Which factors influence your career choice

Factors of personality in choosing a career

Sources & literature

Hirschi, A., Abessolo, M. & Froidevau, xA. (2015). Hope as a resource for career exploration: Examining incremental and cross-lagged effects. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 86, 38-47.

Mathis, K. (1996). Professions and schools in Austria. Sauerländer Aura Verlag.

Todt, E. (1995). Development of interest. In Hetzer, H. et.al., (Ed.), Applied Developmental Psychology of Childhood and Adolescence, Heidelberg.

This means that there are certain personality traits that influence the choice of a certain profession (e.g. very shy people will hardly choose a profession in which they are in public, etc.).

Problems in choosing a career

There are many things that should be considered when choosing a career or looking for a job. Anyone who chooses a job should find out about the job offer. In addition, one should think about the structure and strength of one's own needs and about the process of how one's own needs and the realities of the professional environment interact. All of this influences the decision.

The involvement of relatives, friends, teachers or career counselors in finding a career can be very helpful. In career counseling, counseling strategies and methods for measuring professional interests have been developed for this purpose. Psychological tests can provide information about suitability for a particular career choice or information about what skills and competencies someone has so that they can use this as a decision-making aid when choosing a career (see http://www.beratung-therapie.de).

Five steps to finding a job

In the literature there is a very interesting and impressive 5-step model for finding a job by Frass / Groyer et.al. This model clearly shows the “job seeker from the lower level” exactly those considerations that could have anything to do with the choice of a profession:

  • I GET TO KNOW MYSELF: WHAT are my interests and skills? WHAT wishes and expectations do I have?
  • I GET TO KNOW THE WORLD OF WORK: Interesting professions, professional fields, characteristics of the professions, job requirements, helpers, advisors when choosing a career
  • I COMPARE MYSELF TO THE WORLD OF WORK: Interests, skills, aptitudes, activities, requirements
  • I EXPLORE PREFERRED PROFESSIONS: I explore interesting jobs. I get information from professionals. I am making a ranking of preferred professions. I try out the preferred professions (trial days)
  • I MAKE THE DECISION: To do this, I absolutely have to know: Which training path leads me to my profession? What further training is there? What are the future prospects?

See also the tasks of career counseling


Interests and skills in the job finding process

Before the young person starts walking through the five steps, they should have a clear picture of the importance of interests.

A basic distinction is made between:

  • General interests: These can be defined as behavioral or action tendencies that are relatively persistent and relatively generalized. They are aimed at different subject, activity or experience areas (which in turn can be well described with the different professional areas). In their development they are closely interrelated with the cognitive and the development of the self-image. They also include cognitive, affective and conative (action-related) components.
  • Specific interests: This is understood to mean behavioral or action tendencies that are relatively persistent and relatively specific (= personal or individual interests). They are related to specific objects, activities or experiences within preferred general areas of interest; their development is dependent on specific suggestions or opportunities and repeated, satisfactory execution of actions. Their probability of manifestation is greater than that of general interests. Specific interests also include cognitive, affective, and conative (action-related) components.


This is understood to mean positive emotional sensitivities (states). Subjectively, interest is still characterized by a feeling of sympathy, attention, understanding, meaningful activity, and learning.

Interests are increasingly related to classes of activities or objects (such as in sports, games, music, etc.) and are only used from there to evaluate individual activities or objects (e.g. ski broadcasts). Interests also act as a filter with regard to those classes of activities that one should engage in or that one should avoid in the case of aversions (cf. TODT, E. 1995, p. 213 ff.).

In this context, Mathis equates inclinations with interests and understands by this a feeling of being drawn to certain activities, materials, areas of knowledge and types of work. “I prefer wood to metal”, “I prefer to work by myself”, “I often need exercise, otherwise I am not well” these are, for example, statements about inclinations, which in turn are very important in order to feel comfortable in a job (cf. MATHIS, K., 1996, p. 14.).

Hope as a principle

Studies (Hirsch et al., 2015) show that the more hopeful a career choice is, the more he explores his professional opportunities and deals more intensely with his career. In psychology, hope is defined as thinking about possible paths and achievable goals, whereby hopeful people are more self-confident and action-oriented when it comes to achieving goals. It is therefore recommended that career counselors use measures to increase hope when giving advice. This includes clarifying the goals and sub-goals with the client, finding alternative paths that lead to the desired goals, and always considering strategies of professional development against the background of possible hurdles.

content :::: message :::: news :::: imprint :::: data protection :::: author :::: copyright :::: quote ::::