The link between personality and career success

The Link Between Personality and Career Success

We all have that one friend who excels in their professional life. They got a degree in a field they are passionate about, work in a great company, and receive promotions regularly. You might wonder what’s their secret to success? The answer might be in their personality traits. Personality is a combination of characteristics that make us different from one another. Several studies have shown that certain personality traits can enhance a person’s career success. In this article, we will explore the link between personality and career success in detail.

What is Personality?

Personality is a set of unique characteristics, behavior patterns, and traits that define an individual. It affects the way a person thinks, feels, and behaves in different situations. Personality is shaped by genetic factors, upbringing, and life experiences. According to the Big Five personality traits theory, there are five broad personality traits that define an individual's personality. These traits are openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. Studies have found that certain combinations of these personality traits can predict a person’s career success.

The Link between Personality and Career Success

Research shows that individuals with certain personality traits are more likely to achieve career success. Here are some of the personality traits and their link with career success:

1. Conscientiousness

Conscientiousness is the personality trait that refers to how responsible and organized a person is. People with high levels of conscientiousness are reliable, competent, and well-organized. Studies have consistently shown that conscientious individuals are more likely to succeed in their careers. They are more likely to be promoted, earn higher salaries, and have a higher job satisfaction. This is because they are less likely to make mistakes, take on responsibilities, and complete tasks effectively.

2. Extraversion

Extraversion refers to how outgoing and sociable a person is. An extraverted person enjoys talking to people, being in social situations, and making new connections. Studies have found that extraverted individuals are more likely to excel in careers such as sales, management, and public relations. They are more likely to develop relationships with clients, be team players, and take on leadership roles. However, extraversion is not always necessary for career success, and introverted individuals can also excel in their careers.

3. Openness

Openness is the personality trait that refers to an individual’s creativity and imagination. Open individuals are curious, imaginative, and original. Studies have found that individuals who are open to new ideas and experiences are more likely to succeed in creative and innovative fields such as advertising, design, and writing. They are more likely to generate new ideas and think outside the box.

4. Agreeableness

Agreeableness is the personality trait that refers to how friendly, cooperative, and caring a person is. Agreeable individuals are compassionate, empathetic, and cooperative. Studies have found that agreeable individuals are more likely to thrive in careers that revolve around helping others, such as social work, education, and healthcare. They are more likely to be viewed as caring, approachable, and helpful.

5. Neuroticism

Neuroticism is the personality trait that refers to how prone a person is to experience negative emotions such as anxiety, depression, and stress. Studies have found that individuals with low levels of neuroticism are more likely to succeed in their careers. They are less likely to be affected by stress and are better equipped to handle crises. They are more likely to make rational decisions and handle challenges calmly and efficiently.


In conclusion, a person’s personality can have a significant impact on their career success. Certain personality traits such as conscientiousness, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and neuroticism are associated with success in various careers. Understanding your personality traits can help you make more informed career choices, enhance your strengths, and work on your weaknesses.