What Job Should You Have Based On Your Emotional IQ? Or, What Happens When You Let An Online Quiz Determine Your Future


It seems like there's a quiz out there for every factor in major life decisions, and emotional intelligence — that is, how good you are at reading people and responding to them — is no exception. But once you have your score on this particular brand of smarts, what do you do with it? You figure out what job you should have based on your emotional intelligence, of course.

Since 1997, psychologists have used the Reading the Mind in the Eyes test to evaluate “emotional IQ” based on a series of questions asking you to indicate how people are feeling based on pictures of their eyes alone. (Anyone else out there rather solve differential equations than be graded on something that impossible-sounding?) The quiz takes you through 36 pairs of eyes, each presenting four choices as to how that person is feeling. Oh, just as an FYI, the page offering your results warns that they're "likely to be inaccurate for any individual person" and often influenced by many irrelevant factors like "lighting level, mood, [and] fatigue," so I guess just, like, make sure you're in a well-lit room and not fatigued.

Once you've taken the Reading the Mind in the Eyes quiz, you now have one highly flawed measure of how emotionally intelligent you are. So, now what? Well, without further ado, it's time to make a major career decision based on your results! Whatever your job is right now, stop what you're doing immediately and give your two weeks' notice because we're about to find what you should really be doing.

Or, actually, don't do that. In reality, your test results probably don't tell the whole story about how good you are at sympathizing with and relating to others, and if you have a lower emotional IQ than needed for your dream job, you can improve upon your emotional intelligence. Plus, I would recommend choosing what you're passionate about over what you think you'd be good at — because we perform at our best when we are excited about and engaged in the work, and life is too short to make life-changing decisions based on an online quiz, even if you took it in the right lighting.

That said, though, what might it look like if we actually did base our jobs on our emotional intelligence score? Here are some suggestions — although make sure you take them as the parody they're meant to be. We're all masters of our own destinies, after all!

32-36: Psychic

Seriously, those were just eyes. How did you do that? Clearly some rare voodoo magic that you could be putting to use on daytime television. I'm actually kind of scared of you. Are you looking into my soul right now?

27-31: Therapist

You don't even need to ask your patients, "How do you feel about that?" You can just stare into their faces for a few seconds, and you'll know. If they get uncomfortable, explain that your technique is proven by science. And during those few times you get it wrong, just assure them that their real emotions are unconscious.

22-26: Writer of Career Advice Based on Online Quizzes

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and assume I'm doing something right, so if you got what I got, you should probably be doing this too. There are hundreds of other quizzes out there whose results are just waiting to be categorized into optimal professions, and your average EQ uniquely positions you to offer unbiased evaluations of others. Then again, should you trust an online-quiz-based career guide to tell you to write online-quiz-based career guides?? Hmm. Use your EQ to figure that one out.

17-21: Actor

You can understand emotions well enough to depict them on camera or stage, but not so well that your empathy for others will interfere with the narcissism the profession sometimes requires. A perfect balance!

12-16: Professor

You can totally pull off the whole "I'm too embroiled in my research to interact with the physical plane" act while still managing to remain civil when someone steps into your office.

7-11: Artist

It's surprisingly easy to pass as a "forlorn creative type" rather than "near sociopath." Just sigh often and make wistful comments about how nothing is real in this postmodern era.

3-7: Software engineer

Rather than attempt to solve the conundrum of "What the hell are your eyes trying to tell me?" software engineers have developed innovative methods of communicating through emojis over Hipchat and GIFs over Slack. In an emergency situation when someone asks about your code review in person, the three faces you got right should come in handy. And as an added bonus, your low-ish EQ might make you oblivious to Silicon Valley's rampant sexism.

0-2: Cat Sitter


We're sorry to inform you that you just aren't fit for human company. On the bright side, cats don't really care if you can read their faces as long as you're putting food in them.

The clock is ticking, so if you're wasting valuable time in a field you chose based on factors other than an online quiz, navigate to Indeed right now and start filling out applications for whatever job I have just objectively determined you're cut out for.

Or don't.

Your call.

Images: Cesar Augusto Serna Sz/Flickr; Giphy (8)