How Understanding Your Personality Traits Can Lead To Career Success
Determining what one's natural strengths are is a key factor in finding something you will be successful at.
Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Dr. George Watts at Egen's Learning & Innovation Series. A behavioral scientist who has spent 20+ years in executive coaching & personality awareness, Dr. Watts has built a career around teaching people to understand their innate strengths and how to leverage them in a professional setting.
Determining what one's natural strengths are is a key factor in finding something you will be successful at. Building a career around your strengths leads to long-term passion and dedication towards the job. Work fatigue is something all professionals encounter at some point during their careers. However, this can be mitigated if one's career is based on something you have a deep interest and aptitude for.
At the same time, simply finding one's professional calling is not enough. Dedication and desire to continuously improve yourself is key to reaching the next level. Dr. Watts offered himself as an example; even after 20+ years working as a behavioral scientist, he still takes 2–3 hours every week to academically mature his strengths. Instead of expending effort on your weaknesses, you should nurture your talents in order to achieve higher levels of excellence.
As someone who is in the earliest stages of career progression, I found lots of value in the information Dr. Watts presented. His strategies are tailored around the Five-Factor Personality Model, which holds that there are 5 core personality traits found in every person. These traits can help predict the degree of social and professional success an individual may experience.
While no single trait is better than another, some personality types can indicate an aptitude for certain career paths. When I spoke one on one with Dr. Watts, his assessment was that my top two personality traits were agreeability and extraversion. This was unsurprising as these factors lend themselves well to someone working in business/communications, due to the often collaborative nature of that space.
At the same time, I was curious to find out what personality traits are important for those who choose to work in more technical positions. I sat down with Nishant Sharma, one of the Egen data engineers in attendance, to find out what role professional development has played in his career. Nishant's top two personality traits were open-mindedness and emotional stability; both of which he believes to be essential for developers and engineers. Software engineers and architects work in an environment where they constantly face failure. It's vital that anyone contemplating entering this field has a rational outlook, and can remain level-headed in high pressure situations. Nishant also values open-mindedness as a critical trait for an engineer, as unorthodox solutions to complex problems are often required.
However, having a dominant personality type does not mean your career options are limited. During our workshop, one data engineer identified as conscientious while another was extroverted. Which personality trait makes one a better engineer than the other? Trick question- the conscientious data engineer is more likely to help his customers by telling a story with data, and the other one is more likely to form a team to find a collaborative solution. Neither approach is better than the other as having a diverse team with a variety of strengths is a workplace advantage.
Dr. Watts' presentation was valuable for helping employees understand where their natural strengths lie. For those new to the working world, identifying your dominant personality traits can narrow down the areas in which you are particularly suited to work. In our fast-paced world, it may be hard to find the time for professional development- but if you can, focus on refining your strengths rather than obsessing over areas of weakness. Ensure you are presenting the best version of yourself by developing & maturing your innate talents: both academically & practically. Using your strengths strategically in your day-to-day tasks, as well as demonstrating sincere dedication towards self-improvement will be recognized & lead to upwards career progression.
About Egen's Learning & Innovation Series
Egen is strongly committed to providing its employees with the best resources for personal and professional enrichment. Every 6 weeks, we host a Learning & Innovation Series Talk at Egen HQ. We invite speakers & industry leaders to present technical talks, business insights, and professional development seminars to ensure employees are continuously growing. Curious about Egen? Let's talk.
About Dr. George Watts
Dr. George Watts is a behavioral scientist & executive coach with over 25 years of experience. He is the Chairman & founder of Top Line Talent, a professional training service dedicated to optimizing career success & unlocking innate potential.
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