Big Five Careers

Big Five personality measures and Careers

Welcome to our introduction to Big Five Careers. How the Big Five personality measures can be used to match people to specific careers.

1a. High Openness

Psychology Researcher. This seems an obvious choice for people who are creative and abstract thinkers, signature characteristics of the High Openness person. Alas, getting to exercise those attributes typically requires not just a Ph.D. and perhaps a post-doc but a willingness to focus narrowly: Early in your doctoral program, identify a fundable or marketable research area, perhaps an understudied but potentially fruitful basic research area, for example, regarding gene expression or neural circuits. Or if you’d prefer more quickly practical findings, you might choose a promising applied research area within autismdepressionADHDintelligence, or Alzheimer’s, for example, working for a biotech or pharmaceutical company.

1b. High Caution/consistency

Psychometrist. They typically administer intelligence, personality, and aptitude tests. These tests tend to demand the precise following of standard procedure.article continues after advertisement

2a. High Conscientiousness

Bioethicist. This is a psychology-related career in which life-and-death decisions are frequent thus requiring a high level of conscientiousness. A typical issue faced by bioethicists: helping a couple with a genetic predisposition to depression decide whether to have children. Or, more macro, in a single-payer health care system, should everyone legally in the U.S. or not, paying into the system or not, be entitled to the same level of health care?

2b. High Easy-Goingness

Art, music, horticultural, or pet therapist. Such counselors tend to work with patients for which major, quick improvement isn’t required, and where an easy-going artsy, feeling-centric person may be well-suited.

Artist or fiction writer specializing in psychological themes. The standard definition of High Easygoingness usually includes artistic, creative sensibilities, hence this is a good, albeit financially risky, pick.

3a. Extraversion

Salesperson of psychology related products, for example, tests, practice management software, psychologist office leasing.

Fundraiser, especially for a psychology-related nonprofit, for example, the National Alliance on Mental Illnessl, The National Association of Gifted Children, or Autism Speaks.

3b. Introversion

Lab technician. Whether working with data, animals, or even humans, this sometimes psychology-related career is well-suited to introverts because the amount and complexity of human interaction tend to be limited and/or structured.article continues after advertisement

4a. High Agreeableness

A human resources specialist, especially in organizational development, conflict resolution, or inclusion or harassment training.

Mediator. The good mediator has the ineffable gift of calming people, enabling them to be more rational than often is the case in disputes. The High-Agreeableness person is likely to have that gift.

4b. Low Agreeableness

Self-employed consultant. Possible psychology-oriented niches: developing an organization’s employee selection paradigm, developing an organization’s psychologically oriented documents, for example, the employee handbook including how emergencies are to be handled.

5a. High Emotional Stability

High-stress jobs such as hostage negotiator or psychologist in a mental hospital or in private practice with volatile patients.

5b. High Sensitivity

Therapist in solo private practice specializing in a relatively low-stress area: perhaps phobias or mild anxiety. Also, career counselor or personal coach.