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High-flyer, security-lover or entrepreneur: what’s your career type?

So, you’ve seen an interesting job ad and the role appeals to you. But you’re not sure if you should apply. Not everyone is suited to every role, and people with different career types have different character traits. Have a look and see whether one of the four career types below sounds like you.

We’ll start with the...


For high-flyers, their career is the be-all and end-all. They’re always on the lookout for new challenges and new opportunities. When it comes to picking a job, they ask themselves the following questions: Will this job help me get ahead? What will it add to my CV? Is this the next step on the career ladder?

At work, they’re willing to take risks and make confident decisions. They prefer working on their own to working in a team and aren’t afraid of going it alone if it’ll let them get to the next step in their career.

Generally, high-flyers are very interested in material things. They know their worth and they make no secret of that during salary negotiations.

​​High-flyers play golf or have another personal hobby where they can forge key relationships with people who’ll help them get ahead, professionally speaking. They’re also happy to put their personal life on hold if they sense a career opportunity.


also have a self-confident and risk-tolerant approach. Unlike high-flyers, though, they’re not primarily interested in material things or career levels: they want to help shape something. They’re driven by an idea and are happy to suffer setbacks in service of it. To ensure they can reach these goals, short decision-making pathways are important to them. And if they can’t make these ideas a reality in someone else’s company, they might well set up their own.

​​Otherwise, they take on tasks with (managerial) responsibility and theirmain focusis on the company itself, rather than their personal development.

When setting up a company, entrepreneurs put their personal lives on the back burner, just like high-flyers. But even when in a permanent post, entrepreneurs often have little time for their personal lives when they take on high-responsibility managerial positions.



Safety first and nine to five: these are the mottoes of people for whom job security is key. They shy away from the risk associated with changing roles and would never quit their old job before both parties have signed the employment contract for the new one. As a result, security-lovers tend to stay in the same job for a very long time.

They’re fairly risk-averse when it comes to salary negotiations and they quickly settle for an offer, fearing negative ramifications if they’re too persistent.

Security-lovers often underestimate their own skills or don't know how to align them with the context of their department or the company. This often leads to frustration, where they are under-challenged but aren’t brave enough to ask for work that matches their qualifications.

​​Companies with fixed working hours, set hierarchies and pre-defined career levels are well-suited to people with this career type, because they enable them to plan their career.


set a good deal of store by personal development at work. Their approach to work is independent, project-based and solution-focused. It’s important to them that their work is meaningful and results in a product or service that they can stand behind. Ideally, their work is both a career and a vocation.

​​Balancers are team players: they believe that you can do more and, above all, do it quicker if you work together. And that means they have more time for their personal life.

​​Their work and their personal life are equally important to them. In other words, balancers pursue career goals, but only if they can combine them with their personal life.

A bit of this and that

Well, what about you? Are you more of a high-flyer or are you only ever really interested in your own security? You probably see bits of yourself in several of these career types. That’s fair enough, as it’s not a black and white issue. It takes all sorts, as they say. It’s rare for jobs to be strictly tailored to just one career type, too. There are roles that need the single-mindedness of a high-flyer and the leadership skills of an entrepreneur. And some projects are perfect for the caution and reserved attitude of the security-oriented career type.

​​Nevertheless, the categories above are intended to help you identify your own type and, on this basis, decide whether a job you’ve been eyeing up is really a good fit for you.

Hate the thought of doing the same thing year in, year out and not experiencing any progression? Then avoid joining a major corporation with fixed hierarchies! Instead, seek out a new challenge at a small or medium-sized firm, where you can develop as an individual – and help develop the company, too. Or do you see yourself as a balancer – someone who works to live and values flexibility? Then a company whereworking from home, part-time opportunities and teamwork are all par for the course will be right up your street.

With career counselling from Kelly, you can be sure to find the right job for your career type. Check out the Kelly job board or contact a Kelly Talent Consultant.

​​Good luck!