Career Time Out:
Q&A with Dr. Diane Hamilton

Written by Alexis Castorina

Diane Hamilton (Ph.D., Business Administration, 2008) is an alumna with more than 25 years of business and management-related experience in software, pharmaceuticals, corporate training, finance, and real estate.

Hamilton currently teaches at several universities, is a contributing writer for business-related websites like Investopedia.com, and is the author of three books: It’s Not You: It’s Your Personality: Skills to Survive and Thrive in the Modern Workplace, How to Reinvent Your Career: Make Money Doing What You Love, and The Online Student’s User Manual: Everything You Need to Know to be a Successful Online Student.

Higher Degrees caught up with Hamilton to learn more about the topics she has written about including online learning, understanding personalities in the workforce, and reinventing your career.

Higher Degrees: How does a person who has just finished a degree change his or her career path?

Dr. Hamilton: If you want to change your career path, it may require some additional training and experience. Some people get degrees in a specific area and then change their minds about what they want to do when they graduate.

If a degree is broad like a business degree, there are more options than if the degrees is not, for example, Portuguese Communications. It may be as simple as adding a certificate or as complicated as obtaining a post-graduate degree. Many schools have added career planning as part of their training. I teach one course where students must take personality assessments and do assignments within a career center.

“I believe personality plays a big part in whether someone is successful in their job.”

Higher Degrees: What role does someone’s personality plan in the workplace?

Dr. Hamilton: I believe personality plays a big part in whether someone is successful in their job. Many companies administer assessments like the Myers Briggs MBTI. This may be very helpful to determine whether tasks fit personality preferences. I have a strongly extroverted personality which helped me when I was in sales. Now it helps me because I can give lectures and share insights in class.

Higher Degrees: How can people make a living doing what they love?

Dr. Hamilton: It may not be possible to get rich doing what you love (at least initially). Sometimes you have to pay your dues in jobs you do not love in order to finally reach the level you desire. Many people are unrealistic in their expectations for what jobs pay. It is important to have a clear goal prior to entering school if possible. If you do not discover what you love until you graduate, it may be more challenging. However, as with any goal, there may need be smaller, more attainable goals set to reach the overall goal. For example, I am a better teacher now than I would have been had I gone directly into teaching in my 20s. All of my experience led to my ability to add more to the classroom discussions. I had a lot of jobs there were not wonderful. However, they taught me something that has helped me in my dream job that I have now.