There is little to no exploration on the specific personality types that make a successful probation officer. However it can expected that a successful probation officer will most likely be the INFJ personality type. INFJ types, or otherwise known as ‘the counselor’, are compassionate, dedicated to helping others and have the ability to understand other’s emotions. Typically, INFJ types are highly interested in psychology and social sciences, which fits with the work of a probation officer.
Accomplishment and mastery
As being a probation officer requires a lot of skills to be learnt on the job, there is a high sense of mastery. There is also a sense of accomplishment in probation work, as there will be many positive outcomes as a direct result from the work of probation officers (e.g., reduced reoffending rate, improved family relations, safer communities and rehabilitated criminals).
Meaning and contribution
As probation officers help protect society and prevent reoffending, there is a high sense of meaning and contribution. Without probation officers, many criminals would not get the help and support they need to rehabilitate and improve their lives.
Most probation officers will work full time hours, meaning it can be an easy career to fit around a busy life. However, as many probation and correctional departments are understaffed and overworked, probation officers may have to work overtime, which can mean it might not always provide a great life fit.
Who will thrive in this career?
Firstly, to thrive as a probation officer, you will need a genuine interest and passion to help others and relate to how they feel. You will need to be confident and enjoy interacting with other people, especially criminals. Those who can solve problems will thrive, as many of the daily challenges of a probation officer will involve finding solutions to help probationers progress. You will also need to have the highest level of patience, as probation officers will have to work with difficult clients and help them work through their probation. Finally, those who understand cultural differences and can be respectful and aware of all backgrounds are likely to thrive. This is because they will work with different religions, cultures and backgrounds and must be able to be respectful.
Who will struggle in this career?
Those who prefer to work with numbers or data opposed to working in teams or meeting with people one-to-one will struggle as a probation officer. Similarly, those who are not self-aware and have no interest in learning about other cultures, religions, life experiences or backgrounds might struggle with the variation of probationaries they will have to work with. Finally, those who are motivated by earning lots of money as, although probation work is not poorly paid, it is not a career to enter if you are looking to earn a six figure salary.