Should Career Choice Match a Person’s Temperament Type?

By Revival Ojedapo

You don’t want to be stuck on a job that brings you little to no satisfaction. So, you’re at crossroads, different career paths lie before you, and it could be a lifetime journey. You want to avoid a misstep, then you ask, “what career should I choose?” Naturally, you’d turn to your personality, to find out those traits that make you more productive, whilst giving you a sense of accomplishment. This would probably lead you onto the temperament types that we have—namely sanguine, choleric, phlegmatic, melancholic—and the careers that seem most appropriate for each.

Sanguine people are outgoing, and have almost zero tolerance for boredom. They like thrilling situations, and are always in for an adventure. Naturally, they would appear to be fitted for the showbiz business, either in the sports or movies, or they could venture into the marketing world.

Cholerics are described as straightforward, practical and commonly goal-oriented. They may not appear amiable, since they are most probably going about with a focus in mind. So, you see them always eager to bring out result; it could be in technology, business or security outfit.

A person who’s phlegmatic would appear to be coolheaded and easygoing. Rational and affectionate, they are natural disposed to put help resolve conflict. It won’t be a surprise to see them work as therapists, health officials, teachers, or movie directors.

Finally, melancholics are generally thoughtful, susceptible to solitude. But they’re diligent and analytical. This would make them fit in the accounting sector, science. Sometimes, they could be natural artists.

This would appear an ideal formula, all things considered. However, there are other factors that could surface to influence your career path. For one, you might not even be sure where you fit in the chart. A person is mostly a combination of two temperament types. Secondly, you might never escape the ambiguity of career paths listed under your category. It is a big world, and there are many opportunities, even for a person in your category. In this case, you might have to delve beneath the general classifications of traits, and find your real purpose. In a TED Talks speech, Dr Brian Little describes the need to find the “idiosyncratic you”. “You are like some other people,” he said, “and like no other person”. You ought to look beyond what would appeal to these unifying traits that you share with half of the world, and consider what challenges you.

People “love you, not because you’re a certain type of person”, but because of the “free traits” you exhibit when tackling core or personal projects. It is like a positive conflict that would bring you out of character, so you can do the greater good. This conflict is what drives any meaningful career forward. It brings a greater sense of achievement. That’s not to say we should act “protractedly out of character”, but just enough to bring out the best you have to offer. You could be an introverted professor, as Dr Brian is, and entertain your class with all the “humour and engagement” of an extrovert. You’ll find peace doing what you love, certainly, but life is full of ups and downs. You might be a sanguine, with an alluring personality, and you end up in the movies. However, the job may become tougher than expected, and you’d find out that your outgoing personality is not enough to keep you afloat.

You should certainly choose a career based on your temperament type, but make sure to develop a character that would help you cope during uncertain times. This is a character, peculiar to you alone. Rather than general traits, it would be an embodiment of experiences and passion, which you’d have developed from facing your own unique challenges.


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