Impulse of the research project “New Job, New You”: Personalities at the Workplace

A change of job brings with it a variety of challenges and has an impact on the further development of one’s own personality – but what exactly is the significance of the organizational context? This is the question addressed by the research project “New Job, New You? Personal Development at Work” conducted by the Chair of Research and Science Management at TUM. Participants who have recently changed jobs are surveyed by the researchers at regular intervals –  and receive impulses by e-mail on topics such as home office and dealing with different personalities at work. Participation in the research project is still possible.

The impulses support the participants in meeting the challenges of their job change in a reflective manner. Particularly important and therefore the topic of the current impulse: In a new company, you will meet many unknown personalities. How do you deal with new colleagues in order to work together effectively? How can you smoothly integrate your own personality into the new environment?

The researchers advise that the first step is to become aware of how different personality traits are dominant in oneself. Currently, the best-researched model is the Big 5 or five-factor model. According to this model, personality can be described in terms of its expression on five main dimensions: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Emotional Stability (Neuroticism). People differ in their expressions on these five traits. Instead of dividing people into “types,” the Big 5 model creates individual personality profiles. The model is also a good way of assessing colleagues. In their impulse, the TUM scientists give various examples of the conclusions that can be drawn from their observations.

Personality gives clues to constructive ways of collaboration

If one meets a new team member who has predominantly extroverted character and personality traits, it pays to show initiative and proactively initiate joint activities. In contrast, more introverted people tend to appreciate quiet discussion situations. They prefer to control the closeness and distance themselves, especially with new colleagues. With very conscientious colleagues, it is advisable to inform them regularly about progress in order to take into account their desire for structure. If the other person is more relaxed, you should proactively set goals and have the opportunity to establish your own structures.

By the way, interested people who have just changed their employer can register to participate in the research project via this link. They will then receive the next impulse with further tips in their mailbox.

About “New Job, New You”

Over a period of three years, the project investigates the development of individuals after a job change. For this purpose, participants are surveyed at intervals of three to six months using an online questionnaire or personal interviews. For example, the researchers are interested in questions such as: How do you deal with challenges when changing jobs? How do you perceive your new environment?

The project is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and is conducted in cooperation with the TUM Institute for LifeLong Learning. It is led by Prof. Dr. Claudia Peus and Dr. habil. Armin Pircher Verdorfer (University of Amsterdam) with the collaboration of Dr. Martin Fladerer and Clarissa Zwarg. For more information on the research project, please visit the website of the Chair of Research and Science Management.

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