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Your Personality Can Affect How Much You Get Paid

A new study looks at why temperamental fit really does matter.


When you're looking for a job that is a good fit, it's important to think about not only whether your skills fulfill the job requirements, but whether you have a temperament that makes you suited for the role. If you don't take the latter into consideration, it could affect your paycheck.

A recent study from Tilburg University in the Netherlands has found that employees whose personality traits match up with the ideal characteristics of the job are likely to get paid more than those employees whose traits don't match up.

The researchers looked at data collected from 8,458 people living in Germany. They analyzed their jobs, income and psychological profiles. Sixty-eight percent of the group were male and 32 percent were female. The mean age of the group was 43.7 years old.

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The participants were asked a series of questions related to their personality traits, and two psychologists identified which big five personality traits -- agreeableness, conscientiousness, extraversion, neuroticism and openness -- were best suited to a given job. The researchers found that employees who were more agreeable, more conscientious or more open to experiences than their jobs needed them to be got paid less than the people whose traits were more in line with the job requirements.

"Personality characteristics that have long been thought of as universally adaptive were not very beneficial or even detrimental, given particular job characteristics," explained lead researcher Jaap J.A. Denissen in a summary of the findings. "Individuals should care because our findings suggest that if they manage to find jobs that fit their personalities, they can earn more money."

Do you think you are psychologically suited to your job? Let us know in the comments.

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