Is there an ideal career for your personality type? The short answer is no. It’s more accurate to say that there’s an ideal career for you, and that your personality type is an important part of finding that compatibility. In broad, statistical ways, some careers align nicely – or poorly – with certain personality traits. Those generalizations are very informative, but they cannot establish a perfect match between you and any specific career.
There are several key reasons for that. Let’s consider some basic facts that go against the notion of there being an “ideal career” for any personality type – including yours.
More Than Personality Type
Personality types are large groups, each defined by specific behavioral commonalities – personality traits. Yet people with the same personality type may have notable differences in experience, belief, culture, and circumstance. Those individual differences matter when it comes to job compatibility.
So assigning a single ideal career to all people of a given personality type would be far too restrictive to be helpful – or accurate. However, comparing specific aspects of a job with any personality type can reveal likely compatibilities (or incompatibilities) that can help you make good career choices.
The Minority Factor
If our research shows that 90% of people of type X love eating chocolate, it’s reasonable to say that, overall, type X loves chocolate. And yet, that’s not true for the 10% minority who don’t. So it’s bad advice to say, “As a type X, chocolate is your ideal dessert,” but good advice to say, “If you’re a type X, consider chocolate for dessert – there’s a strong chance you’ll love it!”
In the same way, we can say that a career is statistically likely to be a good fit for most people of a given personality type, but it wouldn’t be true (or fair) to say that it’s ideal for all of them.
Willpower, Motivation, and Learned Behavior
Many people work doing things that they wouldn’t do for free. Likewise, people may willingly excel in jobs that don’t suit their personality, in order to gain professional rewards. Motivation and practice allow people to master things that are not initially natural or comfortable for them.
A brash Extravert could learn to quietly offer people understanding feedback, and make a great therapist. A shy Introvert could learn to be friendly and talkative, and make a great salesperson. It doesn’t make sense to steer that Extravert away from giving people vital help or that Introvert away from nice big commissions, simply because their success might require some self-development.
If anything, our goal is to help people expand their boundaries to become happier and more successful. That doesn’t always mean taking an easy road when it comes to career compatibility. Your desire and willpower are quite possibly the most important part of your success.
Your Ideal Career
We explore personality-based career compatibility to encourage wise, informed decisions, not to suggest one ideal career. And we help you overcome obstacles and succeed on your chosen path – whatever it is – by highlighting likely challenges and opportunities related to your personality type.
Yes, we hold that personality type statistics are extremely useful for reference in your professional life, but as a road map, not a rule book. There is an ideal career for you, but you’re responsible for finding it – you decide where you’re going, and we’ll help you get there.
Where to Go from Here
- We may not be able to tell you what your ideal career is, but many others have shared their experiences in our “Thoughts and Stories” space. Take a look! (You must be logged in.)
- Read more of our Beginners articles.
- Dive into the details of our theory framework and how our personality testing works.
- Learn more about your personality type, including strengths and weaknesses, workplace behavior, and yes – career paths.
- Explore professional development articles, like how to investigate career compatibility for yourself.