People with obsessive compulsive personality disorder (OCPD) are workaholics who find it difficult to relax. They set high standards for themselves, and remain intolerant to their own shortcomings. They usually bring work home or to vacations to avoid wasting time, and even recreational activities become another form of work. As such, they give precedence to work over close interpersonal relationships, and remain loners.
People with OCPD prefer working in a highly controlled environment, with rigid adherence to rules and regulations without any exceptions. This makes them ideally suited for jobs that require perfection, conscientiousness, and attention to detail, but misfits for jobs that require spontaneity, imagination, flexibility, or teamwork.
Software programmers create, test, and evaluate programming code for use in computer applications, internet, mobile phones, and other appliances. The nature of the job makes it best suited for those who can work independently, adopt a systematic approach, pay attention to detail, and remain obsessed with the project over everything else until the work concludes. These requirements make software-programming rank amongst the best-suited careers for OCPD.
Software programmers got median annual wages of $85,430 in May 2008.
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Accountants and Statistical Analysts
Statistical analysts compile and compute data, based on statistical formulas, whereas accountants work with numbers. Both these jobs require intense concentration, attention to detail, and the need to remain organized. Accounting jobs also require strict adherence to the laid down accounting standards. All these conditions make such jobs a good match for those with OCPD.
The job opportunities for statisticians and accountants grow faster than average for all jobs. The median annual wages in May 2008 were $72,610 for statisticians and $65,840 for accountants.
Editor, Proofreader, and Copy Markers
Proofreaders, copy markers, and editors correct grammatical, typographical, and compositional errors before publication. The drive of people with OCPD to correct and ‘fix’ things makes them ideally suited to take up such jobs.
Jobs in proofreading, editing, and related services grow at an average rate, but the industry is highly competitive. Editors had a median annual wage of $49,990 in May 2008.
Court, Municipal, and License Clerks
Court, municipal or license clerks perform clerical duties in law courts, municipalities, and governmental bureaus. The need to maintain precise records, the importance of remaining organized, the routine nature of preparing dockets of cases or processing applications, the careful considerations required to check compliance with requirements before issuing licenses or permits and the like all make such jobs suited for people with OCPD.
Demand for clerks remains stagnant. Median annual wages of general office clerks were $25,320 in May 2008.
Travel agents process huge quantities of information to schedule and organize the travel itinerary of people. This job requires paying attention to detail, zero tolerance of error, and preoccupation with organization, rules, calendars, and scheduling, making it attractive for people with OCPD. Another advantage of travel agent jobs is the possibility of working independently from home.
The job prospects of travel agents remain steady. They enjoyed a median annual wages of $30,570 in May 2008.
Correctional officers or detention officers work in prisons and pretrial detention facilities, and are responsible for overseeing prisoners. The need to follow and enforce rigid rules and guidelines, maintain a strict schedule, and comply with the daily protocol makes such jobs best suited for people with OCPD.
Jailers and correctional officers had a median annual wage of $38,380 in May 2008, and the career has average growth prospects.
Careers in the military require rigid adherence to rules and guidelines and a good work ethic. People with OCPD who possess such characteristics naturally usually excel in the military.
Job opportunities in the military always remain open. The pay is usually good, with the exact pay depending on the grade and area of expertise.
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Health Care Jobs
Most health care jobs, including top end professions such as surgeons and low level jobs such as medical transcription require much attention to detail, careful adherence to the set procedure, concentration, and high standards of excellence.
Health care careers rank amongst the fastest growing and high paying jobs.
Appropriate Job Roles
People suffering from OCPD thrive in technical and functional roles, but make poor leaders. They remain unsuited for leadership roles owing to many reasons such as:
- basing their decisions on concrete guidelines and finding it difficult to take on the spot decisions
- inability to delegate tasks thinking that others would not do the job properly
- obsession with the finer points and remaining oblivious to the larger picture
- experiencing a high level of anxiety in unclear situations
People suffering from OCPD remain best suited for independent work rather than teamwork. Not only do they set high standards for themselves, but also for others, expecting everyone to follow the rules, regulations, and instructions by the rote. Their attitudes toward superiors depend on whether they respect these authorities, and they very often remain contemptuous of people they do not respect. People generally perceive those with OCPD as stubborn, stingy, self-righteous, and uncooperative.
People with OCPD strive to accomplish things in a careful and orderly manner, but the desire for perfection and their insistence on going "by the book" overrides their ability to complete tasks.
- Fitzgerald, Jane, A. “Obsessive-compulsive Personality Disorder." Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/galecontent/obsessive-compulsive-personality-disorder on 14 November 2010
- Bureau of Labor Standards. Occupational Outlook Handbook 2010-2011. Retrieved from www.bls.gov on 14 November 2010.
- Karimi, Sabah. "Career Options for People with Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder." Retrieved from https://www.associatedcontent.com/article/507659/career_options_for_people_with_obsessive_pg2.html?cat= on 14 November 2010.