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Thursday, 3 December 2015


A couple of years back during my senior secondary school days, my father was more than less disappointed at the choice I made; Science, instead of Arts. Dad expected his beloved son to follow the steps of his own successful younger brother who at the time was a reputable and prominent High Court Judge in the State. He always expected I would go into the Law field, though he did not impose it on me.

Nowadays, it’s common to see a kid who’s just clocked 7 years confidently saying, “I want to be a Dentist” probably because his Dentist Uncle usually works on his teeth or take him out to amusement parks. Another instance could be that of a misguided teenager who watches a couple of war videos and heroic military acts and suddenly makes up his mind to join the force. In the real sense, it’s rash and hilarious!
Having said the following, be cautioned not to paint the picture wrongly. Discouraging early dreams and aspirations is the least I’m trying to attain. Dreams are good. If properly groomed, dreams can metamorphose into a lifetime of success. Unfortunately, this piece is not dedicated to inspire your ‘dreamability’ but is channeled in the direction of choosing a career based on the inherent traits you’ve found within yourself. The objective is to stir up the curiosity and yearning to know who you really are and what career options you could fit in.

To proceed, it’s essential to put the horse before the chart by basic explanation of terminologies as less-ambiguous as possible. Personality is a summation of those attributes or qualities that form a person’s character. It is the totality of inherent traits, environmental influence, education etc that is manifested in a person over a long period of time or his lifetime. Inherent traits are those characteristics we take from our parents. It could be eye color, height, choice of food, quick temper, love for arts, etc. It’s purely biological and embedded in our DNAs. Inherent traits form the basis of our temperaments which is the backbone of our personalities. Temperament and personality are separated by a very thin line, though the former is a subset of the later. Your temperament is the reason you shy away from asking questions in class. Your temperament is the reason you draw someone’s attention to the fact that he stepped on your shoes, rather than letting go.  It is the reason you prefer listening to rock music instead of rhythm and blues. Temperament is the reason you feel like digging up the ground and burying yourself when you face an embarrassing situation. Temperament is the reason you act the way you do. Tim LaHaye did a good job in outlining the four temperaments, their characteristics, their possible combinations and their management in his book, Why You Act The Way You Do. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who is yet to discover and understand his temperament(s).

Enough with the personality jargons, let’s proceed to career.  The word career has more than one meaning. In this context, career is used to describe an occupation or profession that usually involves special training or formal education and is considered to be a person’s lifetime work.

One can therefore say that this article is targeted at helping individuals who understand their temperaments to go for professions that are tailored for such temperaments.

During my university years, I met a couple of guys whose attitude toward Engineering was very different from mine. Then, I understood very little about temperaments. While I was focused on building my grade points, these guys were putting in the same amount of energy and concentration on campus politics, social activities or pleasurable adventures and most times, they performed woefully in academics. This group of people ended up wasting five long years on the wrong track, probably because of parental influence, desperation, peer pressure or societal demands. One of my close colleagues hated not just the complex calculations of Engineering but everything about the course. On getting close, I realized he just needed the degree to satisfy his Dad who was an Engineer himself.  Surprisingly, he was good at composing and recording songs.

A very crucial factor in career choice is interest. Interests are those activities that draw your attention, arouse your curiosity and spark up your spirits. One’s interest in any endeavor should be guided by his or her temperaments. It makes the subject of interest more enjoyable and natural.

Some people’s temperaments allow them to be eloquent speakers who captivate their audiences, make them laugh or convince them on a particular point of view. We see these kinds of people everywhere. They argue with reasonable points, they possess confidence, they can even spur you up with words to walk on hot coals and you would seriously consider the idea. A person with such temperament should have no business in medical or engineering profession. Law would be a very suitable field of career, likewise Marketing and Advertisement, Public Speaking, Counseling, Politics, Teaching, etc.  

An individual with one of the mild temperaments is more likely to appreciate works of art such as literature, music, painting, aesthetics etc. they appreciate forms, shapes and texture. They are perfectionists who don’t mind taking hours or days to make sure what they do satisfies them or their audience. They love orderliness, tranquility and sometimes, solitude. Persons with such a temperament are more suitable as Writers, Musicians, Decorators, Artists, Sculptors, Secretaries, Designers etc.

There are also the strong temperaments. People who possess these tend to display decisive, well-planned and organized actions. They do not get intimidated of fearful about people’s opinion once they have their minds fixed. This kind of group could go extra miles, even using the potentials of others to get what they want. They do not get easily moved by tragedy. Even in the face of difficulties, they do not breakdown but rather focus their thoughts on how to breakout. People of this nature mostly fit into the Military cadre, Business World/Sole Proprietorship, certain Sports Activities, Political Offices etc.

Another temperament could trigger curiosity on natural/human phenomenon. It makes the individual want to know the whys and hows of life.  Such individuals could spend sleepless nights trying to investigate or solve a particular problem. The professions suitable for such group include Science and Engineering, Medicine, Psychology, Crime Investigation, Journalism, Philosophy   etc.

Notwithstanding the above temperamental illustrations, certain individuals may possess up to two different temperaments thereby giving them a distinct blend of attributes. Also, the careers mentioned above under these temperaments have not been exhausted.

It is therefore very vital for one to be mature enough to study and understand himself before making a choice of career. The thing you do for the rest of your life should be enjoyable and natural, not burdensome or boring. It should not necessarily be about the money or societal significance but about your personal satisfaction.

 If you feel you do not really understand your temperament(s), it’s very normal. The first step is recognizing the problem. The next is seeking a way out. A Psychologist or Counselor can help in guiding you to unlock your understanding of yourself so as to maximize your potentials for good. Many people get scared when they hear any word beginning with ‘psycho’. Visiting a Psychologist doesn’t mean you’re sick or impaired. It means you’re consulting a professional to do his job.

You can also read books related to the subject of discussion. Make that move today and you’ll save yourself the headache associated with wrong career choice. Your personality is a tool of service to humanity. Imagine what a waste it would be if TuFace Idibia went into boxing or Lionel Messi delved into rap music.


  1. si if i have an
    explosive temperament what job should i choose?

  2. Thank you for your comment Drake.
    Remember, the objective of this piece is to stir up the curiosity and yearning to know who you really are and what career options you could fit in. We cannot specifically tell you to pick up a particular career. Find out your actual temperament and see how to use the strong points in areas of interest.


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