The Idealist

Although Idealists are focused on aligning their career with their values, their dedication has a practical side. Idealists don't spend time complaining - instead, they come up with real-world solutions to advance the greater good. Whether they work for large corporations or small, family-owned businesses, you can be sure Idealists are in the trenches, using a hands-on approach to tackle social and environmental issues. Idealists are particularly skilled with creative experimentation, which often results in innovative solutions to business problems. Idealists choose employers who focus on corporate responsibility and community partnerships, and they carefully research company culture before accepting an offer. They want to be sure the work environment is one of collaboration, recognition and mutual respect. Idealists take business ethics seriously, and they can be relied upon to hold themselves and their employers to the highest ethical standards.

Source: CareerTest


Idealists bring a lot to the table when getting the job done right. Some of the strengths that stand out include: Idealists do the right thing - even when no one is looking. Idealists are leaders and motivators - they have a natural ability to motivate others to get things done.


Of course, even the best qualities can be taken to an extreme: Idealists take their philosophical positions and personal values seriously, which leaves little room for disagreement. This can be tough on colleagues who have an alternative perspective. Idealists sometimes take on more than they can handle, leaving them exhausted and overwhelmed.

Career Path

Since Idealists are focused on passion projects, they often hold their first leadership roles before they enter the working world. They plan and manage fundraisers, train volunteers or participate in major projects for non-profit organizations while working in unrelated entry- level jobs. This often results in an uneven rate of career growth, because Idealists will suddenly take a giant leap forward when they find an employer that values their non- traditional leadership experience.


Idealists make it a point to do the right thing, so they can be relied upon to come in on time, complete their work and meet deadlines. Other workplace habits include:

Balanced Worker

A balanced approach to people-focused vs. task-based activity

Takes Action

A strong focus on finding solutions and taking action, rather than waiting for someone else to take charge.

Succes Stories

Idealists know that one person can change the world, and they pursue their goals driven by a passion for making a difference. These Idealists are known for the impact they have made in their fields:


Lead singer of U2, Bono, has leveraged his status as household name to fight for social justice in all parts of the globe. In particular, he works to end poverty, hunger and diseases impacting impoverished communities.

Aaron Bartley

Harvard Law School graduate Aaron Bartley showed the unique leadership skills of an Idealist long before he obtained his law degree. While still in school, he co-founded the Harvard Living Wage Campaign, and after graduation, he went on to co-found the highly successful People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH).

Muhammed Yunus

Muhammed Yunus, a Bangladeshi social entrepreneur and economist was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for founding Grameen Bank, which pioneered the concepts of microcredit and microfinance. His bank gave loans to entrepreneurs too poor to receive traditional bank loans, creating social mobility and development from below. He is also a co-founder of the Yunus Social Business Global Initiatives (YSB). YSB’s vision is to encourage a new, humane capitalism through managing incubator funds for social businesses and providing advisory services to companies, governments and NGOs around the world.