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Career personality types

27 September 2021

Do You Have the Right Personality for Your Dream Career?

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Have you got what it takes to succeed in your dream career?  

The short answer is almost certainly yes. 

We asked 20 of our top professionals which personality type is best suited to their industry. A huge number of them said that they’d encountered a diverse range of people in their fields.

But they did list a number of traits and attributes that would be particularly useful in their roles. 

Do you have them? 

Read on to find out…

What personality type would you say is most suited to your career?

Architect

Karl Mok, Architect and Founder of TA!LAB Spatial Design Studio

 

“Architecture can seem quite demanding, perhaps suited to the kind of personality that is interested in many things! 

You definitely have to be creative and interested in the way things are built. You also have to have patience, as some projects may well take over a decade to complete! 

But these are all skills you can pick up and start training at any point.”

Advertising Creative/Artist

Katy Edelsten, Artist, Illustrator and Advertising Creative at Wieden + Kennedy

 

“You need to be totally open-minded. 

You need to be willing to be convinced of something that you weren’t convinced of at 9am. 

You need to be able to flip your brain to consider other people’s perspectives. 

When someone says “I don’t like that, I don’t believe in it”, you need to be able to understand why, and to want to make something they do believe in.

Essentially, advertising is all about communication. It’s taking big things that are boring and making them something people want to learn about.”

No one should ever feel that medicine is not for them because of who they are. It’s actually so broad that actually there’s something for everyone, you just have to find it.

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Barrister

Rhys Rosser, Barrister at 2 Bedford Row Criminal Barristers Chambers

 

“My profession normally attracts people that are outgoing and self-starters. 

You really need to remain motivated at all times.”

Dentist

Charlotte Leigh, General Dental Practitioner, Brecknock Dental Surgery

 

“I’m not sure there is a particular personality type. 

I guess open-mindedness is the best thing. 

You don’t know who’s going to come through your door, and it’s very easy to start making assumptions about people. 

There may be a reason they haven’t been able to take care of their teeth. You need to take the patient at face value: act on the information they give you, do your own examination and help them on their healthcare journey. You may need to refer them to social services, or a dentist better suited to them. 

Are we all open-minded all day every day? Absolutely not. We all have good days and bad days.”

Doctor

Dr Manik Kohli, Speciality Registrar in Sexual Health and HIV Medicine

 

“It’s an interesting question.

There are definitely jokes about different specialties within medicine attracting different personality types. That orthopaedic surgery attracts ‘rugby lads’, for example.

Those kinds of stereotypes are fun, but it’s important to have an open mind. 

No one should ever feel that medicine is not for them because of who they are. It’s actually so broad that actually there’s something for everyone, you just have to find it. Whether you’ve got a specific way you like to work or a particular style of communication, you’re bound to find a specialism that’s right for you.

It can take time - some people take ten years - but there’s no rush.

There’s nothing about your personality that means medicine isn’t the right career for you.”

It’s all just about putting in exceptionally hard work and being an empathetic person.

Engineer

Bhavik Bhatt, Thermofluids Engineer at Rolls-Royce 

 

“With 50,000 employees, we have every type of personality working for us and every type of job role to fit those personalities. 

If you’re introverted, methodical and you’ve got a keen eye for detail, there are many, many roles for you. 

On the flip side, if you’re a strategic thinker, if you love customer interaction, we also need you. 

We need the people who like to get really stuck into data crunching, but we also need the people who can take a step back and think about how everything fits together. Who are we selling to? Who are the customers?

We need people who are slightly more thoughtful. Who, if you ask them a question, will go away and research it thoroughly and give you a polished response. But we also need people who can answer straight away and get things done. You need a compromise between the two. 

When it comes to personality, the best teams I’ve worked with have been the most diverse ones.”

Entrepreneur

Leona Mondsee, CEO and Co-Founder of Reitly Investment Comparison Platform  

 

“You have to be pretty scrappy. 

You might realise you have to make Facebook ads when you have no idea how and can’t afford to go and hire a marketing guru. 

That’s when you think ‘okay, I better learn’. You have to learn how to do things yourself in whatever way you can - get a book, or Google it and try and figure it out! 

You have to be ready to jump into anything, whatever it is.”

People who are outgoing, humble and resilient are often attracted to this field. Humanity comes first in our type of work.

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Fashion Designer

Karen Peacock, Designer and Co-Founder of Womenswear Brand Albaray

 

"I have worked with many different personality types who have all been talented designers."

Filmmaker

Ben Hunter, Award-Winning Writer, Director and Filmmaker

 

“Writing and directing has such an incredible variety of voices, backgrounds and personality types.

The important thing is that you are passionate, dedicated to continuous learning and exceptionally thick skinned. I have seen some of the most outgoing people and some of the most insular, introverted people do this job. Each can succeed in their own way. 

It’s all just about putting in exceptionally hard work and being an empathetic person.”

International Development Expert

Perseverence Ganga, Programme Policy Officer, UN World Food Programme

 

“People who are outgoing, humble and resilient are often attracted to this field. 

Humanity comes first in our type of work.”

Investment Banker

Erika Terrones-Shibuya, Associate, Asia Equities Sales at Goldman Sachs

 

“There isn’t  necessarily a specific personality type, but I would say being able to connect with people is essential. 

The most exceptional people I have seen in the industry are not only very knowledgeable in their area of expertise, but are also able to communicate extremely well. This is not just limited to presenting ideas to an audience, but also listening to people.”

I think you could argue that extraversion helps in consulting. Especially if you work in a bigger organisation where your brand visibility and the projects that you’re on are really important.

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Journalist

Michael Skapinker, Contributing Editor, Financial Times

 

“All sorts. Everyone has something to offer.”

Management Consultant

Mary Agbesanwa, Strategy and Operations Management Consultant at PwC UK

 

“A passion for learning about businesses. 

Not necessarily having an entrepreneurial mindset, but being interested in how businesses function and how they make money helps.

People sometimes say you need to be quite extroverted because the work does involve presentations, and you do need strong communication skills both verbal and written. 

I think you could argue that extraversion helps in consulting. Especially if you work in a bigger organisation where your brand visibility and the projects that you’re on are really important.

Being comfortable talking about your achievements is another thing that’s important.”

Marketing Manager

Emma Lord, Associate Director of Marketing, InvestIN Education

 

“Marketing allows for all different kinds of personality types, it’s perfectly suited to creative souls and analytical minds alike.

However, one thing common to all is being highly meticulous, precise and a little bit of a perfectionist. 

It’s important if you’re creating something which has the possibility of being seen by hundreds of thousands of people to make sure there are no mistakes. Spelling errors, copy inaccuracies or design flaws can reflect badly on your brand and your company.”

Music Producer/Tour Manager

David Davies, Tour Manager, Senior Producer and Founder of Double D Live

 

“I think you need to be a resilient kind of person.

When you work in a bank, at a law firm or as a police officer, there’s a path to promotion. You start as a junior and work your way up. In this industry it’s not very regulated, which is positive in some ways and negative in others. 

You need the confidence to constantly be pitching yourself and trying to get opportunities. 

You also need to be able to get on with people. You spend all your time on buses and in planes: hours and hours with the same people.  

It’s about a certain kind of personality, I think.”

It’s rare that a solicitor isn’t a part of a team and it benefits any team to have a variety of different types of people. You need someone calm to balance out stress; someone proactive to keep things moving forward; someone empathetic for client-management.

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Political Leader

Ben Simpson, Political and Security Officer at the British Embassy in Tripoli, Libya

 

“I’ve met many brilliant diplomats: both extroverts and introverts. 

But there are two common traits. 

Firstly, openness: to new ideas, different cultures, different people. 

Secondly, resilience. Whether it’s a natural disaster, a conflict or a global pandemic, our people regularly face challenging situations. You need a resilient personality to focus on achieving objectives through tough times.”

Psychologist

Dr Vicky McKechnie, Clinical Psychologist at an Acute Hospital in London

 

“I would like clinical psychology to attract a diverse range of people, and that includes personality types. 

We work very collaboratively, both with our clients and other professionals, so an appreciation of that is important – we do not position ourselves as the experts!”

Being compassionate, patient, friendly and understanding will get you far in this career.

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Software Engineer

Victoria Sloan, Front-End Software Engineer at Teamwork

 

“I wouldn’t say there is a specific personality that is suited to my career. 

It takes a team of different personalities, coming from different backgrounds and all walks of life, to come together and voice their ideas and opinions to deliver great software.

I think as long as you are open and willing to learn, everyone can have a career in tech.”

Solicitor

Kathryn Finch, Solicitor and General Counsel of Quartz Counselling, Psychotherapy and Training Limited

 

“I don’t think there is a specific personality actually. 

It’s rare that a solicitor isn’t a part of a team and it benefits any team to have a variety of different types of people. 

You need someone calm to balance out stress; someone proactive to keep things moving forward; someone empathetic for client-management. It’s rare all these qualities are found in a single person.”

Vet

Dr Michael Lazaris, RSPCA Veterinary Surgeon

 

“Being compassionate, patient, friendly and understanding will get you far in this career.”

Writer

Lauren James, Twice Carnegie-Nominated Author of Young Adult fiction

 

"It’s hard to say - writing is very solitary, so you need to be happy to work alone.

But you also need to be confident at public speaking and extroverted in talking to lots of people. You also need to be very self-motivated to set yourself work deadlines months in advance, without a boss making sure you’re working. Financially, you have to handle your taxes as a sole trader, so you have to be good at organising receipts and money. You need to save your earnings over the year and pay off your taxes directly to the government, as freelance writers don’t have an employer.

In general, organisation and administration is a huge part of the job."

Want to know more? Read Lauren's full interview, A Day in the Life of a Writer

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