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Types of Workers

Advances in psychology have allowed a classification of workers. This is often used by companies to select the right person for the job.

Selection and Training

Work and organizational psychology is a relatively new field of psychology which occupies itself with human behavior in the context of organizations that deliver products or services. An important subfield of this discipline is known as personnel psychology, aimed specifically at the selection and training of employees and the registration of their achievements. In order to choose the right person for the job, personnel psychologists can use a variety of techniques, such as a function analysis, intelligence and personality tests, interviews, and so on.

In order to make the career counseling more manageable, several psychological studies have tried to divide employees into different types, so-called worker types.

The Five Types

This has led to a variety of distinctions between different types of workers. One of the most often used classification discerns five types:

  • Wanderers: the do not strive for a specific goal, but move from one job to the next. Others often consider them to be capricious and sometimes reckless, but they are also seen as adventurous and spontaneous by some.
  • Sedentary employees: the exact opposite of the wanderers. Their first job also tends to be their last. Perhaps they haven’t chosen specifically for a certain job, but once they get used to it, they prefer to stick around until it’s time to retire.
  • Jumpers: often rise to a good position within a company fairly quickly, but make mistakes in transferring to another organization, because they decide too quickly and plan too little. This is why they tend to experience a little drop in their career level when they switch careers.
  • Planners: have set goals and know where they want to take their career. They are very aware of which steps they have to take to get to the career level they desire. Sometimes they have higher ambitions than what they eventually manage to reach.
  • Hobbyists: consider their job to be a hobby. They are more interested in personal development outside of work and do not participate in the competition element of a job. They often form interesting employees, but lack serious engagement for the job. Tend to apply for an early retirement.

Keep in mind that this is just one possible classification of workers, many others exists. Furthermore, many people may have characteristics of more than one type.

References

  • Arnold, J. (2005). Work Psychology: Understanding Human Behavior in the Workplace. Pearson Education Limited.
  • Furnham, A. (2005). The Psychology of Behavior at Work: The Individual in the Organization. Psychology Press.

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Comments (2)

Interesting assessment of these groups of workers.

Interesting. Good work.

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