What influence does personality have on the profession?

What influence does personality have on the profession?

The interview with Prof. Dr Eva Asselmann from the anniversary edition of the study series Fachkraft 2030 (Maastricht University & Jobvalley) deals with the topic of personality. Prof. Dr Eva Asselmann is a professor at the HMU Health and Medical University in Potsdam and a researcher on the topics of personality development, health promotion and prevention.
Our personality has a significant influence on how we react to certain situations in our lives, what we are enthusiastic about and how we make decisions. Our personality also plays an important role in our professional life, because personality and career are closely related. Drastic events in one's professional life can influence one's personality, and vice versa, personality plays an important role in choosing a career. But first it should be clarified: What exactly is personality?

Personality from a scientific perspective
Prof. Dr. Asselmann explains that "personality" means characteristics in thinking, feeling and behaviour in which people differ from each other. These individual differences can largely be described by the five basic personality traits, also called the "Big Five". The "Big Five" are openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness and emotional stability. Different personalities act differently. The following can be said as a tendency: open-minded people are curious, creative and open to new things; conscientious people are well-organised, tidy, clean, punctual, reliable and hard-working people; extraverted people like to socialise, talk and be the centre of attention. Agreeable people attach importance to getting along well with others and are accordingly attentive to harmony. Emotionally stable people are less prone to negative feelings and manage to keep a cool head even in stressful times.

Measuring personality
According to Prof. Dr. Asselmann, the personality of an individual can be measured. This is mainly done by asking people or people close to them, such as family or friends, about their personality. Another approach, besides asking people, is observation. For example, you look at the condition of your home. If it is clean, the dishes are done and the objects are neatly put away, this can be an indication of conscientiousness.

Personality change at the start of a career
Scientific research shows that young adults "mature" in their personality over time. In young adulthood there are many upheavals and new events, such as entering professional life. Young people entering the workforce are confronted with many new challenges, which they usually want to meet. Accordingly, one adapts one's behaviour. In the long run, this manifests itself in the personality. Research by Prof. Dr. Eva Asselmann has shown that young adults become much more conscientious, extraverted and agreeable in the years after starting their careers. 

Personality and success in the workplace
In general, it can be said that one's own personality plays an important role both in the choice of a profession and in one's further professional life, among other things also with regard to success in the workplace. Prof. Dr. Asselmann emphasises that one's personality and the demands of the job should fit. The sooner this is the case, the more successful and satisfied people are. This is even reflected in their income. Therefore, when choosing a career, one should reflect on oneself to identify one's strengths and weaknesses, what one would like to do in the long term or what is important to one in life. Certain professions require certain individual characteristics. Singers and actors, for example, need a high degree of extraversion. Scientists and writers, on the other hand, are more introverted. 
Personality can also be changed over time. For example, you can make a conscious decision to become more extroverted and adapt your behaviour accordingly. Whether you succeed in doing so depends on your motivation to change. Another question one should ask oneself is whether it is at all necessary to want to change one's personality. Each personality type has both advantages and disadvantages. Dr. Asselmann gives the example of people who are not very compatible and therefore clash more often with others, but on the other hand are better able to assert themselves in salary negotiations.

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