Are you sitting at your desk, wondering for the 50th time, whether you’re in the right job?
Click start to play today’s Spell It, where ‘success’ depends on a whole slew of factors.
If you look at people in different professions, you’re likely to see how jobs attract people with predictable personalities. For instance, flight attendants, office managers and fitness instructors tend to be outgoing, detail-oriented, and respectful of authority. Creative directors, executive producers and industrial designers are known for being great listeners, with a knack for understanding the requirements and feelings of others.
It's an interesting correlation that a group of researchers, based in Australia, looked deeper into. In December 2019, they published a study in the US-based journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, where they outlined how they sorted 128,000 Twitter users into 3,500 jobs. They used incredibly accurate software to analyse user personalities, based on their social media posts. The software measured linguistic patterns for happiness and wellbeing, and also categorised people by the big five personality traits – agreeableness, conscientiousness, extroversion, neuroticism and openness.
The study revealed a radical new approach to finding a job. Its conclusions indicated that people should probably look at picking a profession based on their personality type, rather than their skills, ability, or experience.
Now, a new study by the same researchers, published in June 2022, in a working paper at the global Research Papers in Economics archive (RePEc), finds that when you align your occupation with your personality, it leads to happiness and engagement.
In the latest study, the researchers added 25 dimensions for a more nuanced personality snapshot, and then cross-referenced all the data with users’ jobs. The results could be classified into eight occupation clusters, each one seemingly attracting a similar personality type. Authors, photographers, and artists, for instance, were all imaginative, had an appreciation for art, and were comfortable with challenging authority. Comedians, hair dressers, graphic artists and actors, were compassionate, tuned into their emotions, and were quickly able to catch on to new patterns, trends, and motifs.
It seems like a no-brainer – our personalities should dictate what kind of jobs we’d be happiest in. But interestingly, in the West, 64 per cent of the workforce is in a poorly matched job, and only 11 per cent of workers have their personalities perfectly aligned with their jobs, according to a report by US-based news website Bloomberg. Being in the wrong job may also be the reason why a recent Gallup poll found that 50 per cent of workers are quiet quitters. It could be a coping mechanism to get through the day, since their jobs don’t suit their personalities at all.