Careers for High-Openness Individuals

In this article, we will take a closer look at the “Openness to experience” personality trait. Those with high levels of this are open-minded and curious. They will be best suited to certain careers, and we will explore which careers those are!

Overview of the Openness Trait

When exploring personality using the Big Five, all of the five very different traits are considered. One of these five traits is “openness” (openness to experience). People who score higher on openness than any of the other traits will have particular strengths, and therefore may be suited to particular careers. However, it is important to note that potential jobs for highly open people could vary if that person has an additional strong trait.

The openness scale indicates how open-minded a person is. Those who score high on the openness scale tend to be imaginative, curious and open-minded. They tend to enjoy trying new things and seeking new experiences. At the opposite end of the scale, individuals who score low on openness tend to be pragmatic, data-driven and do not seek new experiences.

The Facets of Openness

Each of the Big Five personality traits are very broad and cover many personality-related terms. Due to this, each of the broad traits is measured by six more precise ‘facets’. Each facet is related to the other, but they are not identical and are measured on separate scales.

To give a deeper and more precise understanding of openness, it is measured on the six facets (sub-scales within the test) of: fantasy, aesthetics, feelings, actions, ideas and values.

Career Considerations

Someone with high openness to experience will have many strengths, such as their curious and adventurous nature. At work, they truly stand out because they have strengths such as:

  • Adaptability. People who score high on openness seek new experiences and are therefore very adaptable to new situations.
  • Curiosity. Those who score high on openness tend to seek new adventures and are very curious about their environment.
  • Expressiveness. Those with high levels of openness tend to be in touch with their emotions and feelings. Therefore, they can express them well.
  • Idea-generating. Because those who are high in the trait of openness are creative, they can often brainstorm original new ideas.
  • Energy. Those who score high on openness are often unique and eccentric. They often have an infectious energy, which they can spread to their team.

Best Careers for Those who Score High on Openness

Those who score high on openness to experience are good at adapting to new situations and challenges. They also tend to seek new, and exciting, experiences. Based on this, they are likely to work best in environments where they can face new situations each day and have the opportunity for many exciting experiences. Careers as a pilot, air hostess or travel agent, for example, may work well for someone who is highly open.

Those who score highly on openness also tend to be initiative, imaginative and creative. They are likely to thrive in careers that allows them to be expressive, such as careers as an artist, fashion designer, interior designer or graphic designer.

Those who score high on openness also tend to be liberal and tolerant of diversity. They often make great executive leaders (i.e., chief diversity officer) and excellent lawyers. Due to their ability to make risky decisions and their desire for continuous progress, those who are open are also likely to make great entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Worst Careers for Those who Score High on Openness

If someone scores considerably higher on openness than any other of the Big Five traits, there may be certain careers that they want to avoid. Those who score highly on openness may want to avoid data-driven careers that are conventional and allow little exploration. In general, this include most financial careers (e.g., accountant, auditor, financial analyst and banker) and many academic careers (e.g., college professor). However, all of these career are likely to be suitable for those who score exceptionally low on openness to experience (those who tend to be pragmatic and data-driven).

Best Openness Career Matches:

Career Guide Category
Art Director Marketing & Sales
Artist Arts & Humanities
Director Media & Film
Editor Media & Film
Executive Business
Fashion Designer Arts & Humanities
Filmmaker Media & Film
Flight Attendant Transportation & Logistics
Graphic Designer Marketing & Sales
Hairdresser Human Services
Interior Designer Arts & Humanities
Journalist Media & Film
Lawyer Legal
Marketing Manager Marketing & Sales
Pilot Transportation & Logistics
Producer Media & Film
Travel Agent Hospitality & Tourism