Can the workplace improve our personalities?

Professor Chia-Huei Wu co-authored an article in Psychology Today published on 13 May 2021, based on his recent research on personality changes and the role of work.

The Psychology Today article, co-authored by Professor Chiahuei Wu and Lena Wang discusses recent research into the relationship between personality and work, and how personalities are less fixed than previously thought. 

Professor Wu, Director of the Workplace Behaviour Research Centre, published a significant study in 2020 finding that prolonged episodes of job insecurity can lead to a small increase in neuroticism over time and a small decrease in agreeableness and conscientiousness.

The authors of the Psychology Today article however focus on the repicrol nature of personality and work, and the positive implications that their findings have on personality growth and development. The authors argue that ‘the relationship between personality and work environment tends to be bidirectional—they shape each other’. The authors suggest that people are not necessarily pawns at the mercy of their environment, but can set and reach personality change goals in positive working environments. People can contribute to the positive shaping of their personality by entering certain environments and careers, such as highly secure and motivating industries or leadership roles. The authors add: 

We can also actively shape our personality journey—if we have the intention and are committed to such an endeavour.

Read the full article in Psychology Today.

Find out more about Professor Wu’s research into job insecurity and personality changes.