Occupation Thesaurus Entry: Diplomat

Jobs are as important for our characters as they are for real people. A character’s career might be their dream job or one they’ve chosen due to necessity. In your story, they might be trying to get that job or are already working in the field. Whatever the situation, as with any defining aspect for your character, you’ll need to do the proper research to be able to write that career knowledgeably.

Enter the Occupation Thesaurus. Here, you’ll find important background information on a variety of career options for your character. In addition to the basics, we’ll also be covering related info that relates to character arc and story planning, such as sources of conflict (internal and external) and how the job might impact basic human needs, thereby affecting the character’s goals. It’s our hope that this thesaurus will share some of your research burden while also giving you ideas about your character’s occupation that you might not have considered before.

Below is a sample list of ideas to help you see how an occupation can reveal your character’s beliefs, history, goals, and more.

To view the full entry, visit One Stop for Writers where it resides within the largest fiction-based descriptive database ever created. (Free Trial available.)

Occupation: Diplomat

Overview: Diplomats are foreign service officials appointed to represent their home nation to other countries around the world. They have many responsibilities, including negotiating treaties, improving relations, gathering and reporting information, issuing visas, protecting their citizens overseas, and influencing other nations in regard to various issues, such as war and peace, economics, the environment, and human rights. Whatever job they’re doing, the diplomat should always be representing the interests and policies of their home country.

While diplomats may remain in their home nation, they most often are posted to an embassy in another country. Many assignments are…

Necessary Training: Each country’s requirements are different, but as an example, someone wanting to become a diplomat in the US must be a US citizen between the ages of 20 and 59 years old. They must take a written aptitude test and…

Useful Skills, Talents, or Abilities: A knack for languages, charm, empathy, exceptional memory, gaining the trust of others, good listening skills…

Helpful Character Traits:

POSITIVE: Adaptable, adventurous, ambitious, analytical, appreciative, bold, calm, charming, confident, cooperative, courteous, decisive…

NEGATIVE: Confrontational, evasive, manipulative, nosy, perfectionist, pushy, suspicious

Sources of Friction: Being posted to an undesirable location, an attack on one’s embassy, language barriers that make communication difficult, working with an inept or biased translator, officials from the hosting country who are inflexible and uncooperative, being assigned a dangerous posting that one’s family can’t accompany one to, being reassigned and having to leave…

People They Might Interact With: ambassadors, envoys, attachés, foreign diplomats, reporters, translators, government officials and heads of state

How This Occupation Might Impact One’s Basic Needs:

  • Self-Actualization:  Anyone working in politics is subject to the whims of those they report to. A diplomat may work very hard to achieve their given objectives on an assignment only to learn they’ve been used as part of a political scheme. Getting burned too many times in this way could…
  • Esteem and Recognition: There’s a clear diplomatic ranking in most governments. Someone at the bottom of the ladder who has trouble working their way up may…
  • Love and Belonging: A diplomat must be flexible, going where he’s sent and changing countries frequently. This can make it difficult to develop romantic relationships and…
  • Safety and Security: Diplomats are often needed in places defined by unrest and instability. This can…
  • Physiological Needs: Should a country’s situation devolve into violence, the residing diplomat’s life could easily be threatened.

Common Work-Related Settings: Airplane, airport, alley, bazaar, big city street, black-tie event, boardroom, elevator, mansion, military base, refugee camp

Visit the other Occupations in our collection HERE.

How will your character’s occupation help reveal their innermost layers?

Much of your character’s life will revolve around their work, and whether they love it or hate it, their job is a great way to show, not tell, their personality traits, skills, work ethic, worldview and beliefs, and more, so we should choose it with care.

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The Occupation Thesaurus is yet another priceless author resource released in this series…” ~ Brandi MacCurdy

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Visit the other Occupations in our collection HERE.


How will your character’s occupation help reveal their innermost layers?

Much of your character’s life will revolve around their work, and whether they love it or hate it, their job is a great way to show, not tell, their personality traits, skills, work ethic, worldview and beliefs, and more, so we should choose it with care.

Some of your scenes may take place at work, involve co-workers, or even highlight relationship friction between their work and personal life. To convey this accurately, you need to understand key details about what their job entails. Don’t worry, we’ve done the research for you!

Characterize. Add realism. Push the plot forward as the character’s career influences the story.

The Occupation Thesaurus is waiting to help you within our signature descriptive database at One Stop For Writers. If you like, give the FREE TRIAL a spin, or check out our very affordable plans.


Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling. You can find Becca online at both of these spots, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
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