Whether you are a student or a seasoned professional, have you ever thought about how your personality could help determine what major or job best suits you and your lifestyle? This is true; your personality plays a huge role in finding your true calling.
Understanding your personality can help you determine where your strengths and weaknesses lie and identify stressors to your personality so that you can properly choose a major or career path that truly makes you happy and fits you! I had the worst time deciding on a major when I was in college and sought help from career counselors and a therapist. I knew that I needed to find a major and career that was meaningful to me but also something that was going to be compatible with me.
There is a lot of research and literature behind the theory of personalities and career satisfaction but I will give you the condensed version. First, allow me to introduce you to Career Development Theorist, John Holland PhD. He is an expert in the Trait and Factor Theory and developed six occupational themes which describe people and work environments realistic, enterprising, artistic, social, investigative and conventional. These six themes are often abbreviated as RIASEC and each theme has tasks associated with it which can help you determine whether or not your personality and skills match the theme. For more information on Holland’s Occupational Themes and to take the test, visit
Many people took Holland’s theory and created their own version of occupational themes. One model of matching personality characteristics and careers is called True Colors. I am not endorsing this model or writing about it for any other reason besides the fact that I am most familiar with it, as I took a class on it through my former job as an educational counselor. True Colors is very similar to Holland’s Occupational Themes, however it associates personality traits with colors: blue, gold, orange and green. Each color represents certain personality traits and helps you identify what type of job and environments work with and against your personality type.
Blues need to feel unique and authentic and are considered peaceful and imaginative. Oranges are impulsive and generous and value skill and freedom. Golds are loyal and dependable and need to feel useful and to belong. Greens are analytical and conceptual; they are great at problem solving and are inquisitive. Do you identify with any of these characteristics?
True Colors emphasizes identifying stressors that will create burnout for you in the work environment. For example, one of the colors I identified with most was gold which thrives in stable and organized environments and I realized that noisy settings really stress me out. I knew this about myself but never really thought about how it affects me at work so when I contemplate new jobs, I really need to keep this in mind so that I can perform optimally and feel comfortable at work.
True Colors has a test that you can take that will help you ascertain which colors are most like you and so that you can seek a job that is compatible with your traits. There are two sites, www.truecolorscareer.com/quiz.asp and http://truecolorstest.com/True-Colors-Personality-Test.html%20which offer a free test with good explanations of the results. For more information on the True Colors model, visit www.true-colors.com/index.html
One of the career counselors that I met with told me that even though we might place ourselves on a certain path, perhaps our decision was influenced by our family or friends, but do not end up not continuing on our intended route. That is ok. We are never forced to follow a certain path in our lives and we can change direction at any time. If you are pondering whether to change your major or change job industries, no matter where you are in life, you will be ok. Do what makes you happy and find a job that is compatible with you and you will flourish.
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