In this blog we shall look at how God can guide us in regard to our future jobs and career. We can gain a fairly accurate picture of what God is calling us to do by taking a good look at who we are – what kind of personality we have.
God gives us personality traits fitted to our calling
We only need to look at the world in all its huge variety to know that God delights in diversity. Not only do our abilities differ radically but so do our personalities – each of us possesses different personality traits. Some of us are outgoing and spontaneous and like to live high energy, fast-paced lives, whilst at the other end of the spectrum are people who are more reserved and prefer to live more structured, slower-paced lives.
People can also be task-orientated, where outcomes and results are important or, at the opposite end, people-orientated, and are warm, relaxed and live by their feelings. Most of us are a mixture of all four of the above.
1 Corinthians 12:11 All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! (The Message)
When we find a job that suits our abilities and personality we will have a sense of peace or šālôm. The reason for this is that when we work according to our ability and personality we are also working according to the design that God set for our lives.
Insight into personality leads to insight into calling
The Bible (Hebrews 13:21) makes it clear that God has given us everything we need to perform His will. If you’re able to discover what sort of personality you have, then this will give you some idea about what God wants you to do for a living.
An assessment of your personality will not only benefit those of you seeking life direction but also those who need confirmation that a desire to do something is actually fixed in reality, i.e. will you be able to do the job? When you know ‘how you tick’ and also know the behavioural requirements for certain jobs you will hopefully begin to make some matches.
For example, an operator in a nuclear power station is legally obliged to adhere to set procedures, and the personality required for this job will be poles apart from that needed by someone working in PR or marketing, which requires innovation and creativity.
If you enjoy innovating, you may well find it frustrating to work as an operator in a nuclear power station where you would have to keep within the strict confines of many legal rules and regulations!
Paul – cut out for the job!
Paul the Evangelist is a great example of someone whose calling matched his abilities and personality. God’s plan for Paul always involved his conversion on the road to Damascus, and he ensured that Paul came equipped with the necessary personality, skill set and experience to take the Gospel to the Gentile world. If we allow God to mould us, similar to Paul, he will also prepare us so that we have what it takes to perform his will. Here is a list of some of Paul’s attributes that enabled him to be so effective in his ministry:
- Assertive – able to tell those in charge when they were in the wrong (Galatians 2:11)
- Adaptable – content in both times of plenty and want (Philippians 4:12)
- Observant and creative – use of the unknown god (Acts 17:23)
- Energetic and bold – initially against the early church, but later used to excellent effect to spread the Gospel (Philippians 3:6)
- Determined – disregarding his violent past, he concentrated solely on completing God’s plans for his future (Philippians 3:13)
- Focussed – would not let others stop him from going to Jerusalem (Acts 21:14)
- Dual citizenship – this enabled him to approach Jews, Romans and Gentiles
- (1 Corinthians 9:19-23)
- Highly qualified – he received excellent legal and theological training (Acts 22:3)
- Insight – Paul’s knowledge of God was so deep that he even confused Peter! (2 Peter 3:16)
Even though our calling might be different to Paul’s, God has given each of us distinct abilities and personalities to perform a particular task. Our challenge is to accept the way that he has made us and to run with the qualities we have been given. Once we understand what sort of personality we have, we shall gain an insight into God’s calling on our life.
Personality profiling, or sometimes referred to as psychometric testing, is a means of measuring an individual’s personality or behaviour, and provides a snapshot view of behaviour that comes subconsciously to most people. It is also frequently used in the job interview process, but can equally be a used in our gaining an understanding of what sort of personalities we have.
There are any number of personality profiling tests that you can take, such as Morrisby and Myers-Briggs®, but many can cost upwards of £300 for a full report. However, here are some useful websites that offer some very affordable (or free) personality profiling services: