Can You Choose a Career that Doesn’t Fit Your Personality?

Your career personality is important factor to consider when choosing a career path. But since no career is perfect, is it possible to choose a good career that doesn’t align with your personality? The answer is complicated and depends on other factors such as career values, interest areas and natural skills and abilities.


There’s No “Perfect” Career

If a career doesn’t perfectly align with your personality, it could still be a good fit for you. One instance where you might choose a career path that doesn’t align perfectly with your personality is when everything else (values, interests, etc) do fit perfectly. It may be that no career will fit with everything so you’ll have to prioritize. For instance, a career that offers a great deal of autonomy (a career value) may be more important than one that fits your personality type but doesn’t offer much autonomy. There’s no such thing as a perfect career, but there are careers that are better fits than others.

Personality Isn’t Black and White

Another consideration is that personality tests aren’t always accurate and can’t account for when people don’t fit perfectly into one personality type. Many people fall in the middle range of certain traits and therefore can’t identify with one personality type. If you’ve gotten different results on different personality tests, or feel your results don’t fully align with your true personality, it’s best to rely on what you do know for sure. For example you may not be sure about certain aspects of your personality but you do know that you’re an introvert. It may be best to focus on that when researching career paths. See our post on jobs for extroverts and introverts in each field for ideas.

Consider Interests and Values

Interests and values matter just as much as personality. A strong interest in a subject may offset a less than ideal fit in other areas. For example, if you love psychology and want to help people, you may be satisfied as a psychologist even if it doesn’t align with certain aspects of your personality. An introvert may be happy interacting with a lot others if it means talking about something he or she loves. See our post on career interest areas for more information.

The bottom line is that you shouldn’t discount a career just because it doesn’t fit exactly with your personality. As long as it’s not a complete mismatch, a career can work if it aligns with your career interests, skills and/or values.