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Sunday January 20th 2019

Discovering Your Personality Traits To A Better Job Search – Holland Codes

Discovering Your Personality Traits To A Better Job – Holland Codes

 Written by: Shafie

 We all have this niggling feeling, at some point in our working life, when we start to question ourselves at the work place:  ‘What the heck am I doing here?’.

Job satisfaction is such a fleeting myth here as people struggle to even get a job nowadays with the huge influx of foreigners in our midst.

Young graduates usually take on any job  that pays the best even though it is not their ideal kind of work. Some undergraduates even could not get into their choice faculty in varsity and have to settle for second or third best.

Personally, I have encountered this soul-searching feeling last year at my work place.

I have been in the infocomm technology (ICT) industry for more than a decade and was totally jaded with the industry. I wanted out in order to pursue a  career that I love and not doing something just to pay the bills.

However, I didn’t know exactly what I wanted for myself and drifted aimlessly for eight  months  until I stumbled on the Holland Hexagon – theory of career choice.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not asking everyone here to quit their jobs when they are unhappy at work and start to day dream about their ideal job at home.

However, if you are grossly unhappy with your job and experience massive work-related stress, it may be time to seriously consider throwing in the towel.

Let me now walk you through the personality test that has literally save my corporate life.

John L. Holland – Holland Codes

John L. Holland is an American psychologist and  the creator of the best known and widely researched theory of career choice. It includes six personality types that are often abbreviated as RIASEC and are used to create the well known Holland Codes.

Holland theorized that the choice of a vocation is an expression of personality and that the six factor typology he articulated could be used to describe both persons and work environments.

Holland’s theory does not assume that a person is just one type or that there are “only six types of people in the world.” Instead, he assumed that any person could be described as having interests associated with each of the six types in a descending order of preference. This assumption allows the Holland Codes to be used to describe 720 different personality patterns.

Types Personality Preferred Work Environment
R ealistic 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
I nvestigative 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.
A rtistic 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
S ocial 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
E nterprising 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
C onventional 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

Note: None of us has only one distinct personality type.

The Holland Hexagon

In presenting his theory, Holland graphically represented the six types as arrayed on a hexagon. This graphic representation serves to describe the empirically determined correlations between the types. The shorter the distance between their corners on the hexagon, the more closely they are related.

 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.

So, a person can be Realistic and Investigative, or Realistic and Conventional but unlikely to be Realistic and Social to a certain degree.

Moreover, if a person’s type is extreme, for example, Realistic and Enterprising; it is likely the person is Conventional too, or if a person’s type is Investigative and Conventional, it is likely the person is Realistic; but of course, to a certain degree.

Case Study

Using the Holland Hexagon, I found my personality type to be  Investigative and Social. Thus, it does explain why I was in the ICT industry and my love to teach and train people. Smacked in the middle of my Investigative and Social type was my Artistic nature

 I  remembered my intense love for Art and Drawing during my younger days.

My original plan was to be an Architect.The dream was however banished forever when I was met with an  accident  severing the ligaments in my right thumb.

After discovering my personality trends  I have now made concrete long terms plan and aspire to take advantage of my Investigative, Social and Artistic types.

So you might ask what kind of profession suits my personality type?

Well, I can start an online publishing firm or work for an online publishing firm as an illustrator once I have honed my skills among others.

Learning About Your Personality And Professions

So using the below simplified Holland Code and the above Holland Hexagon, which professions or mix of professions will suit you  best?

Types Personality Possible professions
Realistic (Do’er) Working with your hands, tools, machines, and things; practical, mechanically inclined, and physical AgricultureArchaeologyArchitectAstronautAthleteChefComputer scienceDriver

Electrical engineering




Information technology

Instructional technology

Martial arts


Mechanical engineering



Physical therapy


Police Officer



Investigative (Thinker) Working with theory and information, analytical, intellectual, scientific ActuaryComputer scienceEconomistEngineerFinanceLawyerMathematicsPharmacy

Physician/Medical school

Professor (all fields)






Artistic (Creator) Non-conforming, original, independent, chaotic, creative Actor/PerformanceAnimationArt therapyArtistAuthor/ PoetDance therapyExpressive therapyGraphic designer

Library and information science[3]

Music therapy



Social (Helper) Cooperative environments, supporting, helping, healing/nurturing Art therapyAudiologistBabysitterCaretakerCounselorDance therapyEducationInstructional technology

Martial arts

Music therapy






Social Work




Speech-language pathologist

Occupational Therapist

Enterprising (Persuader) Competitive environments, leading, persuading, selling, dominating, promoting, status AdministrationAcademic administrationBusiness/MBACommunicationsInsuranceInvestment BankerJournalismLaw / Politics

Marketing / Advertising


Management Consultant

Public Health


Public relations

Public policy

Real Estate




Conventional (Organizer) Precise, perfect attention to detail, orderly, organizing, status AccountantActuaryAdministrationAcademic administrationBanking/ Investment bankBusiness/MBAClerkCopy Editing

Instructional technology






Technical writer


If you wish to take an online test you can go to: -

Just be honest when you’re taking the personality test and you will never go wrong.

The self discovery of  doing something that  you really like must be worth all the hassle of taking the evaluation test. Good luck!


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One Response to “Discovering Your Personality Traits To A Better Job Search – Holland Codes”

  1. bingo says:

    Very awesome post.Really thank you! Will read on…

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