How the ‘Big Five’ Personality Test Can Help You Find Your Dream Job

big five personality traits

Over 50 percent of Americans are unsatisfied with their job, according to The Conference Board Job Satisfaction Survey.

Jobs are a huge part of your daily life, so it makes sense to look for one you enjoy. Of course, finding the right fit is easier said than done.

That’s where the Big Five personality test comes in. Once you discover your Big Five personality traits, you can match them with the right career. By aligning your work with your personal strengths and interests, you’ll discover genuine job satisfaction.

What are the Big Five personality traits?

Psychologists developed the Big Five theory of personality over almost a century of research. According to this model, everyone’s personality consists of five main dimensions:

  1. Openness to experience: Associated with imagination, curiosity, and intelligence. People who are high in openness tend to be tolerant, creative, and comfortable with ambiguity. They prefer change and variety over familiarity and stability.
  2. Conscientiousness: Associated with persistence, dependability, efficiency, and organization. People who are highly conscientious tend to work hard and be achievement-oriented.
  3. Extraversion: Linked to sociability and positive affect. If you’re high in extraversion, you might be assertive, persuasive, and optimistic.
  4. Agreeableness: Associated with kindness and sensitivity. People who are high in agreeableness tend to be straightforward, nurturing, and trustworthy.
  5. Neuroticism (Emotional Stability): Your ability to control emotions. People high in neuroticism tend to be temperamental, anxious, and prone to emotional distress.

Psychologists often refer to the Big Five personality with the acronym OCEAN. When you take a Big Five personality test, you’ll get a percentage for each trait.

For instance, someone who gets 70 percent in openness tends to be creative and imaginative. Someone with 30 percent is usually more conventional and routine-oriented.

Many researchers have explored the connection between the Big Five traits and job satisfaction and performance. They found that conscientiousness, in particular, predicts success in just about any profession. And a study by Paul Sackett and Philip Walmsley found that agreeableness is the second most highly prized trait among employers.

How can the Big Five personality test help you find the right career?

The Big Five test enhances your self-awareness, giving you a new framework through which to view yourself. Armed with this self-knowledge, you can make more informed decisions about your career path.

Big Five test results also suggest professions that match your traits. For example, scientists need to solve complex problems and think outside the box. Plus, they may spend a lot of time working on their own or in small groups.

The Big Five may suggest the occupation of a scientist if you rank highly for openness to experience but low for extraversion. It will direct you to another field such as entrepreneurship if you rank highly in both traits.

Career coaches often administer the Big Five personality test to help job seekers find a career. Human resources professionals also give the test to new employees to learn about new workers and how they’ll perform on a team.

How to take the Big Five personality and career placement test

You can find several free personality assessments online based on the Big Five theory of personality. Here are three of the best ones:

Most of the tests ask you to rank how accurately a series of statements describe you. Typical statements include “I believe that others have good intentions” and “I pay attention to details.”

After taking the test, the results will give detailed explanations. Plus, some make career suggestions that match your unique personality traits.

If any catch your interest, do some research to learn more. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is a useful resource for information on job requirements and average salaries. You can also rely on your network to learn from people in the field.

Think about your Big Five personality traits to find a job

The Big Five personality test isn’t meant to box you in. Instead, it enhances your self-understanding and teaches you about new career options.

If you know what makes you tick, you’ll be in a much better position to find the right job. And you’re more likely to be successful in a job you care about.

Everyone deserves to feel fulfilled from their work. Finding a field in which you excel can boost self-esteem and happiness.

The Big Five personality assessment is more than just a career placement test. It’s a tool to uncover who you are and what you want. This self-awareness will help you feel confident in your choices and find a career you love.

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