Each of us has very different characteristics. They show up in everyday life on various occasions. Sometimes, character even determines our success in the professional world. In the following text, you can find out which qualities promote a career and which ones can even be a hindrance.
Table of Contents
Definition: What Is ‘character’?
The term ‘character’ has several meanings. It is not limited to just one definition of a term but encompasses several facets.
The term ‘character’ primarily describes the sum of a person’s characteristics, which reflects their characteristics. These personality traits develop over time. Some are predisposed; others are subject to the influence of our outside world.
One of the predisposed characteristics is, for example, empathy. She can evolve. Ideally, this inclination develops in such a way that it automatically becomes the principle of one’s own thoughts and actions. Another character predisposition is creativity. It is present from birth and can only be ‘developed’ to a limited extent.
Character traits such as the ability to deal with conflict or assertiveness, on the other hand, are learned. Such qualities presuppose situations in which they are required. Anyone who has never experienced conflicts cannot learn strategies for conflict resolution.
A distinction is made between character strengths and character weaknesses. Strengths of character are associated with positive adjectives. Character weaknesses are negative to equate to personality traits.
The character traits of a person have a strong influence on the different aspects of everyday life. For example, they shape the ability to make decisions in the positive or negative Sense. In addition, a character determines the external impact of the individual. An applicant encounters this situation in an interview with his future employer. Here, both sides get an idea of the character of the interlocutor. It often depends on character traits whether the job seeker gets the vacancy. Further details on the relationship between character and job are discussed in the following sections.
The ‘big Five’ In Psychology
In psychology, the concept of the ‘Big Five’ was developed. There are five different types. Depending on their character, they show behaviour in certain circumstances that suit their temperament.
In the psychological context, a distinction is made between the following five personalities:
A conscientious person is also called orderly in everyday life. You usually meet him at work. An employer can rely on his conscientious employee. He knows that he can generally expect good performance from such an employee.
Open personalities are open and approach other people. They try to remain impartial. An open personality likes to try new things and is very imaginative when it comes to implementation.
An agreeable character does not look first for its advantages. His fellow human beings get along well with him and appreciate his outgoing charisma.
Many burnout patients have already suffered from emotional instability. Neurotic characters find it difficult to endure conflict situations because they are not mentally stable enough.
If someone is sociable, then they are not lacking in self-confidence. He is not afraid of speaking freely in a large group. With his nature, he easily manages to win over other people.
Combination Of Different Character Types Is Possible
Everyone can possess one or more of these characteristics. At this point, the respective character traits should not be evaluated. First, you have to look at them neutrally. Whether they are positive or negative depends on the situation. At the same time, the expression of the character traits is decisive for this question. You can be conscientious, but you can also be ‘too’ conscientious. While some people behave in a very sociable manner, they are not always professional enough.
A balance between each trait is probably best: conscientiousness is balanced by sociability, for example, and vice versa.
How A Character Develops
A synonym for the (further) development of character traits is called personality development. The personality of an individual is influenced by his fellow human beings. In addition to the social environment, the spatial component plays a role. This includes locations such as your home, the workplace, etc.
This Is How Characteristics Create
The emergence of character traits is always something individual. As a general formula, a person’s character is created through external values, internal disposition, and personal experiences.
How Characteristics Can Change
The character can change under two conditions – due to external influences and conscious choice. External influences are usually accompanied by an unconscious change in character. Your determination to change happens consciously.
Even through the release of certain hormones, the character traits undergo a change. Usually, they only change for a short moment, for example, when there is a stressful situation. After that, the character ‘normalizes’ again.
Character And Career: How Character Influences Professional Success
When applying, potential candidates should find examples of their skills and abilities. During the interview, they are asked to describe their character traits in their own words. Such a description can provide information about the ability to work in a team and the work behaviour of the applicant.
A few positive adjectives are
- carefully or
Other positive features are
- good-natured or
As negative will have character traits like
- egocentric or
Characteristics In Professional Life
In this chapter, everyday examples with different adjectives and the corresponding descriptions are presented:
- Some properties sound positive at first. In an interview, an applicant describes himself as particularly sociable. His behaviour is either a stroke of luck for the new staff – or not. In his private life, his openness is undoubtedly positive. On a professional level, certain situations call for a healthy personal distance. An extrovert often has trouble differentiating between leisure and work. If the person concerned works conscientiously without forgetting the collegial interaction, a successful balance is created.
- The complete opposite is an employee with strong conscientiousness. Such employees are mostly introverted personalities. They are only creative in exceptional cases. Whether the conscientiousness of such an employee with positive or negative Responses recorded depends on the situation. Basically, conscientious work is not a sign of weakness of character. The same goes for socializing. However, ‘too much’ always includes ‘too little.’
- Some employees approach their daily work with great determination. Sooner or later, you want to hold a managerial position. Any method is fine with them. Even if it is a disadvantage for the other colleagues. Fair and collegial interaction is often alien to these people. They have no concept of ‘togetherness’. They make decisions based on their interests. Not from the community’s well-being, i.e., the circle of colleagues. These colleagues are also affected by their social environment and negative character traits described. The social environment here refers to the other employees.
- Empathetic colleagues are often seen as good souls in the company. Because of their understanding of character, they are liked. For them, the content of their work is not the only priority. They are just as crucial to a good, respectful relationship with each other. They are committed to this, for example, as active members of the staff council.
These Characteristics Are Especially Favorable For Professional Success
- Empathy is not only considered a particularly positive character trait in the professional world. Emotional intelligence is closely linked to it.
- An empathetic person can greatly enrich collegial interactions. Her friendly openness exudes an inner contentment. The other employees feel better understood and taken seriously by an empathetic counterpart.
- With their balance, the empathetic person can positively influence the satisfaction of their colleagues.
- In practical everyday work, creativity is often required, depending on the profession. If, for example, a project does not produce profitable results, new ideas can open up completely unimagined perspectives.
- When it comes to creative work, it depends on the job in question. Creative people probably don’t do well in the accounting department. Even more so in employment with an artistic focus.
- Job profiles with regular customer contact require characteristics such as openness or open-mindedness. These employees should at least be largely extroverted and able to get involved with new business partners, etc.
These Characteristics Are Other Than An Obstacle To Professional Success
- Employees with too strong a character have already been introduced in the previous examples. This can mean different properties. In the working world, such characteristics are usually associated with very assertive colleagues. Another character description is overly ambitious.
- But even on a ‘lesser scale,’ an employee can have a strong character. Such people are often very meticulous about their daily tasks. In collegial cooperation, they usually hold back. From a professional point of view, these employees are quite capable. However, they often have problems with a flexible work attitude and schedule.
- Another character trait can also impede professional advancement, namely a pronounced anxiety. These employees have a hard time dealing with conflict. Unlike aggressive members of their peer group, they mainly blame themselves and often act fearfully. Such worrying behaviour can, therefore, be seen as a reflection of over-directedness. Both put obstacles in the way of the employee’s career.
Conclusion: Use Development Potential
Career prospects are closely related to one’s strength of character. Whether a character trait has a favourable effect on one’s career depends on the job in question. More precisely, it is formulated from the characteristics sought in the application and the interview.
The meanings of each character in the world of work differ depending on the situation. However, there are relatively universal beliefs about whether a personal quality is good or bad. An uncompromising approach at work is undoubtedly not admired by the other employees. However, a little more consideration can improve social interaction in the long term and is perceived as solid and prudent. Each of us should use these opportunities according to our abilities.