What Is A Conscientious Personality?

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 13 August 2022

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According to the highly-regarded Big 5 personality test, conscientiousness is one of the five traits that can define an individual's personality. People who display conscientious qualities usually work hard and are good team players, which makes them highly desirable in the workplace. In this article, we explore the characteristics of a conscientious person, how you can develop this quality and jobs that typically require high conscientiousness.

What Is Conscientiousness?

Conscientiousness is a person's quality to be careful, organised and diligent while displaying a high level of emotional intelligence. Conscientious people are typically highly efficient, focused on planning, self-disciplined and high achievers. They are proactive and prepare for multiple possibilities, scenarios and consequences. This industrious behaviour is characterised by critical thinking and efficient troubleshooting.

Conscientious employees take responsibility for their work. They set goals and try to achieve them by strictly following rules and regulations. They try to maintain due diligence in performing their duties associated with their goals. They also possess a higher level of awareness of surroundings and obligations.

What Are The Advantages Of Conscientiousness?

Conscientious people tend to focus on the tasks at hand. Due to their meticulous preparation and rule-driven behaviour, they prioritise each task and complete all of them in order. They give importance to schedules and plans over most everything else. They tend to complete work on time or before deadlines. They also pay a lot of attention to detail and care about the steps involved in big projects.

A conscientious attitude is highly valuable to project managers who know the importance of each task and its contribution to the overall result. The desire to handle more responsibilities and their devotion to work make conscientious people ideal candidates for promotion and higher salaries.

Most employees also apply this principle to solve problems and create a consistent workflow. Daily activities such as clearing utility bills, setting up accounts, handling financial reports or dealing with customer care become simple tasks for them.

For example, consider that a service provider has made a mistake in a bill or input wrong information in the online account. A conscientious person would keep the account number, correct name, address, email, contact number and relevant details close by before calling up the support number. As a result, when the customer care employee begins asking these questions for verification in their database system, the information is readily available. The executive is then able to find and resolve the issue quickly or provide a beneficial solution.

Typical Characteristics Of Conscientious People

You can find that the following characteristics are common among conscientious people:

  • Composed attitude: People who exhibit conscientiousness are often able to keep their feelings or expression of emotions under control. They tend to care about the environment in which they work with their colleagues. This attitude reduces friction among coworkers and promotes camaraderie. This ability is also known as emotional intelligence.

  • Organised behaviour: You may find that conscientious people like to keep things tidy and in order. For example, they can have a specific order in arranging their possessions, which optimises their working speed. Sometimes, their schedules involve timed activities that synchronise with this organised behaviour to increase efficiency even further.

  • Dedication: Conscientious people usually follow their plans and adapt their working habits accordingly. For example, they may report to work early or stay late to complete their tasks and stick to their deadlines.

  • Attention to detail: You may find this quality as a requirement in many jobs which require a conscientious personality. Being thorough and meticulous help conscientious people achieve a higher level of quality. They try to look for all possible options when creating a plan and concentrate on their tasks to extract the best possible output.

  • Reliability: The traits mentioned above culminate into reliability, which is another important quality in conscientious people. Reliability allows coworkers and colleagues to depend on these people to get the job done, thus increasing collaboration and teamwork.

How To Become Conscientious

Studies show that every person is conscientious up to a certain degree. So, there is a chance that some orderliness already exists in your life. You can increase your level of conscientiousness by following four simple steps:

  • Increase your concentration

  • Schedule time for planning

  • Use visualisation techniques

  • Find social support

1. Increase your concentration

Distractions prevent many individuals from thinking clearly. Examples include social media, smartphones, TV, streaming websites and computer games. In order to focus on your work, consider minimizing or eliminating these distractions. Start by avoiding social media websites or apps while you work and uninstalling computer games from your computer. Work in a place where there are no TV or streaming services available. You can also silence your smartphone for the duration of your task. These decisions will ensure that you are able to concentrate better.

2. Schedule time for planning

Planning is often easier if you do it step-by-step. Simply start by taking a few minutes every morning to list the things you need to do and want to accomplish for the day. If it is challenging to remember and stay on task, make a list to carry throughout the day. Once a task is complete, simply tick it off the list. This activity can give you a sense of accomplishment and possibly create a useful habit. When you extend this habit to your work, you can enhance your productivity.

3. Use visualisation techniques

To be more conscientious, you need foresight. When you create a goal, begin thinking about the end result. When you know where you are going, it becomes easy to plan out the tasks required to achieve your goal. Take time to think about the obstacles you may face in trying to complete the necessary tasks. This activity is called mental contrasting, and it promotes a realistic way of thinking. It allows you to plan for contingencies in different scenarios so that your objective remains unchanged and the process remains stable.

4. Find social support

Trying to change your personality all by yourself can be challenging. Socialise with people who can help you be more conscientious. Mentors and guides can provide you with tips and tricks to be attentive in your work. They can set deadlines for you so that you have a schedule. Prioritise tasks according to your schedule and concentrate on completing one task at a time. You can also ask your mentors for guidance if you encounter problems. It is important to note that this guidance is usually in the form of suggestions or exchange of ideas, rather than a set of specific instructions. Such activities can also improve your communication skills, which is an added bonus.

Jobs That Require Conscientiousness

Conscientious people are well suited for jobs that require prudence, order, consistency and concentration on details. Here are four career options which require this trait:

1. Project manager

National Average Salary: ₹ 32,242 per month

Primary Duties: Project managers are a critical aspect of most projects, and they plan extensively and follow up to get things done. Keeping track of all the tasks, people assigned to them, their deadlines and status is a very detailed operation that involves multitasking. A conscientious attitude ensures consistent workflow through all project management stages. Conscientious project managers often become top-level executives or CEOs with high levels of success.

Companies with this position: Larsen & Toubro Infotech Limited, Syngene, Philips

2. Lawyer

National Average Salary: ₹ 21,548 per month

Primary Duties: Practising law requires a significant level of foresight. Lawyers must account for many possible outcomes and then decide on a winning strategy or an acceptable solution. They need to construct and recall multiple clauses and paragraphs in legal documents to avoid adverse consequences for their clients. A conscientious personality can prove very useful in this career.

Companies with this position: British Academy for the English Language, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Credit Suisse

3. Event manager

National Average Salary: ₹ 19,372 per month

Primary Duties: Event planning is a career that requires visualising the whole event and considering a lot of unknowns. Event planners meticulously plan all the details of an event, such as location, date and time, guest lists, suppliers, accommodation and travel arrangements. Managing the specifics takes a lot of effort and a steady, organised persona. Conscientious people perform well as event planners on account of their excellent organisational skills and systematic approach in hosting the events.

Companies with this position: E-Friend Solutions India, Job Mirror Consultancy, Madeline

4. Administrative assistant

National Average Salary: ₹ 16,397 per month

Primary Duties: Administrative assistants complete the daily operations within an office environment. They respond to emails, answer phones, take messages, manage bookings and support travel arrangements for their supervisors. They also arrange interviews and training packages for junior employees and undertake any ad-hoc jobs to ensure the seamless operation of a workplace. Conscientious people often find this job position very rewarding.

Companies with this position: Arissa India, Frontend Arts, Perceptive Analytics

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

Salary figures reflect data listed on the quoted websites at time of writing. Salaries may vary depending on the hiring organisation and a candidate’s experience, academic background and location.

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