It has been said that the difference between a job and a career is whether you have a smile on your face. Choosing a career is one of the most important decisions you will make in life.
Most young people do not know what they want to be when they grow up. Among college freshmen, more than 75 percent haven't picked a major as they enter college, and more than half will change their major at least once before they graduate.
For those already embarked on a career, you likely have already learned that your interests and passion have changed over time and so has the job market. Change is among the top business axioms, so planning on it -- and for it -- is critical to continued happiness on the job.
When considering a career it is important to take into consideration your personality type as well as your interests and abilities.
There are a number of personality tests (also called inventories) available on the Internet or administered by employers, colleges and universities. These include the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Assessment (MBTI), and the Holland Code and Life Orientations (LIFO), among many others. Some are offered free of charge, and some require a fee.
The Myers-Briggs breaks down your personality to Extraversion (E) or Introversion (I), Sensing (S) or Intuition (N), Thinking (T) or Feeling (F), and Judging (J) or Perception (P).
The Holland Code breaks your personality type into one of six categories: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising and Conventional.
LIFO breaks your personality down to four basic orientations: Supportive-Giving, Controlling-Taking, Conserving-Holding and Adapting-Dealing.
The concept that human behavior is not random, but predictable and classifiable, was developed by psychologist Carl Jung in the 1920s. According to his theory, everyone is born predisposed to certain personality preferences. This is called the type theory. It remains widely accepted and is still used as a foundation for many personality concepts and tests.
While knowing your type can help you choose a career that is a good fit with your personality, it should not be used without also considering your career interests and abilities.
Spend some time taking a career test or two, conduct a career assessment, review career options and consider how they may fit your specific personality. Evaluating your goals and lifestyle can provide insight into what types of jobs you are best suited to do well and will enjoy doing along the way.
As you consider specific jobs in different careers, you can review job descriptions in the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook. This handbook describes what workers do on the job, working conditions, the training and education needed, earnings and expected job prospects in a wide range of occupations.
Whether you are just beginning or find yourself needing a career change, knowing your personality type along with your interests and abilities will help make that career one that puts a smile your face.
Ron Campbell has worked extensively in the job preparation and job search industry. He can be reached at 801-386-1111 or email@example.com.