Big Five Trait: Conscientiousness

High or Low in Conscientiousness

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The Big Five
The Big Five utilizes a combination of five traits to assess an individual’s personality: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. An easy way to remember the five traits is through the acronym OCEAN. Everyone has a different amount of each of these traits; rather than saying people either possess a trait or don’t, the Big Five test notes that each person ranges on a spectrum between the two extremes.

What is Conscientiousness?

The Conscientiousness trait shows how thoughtful, goal-oriented, and controlled someone is. Those who are more conscientious tend to be more self-disciplined and persistent. Those who rank lower in conscientiousness tend to prefer spontaneity and procrastination.

More Conscientious people tend to…

  • Enjoy setting plans and schedules
  • Keep their environment clean and organized
  • Finish assignments and projects in advance
  • Be attentive to details and specifics

Less Conscientious people tend to…

  • Procrastinate finishing tasks
  • Dislike routine and scheduling
  • Be relatively unorganized
  • Have less energy and internal motivation

Working with someone who is high in Conscientiousness

When someone scores higher in this category, they are more likely to be prepared, reliable, and ambitious. They are thoughtful and considerate, carefully considering how their actions will affect those around them. Conscientiousness makes them highly self-disciplined, which helps them effectively accomplish their goals.

Communicating with someone who is high in Conscientiousness

Respect their time and schedule, communicate your thoughts directly, and share your appreciation for their considerate, hard-working attitude.

Careers for someone who is high in Conscientiousness

Because people who are more conscientious tend to easily keep themselves on track, they make great leaders or independent workers, and thrive in environments that hold them to high standards.

Potential job ideas for those who rank higher in this area are:

  • Freelance writer
  • Marketing Consultant
  • Doctor
  • Actor
  • Business Owner
  • Advertising Executive
  • Politician

Each person has a different combination of the Big Five traits, so potential job suggestions can vary, as people may prefer careers that utilize a different personal characteristic.

Working with someone who is low in Conscientiousness

When someone is lower in this trait, they tend to dislike structure and be less organized. They generally prefer to make plans at the last minute and may have a difficult time completing their assignments without encouragement from others. They sometimes act without thinking, which can have a negative effect on those around them.

Communicating with someone who is low in Conscientiousness

Offer them support and hold them accountable to their responsibilities; respect their need for spontaneity, but encourage them to consider the consequences of their decisions.

Careers for someone who is low in Conscientiousness

Environments that are less predictable and require more manual work may benefit people who are less conscientious, as it allows them room to both improvise and grow. They generally work well when pursuing a passion under strong leadership.

Potential job ideas for those who rank lower in this area are:

  • Firefighter
  • Sales Representative
  • Technical Support
  • Mechanic
  • Landscaper
  • Janitor
  • Driver

Each person is different and has a unique blend of the Big Five traits. Potential jobs will differ if some decide to pursue a career that favors a different personal attribute.

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