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Know the 5 Big Personality Traits and the Respective Career Choices

Your personality has a huge influence on your career choices and your experience at work. This is why digging into your core personality traits can help you model your behavior for success. This blog discusses the Big 5 Personality model in depth so that you can make intelligent career decisions that lead you to consistent growth. 


What you will learn -

  • The Big 5 Personality model, OCEAN traits, and how they impact your career
  • Deconstructing the OCEAN traits - sub traits and how to use them to your advantage
  • Exploring the ideal career option(s) based on your personality 

At a time when there are thousands of career options to choose from, the pressure to choose your ideal career path can be overwhelming. Many people like to believe that following their passion or interests will lead them to a successful career. But the truth is that professional success is dependent on many other factors. One of them, and a rather important one is your personality.

Your personality has a profound impact on your career choices and job experience. For example, extroverts experience greater satisfaction with their career and salaries. Optimism plays a significant role in career success, and so does emotional stability.

Understanding your personality and modelling it for growth can be the key to a fulfilling career. In fact, research shows that if you develop a personality change, it can lead to higher levels of job success.

The Big 5 Personality model - Understanding the 5 dimensions of your personality

The Big 5 personality model deconstructs your personality based on 5 core dimensions. These are, Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism, also known as OCEAN traits.



Each of these traits can be further divided into sub-traits. For example, Extraversion includes characteristics like sociability, assertiveness, and activity level. Meanwhile, Agreeableness encompasses traits like trustworthiness, kindness, and affection.

  • People with high levels of Openness are creative and curious. They are often drawn to careers in the Arts or Sciences.
  • People who are high in Conscientiousness are organised and detail-oriented. They make great employees because they are always willing to go the extra mile to get the job done right.
  • Extroverts are outgoing and enjoy being around people. They make great salespeople, managers, and marketing professionals.
  • Agreeableness includes pro-social traits such as kindness, collaboration, and empathy. People who rate high in agreeableness are team players and excel at jobs in education or social work.
  • People who are high in Neuroticism tend to be anxious and easily stressed. They enjoy careers that allow them to work independently or with minimal supervision.

Different people will have different levels of each trait. For instance, someone who is high in Extraversion may be very outgoing and sociable. On the other hand, someone who is low in Extraversion may be more introverted and reserved.

Where you fall on each continuum will influence the type of career that would be a good fit for you. Extroverted individuals are adept at social interaction and can excel as salespeople. Introverts might prefer a job that is more solitary, such as accounting or programming.

These five traits are then used to predict how well someone will do in various occupations and roles. For example, people who score higher in Agreeableness tend to do well in jobs that need them to be cooperative and helpful. These include jobs such as teaching or nursing. People who score higher in conscientiousness tend to do well in jobs that need them to be organised and detail-oriented. These include jobs such as accounting or engineering.

Are these traits absolute and constant throughout your life?

Human beings are capable of evolving and personality is no different. The Big 5 traits are not absolute, nor constant throughout the course of your life. Depending on your level of self-awareness, ambitions, and the choices you make in life, your personality can change.

For example, someone who is shy (low on Extraversion) as a child may become more outgoing as they get older and become open to experiencing new things. This will increase their level of Openness and Extraversion and will have an impact on their relationships as well as career options. Or someone who is spontaneous may learn to be more thoughtful and planful as they age. This will make them more conscientious.

These traits can also vary depending on the situation. Someone who is usually very shy may be able to speak up in a meeting if they feel passionate about the topic at hand. Or someone who is usually very organised may be able to let go and have some fun if they're at a party with friends.

In short, these traits are not static. They can change over time and depend on the situation. For individuals who seek career guidance, skilled counsellors may even encourage them to invest in personality development to align their personality with their desired career path.

Digging deeper into OCEAN traits

The Big 5 traits are a continuum and are made of hundreds of sub-traits. For example, Openness includes traits such as creativity, curiosity, and imagination. Conscientiousness includes traits such as orderliness, punctuality, dutifulness, and self-discipline. Extraversion includes traits such as assertiveness, energy, gift of gab, and outgoingness. Agreeableness includes traits such as compassion, cooperativeness, and kindness.

Some people may be high in all five traits, while others may be low in one or more traits. This combination of traits creates each person's unique personality. For example, someone who is high in openness and low in agreeableness might be a nonconformist who is not afraid to speak their mind


Exploring your career options through the big 5 personality model

Each of these traits corresponds to a different set of career options. For example, if you are high in Openness to Experience, you might be interested in careers that involve creativity or intellectual pursuits. If you are high in Conscientiousness, you might be interested in careers that require attention to detail and a strong work ethic.

Here is a more detailed breakdown of each personality trait and the corresponding career options:

Openness to Experience: This trait includes characteristics such as being imaginative, curious, and open-minded. Individuals who score high in Openness are interested in new ideas and enjoy exploring their own and others' minds.

They may be drawn to careers in fields such as the arts, media, or academia and make great artists, writers, photographers, and scientists.

Conscientiousness: This trait includes characteristics such as being organised, reliable, and hardworking. Conscientious people are often drawn to careers that require attention to detail and precision.

Career options that might suit someone who scores high on Conscientiousness include teachers, accountants, managers, doctors, engineers, and lawyers.

Extraversion: This trait includes characteristics such as being outgoing, sociable, and energetic. Extroverts tend to enjoy careers that involve working with people.

They may be interested in fields like sales, marketing, customer service, or teaching, performing, or event planning.

Agreeableness: This trait includes characteristics such as generosity, relatedness, and trustworthiness. Agreeable people tend to be interested in helping others.

They may enjoy careers in fields like healthcare, education, social work, or therapy.

Neuroticism: Neuroticism includes sub-traits such as anxiety, depression, and irritability. People who rate low on Neuroticism have high emotional intelligence and stability.

Neurotic people may enjoy careers that offer opportunities for creative expression. These include jobs in advertising, acting, music, freelance design, writing, or public relations.

When you combine these sub-traits, you get a fuller picture of someone's personality. This can be helpful in choosing a career that is a good fit for you.

It is important to understand that there is no right or wrong personality type when it comes to a specific career. The important thing is to invest in self-knowledge and accept your innate strengths and weaknesses. Personality does evolve, especially when you put concerted effort, like trying to become more open, or less anxious.


Model your personality and career through self-discovery

The Big Five personality traits can give you a good starting point for understanding your own personality. Once you have a better understanding of your own personality, you can start to model your career around it or work on specific personality traits to be a better version of yourself and excel in your career of choice.


Model your personality and career through self-discovery.

One of the best ways to figure out which career is right for you is to spend some time getting to know yourself. Think about what you enjoy doing and what comes naturally to you. Are you a people person? Do you like working with your hands? Are you a natural at problem-solving? Once you have a better understanding of your own strengths and interests, you can start to look at careers that might be a good fit for you.

Personality assessments and genetic testing can help those seeking career guidance by uncovering their inherent talents and strengths. Science-based personality tests offer valuable insights into your core personality traits. They equip you with life-changing insights about your SELF. Combined with career counselling, these assessments can boost your professional and personal growth.


Find a career that aligns with your values and interests.

It is important to find a career that aligns with your values. For example, if you value creativity, independence, and helping others, you might want to consider a career in art, teaching, or social work. If you value challenge and competition, you might want to consider a career in business or law.

Another thing to consider when choosing a career is your interests and passions. What are you interested in? What are you passionate about? These are important factors to consider when exploring career options. 

DNA-based career counselling can be instrumental in choosing the right career path. Solutions like Genleap's proprietary skill discovery report, GenDiscover offer a science-based approach to career guidance and counselling. By combining the power of three sciences - Genetics, Astromancy, and Psychometrics, Genleap offers a window into your innermost SELF, and helps you make informed decisions about your career. 

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