Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts



Major Professor

John W. Lounsbury

Committee Members

Eric Sundstrom, Jacob Levy


According to P-E fit theory from a vocational psychology perspective (see Holland, 1985), individuals differ in their attitudes, values, beliefs and behaviors, which in turn affect their career choices and their satisfaction with those choices. These differences, collectively termed "personality," influence both work and life outcomes. The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between personality traits and career satisfaction in a sample of sales professionals. An archival dataset was examined that included the "Big Five" and other work-related, narrow personality traits, as well as career satisfaction variables. All traits were significantly and positively related to career satisfaction except for Image Management, which was significantly, but negatively related to career satisfaction. The highest correlations were found between the measure of career satisfaction and emotional stability, optimism, and work drive. Implications for career planning and development, and personnel recruitment, selection, and training are discussed, along with future research recommendations.

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