One of the things I like best about being a counselor is helping people figure out their path in life. This is particularly true when it comes to helping students explore their career options.
As a tool for insight, I often turn to the work of John Holland. He was an American psychologist and the inventor of a career development model commonly referred to as The Holland Codes.
According to his theory, there are six basic personality types. They are: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional.
FYI: The acronym for the codes is RIASEC.
So, what do these terms mean? To answer that question, I have outlined the basics traits for each typology using simple language.
At the end of this post, I’ve also posted a link that offers a free assessment of your personality type, made available by the U.S. Department of Labor through the online resource, O*NET.
Are you ready? Check it out:
- You like to work with your hands. This could mean working with tools, animals, metals, woods, and machines.
- You may shy away from social situations involving teaching, speaking, or informing others.
- You prefer practical things that can be seen or heard.
- You may have a self-view that is practical in nature. You gravitate towards the mechanical.
- You like to investigate problems and find solutions. Math and science come naturally to you.
- You probably don’t like work involving sales, convincing people, or leading others.
- You put a premium on science and fact-based evidence.
- You may view yourself as scientific. People think of you as an intellectual type.
- You gravitate towards creative activities, including music, art, drama, crafts, or writing. Repetitive activities or situations with a high degree of structure are turn-offs.
- You are naturally gifted with creative abilities that are used for drawing, writing, music, and acting.
- You may view yourself as independent, expressive, original, and contrarian.
- You naturally gravitate towards helping other people and you have likely been this way since childhood.
- Teaching, offering medical assistance, and providing information are all in your wheelhouse. You likely shy away from machines or tools.
- You are likely gifted with teaching, counseling or in some other way of helping others.
- You are gifted at helping groups or finding solutions for social challenges.
- People may view you as intuitive, a healer, or even empathic.
- You enjoy persuading people and leading groups or teams. Selling, persuading, and convincing people come natural to you.
- Science and analytical thinking aren’t where you live.
- You are gifted with motivating people to a place of change.
- You have an entrepreneurial spirit and are a self-starter.
- You may place a premium on leadership skills or business accomplishments.
- You may see yourself as a task-master and the person who gets things done. Great in social situations.
- You likely gravitate towards work involving numbers. File management, recordkeeping, and operating machines that organize are in your wheelhouse.
- You aren’t a fan of unstructured environments or work that is ambiguous in nature.
- You prefer working with systems that follow an orderly flow.
- You place a premium on success in business.
- People see you as the orderly-type and excellent at following directions.
What’s important to keep in mind with Holland’s Codes (RIASEC) is that most people don’t fall neatly into a single category. In fact, most folks are a “combo-type.”
Example: A mixture of investigative and conventional.
So, how can you find out your career personality type? It’s simple. Head on over to O*Net and take the free interest profiler.
When you are done, please share your experience in the comments below. Did you find that the assessment accurately pegged your personality?
PS: This is a great tool for career counselors and teachers.