A recent study found 70% of millennials are unhappy at work. When they don’t feel challenged or utilized at work, recent college grads are tempted to change career paths during the first year out of school.
Merrick Rosenberg, a personality expert who has authored two books and worked with more than half of the Fortune 100 companies (including GE, Ford, Johnson & Johnson), believes college grads should consider the four key personality styles before anything else when hunting for post-grad jobs. These personality types impact not only where you find and create work happiness and fulfillment, but also the types of responsibilities and functions that would be best suited to you in your career.
Rosenberg is a regular keynote speaker, performance coach, author, and entrepreneur who founded Take Flight Learning and has led training for more than 25,000 professionals. His books are Take Flight!: Master the DISC Styles to Transform Your Career, Your Relationships… Your Life and The Chameleon. The latter dives into the four personality styles and shares wisdom and stories using the four birds that reflect each style: the eagle, parrot, dove and owl.
Here’s more about the four personality types and what you need to know about how they influence work satisfaction.
Kathy Caprino: Merrick, what are the four personality styles you’ve uncovered, and why are they the most important thing to consider before hunting for a job?
Merrick Rosenberg: In The Chameleon, I linked the four styles to four birds so they can be easily remembered. They include:
Eagles – assertive, driven and direct
Parrots – enthusiastic, talkative and upbeat
Doves – compassionate, helpful and harmonious
Owls – accurate, logical and inquisitive
While each of us is a combination of these four styles, there is likely to be one or two that drive our needs, motivators, and fears. These styles determine the type of environment in which an individual will thrive and the kind of manager with whom they will connect best. The individual’s bird type also reveals the type of job that is likely to feed rather than drain an individual, as well as how they will present themselves during the interview process.
Caprino: How do personality styles impact workplace happiness and minimize potential burnout?
Rosenberg: Given that engagement is the combination of productivity and job satisfaction, candidates need to consider a role that will allow them to be optimally effective, while at the same time, derive the highest levels of satisfaction from their day-to-day responsibilities.
Consider how workplace culture and the job itself impacts people with each of the four styles:
• Eagles seek a fast-paced environment in which they have a high level of decision-making authority. A restrictive culture boxes in the Eagles and make them feel disempowered.
• Parrots desire an upbeat and innovative culture in which new ideas are appreciated and positive feedback flows freely. An environment based on strict rules with little room for flexibility will stifle the Parrot.
• Doves need a harmonious and predictable culture in which their role is not filled with surprises. They seek a steady role that allows them to be supportive of others.
• Owls need a structured environment with clearly defined processes. They thrive in roles that allow them to work quietly through complex challenges.
As job candidates look for their next job at a future employer, they need to consider both the job and the culture. When people are in a position that allows them to play to their personality-driven strengths, they are likely to be energized by their culture. When they are in a job that requires them to stretch their style all day long, they are likely to be drained and ultimately burnout.
Caprino: How can you use the four styles to better understand the culture of the workplace of a potential employer.
Rosenberg: Once the individual gets hired, the next challenge is to hit the ground running. By flexibly utilizing all four styles, new hires can set themselves on a path to success.?? For example, a new hire taps into the Eagle style to assertively ask their manager to define acceptable levels of performance as well as superstar status. Imagine the benefit of asking a manager, “If we were to fast-forward to one year from today and you are giving me feedback on my performance for the past year – and I knocked it out of the park — what would I have done throughout the year to receive such glowing feedback?”
Engage Parrot energy to exude enthusiasm and charisma. Imagine being the manager of two people: one who passionately approaches every day with vigor and eagerness, the other who labors through their tasks to achieve their objectives. Parrot optimism and excitement allows you to feed positive energy into the work environment – and people who do that are the kind of people that manager wants to keep around.
Be the Dove and create harmony and trust. Look for opportunities to help the people around you. Not only will the support you provide be returned to you when you need it most, you will build strong connections to others and demonstrate your value to the team. How would you like to work with someone who occasionally asks you, “You look overwhelmed. How can I help you?”
As for Owls, they add structure and quality to the work environment. Track what you do so you can repeat your successes and avoid making the same mistakes twice. As a new hire, you aren’t expected to have all of the answers. Ask questions and seek to understand before you launch into a new project. Even the busiest managers appreciate when you ask, “I want to do this right the first time. Do you have a few minutes to answer a few questions?”
Caprino: How can a new grad use the four styles during the interview process to land a job that will drive success and satisfaction?
Rosenberg: Consider this three-step process:
1. The most successful and satisfied people are the most self-aware people.?? Therefore, the first step for job candidates is to ask themselves whether they are more like the Eagle, Parrot, Dove or Owl. Or perhaps, they embody two of the styles.
2. Next, job candidates can use the styles to determine what that means for the job and environment. For instance, if the individual self-identifies as a Parrot, they may ask questions about the culture to determine if they are a good cultural fit. The Parrot can ask, “Can you describe how innovation plays a role in your culture?”
3. After determining that the company is a good cultural fit, the individual can then turn to the job itself. Continuing with the example of a Parrot who thrives on multi-tasking, she might ask, “When you think of someone who would be a good fit for this role, are you looking for someone who likes to work on one thing and finish it completely before moving onto the next task or would you prefer someone who can juggle multiple priorities?”
Caprino: Finally, how can a new hire use the personality styles to build a strong relationship with their new manager?
Rosenberg: The four styles can be used to forge a strong and productive relationship with the manager. This is key to success and happiness in the workplace. Given that most people quit their manager, not their company, the relationship that a new hire cultivates from day 2 will lay a strong foundation.
Here is another opportunity to utilize the four styles. If you have an Eagle manager, be direct with him. Don’t provide a lot of detail and don’t expect it in return. If your manager is a Parrot, your enthusiasm will get her excited. Turn up the charisma.
If you have a Dove manager, remember that they value consensus and harmony. Be careful not to rock the boat. If your manager is an Owl, get it right the first time. Focus on quality and stick to the process. If you have concerns, express them logically, not emotionally.
Read the original article on Forbes.