made a few claims based on the career choice such as managers and executives, where the job scope requires individual to manage or execute things perfectly demands strong social interaction ability in individuals and it demands attitude ready to accept changes in external environment (Hussain et al., 2012). First he claimed that, individuals who is either ranked high on conscientiousness and agreeableness will do better in such career because as they have to manage the things on right time, be well predicted in an investigative style (Judge et al., 1999; Hussain et al., 2012) and ready to perform their operations for smooth run of their organization (Hussain et al., 2012). Second, low in neuroticism level because managers and leaders have to deal with decision makin, money and other resource pressures which tend to make them fright, traumatic and emotionally unstablized. Therefore, there is a need to be emotionally strong and have capability to cope up with certain pressures in a well mannered and realistic way (Judge et al., 1999; Hussain et al., 2012) way. Lastly, ranked average on openess to experience and extraversion will too, do better in such careers, because in order to allow negotiations to be successful, they need to at least have moderate capability of arguing and clarifying their point of view easily and conventionally (Barrick and Mount, 1991; Hussain et al., 2012).

On the aspect of career choice like Entrepreneurship, Individuals with high ranking on openness to experience and conscientiousness take broad initiative and risky moves (Howard and Howard, 1995; Hussain et al., 2012). to start new projects and to expand their businesses in more dynamic world (Zhao and Seibert, 2006; Hussain et al., 2012). More the experience and interactions they have, more they will perceive the pits and falls in operationalisation of their new schemes and plans (Ackerman and Beier, 2003; Hussain et al., 2012). Moreover, high openness to experience of someone helps him out in learning and adapting new changes in their surroundings (Zhao and Seibert, 2006; Hussain et. al, 2012). In this way, they will more likely be effective in coping up hindrances and difficulties faced by them (Aldridge, 1997; Hussain et. al, 2012). Entrepreneurs have to deal with risk and returns always, so, they must be very conscious and careful in their investments (Barrick and Mount, 1991; Hussain et. al, 2012) in order to achieve the optimal results and to maximize their returns. They need to be compact and managed in their acts for the smooth run of their business (Zhao and Seibert, 2006; Hussain et. al, 2012). Therefore, a high rank on the conscientiousness personality trait helps them to be very careful and best planners (Aldridge, 1997; Hussain et. al, 2012). or high on neuroticism perso nality trait will perform better in career choice in entrepreneurs.

Individual who decide on non-profit oriented and social professions there is a keen need to feel for others and have tendency to help out others sacrificing own rest, peace and some time resources (Barrick and Mount, 1991; Hussain et. al, 2012). Secondly, there must also be a propensity to trust others and to interact with others. Lastly, emotions are need of these professions but they should also be at least strong enough not to be depressed enough that can derail their will power and dominance to exhibit their internal strengths (Cattell and Mead, 2008; Hussain et. al, 2012). Therefore, individual with high agreeableness and extraversion personality traits or average on neuroticism scale will excel more likely in non-profit or social making and helping profession (Hussain et. al, 2012).

Public Sector professionals demand self-discipline, self-control, management and conscientiousness in each step in order to succeed. Punctuality and practicality are the key symbols of public sector organizations. People with sound emotional capabilities are more likely to be accomplishing their given assignments rather than who fail in stressful and time bound environment (Cattell and Mead, 2008). People who rank high on conscientiousness or low on neuroticism are more likely to excel in public sector careers in their life.

Scientists and researchers or other practitioner shave to cope up with different complex nature of problems and obstacles that need more than an ordinary look. For that, they need to be very experienced, sensitive, open to learn and perceive new things and to deduce newness from old rigid thoughts (Cattell and Mead, 2008). The more a person is exposed to an environment, the more he or she will have the capability and strength to cover all aspects of single problem. Therefore, he or she will be more likely to introduce new ways of solving a single problem. (Ackerman and Beier, 2003, Capretz, 2003). Individual ranking high on openessness or low on extraversion to experience are more likely to be successful in research, science and engineering cadres.

In conclusion, different personality factors such as the traits from Five Factor Model can indicate a striving motivation to attain ambitious career choice. Ambitious career such as entrepreneurship, managerial or executive positions and social or non-profit organization professions, has been demonstrated to have relate to personality factors such as Conscientiousness, Openness to experiences, Agreeableness and Extraversion. A high level of conscientiousness and openness to experiences seems to relate to pursing of entrepreneurship and managerial positions. On the other hand, a high level of agreeableness and extraversion seems to relate to pursuing a career of social or non-profit professions field.

In addition, individuals who are high in neuroticism are less likely to pursue ambitious choice of career as they are often too overwhelmed by their emotions, which impact their ability in making major choices and handle pressure which is unavoidable in an ambitious career. Furthermore, a moderately high in psychoticism may be acceptable as it could aid in pursing ambitious career such as scientist, as it requires highly creative thinking style to achieve impactful discovery, but further research in this area still needs to be examine in order to obtain more credibility. Overall, all of the traits in Five Factor Model (Except neuroticism) and Psychoticism are likely to inform an ambitious career choice.


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