Knowing your personality trait can give you valuable insights about yourself, like what motivates you, how you can be more efficient, why you’ve been acting the way you do, and perhaps what the best career choice for you is. To figure out who you really are, start with getting to know the big five personality factors and what they mean.
You can find out what your personality trait is by doing self-reflection, taking personality tests, or consulting with a therapist. Start reflecting on your thoughts, actions, attitude toward others, and behavior. To discover what kind of personality type you have, read this article with an open mind while asking yourself these questions:
- What brings me joy in the present or when I was younger?
- How can I describe myself with regard to my relationship with my family, friends, or colleagues?
- What is my biggest goal and dream?
- What is my greatest accomplishment?
- What is my greatest fear?
The 5-Factor Model of Personality Traits
The five-factor model of personality traits is a pretty straightforward concept. Just remember the acronym “OCEAN,” which stands for openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Read the description of each personality type below with an open mind, evaluate yourself honestly if the traits describe you, and see which of the career choices best suits you.
Openness is a personality trait of a person who is open to different experiences, likes to try something new, and has a broad range of interests. Open-minded persons are willing to try new things, curious about the world, love to travel, have a great imagination, are adventurous, and tend to be creative.
Career Choices: Individuals with high openness traits feel more positive and tend to have loving relationships with the people around them. Persons who have high openness personality traits will flourish in jobs like the creative arts, such as writing and designing. Since open-minded people love to experience new things every day and are open to challenges, they can also be successful in careers like being a pilot, lawyer, philosopher, or entrepreneur.
The second personality trait is conscientiousness. It is derived from the word ‘conscientious,’ which means doing what’s right or one’s duty thoroughly. Individuals who are high in conscientiousness are thoughtful, have good self-control, and are goal-oriented.
Most conscientious individuals prefer everything to be well-planned, and taking risks is not their strongest trait. Do you like everything to be highly organized and hate it if your schedule wasn’t followed? You might be a conscientious individual.
The conscientious person possesses traits that can be beneficial in the workplace, such as being mindful of details, cautiousness, self-discipline, being highly organized, and the habits of planning ahead and setting and following schedules. That’s why other companies give personality tests to aspiring applicants to give them an idea of how they will perform in the workplace. However, conscientiousness has a downside because you easily get upset if things do not go as planned.
Career Choices: Conscientious individuals can be freelance writers, doctors, actors, entrepreneurs, politicians, or consultants. Conscientious people will flourish in jobs that require a lot of planning and have tight deadlines.
Are you a social person? Do you like meeting new people and are psyched to be with your friends all the time? You might have the personality type called extraversion (also known as extroversion). Extroverted individuals are sociable, talkative, assertive, and friendly.
What is the common denominator among these personality traits of extraversion? Extroverts like to be the center of attention. The downside of extraversion as a personality trait is extroverts tend not to think before they speak.
Career Choices: Extroverts find it easy to make new friends and love to be in social circles. That is why they should take a career path that involves working with a lot or many new people. The best fields where extroverts can excel are sales, public relations, event planning, politics, television (hosting, newscasting, or acting), or education.
The personality profile of agreeableness does not literally mean agreeing easily to what other people tell you. Very agreeable individuals have empathy, care, and concern for others. This personality type’s attributes are kindness, altruism, trust, and affection for others.
The personality dimensions of individuals with agreeableness tend to be more cooperative as opposed to those who have low agreeableness. The latter tend to be more competitive and, at times, even manipulative.
Career Choices: Since the characteristics of this personality lean toward having empathy and care for others, agreeable individuals make the best nurses, counselors, religious leaders, teachers, and founders or members of non-profit organizations or charities.
Last but not least in personality psychology is neuroticism. This trait is characterized by emotional instability, mood swings, anxiety, sadness, and irritability. In short, people with high neuroticism worry a lot, easily get upset, and are very prone to anxiety. Neurotic individuals tend to feel anxious most of the time and struggle to cope with stressful life events.
Career Choices: Since the basic characteristic of neuroticism is worrying too much, people who possess this trait can be successful in jobs that cause fewer worries, anxiety, and too much pressure. They can thrive as librarians, yoga instructors, massage therapists, artists, freelance designers, food scientists, or freelance writers.
How Knowing Your Personality Trait Can Be Beneficial
Understanding your core personality traits can help you identify your morals, understand your relationships with others, recognize your values, realize what you’re passionate about, and improve your personality traits to find what truly makes you happy.
Making the Best out of Your Positive Trait
You can make changes in your personality to find happiness if you are aware of what’s good and bad about your personality. For instance, your personality trait is openness, but you work a routine job that will eventually make you lose your excitement. But you know that you’re a creative spirit, so maybe it’s time to find a job you’re passionate about that will challenge your creativity so you can look forward to something new every day.
Related: 8 Life Hacks to Build Your Self-Awareness
Changing the Negative Aspects of Your Trait for Self-Improvement
You can only change if you accept that you have personality traits that need to be rooted out. Let’s say you are aware that you are an extrovert, and you start to realize that your words are hurting the people around you. As you reflect on this, you start to think first before you speak.
How to Address Your Negative Personality Traits
Worrying too much may take a toll on your mental health if you have a neurotic personality. To address this, you might consider consulting with a mental health professional. Neuroticism may be rooted in traumatic life experiences, childhood issues, and stressors you cannot manage healthily. Therapy can also help you learn healthy coping skills so you can live life to the fullest.
Understanding and knowing your personality trait is the beginning of your journey toward self-discovery. Making a conscious effort to change your personality traits to improve social relationships and find happiness does not happen overnight. Mold yourself slowly to your best version, and challenges will be more bearable to you. Success and other good things in life will also come more easily if you work on being your best self.
The therapists and counselors at Kentucky Counseling Center can help you understand your personality traits better. Our therapists will help you discover your strengths and weaknesses and coach you on how you can use them to your advantage or change them to improve your quality of life.