Does Your Personality Match Your
Steve Bohler, The Oxford Program Founder
Surveys indicate that up to 80% of us
claim that our work lives lack meaning; but don't blame
your guidance counselor just yet. People often pick the
wrong career because they're listening to the wrong
voices. They're overly concerned with what they can do,
what they (or others) feel they ought to do, and what
they think they want to do. But the starting place is
with understanding who they are.
Who are you?
You are your personality: a collection of your
temperament, style, and values. You are a unique
collection of personal preferences. You may prefer a
sense of achievement or of perfection. A structured
environment might suit you well while a varied and
somewhat chaotic workplace is ideal to someone else.
Why does personality matter?
Your personality is one of the major requirements of a
"natural vocation" and, thus, a fulfilling career. Even
if you are wildly fascinated by the subject matter of
your work, if the nature of the job doesn't fit your
personality, there will be "friction". If our
personality isn't being expressed, we are basically
being somebody else: something toxic to our sense of
Even a small degree of misfit between personality and
job can diminish your effectiveness and satisfaction.
People who are introverted become exhausted and stressed
if they must spend an excessive portion of the day
interacting with others. People who are extroverted feel
frustrated when they are without that external contact.
These needs aren't weaknesses and we're not going to
grow out of them. They are requirements of joyful
"being". The more the job matches who we are, the more
successful and happy we are.
Let's take an example
A large percentage of the population basically prefers
to be "group workers". They have a broad, generalist
frame of reference for life, usually getting bored with
work that is highly specialized and narrow in scope.
They are at their best contributing to the goals of an
organization. They are on the same wave length as the
On the other end of the spectrum are the "individual
workers". They prefer to be valued for their mastery of
a particular discipline or subject. At work, they like
to have people seek them out for their mastery,
expertise, or knowledge.
Regardless of where we fall in the various spectra of
our personalities, what we all have in common is that if
we are not able to satisfy our preferences at work, we
will feel that something is "missing".
Who are you? - Revisited
So how do you determine who you are and, thus, what you
need? The key lies in being posed the right questions. I
believe that a combination of good personality testing
and self-administered exercises/inquiries can be
invaluable in posing these crucial questions which help
validate what you know deep-down about yourself already.
A good place to start is to do some thinking. What are
some things you have enjoyed in the jobs you've had?
What have you hated or just plain disliked? Look for
common themes in your experiences. Begin to create a
profile of who you are (and, again, what you need). This
profile will help you create the blueprint of your
Steve Bohler is the founder and head coach of the Oxford
Program career programs. The Oxford Program is specially
designed to help adults who feel "stuck" with a complex
career choice/change dilemma. This program has helped
over 1000 people worldwide understand their vocational
identity and excellence and directed them to the careers
and life for which they are best suited. Take the first
step towards loving your career and sign up for your
"2-week complimentary trial" by going to: The Oxford