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Conscientiousness is high on most firms' wish list of traits they want in employees. Yet a recent study found that laid-off individuals who are conscientious are less likely to find jobs within five months than their slacker peers.

Turns out there's a logical explanation, say Kent State researchers: "It is possible that conscientious individuals actively seek work after job loss but are particularly selective and slow about choosing new employment." Thanks to their patience, however, they may wind up being happier with their choice than folks who jump at their first job offer.

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