John Holland’s Personality-Type Theory John Holland’s model holds that different personality types are best suited to different careers. He proposed six basic personality types and then identified careers they were best suited to enter. Holland’s model is a modern trait-factor theory that has been very influential in vocational counseling. It is employed by popular interest inventories such as the Self-Directed Search, Vocational Preference Inventory, and Strong Interest Inventory. Personality Types:
Holland’s six personality types are arranged along a hexagonal model with opposite work environments across from one another on the hexagon and more closely related work environments next to one another. The Realistic type contrasts most sharply with the Social type, the Investigative with the Enterprising, and the Conventional with the Artistic. | |Realistic | | |Investigative | | |Conventional | | | | |Artistic | | |Enterprising | | |Social | |
Realistic These individuals deal best with an environment that is objective and physical. They like stereotypical masculine, outside and hands-on activities. They are most comfortable in work environments dealing with machines, equipment, tools, nature, athletics and crafts. They tend to dislike Social occupations. Investigative These individuals deal best with an environment that is intellectual. They enjoy working with ideas, words or symbols.
They prefer scientific and theoretical pursuits that can largely be pursued through their individual effort. They tend to dislike Enterprising occupations. Social These individuals deal best with an environment that involves working with people in some helping, teaching, or serving capacity. They enjoy social interaction and being around others. They tend to dislike Realistic occupations. Conventional These individuals deal best with an environment that is concrete and predictable.
They enjoy structure and routine, and often like office practices and computational work. They tend to dislike Artistic occupations. Enterprising These individuals deal best with an environment that is adventurous, energizing and challenging. They are extroverted and enjoy power, dominance, and persuasive communication. Business and supervisory occupations are chosen, and they tend to dislike Realistic occupations. Artistic These individuals deal best with an environment that allows for creative self-expression.
They like music, drama, literature, fine arts, and other self-expressive activities. They tend to dislike Conventional occupations. The Holland Hexagon |Careers and Six Basic Types | |John Holland, a career specialist, developed a theory that people and careers can be characterized by six basic “types”. These | |”types”, or Holland Codes, are commonly referred to as RIASEC to reflect the first letter in each of the themes. | | |R for Realistic | |S for Social | | | |I for Investigative | |E for Enterprising | | | |A for Artistic | |C for Conventional | | | | | |Your Holland theme code will generally consist of three letters that correspond to your first, second, and third strongest | |preferences or interests. | | |The following table describes people and work environments according to Holland’s theory of Careers and Basic types: | |PEOPLE AND THEIR WORK ENVIRONMENTS* | |(based on John Holland’s Career Theory) | | | |Types | |People | |Work Environments | | | | | |Realistic | | | |Strong mechanical, psychomotor, and athletic abilities; honest; loyal; like the outdoors; prefer working with machines, tools, | |plants, and animals. | | | | |Structured; clear goals and lines of authority; work with hands, machines, or tools; casual dress; focus on tangible results; | |engineering, military, skilled trades | | | |Investigative | |Strong problem solving and analytical skills; mathematically inclined; like to observe, learn, and evaluate; prefer working | |alone; reserved; idea generators | |Nonstructured; research oriented; intellectual; discover, collect, and analyze ideas/data; science, math, medicine, and computer| |related; labs, universities, high tech, hospitals. | | | | |Artistic | | | |Creative; complex; emotional; intuitive; idealistic; flair for communicating ideas; prefer working independently; like to sing; | |write, act, paint, think creatively | | | |Nonstructured; creative; flexible; rewards unconventional and aesthetic values; creation of products and ideas; arts | |organizations, films/TV, publishing, advertising, museums, theater, galleries | | | | | |Social | | | |Friendly; outgoing; find fulfillment in helping others; strong verbal and personal skills; teaching abilities; impulsive | | | |Harmonious; congenial; work on people-related problems/issues; inform train, develop, cure, or enlighten others; team oriented; | |human resources; training, education, social service, hospitality, health care, nonprofit | | | | | |Enterprising | | | |Confident; assertive; sociable; speaking and leadership abilities; like to use influence; strong interpersonal skills; status | |conscious | | | |True business environment; results oriented; driven; high-quality service and product orientation; entrepreneurial; high | |prestige; power focused; sales, management, politics, finance, retail, leadership | | | | |Conventional | | | | | | | | | | | | | |Dependable; disciplined; precise; persistent orderly; efficient; practical; detail oriented; clerical and numerical abilities | | | | | |Orderly; clear rules and policies; systematized manipulation and organization of data; control and handling of money; high | |income potential; accounting, business, finance, administration | | | | |* From: Real People Real Jobs, by David H. Montross, Zandy B. Leibowitz, and Christopher J. Shinkman | | | |One way to identify and probe your career type is illustrated with a hexagon. A hexagon can be used to represent the | |similarities and differences of characteristics among people, among jobs, and between people and jobs. | |Most people’s interests combine several types to some degree. The six types can be arranged around a hexagon. Types that are | |next to one another on the hexagon are most closely related.
Types that are opposite one another on the hexagon are the most | |dissimilar. For example, the Realistic and Investigative types are similar, while the Realistic and Social types are often | |dissimilar. | | | | | | | |Learning what your type is and how the types are related to each other is important to your successful career decision-making | |process. | |d | | |