Personality Assessments and Reflection

Time getting to know yourself is time well spent
Personality assessments can you help you during the reflection phase of the decision making process. According to research conducted by John Holland, people develop preferences for certain activities during our early years. These preferences largely determine our likes and dislikes throughout our life.
Holland has identified six personality styles, which he describes as Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. Nearly everyone has characteristics of each type.
Holland's theory states that people are attracted to roles in work environments that meet their personal needs and provide them with satisfaction. Try to match your needs with your work situation or type of work. The more compatible your "Holland style" is with your activities, organizations, and work, the more satisfied you will be.

Holland's personality types

Below is some general information about the types of environments that are most attractive to each "pure" Holland type. However, remember that no one is a pure Holland type.
  • Realistic types are attracted to jobs that use trade skills. These might include plumber, electrician, machine operator, airplane mechanic, photographer, draftsperson, and some service occupations.
  • Investigative types like science-related jobs such as chemist, physicist, mathematician, laboratory technician, computer programmer, and electronic worker.
  • Artistic types like work in the visual and performing arts: sculptor, designer, artist, music teacher, editor, writer, and musician.
  • Social types like educational pursuits such as teaching and working in social service positions such as social worker, rehabilitation counselor, and nurse.
  • Enterprising types like managerial and sales positions. These might include working in personnel, production, insurance, or real estate sales.
  • Conventional types like office and clerical work. Consider jobs like teller, accountant, secretary, receptionist, and credit manager.
  • For more on Holland's theory, see this excellent summary from Johns Hopkins University.
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