That Day You Missed in Psych 101…A Continuation of Tough Love

OK, so normally I am not a fan of piggy-back blogging, but I suppose I can make an excuse so long as it is shrouded in self-bias, right?

Ah, yes the American Way.

Ok, so you all read one of my Recent Posts where I chatted about the probable connections between your Personality Type and your fitness goal success rate, yes?

Well, if not, shame on you for missing that day in class and your mulligan opportunity a decade [+] later.

Go ahead, redeem yourself, and click the convenient hyperlink above.

And in case you need a laugh along with your redemption, view this 14 seconds of Hollywood glory below:


Moving right along, now that you know about some of the benefits [and pitfalls] your personality may be having on your health – what if I told you that I came across some information that linked your personality type to your… paycheck?

Intriguing isn’t it?

Now, there are a lot of routes I could have chosen to go with this.

Some as philosophical as:

“Those scoring High on Conscientiousness and Agreeableness may tend towards careers in Social Services”.
Thus [as I can personally attest] rendering themselves to a life of “over-worked and under-paid” status while always garnering the “oh my gosh, that is so great” cooing and head-tilting nods of admiration at cocktail parties when the formidable cocktail question “SO what do YOU do” rears its socially mandated head.

In other words, their personality type drove them towards a career that happens to be on the low end of paychecks, while those scoring High in Extroversion have a higher tendency towards glamorous careers in Hollywood and thus bring home a larger paycheck [which of course they will need to pay their rehab bills, and get hooked up with a Therapist…who, wait just a minute…is part of that Social Services sector we just discussed…Ah yes, the Circle of Life, round it goes…].

As fascinating as that angle for this topic is, I am going to stay a bit more localized, and discuss factors within the workplace that operate on a continuum inside each profession.

First things first, this information is NOT indicated to infer that a stellar personality can take the place of things like job experience, skill set, and those minor details things like that PhD that separates you from your surgeon – especially in the Operating Room.

Disclaimer aside, take a look at how some researchers are drawing conclusions about how your personality could be interacting with your paycheck:

magnet moneyNeuroticism: Particularly interesting findings here… you would think that those High on this spectrum would pull in the big bucks because of their perfectionism and tendencies towards work-a-holism; however, according to some researchers at Cornell University, the opposite was true, at least at the managerial level: those scoring above average on Neuroticism pulled an average of $36, 000 LESS than their less Neurotic peers.

Wow! Now, take this with a grain of salt, I don’t know much about the sample size here or what field of work they tested in…$36K for a McDonalds hamburger flipper is far more dramatic than for a successful Wolf on Wall Street. But, all things being equal, I think it does interject an interesting question – is your perfectionism helping you or hurting you? It may hurt you in the long run if it reduces productivity [because you have 15 drafts of everything] and makes you quick to frustration when things change last minute or tasks don’t go the way originally planned. High neurosis can even lead you to adopt a more “closed-door policy” as you bunker-down to complete tasks and miss out on social elements around your workplace that are often evaluated [sometimes subconsciously] during reviews. Remember, just because you graduated high school, doesn’t mean that the popularity contests are over – they still go on just disguised in adult versions. Balance your perfectionism with a bit of light-hearted schmoozing for best results.

Ah, yes, schmoozing, no longer just a term used by your dear, old Bubbe [ Jewish Nana], in fact it is a perfect segue into Extraversion.

According to a study done by Social Psychologist Daniel Spurk, those scoring High in Extraversion were more likely to earn 6-figure incomes.


Spurk suggests,“They set higher career advancement goals’; plus, they’re more confident”.

I would venture to say a lot of it has to do with the schmoozing aspect. In this day and age, it is 80% about WHO you know and 20% about WHAT you know. That is either really good or really bad depending on how much networking you care to do. Take note, there is an art to schmoozing, if you are too obvious about networking intentions, it can turn some people off from doing business with you. It is best to be genuine and make collaborative alliances – that is to say, don’t hog the spotlight but show the other person in your words and actions how their involvement with YOU will benefit them as well.

Just make sure not to cross the line and sell yourself short in the Doormat Land…Behavior Researcher Charlice Hurst finds that “Nice Guy [can] finish last”… to the tune of about $10,000. Findings that suggest that those scoring LOW on Agreeableness, who are aren’t afraid to be assertive and even step on a few toes, tend to advance more frequently while those who self-sacrifice in the name of niceties miss out on opportunities that end up manifesting financially.

Again, not sure of the specifics of this case but great food for thought – like Neuroticism, aim for balance: Be Nice, but know when to stand up for yourself and your own career. At the end of the day, no one cares as much about your own life as you do. No matter how nice they are.

Be this as it may, you cannot shuck all ethics and expect to pursue solely self-serving goals. We are social beings by nature, and even if you don’t WANT others help, statistically speaking, you need it. Interesting finds here in the Ethics realm – most closely related to the Conscientiousness scale on the Big Five test… Econometrics researcher Andrew Hussey found an inverse correlation for pay and ethics that was divided not by the level of ethics themselves but by gender.

Hussey found that businessmen who openly embraced ethics made almost 4% less than peers without such vocal policies and were seen as weaker, less aggressive leaders. However, that morality of corporate play was heralded in women who earned more money with less aggressive leadership styles than their male counterparts.

No-money-clipart     money-women

Last but not least, Openness.

Specifically openness to new experiences – and not just open, but actually embracing those new experiences with something a tad more positive than an eye roll.

Psychologist Susan Segerstorm did a study evaluating law students and found that 10 years after graduation, those inclined to optimism in the face of educational and career set backs contributed to an average earnings of $32, 667 above their Debbie Downer contemporaries. Likely a by-product of resiliency. If you tenaciously seek out opportunities with a gut instinct of success, even if the odds may really be stacked against you, it will likely come across in your encounters and your personality seen as an attribute for a company.


In case you are wondering why Miss Fit is discussing financial forecasting – remember this is about being Fit4Life.

Your lab results are part of that. But so is your bank account and your social and emotional IQ.

It is important to understand the roles of all these players in this crazy game we call Life.

game of life

Have something to add? I would love to hear from you. Simply comment below or email direct at

Until next time, Stay Well.

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