I recently finished reading the popular Divergent series of books where a future society is divided into five factions of people based on social behaviors and personality. While reading this series, I found myself periodically drawing comparisons between the personalities of individuals in factions, and the real-world process of assessing people in terms of their potential suitability for certain jobs based on their behavioral traits. Of course, many job seekers will fall into one (or more) of these “faction” categories in the real world as our society isn’t quite as black and white as the Chicago we know from Divergent. So…which faction would you join, and how can you use the unique traits that you personally embrace to be beneficial to the organization into which you are hired?
The main character Tris, is born into the Abnegation sector where everyone is taught to be selfless at all times. This can be a great characteristic to have for many types of jobs. If you are in a sales or service job, putting others’ needs before your own will likely prove to be especially rewarding. Customer satisfaction would be very high and your company will be happy to have someone who is dedicated to the team for which they work. Types of jobs for which this could be most beneficial might include nursing or customer service representatives.
This sector of people in the novel are considered the intelligent ones. This type of candidate has a continued thirst for knowledge and is curious about how things work, often asking the question “Why?” in regards to any situation. Some people with this trait may seem to border on being too arrogant, but this is not intentional…they just want to educate others and be as educated as possible, themselves. This style of thinking is very beneficial for many types of jobs, especially technical jobs such as engineering, the legal field or the sciences.
One of the most focused on groups in the book, the Dauntless are considered the brave. Some might view this style of candidate as reckless, but they use courage to overcome fear…no matter the situation, and push forward to succeed. This style of person would be great for project management and leadership roles where making tough decisions can mean you are not always everyone’s favorite person. Other types of roles that might fit would be security- or military-related…or even an Alaskan crab fisherman!
The novel talks about this group as the peaceful and forgiving faction. This type of candidate will be one to avoid conflict and keep neutral. These traits are fantastic to have in an organization, especially larger groups. This candidate is still strong and confident but they understand that it is okay to not “win” every situation in order for the greater good of the group. Jobs that might be a good fit for this style are counselors or teachers.
This final faction is comprised of the especially honest individuals. They believe in truth and openness even if it causes hurt feelings, though not intentionally. This need to be honest is a wonderful trait to have in all types of jobs, especially when working with very detailed information and in positions where a brand or company reputation especially must convey trust and integrity.
Tips for Finding Your Faction(s)
Every interview candidate should keep in mind that we all have a different set of behavioral characteristics, and some traits will be more suitable for certain kinds of jobs. In general, people will be less stressed when they are able to recognize in themselves the qualities that will make them happy in a position…and then when they are able to obtain that kind of position.
Companies can use an employee assessment tool to help understand more about what motivates the candidate in a work environment, and how to find the best job fit for the company and the candidate. From the candidate’s perspective, it’s important to focus on strengths, not weaknesses. No person is perfect so make sure to know in which categories you have strengths and focus on them and how they will help the organization for which you are applying.