Big Five Trait: Openness

High or Low in Openness

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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 Openness?

The Openness trait assesses how open-minded, imaginative, creative, and insightful a person is. Those who are more open tend to be more willing to listen to multiple viewpoints or try new things. Those who are lower in openness tend to be averse to change and skeptical of new ideas.

More Open people tend to…

  • Prefer variety and diversity
  • Seek new experiences and adventures
  • Think and express themselves creatively
  • Be curious about and perceptive to their environment

Less Open people tend to…

  • Avoid change and new events
  • Dislike conceptual or abstract thinking
  • Uphold traditional values and beliefs
  • Focus on a few specific interests

Working with someone who is high in Openness

When someone scores higher in this category, they are more likely to be adaptable, accept change, and appreciate innovative technology. They are intuitive and original, offering new ideas every day. Openness allows people to be vulnerable and honest, which can offer them emotional understanding and deep friendships.

Communicating with someone who is high in Openness

Be direct, attentive, and vulnerable, when necessary. Offer insightful ideas or observations and allow them to share their perspective honestly.  

Careers for someone who is high in Openness

Because people who are more open tend to be more open to change and variety, they tend to work best in environments that allow them to experience new things every day.

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

  • Artist
  • Travel Writer
  • Pilot
  • Lawyer
  • Publicist
  • Entrepreneur
  • Graphic Designer
  • Philosopher

The Big Five embraces five very different personality traits, and each person has a different combination of each.  It’s important to note that potential jobs for highly open people could vary if the person has an additional strong trait.

Working with someone who is low in Openness

When someone is lower in this trait, they tend to fear or dislike change. They usually prefer routine and tradition and generally think more logically and concretely. They have a more difficult time being honest about how they feel and may feel isolated at times.

Communicating with someone who is low in Openness

Respect their values and traditions, allowing them to live in a comfortable routine; offer them support and encourage them to feel comfortable expressing themselves when they need to do so.

Careers for someone who is low in Openness

Environments that are consistent and stable are best for people who have less of this trait; allowing them to focus intently on one or a few areas will help them to stay balanced.

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

  • Banker
  • Professor
  • Financial Analyst
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Scholar
  • Auditor
  • Accountant
  • Contractor

Each person has a different combination of the Big Five traits, so potential jobs will vary, as individuals may prefer careers that utilize a different personality trait.

Learn about yourself with a free personality test.
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