What is it about?

Understanding the hidden personality dimensions of different roles could be the key to matching a person and their ideal occupation. The research team looked at data on over 128,000 people in over 3,500 different occupations to establish that many people in the same role had very similar personality traits. And each occupation had a unique and subtlety different "personality footprint" thus revealing for the first time that all "jobs have their own personalities". For instance, software programmers and scientists tended to be more open to experience, whereas elite tennis players tended to be more conscientious and agreeable. The research used a variety of advanced artificial intelligence, machine learning and data analytics approaches to create a data-driven Vocation Compass — a recommendation system that forms the foundation for a new generation of tools to find a careers that fit not only with what skills and qualifications we have but who we are as individuals.

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Why is it important?

We know we are all different and personality traits are an expression of our individual difference. This study reveals that many successful people in the same role have a surprisingly similar configuration of personality traits — each job has its own personality. This begs the question, that we explore in later research, what are the benefits of having a role that is aligned with your personality and risks of having one that is misaligned.


Coauthoring this article was an amazing with my colleagues was an amazing experience and laid the foundations for the subsequent decade of exploration. So far the in work we have made public we have explored subsequently a) the wellbeing effects of choosing a role that aligns with your personality b) the eight types of jobs when looked at through the lens of personality and c) the science of startups - how successful startup founders can be distinguished from successful employees with personality data alone with 80%+ accuracy and what difference personality makes to startup success.

Professor Paul X. McCarthy
University of New South Wales

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Social media-predicted personality traits and values can help match people to their ideal jobs, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, December 2019, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1917942116.
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