Personality changes during early adulthood can help in career growth: Study

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Career Growth
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A recent study published in the Psychological Science journal shows that the character changes happened during young adulthood indicating personality growth can be beneficial for positive career outcomes.

From the data analysis of a 12-year longitudinal research at the University of Houston it was learned that some of the personality growth during young adulthood brings benefits in career.

The research conducted by Kevin Hoff, the assistant professor of industrial-organizational psychology at the University of Houston, states that young adults who build higher levels of conscientiousness and emotional stability during the transition to employment tend to be successful in their early careers.

“Results revealed that certain patterns of personality growth predicted career outcomes over and above adolescent personality and ability,” says Prof. Hoff, adding that the findings also throws light to some of the policy actions which can be implemented to help young people to develop personality-based skills.

Prof. Hoff’s research is the first to assess the predictive power of personality changes for a broad range of career outcomes for more than a decade.

The study further gives hopeful signals to adolescents who experienced difficulties or are dissatisfied with the aspects of their personality, Prof. Hoff adds, “it showed you’re not just stuck with your personality traits and if you change over time in positive ways, that can have a big impact on your career.”

For the longitudinal study researchers tracked two representative samples, one from Icelandic youth aged around 12 years and the other from late adolescence of about 17 years old to young adulthood of 29 years and concluded that individuals who developed higher character levels become more successful as young adults.

In both sample groups, the researchers were able to find the strongest effects for growth in conscientiousness, emotional stability and extraversion.

While conscientiousness changes only helped to forecast career satisfaction, fluctuations in emotional stability were closely related to both income and career and the extraversion transitions were linked to professional as well as job fulfillment.

“Overall, the findings highlight the importance of personality development throughout childhood, adolescence and young adulthood for promoting different aspects of career success,” Prof. Hoff added.