Science of Self ™ Knowledge Centre

The Reason We Fall in Love (With Certain Jobs & People)

Aug 12, 2013


Asked once what makes people happy, Sigmund Freud replied, 'Work and love'. Freud was wrong about many things, but he couldn’t have been more right about this.

Many, many things affect people’s reported levels of happiness, but the two ‘great pursuits’ in life — the twin holy grails of happiness — are dominated by finding work that one loves and finding one to love.

Everything else can be going well in a person’s life and yet they will tend to feel incomplete if one of these pieces is missing.

soulmate.pngOne day, a voice in my ear said, “Alex, this is Soulmate. Stop walking. I’d like you to meet someone special.”

I kept moving for a few hundred feet before it dawned on me that this was the first time that Soulmate, my new social GPS unit, had ever come to life. 

This is part of a short (but tragically fictional) series about potential new innovations, which includes an iPhone app that knows everything about you and alerts you whenever you are nearby someone who is a potential soulmate. (Imagine... a phone that finds your soulmate)

Wouldn’t that be cool?

Marriage-Matching and Job-Matching

Currently, eHarmony is the technological forerunner in the marriage-matching realm, while a company called TTI Research is the forerunner in the job-matching realm.


Both eHarmony and TTI apply a mathematical technique called 'multivariate analysis', which pulls data from a range of 'variables' from categories such as a behavioural tendencies, skills, experiences, values, beliefs, emotional maturity and personality traits, and then tries to determine what information is important, and what’s not.

TTI (who has, incidentally, designed tools for eHarmony) is a talent assessment company, which has the ability to match candidates against jobs in a process called job benchmarking.

A benchmark is a defined profile of traits that your ideal mate (or job) should have. The perfect benchmark ‘ticks all the right boxes’, and those people (or jobs) who score closest to the ‘benchmark’ — who tick the highest number of important boxes — are assigned as your highest % matches.

Career-fit and marriage-fit is all about compatibility.

And it’s a tricky business, with a gazillion variables.

Personality is a notoriously difficult and slippery science, but both eHarmony and TTI have discovered that there is one aspect of a person’s personality that matters more than any other when it comes to career satisfaction and marriage satisfaction. That’s values.

Values (also called motivators or passions) are not obviously apparent, even in the closest of relationships. It is quite possible to live with someone and not truly understand what they are motivated by. It is also possible to not really understand what qualities you will love most in a potential partner.

Same with jobs.

It is possible to change jobs (and industries) more than a dozen times before realising what kind of work gives you the most amount of joy.

When someone discovers their purpose or passion in life (what they value most), they are typically energised to accomplish most of the tasks relating to that purpose.

In the work environment, values are imperative to job satisfaction and performance. Once made more apparent, with the correct assessment tools, values provide priceless insight into ourselves and our success.

Discover Your Core Values:

Research has discovered 6 core values of major importance: Take the Motivators Profile Test.

Topics: Profiling & Assessment Tools

Theo Winter

Theo Winter

Client Services Manager, Writer & Researcher. Theo is one of the youngest professionals in the world to earn an accreditation in TTI Success Insight's suite of psychometric assessments. For more than a decade, he worked with hundreds of HR, L&D and OD professionals and consultants to improve engagement, performance and emotional intelligence of leaders and their teams. He authored the book "40 Must-Know Business Models for People Leaders."


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