Using the Big Five Traits to Choose a Career

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The Big Five personality dimensions are often used by human resources professionals to help place employees.  These five dimensions are thought to be the underlying traits that make up an individual’s overall personality.  A brief explanation of the five dimensions:

Extroversion – Extroverts derive energy from interaction with others, while introverts derive their energy from within.

Openness – If you enjoy new experiences and learning new things, you will probably score high on the openness dimension.

Agreeableness – Agreeable individuals are cooperative, compassionate, and friendly.  Those with low agreeableness are more aloof.

Neuroticism – The neuroticism dimension relates to one’s emotional stability and degree of negative emotions. People that score high on neuroticism often experience negative emotions like depression and anger.

Conscientiousness –  A person with a high degree of conscientiousness is prompt and reliable.  No matter what your career choice, a high degree of conscientiousness will be an asset.

The Big Five traits are often expressed as percentages, because individuals possess each in varying degrees.  How can you use these traits to choose a career?   First, determine where you fall on the scale for each dimension.  Then identify the extreme traits and focus on careers that accommodate those traits  If you’d like career suggestions based on the Big 5, take the career test at Similar  Although the names of the dimensions are different, they correlate with the Big 5 traits.

For more on the Big Five traits read The Owner’s Manual for Personality at Work: How the Big Five Personality Traits Affect Your Performance, Communication, Teamwork, Leadership, and Sales.

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