Career Planning, Activity 1: Assessing your Personality Traits

 Career Planning WS 1



The first stage to career planning is to get a clear and objective sense of your own skills, assets, and personality, and how these factor into your career goal(s). The results of the self-assessment don’t have to be prescriptive, but they can help you understand which careers are most suited to you, and how to prepare for those that are not suited to you.


Personality Assessment – Your personality is a stable set of traits that will predict your ease and comfort in different occupational roles and environments. This personality test looks at the five most stable personality traits, each represented by a continuum on which you can score high or low.

The test:

The test will give you scores on 5 different personality factors/traits, which are described below (I use the dimensions as defined by the Big Five Factors and the acronym OCEAN). The open psychometrics test gives your results out of order.

Reading the results: The results are out of 100. A 99 is as high as you can get. More important than the raw scores, however, is where your score fits in with tested averages. So do note the bar graph. A score of 65 in Agreeableness is just about the 50th percentile, which is smack dab average. This means that people who have taken the test tend to be more agreeable than not.

THE FACTORS and what they mean


Low Openness     10        -           -           -           50        -           -           -           90        Openness

(In the open_psychometrics scoring, this is labeled “Intelligence.” A high intelligence score means high openness to experience. A low intelligence score means habituated.)


Openness to experience means that you like to try new things. The higher the score, the better you will be with a job in which you wear many hats or play many roles. A job where you travel, meet and interact with lots of people (sales), test new products, market new products, solve a variety of changing problems. Teachers, marketing, sales.

The opposite of openness to experience is low openness, or when you prefer doing the same thing over and over again (such as always ordering the same thing on the menu). A low openness to experience means that you want a role that does not change. A role where you can learn a technique or skill and apply it repeatedly, getting better as time goes on. Accountants, factory workers, supervisors, managers.


Disorganized- 10        -           -           -           50        -           -           -           90        Conscientious

(In the open_psychometrics scoring, this is labeled “Conscientious.” A low conscientiousness score means disorganized.)


Conscientiousness means that you are highly organized, you hold yourself to a high level of achievement, and you are always focused on doing an excellent job. Conscientious people do very well in school, follow directions well, and have a high GPA. They will excel at jobs that require meticulous attention to detail, high levels of oversight and management (for feedback opportunities), and established methods for working. Doctors, lawyers, nurses, scientists, teachers.

The opposite of conscientiousness is disorganized. Low conscientiousness people are more likely to find their own way to solving problems, develop their own schedules, and work in an environment that is untidy. They are driven by the idea of “good enough.” Programmers, entrepreneurs, creatives.


Introversion   10        -           -           -           50        -           -           -           90        Extroversion

(In the open_psychometrics scoring, this is labeled “Extroversion.” A low extroversion score means high introversion.)


Extroverted people like to be around others. They are energized by social interactions. They want to work with people and for people. They thrive at jobs where there is a high level of interaction (airline steward, sales, athletics/music/hospitality jobs, helping professions.

Introverted people prefer being alone. They are exhausted by social interaction, but thrive when able to spend time by themselves. They do best at jobs where they get to work on their own. Scientists, programmers, software engineers, data analysts, accountants.


Disagreeable  10        -           -           -           50        -           -           -           90        Agreeable

(In the open_psychometrics scoring, this is labeled “Agreeable.” A low agreeable score means Disagreeable.)


Agreeable people are people-pleasers. They do a good job and do as they’re told. They make others feel comfortable, and are nonconfrontational. Human resources, managers, helping professions, nurses, politicians, teachers.

Disagreeable people have no trouble being confrontational. If something is not working out, they will identify and fix the problem. C-level executives, business owners, entrepreneurs, product testing, lawyers, top-level physicians.


Neuroticism   -           -           -           50        -           -           -           Emotional Stability

(In the open_psychometrics scoring, this is labeled “Emotional Stability.” A low score on emotional stability means neuroticism.)


Neurotic people experience a range of emotions, often rather quickly. They might easily shift from being content to being upset or anxious. They would do best in low-pressure jobs where there is plenty of support and oversight (e.g., being part of team or working in a group).

Emotionally stable people tend to stick to a smaller range of emotions, and stick with one emotion for awhile. Because of this stability, they can handle high-stress work environments better than others. Childcare, teachers, lawyers, doctors, Wallstreet investors.