Life After The ‘Big 5’ Personality Test – Dr. Jordan Peterson

I recently sat a personality test called ‘The Big 5’, co-designed by clinical psychologist and professor in psychology at the University of Toronto – Dr. Jordan Peterson, who has made a huge name for himself in recent years through online platforms and in the political landscape in Canada.

The 5 personality traits listed in this test are as follows;

1) Agreeableness – your level of friendliness and compassion.

2) Openness – your need for new experience and creativity.

3) Extraversion – your level of enthusiasm and assertiveness in social situations.

4) Neuroticism – levels of emotional instability

5) Conscientiousness – level of methodic, organised thinking and action.

My scores are below:

1) Agreeableness – moderately low
2) Openness (creativity) – extremely high
3) extraversion – moderately high
4) neuroticism – extremely high
5) conscientiousness – very high

After analysing and reflecting upon my scores, I began to see patterns from my past and even glimpses of these traits throughout my everyday behaviours.

It’s no wonder how someone with extremely high levels of openness to new experience and high levels of conscientiousness would move to country like Cambodia on their own to pursue whatever endeavour called for them.

In terms of my scores, they seem sway more towards the unconventional traits compared to the average sample of people who have taken this test, which is in the tens of thousands.

I have been in the workforce since 15 years of age and could never figure out why I pretty much despised every conventional role I took. I have spent hours in different office or warehouse bathrooms crying with shame, guilt and frustration, not being able to understand why I can get so depressed so easily when I am dissatisfied with my work.

I recall a time back in 2017 when I was working in a corporate setting in the Sydney and I remember the pain and the dread I had to endure almost every single day walking into that job. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me.

I knew I had the mental capabilities, I knew I was socially gifted enough to build great relationships amongst my colleagues, but job after job, I just couldn’t figure out why I was underperforming in almost everything I did.

There came a point where depression started to eat away at me so much, I would go home and although I was behind a desk all day long, my body would be exhausted, as it would take a beating from the physical effects of my highly neurotic tendencies.

I only recently discovered my scores in terms of personality, and since then there has been this huge layer of guilt and shame that has been lifted and now I am on a new trajectory, trying to discover a path that best suits me. I never intended on coming to Cambodia to fulfil my creative needs.

I came to Cambodia because I thought it would be my last ‘hoorah’ before having to settle back down to a ‘normal’ job again. But thanks to my continuous mission to self inquire, to my relief the reality is, I no longer have to feel the depressing guilt and shame that came with the belief that I was never going to be able to fit in to a regular job.

With that all said, I am now challenged with the idea that being extremely open to new experience comes with a lot of uncertainty. Things like pursuing artistic and entrepreneurial ventures come with great risk and when levels of emotional instability are high, as mine tend to be if I let it get out of control, this can put a lot of strain on me and my life.

Moving forward now, I must navigate my way through life and career, maintaining a strong sense of self awareness and discipline, as I know very well how quickly things can slip out of control.

If anyone is interested in learning more about yourself, go to