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More neurotic, less agreeable, less conscientious: how job insecurity shapes your personality

https://theconversation.com/more-neurotic-less-agreeable-less-conscientious-how-job-insecurity-shapes-your-personality-146019

theconversation.com

More neurotic, less agreeable, less conscientious: how job insecurity shapes your personality
Workers who experience job insecurity over several consecutive years become less emotionally stable, less agreeable and less conscientious.

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Job insecurity

Job insecurity

The psychological effect of job insecurity can last a lifetime.

Studies have shown a causal relationship between unemployment and mental health. However, the effect of job insecurity has been less researched. One large-scale study suggests job insecurity over a prolonged period can change your personality.

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Personality is not enduring

Personality is not constant but changes over time. For example, self-confidence, warmth, self-control, and emotional stability tend to increase with age.

Earlier studies suggest more autonomy at work can increase a person's ability to cope with new situations, while a demanding and stressful job can make someone more neurotic.

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Effects of chronic job insecurity

  • Reduced emotional stability. Chronic job insecurity can cause us to become anxious, tense, irritable, and depressed.
  • Reduced agreeableness. Agreeable people are naturally focused on sympathy, co-operation, and helping others. Chronic job insecurity shifts our focus to be more on ourselves instead of on others and can affect our standing as a positive and likable person.
  • Reduced conscientiousness. When we're always worried about our jobs, we are likely to become less motivated to put in an effort.

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How to save your 'self' in uncertain times

As we mature, we generally become more emotionally stable, agreeable, and conscientious. But chronic job insecurity can stunt this emotional growth.

  • The first step to do something about it is to know yourself and be aware of the pitfalls, then cultivate a growth mindset by accepting change and being open to new situations.
  • Focus on what you can control. Look for solutions rather than dwelling on the problems. Be willing to learn new skills or take on new tasks.
  • Support each other. Support from colleagues, family, and friends has been found to help build resilience and confidence.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Our personalities can change

Our personalities can change

Many of us think our personality is fixed and unchangeable.

But according to a recent study, while our early personalities may provide a baseline, they are pliable as we age

Why personality changes matter

Thinking of personality as fixed could leave us feeling like we can never grow or dismiss people with certain qualities, believing that change isn't possible. However, we don't simply change our personalities in random ways. The relationship among all of our personality traits seems to be more consistent.

If someone was really conscientious but slightly disagreeable, they might keep that personality profile as they age, even if their other traits changed a bit.

Our personalities are a mix

Personality seems to change cumulative over our lifespan and likely happens in response to our life experiences. Therefore our personalities are a mix of stable and unstable.

  • Parents and teachers should keep that in mind when they try to influence a child's personality.
  • Even the elderly, whom we might expect to be more set in their ways, can change.
  • Partners would be better served by learning to value what remains constant in someone's personality while embracing personality shifts as they happen.

The big 5 personality characteristics

  • Extroversion
  • Agreebleness
  • Conscientiousness
  • Openness to experience
  • Emotional stability 

These traits reflect...

Extroversion

It reflects the degree to which people like to be the center of attention in social situations. 

Extroverts want that spotlight shown on them, while introverts shun the spotlight (though they typically have many friends and like engaging in smaller interactions).

Agreeableness

It reflects how much people want others to like them and have difficulty delivering bad news, giving criticism, and standing up for themselves to others.

People with agreeable personalities really want others to like them, while disagreeable people do not necessarily care whether others like them.

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The Big Five

It represents the 5 personality traits psychologists use today:
  • Openness to experiences
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extraversion
  • Agreeableness

Openness to Experience

It describes people who enjoy the arts and new experiences. Possible facets:

  • Fantasy: they have a vivid imagination
  • Aesthetics: they believe in the importance of art
  • Feelings: They experience emotions intensely
  • Actions: They prefer variety to routine
  • Ideas: they like complex problems
  • Values: they tend to vote for liberals.

Conscientiousness

People that score high on this are organized, methodical and tend to keep going and going. Possible facets:

  • Competence: they complete tasks successfully
  • Order: they like order
  • Dutifulness: the follow the rules
  • Achievement-striving: they work hard
  • Self-discipline: they get chores done right away
  • Deliberation: they avoid mistakes.