Forbes magazine has identified seven different types of home working personality: the hybrid, the honeymooner, the overachiever, the solo act, the introvert, the creature of habit and the natural.
Why you should be aware of your home working style?
Many people will look at this table and recognise themselves in one or two of these categories. Identifying your working style and personality type will help you to understand your strengths and weaknesses.
While many people may be aware of what they are good at, they often struggle to explain their weaknesses and what they are doing to address them. So the clearer you are about your working style and personality traits, the better equipped you will be to tackle any perceived weaknesses and turn them into strengths.
Let’s use the notion of “The Solo Act” as an example.
We could extrapolate that these workers tend to be in middle to senior management roles. In an interview situation, an applicant could explain that a strength is their ability to get on with a task with minimal supervision. They could explain that they are quick to grasp what is required and look to create strategies to ensure that the work gets done. However, they could also explain that this preference to work independently sometimes hinders their creativity and that they recognise that they should do more to involve others and delegate tasks. In this instance, the applicant could explain how they plan to overcome this – for example by introducing more team-working initiatives or having regular updates with others to ensure effective collaboration. This could be face-to-face, via video conferencing or by using project management tools such as Basecamp.
The result is that through their understanding of their personality and working style, the applicant could make a much better impression and improve their employment prospects.
Do personality types link in with specific roles?
It stands to reason that different personality types are attracted to specific professions. For example, we know that creative personalities often work well in marketing and PR roles. We also know that those who are very driven by attention to detail make great administrative or finance professionals.
From looking at the different personality styles of home workers, we can see some clear examples of personality traits linking to the four specialist areas that we recruit in: HR, Finance, Marketing and Administration.
Based on the personality types listed by Forbes, we can see that “overachievers” would be ‘typical’ HR practitioners. This is because HR professionals (particularly those in senior roles) are very efficient and process-driven. They may be keen to lead by example and show that remote working can be as productive as office-based work.
HR professionals may also fit in with “natural” and “hybrid” personality types. Their training and understanding of psychology and human behaviour may make them more adaptable than those in other roles. However, some HR professionals may struggle with remote working in the long term, simply because HR is about people and there will always be a strong desire to interact in person. Practically, policies and procedures may also be difficult to implement across a large workforce that works entirely remotely.
Another process-driven profession, those working in finance may feel that they are “introverts”. This is because the role is very detail-orientated, with minimal team working. As finance professionals tend to work independently on their tasks, they may get used to the isolation of home working. This could be a challenge for line managers to ensure that communication channels remain open and everyone pulls together in the same direction.
As a creative industry, it’s no surprise that marketing professionals may align themselves with the role of “overachiever”. Like colleagues working in HR, the last few months have been incredibly busy for marketing teams who have had to adapt to new communications challenges.
Marketing is a team profession, and we anticipate that while most marketers and PR practitioners may lend themselves to “natural” or “hybrid” personality types, there could be an element of “the solo act” as well. It’s a challenge for employees to be able to maintain independent working while still focusing on collaboration with their colleagues and the wider business. Remote working has only added to this challenge, as many great marketing ideas are inspired by conversations with others. This is why many marketing teams have taken steps to introduce new ways of collaborating remotely.
Administrative professionals may identify with “the creature of habit” personality type. Many admin tasks tend to be repetitive and administrative staff often enjoy being organised and knowing exactly what they need to do each day.
Use this knowledge to aid your job search
As in life, there are many different business personas and styles of working. We’re sure that these personality types identified by Forbes can be split into sub-sections as well – and while we can probably find a bit of ourselves in every category, there is likely to be one that dominates and says ‘that’s me!’
Whether you agree with Forbes’ research or not, it is worth taking a bit of time to reflect on your home working style and how it compares to your office-based approach. What motivates you? When are you most productive? How easily do you get distracted? Do you need other people to bring out the best in you? Do you work better in splendid isolation?
By understanding who you are and what you need to work effectively, it becomes easier to know what to look for when it comes to searching for (and landing) your ideal job.
At Allen Associates, we have over 20 years’ experience in helping candidates throughout Oxford and London find the right job for them. To find out how our team of consultants can help you to decipher your preferred remote working style and match you to the right role with the right employer, please get in touch.