Know Thy Work Style
Your self-esteem and personality may determine which job will make you happy.
By PT Staff published September 1, 1993 - last reviewed on June 9, 2016
In a recession, the desperation of job-seekers to accept any position they can get creates an awful lot of unhappy employees.
Surprisingly, people low in self-esteem do best in larger, more decentralized firms, Turban reports in the Journal of Applied Psychology . He suggests that, rather than preferring small firms with less competition, low self-esteemers' lack of confidence in their abilities leads them to jobs in which they can share decision-making responsibility rather than take it on themselves.
Folks with a high need for achievement meanwhile seek out a reward-for-performance environment. They want recognition for their singular accomplishments—so-called merit pay.
"If there's any choice in the matter, job-hunters should consider waiting for the right position rather than risk being unhappy, perhaps for years," says Turban.
And there's another advantage: Knowing their own work styles and how well they fit within a certain type of company gives workers a more realistic expectation of potential jobs. "They'll know what to look for—what they will and won't get—and can hopefully prevent disappointment and misery."