Career Personality and Career Personality Tests: part 3

What is Career Personality? Part 3: Theories

There are two prevalent theories that address the origin of career personalities. These are like two different lenses through which we understand career personality.

Type theory classifies collection of career traits that persist over time into broad general categories. These categories are associated with various occupations. Therefore, a person’s trait collection determines a well-fitting career. The Myers Briggs type Indicator is a good example of a test based on type theory.

Trait theory classifies specific individual characteristics in terms of effectiveness in a particular occupation. It assesses the degree of each characteristic in a person. An example of this is John Holland’s theory which assesses interest factors.  Career tests that use trait theory are the Strong Interest Inventory and the Self-Directed Search. You can see samples of those tests by clicking the links.


Other Career Theories

Within trait theory, some tests do not measure personality characteristics. Instead, they measure abilities, aptitudes, and values. These tests are less common, but they are available at Testets.

In addition to type and trait theories, there are factor and life span career theories. An example of the first is Holland’s typology. It classifies occupations by certain task factors. Donald Super constructed the life span and life space career theory. It identifies the important influences on a person in different roles and at different life stages. There aren’t many career tests based on life span theories, but a paper and pencil assessment can measure this. If you’re interested in this you can also set up an interview with a career counselor or career coach who can assess you in this way.

What more would you like to know about career personality theories, or career theories in general? Shoot me an email and I’d be glad to answer.