I always hear a lot of talk about whether or not following your passion is the way to choose your career path. Well, several recent studies take a different approach by suggesting that understanding your personality traits and characteristics, rather than your passion, are what is key to career fulfillment and success.

An article posted by the UK firm Adecco reports that more employers are actively seeking personalities that fit their company environment in addition to skills and qualifications–that’s not that surprising. But, recent “research has [also] shown that choosing a job to which you are inherently suited –rather than just able to convince the interviewer you are interested in – will make you a happier, more productive employee.”

Understanding what roles you are best suited to based on your personality is what will make you the most happy at work. To further back up this premise, another study conducted at the University of Zurich found that people “who can apply [their] personal character strengths in [their] careers, experience more enjoyment, flow and meaning at work.”

The Zurich study calls these personal character strengths “signature strengths” that are “particularly distinctive for a person and which he or she likes to use frequently.” Signature strengths can be regarded as friendliness, self-control, kindness–characteristics that you exhibit and practice daily. According to the study, people generally have three to seven signature strengths and the more strengths an employee can actually use the workplace, the more satisfied and productive he or she is.

In comparison, the Adecco report recommends using a Myers Briggs or Holland Code test to discover your strongest personality traits. These tests tend to define you as for example, a ‘realistic’ type or an ‘artistic’ type. Based on your tendency to lean to towards a certain type the tests then provide a list of careers that might suit you best.

The Myers Briggs personality types are made up of combinations of the following traits:

Extraversion (E)

Introversion (I)

Sensing (S)

Intuition (N)

Thinking (T)

Feeling (F)

Judging (J)

Perception (P)

What the Adecco article and Zurich study points to is that self-assessment and an understanding of your inherent characteristics are key to career satisfaction; good activities to undertake when assessing which direction to take your career, regardless of whether you’re making a mid-career move, or just starting out.

Taking stock of yourself and your traits will not only be helpful on a personal level, but doing so may also give you an advantage when applying to job postings and interviewing. Knowing what works for you, and also knowing that employers are increasingly assessing personality types, will allow you to showcase your best attributes and also ask appropriate questions concerning workplace environments.

Plus, personality tests are just fun. You can take the Myers Briggs Personality test here (leaving Workopolis) and see suggested career options for your personality type.

What do you think? Does personality trump passion on the road to career success?