The Power of Emotional Intelligence in Finding the Right Occupation


Choosing a career path that aligns with our personalities can significantly impact our happiness and engagement in the workplace. Recent research* at UNSW suggests that certain jobs attract individuals with predictable personalities, and when there is harmony between one’s temperament and occupation, it leads to greater satisfaction. In this blog, we will explore the relationship between emotional intelligence and occupation using the 7MTF model of temperament and the recent research.

Understanding the Connection:

According to the research personality correlates strongly with job choices, potentially outweighing factors such as skills, experience, and abilities. The study revealed that only 11% of workers are in jobs that perfectly fit their personalities, while a significant 64% find themselves in a less-than-ideal match. This mismatch between personality and occupation can result in dissatisfaction, disengagement, and even counterproductive behaviours.

The 7MTF Model:

The 7MTF model of temperament provides valuable insights into how personality traits influence career choices. The model categorizes individuals into seven dimensions:  By understanding these traits, employers and individuals can identify patterns and clusters of occupations that attract people exhibiting similar personality characteristics.  For more information watch this 4-minute video introduction to the 7MTF,

Examples of Personality-Occupation Matches:

The research revealed fascinating associations between certain jobs and specific personality traits. For instance, office managers, fitness instructors, flight attendants, and beauticians tend to be outgoing, detail-oriented, and respectful of authority. On the other hand, industrial designers, creative directors, and executive producers excel at listening, understanding the needs and feelings of others, and are known for their empathy.


If you sign up to my Introduction to the 7MTF online-video course you will learn the TOPDOG method to quickly establish a person’s dominant temperament components.  I invented the TOPDOG in 1989 when I wrote Empathy Selling and it stands for six clues: Talk-Organisation-Position-Dress- Office-Gambit.

You can work out your best occupation by using the Organisation & Position clues in reverse.

Navigating the Path to Career Fulfillment:

The study also emphasized the significance of emotional intelligence in the workplace. Emotional intelligence encompasses the ability to recognize, understand, and manage our own emotions while also being attuned to the emotions of others. Occupations that require high emotional intelligence, such as artists, authors, photographers, comedians, and actors, were found to attract individuals who are compassionate, emotionally aware, and possess a keen understanding of patterns and trends.

When individuals find occupations that align with their personalities, the research indicates that they experience higher levels of engagement and happiness.  It highlights the importance of considering personality alongside skills and experience when evaluating job candidates and developing strategies for employee well-being and job satisfaction.

For those currently working in an occupation that may not be the best fit for their personalities, this research serves as a wake-up call. It urges individuals to reflect on their current job satisfaction and consider whether they are in the right career path. Exploring alternative fields that match their temperament can lead to greater fulfillment and engagement.


People drive performance, emotions drive people, temperament drives emotions.

Emotional intelligence plays a significant role in finding the right occupation for individuals. By understanding the connection between temperament traits and job choices, both employers and individuals can make more informed decisions. Aligning our personalities with our occupations can foster happiness, engagement, and overall career fulfillment. As we navigate our professional journeys, it is essential to recognize the power of emotional intelligence and strive to find the perfect balance between who we are and the work we do.

*Thanks to follower Charles Lowe for sending me the link to this paper.


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Chris Golis - Author


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