Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Personality matters

Some Plattsburgh State students might have a whole new way to measure the way they fit into future careers.

In the early 20th century, American Psychologist John Holland theorized there are six main work personality types people portray: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising and conventional.

CareerZone, a website created by New York state, allows people to select a combination of three of those six types to create a list of jobs geared toward who they are.

Overall, applicants’ personalities help employers gauge whether or not someone will fit with a company’s ideals.

Career Development Center Director Julia Overton-Healy said personality can be applied to attitude, and that can sometimes determine the outcome of a job interview.

“To be honest, when I was recruiting, there were times when I would interview somebody who had great credentials (and) really relevant experience, but they were just a jerk,” Overton-Healy said. “They were just arrogant, or they were difficult to talk to, or they were unwilling to provide a sense of their personality.”

She said that personality type can be a management challenge in regard to how that individual would work with others in the company, and good interviewers are going to be upfront with applicants about that issue.

“I think the statement comes out, ‘I don’t think you’re a fit for my team,’” Overton-Healy said. “’I’m looking for somebody who has a different sensibility for the work than I think you’ve displayed in the interview.’”

She said interviews are a two-way conversation, and both the applicant and employer should figure out whether they suit one another’s needs in the workplace.

However, she said that in a hypothetical situation where a student’s personality does not seem to match up with his or her major — for example, an education major not being people-focused — the CDC will work with that student as to what they can improve.

“There are no hard and fast rules,” Overton-Healy said. “I would never tell a student based on a personality expression that they aren’t suited for a particular career path.”

She said personality can often be suited for one company over another but not an entire field.

PSUC freshman marketing major Elena Calvo said perseverance can go a long way for job seekers.

“I apply for many jobs, but I usually don’t keep in touch with the employers,” she said. “People who actually keep in touch with the employers are the ones who get the job.”

Calvo said that when she recently started looking for a job, she found the process of contacting people intimidating because she thought that employers should take initiative to make contact with job applicants. However, she said she now knows that it is actually the other way around.

“It’s something I’m not used to, and I’m pretty sure other people are not used to it,” Calvo said.

She said social media and texting also contribute.

“Young people are more used to texting, and sending an email is way easier for us than making a call,” Calvo said.

PSUC sophomore Gregory Tatosian said if students have negative job experiences in which they don’t fit as well as they hoped, he said they can always seek other options that fit more with who they are.

“I feel like they would do better at something they like and that their personality probably reflects,” Tatosian said.

Overton-Healy said people fall into a mix of the six different personality types, but each person uses his or her personality differently, depending on who they are.

“I think that’s one of the most interesting things about humankind is the variety of personalities that we learn how to navigate,” she said.

Overton-Healy said students who can create a multidimensional personality comprised of different skills and experiences will have a bigger toolkit with which to interact with others in the job market.

“Personality is as unique to an individual as their fingerprint,” Overton-Healy said. “There are six different types of personalities, but how people use them, express them and exhibit them are as unique and different as the people themselves.”

Email Tim Lyman at news@cardinalpointsonline.com

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