Personality traits make you, well, you. Our careers are shaped by others, but our character also plays a massive part in the way we engage with others at each stage of the process. Christmas can prove an invaluable time to reassess our goals and aspirations, and your approach will be shaped by the way you are. Whether you’re an extrovert, introvert, or somewhere in-between, you’ll find the career to suit you, but it’s also worth taking a step back to examine how your job hunt may play out based on the way you are.
*For the purposes of navigation (and some degree of scientific basis), we’ll be bringing back each profile to one of the ‘Big FIVE personality types’ which is a widely examined five-dimensional theory to describe human personality and psyche. These traits are:
- Openness to experience
In 2015, half of British workers admitted that they would rather be in a different career, but whether the majority of those surveyed have actually taken the plunge is a different matter. For some of us, Christmas presents the perfect opportunity to quit our jobs and throw caution to the wind before the New Year. The very thought of feeling stuck for another year was just too much to bear, so for you, it was actually easier to become a job seeker at the end of the year and start afresh.
There’s a danger of seeming reckless and flippant toward employment in the eyes of employers, but on the other hand, risk-takers can be some of the most valuable and successful people to have in your company. You’re a perfect fit for the ‘openness to experience’ personality trait, and you’re likely to be busy over Christmas with an array of spontaneous and exciting adventures. Signing up with recruitment agencies that will notify you of temporary and permanent opportunities while you’re on the go may be one of the best immediate lines of action to take.
- Openness to experience - Known for your creativity, intellectual curiosity, preference for variety and independence
Not content with sitting on a laptop and applying to an endless stream of posts every night, networkers will take every opportunity to organise or attend face to face meetings, even if they’re outside their comfort zone. You’re more likely to be extroverted, inquisitive and comfortable in new environments. You need constant stimulation, so Christmas is a great time to exercise your social strengths but beware of distractions.
You’re a hunter by nature, and not afraid to take action before you receive a prompt from someone else. Like the risk taker, you’re highly motivated and driven by reaching your full potential. You may have a personal agenda at a networking event, but it’s in your best interests to remain open, honest, friendly and generous to forge better connections.
- Extraversion – Known for your assertiveness, sociability, dominance and tendency to seek stimulation
You feel most comfortable in quiet spaces with lower levels of stimulation. Your intelligence is often overridden by worry and stress that impairs your ability to show your true abilities during an interview or social networking situations. You may be a passive job seeker but you’re probably also a thinker. Like the organiser (below), a focus will be to craft and develop your CV and covering letter to a proficient level, and you’ll gain the attention of recruiters as a result, but the thought of an interview fills you with fear. You worry that active candidates are edging ahead, and you’re susceptible to negative thoughts and emotions, like agitation, irritability and upset.
Build upon your greatest qualities: are you a brilliant listener? Do you find it easy to empathise with others? Do you assess a situation before diving in head first? Smile and keep on keeping on.
- Neuroticism – Known for your emotional awareness, ability to empathise with others and cautious nature
You describe yourself as conscientious, proactive and always prepared. Mess, disorganisation, and new settings make you slightly nervous. You may already have a Christmas strategy set up, but you could be a bit concerned about becoming slightly more spontaneous in order to juggle social and job hunting commitments away from home. Meeting deadlines comes naturally to you, and even if you experience failure in your life, you’re more likely to have a plan that will help you to deal with the situation. Challenges you may face include having to think on your feet, and you’re more likely to follow something even if you think that it may be wrong.
An interesting article by Business Insider two years ago opened with the following statement: ‘The only major personality trait that consistently leads to success is conscientiousness.’ According to the National Institute of Mental Health, conscientious men earn higher salaries, while other studies have revealed that the personality trait is one of the most important for finding and retaining employment.
- Conscientiousness – Known for your self-discipline, control and a preference for planned behaviours
You’re motivated, inspired, agreeable and keen to learn, but may lack the in-work skills and experience you need to feel completely comfortable in your job search. Whether you’re young and you just want to hit the ground running, or you desperately want to switch to a career that’s more inspiring, your focus should be to seek out companies that promote employment training, support, and opportunities for progression.
Relaxing over Christmas could prove difficult for you, as you’ll want to apply for work as well as catch up on industry news, read the odd book and build upon your existing skill set before the New Year sets in. You may love listening to streams of online classes, courses and webinars to fast track your career, particularly while you’re out of work. However, you may find that your time is starting to become stretched across multiple learning outlets.
Sit down, focus your energy, and start up a few of your own small projects to get a feel for what you find inspiring and the resources that can add value to your time, not detract from it.
- Agreeableness – Known for your desire for social harmony, trusting nature, helpfulness and transformational leadership skills
Finding a job at Christmas can be tough. Time seems tighter than ever as another year looms, and social commitments come in thick and fast, but in the back of your mind, you know that Christmas is actually a great time of year to look for a job. Competition in the jobs market lulls, even though plenty of businesses are looking to hire before the new financial year. We’ll do the work so you don’t have to: set up a fuss-free candidate account with us to receive on-the-go job alerts.