A woman standing at work staring out the window.

Finding the right career can be tough. When you’re starting out in your career, it can feel like you have a million and one options to choose from, but no clue how to find the right career path for you.

When you add in the thousands of career resources, experts, and assessments available online, it can be even harder to tell what career move is best.

The truth is, finding a career you love doesn’t have to be complicated. If you can focus on the core aspects of your personality, you can cut out the noise and gain instant clarity on the types of jobs that you’re best suited to

To learn more about your personality at work and find the ideal career for your personality type, here’s how to use the DISC assessment to your advantage.

What is the DISC assessment?

Take a browse through our site and you’ll find a whole library of personality tests to tell you more about your skills, needs, strengths and motivations. These personality assessments all have their own advantages when you’re looking to learn more about yourself, your relationships and your career. But alongside a career aptitude test (which should always form part of your career planning), the DISC assessment can give you some additional insights you may not have thought about when figuring out your career. 

As a quick overview, the DISC assessment identifies four basic styles: Drive (D), Influence (I), Support (S) and Clarity (C). Most people identify with one or two of these styles – for example, you may be an Influence type with Support as a secondary characteristic, which would make you an I/s style. There are 12 styles in total in DISC but the most important thing to know is your main style, which is D, I, S or C. 

When it comes to career planning, this simplicity of having four styles gives you an instant insight into your personality and the types of careers that you’re ideally suited to.

The test itself is intuitive and quick. Go with your gut and answer the questions based on instinct rather than overthinking. Then see your results in a simple graphic that gives you a snapshot of your personality in just a few seconds.

What makes DISC special?

Obviously, the DISC assessment will help you understand your strengths, challenges and the values you prioritize – most personality tests do that. What’s special about DISC is it is more situational than other tests.

Instead of labeling you as a specific type, it tells you how you might behave in certain environments and situations. For example, you may work in a fast-paced, direct way when the team has a time-critical project, which leans into Drive traits. But you may flip into a more collaborative, mentoring style (Support) when you’re working with junior members on your team.  

Everyone can lean into all the DISC styles and adapting between styles doesn't mean your core personality will change. However, you will find it draining if you're having to work with a less-dominant style for too long. These insights serve as a valuable tool, guiding you to understand how you would respond in different teams, environments and work situations – not just in different careers – which adds an extra dimension to your career planning.

With that in mind, here are four areas where knowing your DISC style can help you make smarter career choices. 

1. Choose your ideal work environment

Part of understanding your unique strengths and abilities is also understanding the type of workplaces that you’re most likely to love. Your DISC assessment gives you an instant insight into how you tend to behave in certain situations and environments, which you can use to shape your career choices.

For example, an Influence personality type is more likely to enjoy a sociable and communication-heavy work environment, such as a customer-facing role, rather than being stuck in the back room. A high Clarity person will probably be happier in a solitary role where they can take responsibility for their work and focus on their own goals rather than on their relationships with other people.

During interviews, ask questions to learn more about the company culture you’ll be going into, such as “How much work is done in teams versus individual work?” or “How do you typically communicate within teams?” This will help you figure out if the environment supports your DISC style. 

2. Understand how you respond in different work situations

One of the hardest things to understand about yourself is how you’re likely to react in different situations ahead of time. Sure, you can look back retrospectively on why certain things did or didn’t work out, but knowing ahead of time what you’re likely to struggle with can help you to avoid work environments that you’ll find challenging or straight up miserable.

The DISC assessment gives you a simplified guide to your behavior at work and in teams. For example, your DISC assessment can tell you whether you’re more likely to be conflict avoidant – which is common for Support individuals  – or comfortable in competitive and sometimes conflict-heavy environments like Drive individuals. Choose a career where you have the best chance of success and where your true self can thrive.

3. Find your dream coworkers

DISC also gives you a quick look at how you tend to act with other people in the workplace. This can help shape your career choices when it comes to choosing a workplace culture, so you can understand the types of environments that you’re most likely to love, as well as the ones to avoid.

For example, Influence individuals prioritize social interactions with others, whereas high Drive and high Clarity people often prefer to work alone. That means Influence individuals are more likely to thrive in social teams with tons of opportunities to collaborate on projects, hang out after work, do team-building activities and share ideas. Clarity people will probably prefer the opposite! It’s important to think about your ideal interactions with coworkers before taking a work-from-home job, for example.  

4. Learn your leadership style

Even if you’re just starting your career, the DISC assessment can give you valuable insights into your leadership style and how you’re likely to find the experience of having more responsibility in the future. 

For example, Support individuals may struggle with giving direction and setting goals for a team, so when you’re choosing a career look out for organizations that prioritize learning and development programs to help you be better prepared for any leadership roles down the line.

If you’re a high Drive or Influence type, you can go into your career with confidence that you’ll take managerial and leadership responsibilities in your stride. You’ve got this – but will the career and company you’re interested in give you the leadership opportunities you crave?

Use the DISC assessment as a tool for better career planning

Choosing a career can be a scary time. But knowing your DISC type can help you to be more confident and intentional in your career planning, so you can approach potential employers, interviews, and your future day job with self-belief and self-confidence. When you’re confident that you’re ideally suited to the role, you can go after it with conviction.

And if you’re looking to dive into your personality in more detail, then use DISC alongside other personality assessments like the Truity career personality profiler. If you want to find your dream career, start by getting to know yourself a little better and stay true to your type.

Elizabeth Harris
Elizabeth is a freelance writer and ghostwriter. She’s an anthropologist at heart and loves using social theory to get deeper into the topics she writes about. Born in the UK, Elizabeth has lived in Copenhagen, Frankfurt and Dubai before moving most recently to Budapest, Hungary. She’s an ENTJ with ENFJ leanings. Find out more about her work at bethharris.com