Could your professional predisposition determine your career or life course? Can they make you grapple with the constant shift of jobs? Could they cause you frustration, boredom, or exhaustion at work?

It seems almost unbelievable that such an inconspicuous thing as professional preferences can mess up your life. Yet it is quite possible that the source of many problems is a mismatch in your aptitude for work.


According to the dictionary definition, predisposition is a trait related to someone’s inclinations or skills, the possession of which makes someone particularly suitable for something.

Occupational predispositions are the innate ability to perform a specific job. They reflect our preferences regarding certain behaviors, activities and professions. Some people call predisposition a “professional calling”.

Each of us has different predispositions that may facilitate or hinder work in specific professions and professional environments.

Predispositions are closely related to giftedness. They also include your personality traits, temperaments, interests and even values.

Predispositions are shaped by your strong personality traits and by your life experiences. The environment in which you grow up also has a big influence on their shaping.

It is difficult to change predispositions because they are strong traits. That is why it is so important to look for such activities and professional environments that will be compatible with your predispositions. Adapting your job to your innate preferences and abilities will increase your chances of deriving satisfaction from it.


Sometimes predisposition is confused with competence. So what is the difference between predispositions and competencies? Do they mean the same?

Competencies are defined as the ability to perform a task in accordance with specific standards important for a given professional group. Competence is simply efficiency in action.

Competence consists of the level of performance, training in a given activity, your actual experience and knowledge. An important part of the competencies is also your belief in your own ability to cope with given tasks.

Without the required abilities or personality predispositions, certain competencies cannot develop. You may have an inborn predisposition to perform certain tasks, but not yet have competences, because you lack a combination of knowledge, experience and effectiveness in action.


The most popular method of checking professional aptitude tests. The first tests should be done at school by a career counselor or psychologist. Thanks to this, you get to know your features and specific predispositions at an early stage of life. Being aware of what you are born with can make it easier for you to choose a school, a profession and guide your career.

Most of the tests for checking professional predispositions are based on the concept of the American psychologist John Lewis Holland. Holland believed that professional predispositions were innate traits shaped by the influence of the environment, values ​​and life experiences.

According to John Holland’s theory, predispositions make us strive to find a profession and environment that matches our innate inclinations and abilities.

Holland has identified 6 preferences that make up 6 types of professional personality and work environments:

  • realistic
  • research
  • artistic
  • social
  • enterprising
  • conventional

We have features of each type in hierarchically decreasing intensity. The “pure” types are generally absent. Usually, we are characterized by one dominant type, and the others are less intense. However, all types are an integral part of the human personality.

Our strongest correspondence with the dominant type develops on the basis of life experiences and has a decisive influence on the course of the professional career.


Knowledge of predispositions is useful primarily in the professional sphere. Predisposition to work is important not only for people looking for a satisfying job but also for employers.

An employee who can use his natural abilities works more effectively and with greater commitment. This effectiveness at work resulting from predisposition matching can even directly affect profits or other benefits for the company. Such an employee, if properly appreciated, changes jobs less frequently.

However, being aware of your innate professional inclinations and preferences is most useful to you. Especially if you feel something is wrong at work.

If you are predisposed to work with people, you will struggle with systems and data. On the other hand, someone who loves analyzing data and solving problems will quickly burn out working in, for example, customer service.

Continuing to complete tasks that don’t match your preferences can make you feel exhausted or bored. Both in the long run lead to professional burnout. And this, in turn, is to look for a new job or change a profession.

By knowing your career preferences well, you can save yourself a lot of professional disappointment.


Interestingly, John Holland believed that you can predict a person’s behavior, career choices, career path, and even life!

He based his theory on the existence of strong relationships between predispositions and opportunities offered by a specific type of work environment. He assumed that if you do not like a given environment, you start looking for a better place for yourself.

If the environment does not meet your needs for self-actualization and realizing your full potential, then frustration arises. Motivation to work and efficiency drop, which translates into even greater difficulties with achieving success and fulfillment in professional life.

According to Holland, each of us strives to find an environment that will allow us to use our skills and be in line with our interests. We are still looking for an environment that prefers certain styles of action, thinking and problem-solving.


Finding an environment suited to your professional personality type will allow you to use more than your innate qualities and talents. In a supportive work environment, you are more active, you can make full use of your skills and express your values. An adapted environment will also give you more opportunities for further development and self-realization.

People who are psychologically suited to their work are more involved, interested in its content and are more successful.

This relationship of job alignment with work and life satisfaction is especially strong if your career is at the top of your value hierarchy. Depending on how closely your job fits, your degree of commitment to the job may change.

If you dream of getting more satisfaction from your job, look for activities and environments that match your professional personality. The greater the degree of fit, the more likely your dream will eventually come true.


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