Posted by: counselorcarmella | July 28, 2011

Matching Your Career With Your Personality (Holland Types)

How do you feel about your job?  Do you usually enjoy going to work?  If you like your job, it is likely that your personality is well suited to the work you are doing.  If you do not like your job, it may be because your personality does not match up well with your job environment. John Holland believed that, for a person to feel fulfilled in their work, the work environment should closely match the worker’s personality type.  Read over the six types, and see how well you think your job and your personality match up.


Realistic.  People with this personality type prefer to deal more with actual objects rather than with ideas.  They like  to be able to use their hands to  do specific things. These people are well suited to occupations in engineering, carpentry, plumbing, mechanics, or other skilled trades.  They’d rather be active than  being stuck at a desk job.

 Investigative. These people tend to be more analytical and abstract. They wonder about  things and are inquisitive. Occupations in science, research, computer programming, mathematics, and other technical fields are likely to be a good match for them.  Such jobs encourage scholarly and scientific competencies and achievements.

Artistic.  A highly artistic person tends to rely more on feelings and the imagination.  Artistic people are cued in to their senses and are often  very intuitive. This person might pursue   occupations that encourage creativity and originality.  Artistic jobs would include those in music, fashion, interior design, creative writing, visual arts, drama, etc.)

Social. People with social personalities have a strong interest in interacting with other people and are sensitive to the needs of others.  They will most likely be happiest pursuing occupations in teaching, nursing, public relations, or human services.  These jobs allow them to work closely with, and help, other people.

Enterprising.  These are individuals who are adventurous, outgoing, talkative, dominant, and persuasive.  They are often very extroverted. Such people would likely do well in occupations in sales, supervision of others, as lawyers who appear in court, etc.  These people are often in positions of leadership or have their own businesses, and are involved in work where importance is placed on money, power, and status.

Conventional.  The conventional personality tends to be practical, neat, and organized. This person works well in structured situations, such as   occupations related to accounting, business, or clerical vocations that involve organizing data or records. Librarians may  fall into this category, as well, except maybe for research librarians. In such professions, a strong emphasis is placed on dependability, routine, and conformity.


If your job environment does not match up with your personality type, this does not mean you should turn in your two-weeks notice tomorrow.  There may be plenty of good reasons to stay, such as money, benefits, seniority, or numerous other important factors.  Having a personality that does not compliment your job environment may mean that you have to try a little harder to find ways of enjoying your

work.  If you are thinking about starting a new career or looking for that exciting first job, this information can help you choose work that will match up well with your personality.  For example, if you are highly artistic, you probably won’t like a job that is routine and repetitive, like accounting.  A realistic person may find investigative jobs too abstract.  Social people need work that gets them interacting with other people and would likely not enjoy mechanical jobs or filing papers all day. 


Maybe you’re not sure which category your personality falls into.  The categories

are only described briefly here.  Not all jobs fall neatly into  just one category.  Most of us have two categories we are  strongest in.  There is much more to learn about each of them, and lots more jobs under each than could be mentioned here.  You can find out more about the different personality types and the jobs that are suited for them by visiting  From this website, you can also take an on-line inventory that will show you which personality types and jobs describe you best.  If you do not use, or have access to the Internet, books on this topic are available at your local library or bookstore.

A career counselor can be very helpful when you are trying to make decisions about employment.  These counselors are specially trained to help you figure out which jobs would suit you best.  They can also talk with you about your unique work needs, interests, abilities, and other important aspects of finding and keeping a job.  They can point you to helpful books and other career related resources and can help you find out about careers you think you might like.  Career counselors can also help you with interviewing skills, putting together a resume, job hunting strategies, and other practical skills.



  1. […] Matching Your Career With Your Personality (Holland Types) ( […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: