Personality at Work: The Role of Individual Differences in the Workplace

By Adrian Furnham | Go to book overview

Chapter 3

Personality and vocational choice

Nothing that is worth knowing can be taught.

Oscar Wilde

A little uncertainty is good for everyone.

H. Kissinger

A round man cannot be expected to fit in a square hole right away. He must have time to modify his shape.

Mark Twain

Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.

Confucius

Some people quit working as soon as they find a job.

Anonymous


3.1 INTRODUCTION

The fundamental purpose of vocational guidance and counselling is obvious and quite straightforward. It is to help people make appropriate vocational choices and adjustments; and to facilitate the efficient and cost-effective functioning of organizations by the appropriate exploitation of individual assets and abilities. To a large extent, the work on vocational guidance is identical to that of employee selection, except the former takes the perspective of, and is primarily concerned with the best interests of the employee, while the latter is mainly the concern of the employer. Because there are individual differences in ability, aptitude, needs, personality and interests, and job difference in the demands they make in personal attributes and skills, people will do better in jobs for which their abilities are suited than those not congruent with them.

Vocational (occasionally termed career) psychology focuses on people thinking about careers, preparing for the occupations of their choice and, where appropriate, changing jobs or even leaving the world of work.

Vocational guidance is one of the oldest areas of applied psychology. Super

-90-

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