How Personality Tests Can Help You Excel in Your Career

By Drew D'Agostino

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There has been a recent spike in the popularity of personality tests and for good reason. With new technology, you can learn quite a lot about yourself, even from just a 5-minute quiz.

Modern personality tests can be powerfully accurate. They offer insights into your likes, dislikes, potential strengths, communication style, and more, which can be incredibly helpful for anyone who’s looking to harness their strengths and hedge their weaknesses to push themselves forward in their career. There are many ways these insights can benefit you: they can make it easier to understand your own actions, learn more about others, and find a job that fits who you are.

One personality model, or way of discussing personality, that’s rising in popularity is the DISC model. With insights offered by DISC, you can discover more about yourself and use this knowledge to be more successful at work.

Understanding Personality

For those who aren’t familiar, DISC is a personality model that classifies different personalities into four categories: D (dominance), I (influence), S (steadiness), and C (conscientiousness). Personalities can be broken down even further into sixteen archetypes, but they fall within the four broad groups. Here’s a breakdown:

D-type personalities tend to be naturally assertive and confident. They are comfortable stating what they want and working toward their set goals. They are usually high-energy and extroverted but are able to focus on the task at hand.

I-types are creative social-butterflies. They enjoy connecting with others and thinking up new, innovative ideas. They are adaptable and idealistic, often pursuing exciting opportunities with an open mind and an optimistic outlook.

S-types are warm, loyal peacekeepers. They place the most value on their deep relationships with friends and family. They tend to be very patient, even-tempered people who enjoy helping others and following a consistent plan.

C-types tend to be very reserved and thoughtful. They often need a lot of data and specific evidence to buy into an idea. They rely on stable, trusted systems and are exacting in their work.


In order to thrive in your career, you need to have a better understanding of what really drives you as a person. Some people are motivated by measurable goals, while others feel more energized by their relationships with their coworkers. Every personality is a little different in what drives them. By understanding your motivations, you can make sure your role is set up to motivate you to succeed.

Dominant D-types tend to be motivated by…

  • Exceeding performance expectations and overcoming challenges
  • Competition and winning 
  • Producing results and making tangible progress
  • Efficiency and timeliness

Creative I-types tend to be motivated by…

  • Exploration and discovery
  • Fun, novelty, and excitement
  • Feeling accepted and welcomed by others
  • Learning through open discussion and brainstorming

Supportive S-types tend to be motivated by…

  • Long-term trust and loyalty
  • Harmony and predictability
  • Environmental and relational predictability
  • Being able to help others

Analytical C-types tend to be motivated by…

  • Accuracy and precision
  • Building an effective process
  • Developing their skill, competence, and expertise
  • Environments where thought and analysis are valued

When you're able to engage with tasks that motivate you on a regular basis, you'll feel energized and excited by your work. When you love what you do, your productivity levels will skyrocket and you'll have a bigger impact on your workplace.

Harnessing Your Strengths and Managing Your Weaknesses

In order to thrive and succeed in your career, it’s important to have a good grasp of your natural strengths and weaknesses. The best job for you is one that gives you plenty of opportunities to utilize your strengths while avoiding tasks that you might not be great at. Learning more about your strengths and weaknesses will help you take advantage of your skills while consciously managing the areas you have more trouble in.

Direct, confident D-types’ strengths tend to lie in their ability to make quick decisions, successfully lead groups of people, and comfortably assume responsibility. They are often able to work at a quick pace and motivate others to accomplish important goals. However, they have a tendency to rush projects and can be critical of other people. D-types should be aware of how their intense focus and direct tone can impact others. They should work to be more empathetic and considerate of the people around them.

Optimistic, social I-types tend to be skilled at thinking outside the box, building personal connections with new people, and motivating others. They are likely to spot important opportunities for advancement and come up with innovative solutions to complicated problems. While their creativity and adaptability can be great for a workplace, their tendency to overlook details and move on too quickly from projects may be harmful. I-types should try to be more organized and focused when their work affects others.

Supportive, warm S-types are likely to be good at building strong, lasting connections with other people, providing a stabilizing presence in difficult circumstances, and using low-risk solutions. They tend to be consistent, trustworthy people who invest deeply in their relationships with friends, family, and coworkers. S-types, though, may have a difficult time sharing their frustrations and asserting themselves in conversations. They tend to keep unpopular opinions to themselves, which may end up hurting them and potentially others. To make sure their voice is heard, they should push themselves to be more firm and direct when addressing a concern.

Logical, reserved C-types’ strengths often lie in remaining realistic, carefully thinking through decisions, and identifying specific issues or errors. They are talented analysts who search for evidence and data before trusting in a solution. However, C-types may avoid necessary risk and withdraw into themselves too often. In order to prevent missing out on important opportunities or relationships, they should work toward trying something new and opening up to others.

Embracing your strengths and understanding your weaknesses are both key parts of being confident in your abilities and comfortable in your role. You can build upon and lean into your strengths while planning for and overcoming your weaknesses to excel in your career. 

Understand Yourself

When you take the time to learn more about who you are, you’re more likely to approach your career with confidence. Understanding what you have to offer an organization and knowing what responsibilities motivate you are both important pieces for excelling in a role that best fits you. 

About the Author: 

Greg Skloot ( is the President & COO of Crystal and a passionate evangelist for leveraging AI to help people understand anyone’s personality and build stronger relationships. He is the co-author of a book published by Wiley in 2019, Predicting Personality: Using AI to understand people and win more business. He was recognized by Forbes as 30 Under 30 in enterprise technology. To learn more about your own personality take a free personality test from Crystal.

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