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What Is your Career Personality Type?

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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.

Wrap Up

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.

What Is your Career Personality Type?

John D. Moore, PhD

Described as folksy and down to earth, Dr. John Moore infuses current events and pop culture into his posts as a way of communicating wider points on issues related to wellness and goal attainment. His work has been featured in nationally syndicated media, including Cosmo, Men's Fitness and CBS Market Watch. He is a consultant to a number of Fortune 500 companies and institutions of Higher Learning. Dr. Moore is author of Confusing Love with Obsessionand Editor in Chief at: Guy Counseling.

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APA Reference
Moore, J. (2018). What Is your Career Personality Type?. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 29, 2020, from


Last updated: 6 May 2018
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