Despite the fact that only 1 percent of the overall population qualifies as psychopaths, they surround us. It could be your neighbor, co-worker or even a relative. The majority of psychopaths are walking among us, immersed in careers that nurture their psychopathic traits, and in some cases even reward them.
Psychopathy is a set of ingrained personality traits which can lead to a horrific killer – or simply to a ruthlessly determined business person. That’s why CEOs lead the list in professions psychopaths are attracted to.
Being risk seekers, impulsive and fearless, help entrepreneurs lead and succeed and the corporate lexicon is full of bloodthirsty metaphors. Business is cutthroat; those who succeed are sharks, and they make a killing. Do you believe that there’s a better place for a psychopath to shine?
Various studies suggest that 4 percent of CEOs qualify as psychopaths. They understand how to use people for the most gain; they’re master manipulators with an inflated sense of self-worth. In the eyes of most people, these are essential traits of successful entrepreneurs.
If we look at the “Pig Farmer Killer” Robert Pickton, it shouldn’t be a surprise that he was able to become a multi-millionaire pig farmer.
Law is another profession psychopaths are attracted to. And it actually makes sense. Most lawyers will do anything to benefit at any cost, turning on their charm and lying without conscience.
The third place is dedicated to media (television/radio) personalities. Is there any better place for narcissistic personalities to show off? Probably not.
As John Clarke, the author of Working with Monsters: How to Identify and Protect Yourself from the Workplace Psychopath, said, “The psychopath is very likely to be a good salesperson if they are intelligent as well as glib and superficial. In fact, a study done in 2001 by Marc Hamer found that superior sales performance was associated with higher levels of narcissism (egocentric and grandiose), sociopathy and cognitive empathy.” The problem with psychopathic salespeople, though, is that you’re bound to run into issues with their “me, me, me” attitude. As Clarke points out, “In the long term psychopaths let clients down. In addition, the psychopath who is a salesperson is likely to exploit the system in some way to benefit themselves. For example, they may steal products or sell them at ‘discount rates’ to their friends.”
The fifth place is dedicated to surgeons. As Wen Shen stated in a 2014 Pacific Standard, “the trouble with surgeons is…many are abrasive, abusive, and wildly self-centered—so much so that observers have speculated that they suffer from psychiatric disorders.”
In other words, every surgeon is a true killer who has found a socially acceptable way to express his desire.
Jayant Patel, an Indian-born American surgeon, was accused of gross negligence whilst working at Bundaberg Base Hospital in Queensland, Australia. Deaths of some of Dr. Patel’s patients led to widespread publicity in 2005. Five years later, Patel was convicted of three counts of manslaughter and one case of grievous bodily harm, and sentenced to seven years imprisonment. Between 2003 and early 2005, Patel killed 87 deaths among the 1,202 patients he treated. 30 patients died while under his care in Bundaberg.
Journalism is the sixth profession that attracts psychopaths. Even the most humble human being can be easily turned into a fountain of narcissism by seeing his name in a national newspaper on a daily basis.
In 2008, Vlado Taneski, Macedonian crime reporter was arrested for the murder of two women, when police became aware that his articles about the recent murders contained information which had not been released to the public. On 22 June 2008, the day following his arrest, Taneski was found dead in his cell after committing suicide.
Many serial killers are fascinated by authority. They have attempted to become police officers, security guards or have served in the military. Many of them, such as Ted Bundy, the Hillside Stranglers, and a “Killer Clown” John Wayne Gacy have also disguised themselves as law enforcement to gain access to victims.
Joe Navarro, an ex-FBI agent, the expert in deception, espionage, interrogation, and reading people, has written an article for Psychology Today on why predators are attracted to careers in the clergy. Religious organizations provide easy access to victims, a source for financial rewards and easy legitimacy based on having an ordained position. Among some of the most popular preachers and televangelists who have exhibited megalomaniacal/psychopathic behavior are Bill Gothard, Creflo Dollar, Geronimo Aguilar and multiple megachurch leaders.
In one of his interviews, Gordon Ramsay, a British celebrity chef, restaurateur, and television personality, said: “Chefs are nutters. They’re all self-obsessed, delicate, dainty, insecure little souls and absolute psychopaths. Every last one of them.” And the conditions they work in would definitely drive most of us crazy.
Civil service is the last of ten professions psychopaths are attracted to. While psychopaths crave for power and control, there’s certainly power in certain civil service roles and the ability to ruin other people’s lives.
Serial killer Dennis Nilsen, dubbed as the British Jeffrey Dahmer, worked as a civil servant and served as a police officer. David Berkowitz, the “Son of Sam,” worked as letter sorter at the post office. The “BTK Killer” Dennis Rader was a census field operations supervisor in his home state of Kansas. Neighbors recalled Rader as sometimes being overzealous and extremely strict; one neighbor complained that he euthanized her dog for no reason.
Does your job attract true psychopaths? Share in the comments below!