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Is There a Perfect Personality for Expatriates? (Tallinn)

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"A question that I am regularly asked is whether there is an ideal-expatriate profile. I answer with the popular summary of Charles Darwin's thinking: "It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." Many people do not adjust well to a new culture, language, and job. I have seen aggression, anxiety, depression, irritability, and feelings of low self-worth as a consequence. Negative physiological reactions such as insomnia, backache, and asthma also often occur.
Many organizational-psychology researchers have investigated the importance of the "big five" personality factors: extroversion, agreeableness, openness, conscientiousness, and emotional stability.
When the results of assessments are interpreted correctly, analysis of these five factors can be useful in determining which job applicants might succeed as expatriates. In my own work, I have added other dimensions for expatriate assessment. These include measurements of how effective people are at working in intercultural situations, stress-management ability, personal hardiness (ability to cope with negative events in a resilient and resourceful manner), and emotional intelligence (the ability to gauge an appropriate and constructive emotional response)"

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