What’s Their Career Personality?

This week’s blog is the final installment of a four-part series. The first three blogs shared ways to support the students in your life by discovering their natural talents, values, and preferred skills.

This week, we’ll look at how our personality influences our needs and preferences.

Six Career Personality Types

American psychologist John Holland is best known for his career interest research, known as Holland’s Theory of Career Choice. Holland asserts each person is inspired differently depending on their personality pattern. Holland’s research revealed six distinct interest types that shape our work preferences:

Realistic – The Doers

Individuals with a Realistic career code prefer work that involves practical, hands-on solutions to problems. They value things they can see, touch, and use. Realistic types would rather work with their hands than sit behind a desk.

Sample occupations: ambulance drivers, EMTs, firefighters, security guards, technicians, veterinarians, environmental engineers, and electricians

Investigative – The Thinkers

Those with an Investigative career code are intellectual, curious, and reserved. They like to solve problems and engage in challenges. Investigative types do not like routine work that forces them to check their brain at the door. In fact, their work often involves ideas and heavy mental lifting. They tend to avoid careers that involve leading or influencing people, or selling.

Sample occupations: fire investigators, registered nurses, nuclear medicine technologists, software developers, business intelligence analysts, biostatisticians, market research analysts, and database architects

Artistic – The Creators

People with an Artistic career code are imaginative, creative, original, independent, and expressive. They avoid work that involves highly structured or routine activities. These individuals are inspired to create, whether through activities such as music, writing, drawing, dance, photography, or art.

Sample occupations: chefs, fashion designers, graphic artists, interior designers, sound engineering technicians, landscape architects, authors, and technical writers

Social – The Helpers

Individuals with a Social career code are interested in serving society and making a difference in people’s lives. Their work is most often centered around people. Those interested in Social careers often gravitate toward nonprofit organizations, education, healthcare, and social work. They are helpful, friendly, loyal, generous, and trustworthy.

Sample occupations: counseling psychologists, health educators, patient representatives, psychology teachers, midwives, dietetic technicians, teacher assistants, and social workers

Enterprising – The Persuaders

Enterprising individuals often deal with business, leadership, or politics and are involved in making decisions, starting up and carrying out projects, and selling ideas or things. Enterprising types are often energetic, ambitious, dominant, outgoing, and competitive.

Sample occupations: financial services, sales representatives, chief executives (CEO, COO, EVP), judges, education administrators, supply chain managers, and human resources specialists

Conventional – The Organizers

Conventional career types are the glue that hold an organization together. They provide the structure, process, and order that organizations need to run effectively. People with this type are methodical, detail-oriented, cautious, organized, responsible, and quality-oriented.

Sample occupations: insurance claim clerks, medical secretaries, accountants, pharmacy technicians, loan officers, research assistants, information security analysts, and financial analysts

Primary and Secondary Types – The Why and the How

The six career types offer a glimpse into a person’s preferences. Once we narrow down our two strongest career types, we have a better idea of what we need from our work.

For example, if your son is a Helper (Social) and a Doer (Realistic), he will prefer helping people and making a difference in their lives by providing practical, hands-on solutions to problems.This could take many forms, like becoming a firefighter, or paramedic.

If your daughter is a Helper (Social) and an Organizer (Conventional), she will also primarily be interested in helping others, but will help through creating structure, order, and process. She might be more interested in becoming a teacher, or a surgical assistant.

Our primary career interest type reveals what most interests us (doing, thinking, creating, helping, persuading, or organizing) and our secondary reveals how we do it.

As another example, I am a Creator and a Thinker. I create using my mind, which is why I write books.

God has created each one of us to uniquely bring value to the lives of others. This truth brings to mind Psalm 139:14 which says, “I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

As we discover who we are, the purpose God has for our lives becomes clearer, and we begin to see how we are wonderfully made in His image.

After reading the descriptions for the six interest types, which of them do you identify with most?

Idea for Action

  1. Have your student complete a free career interest test at 123test.com/career-test
  2. Introduce your child to occupations based on his or her top two personality types.
  3. To view a list of occupations that match your child’s top two interest codes:
    1. Go to www.onetonline.org
    2. Click “Advanced Search” from the main menu
    3. Select “Interests” from the Advanced Search submenu
    4. The six types will display as hyperlinks. Click the link for your child’s strongest type
    5. Select your child’s next strongest type in the second dropdown list
    6. Click “Go.”
    7. A list of career options will display. Click the hyperlinked job title to read the overview of what the job does, who it helps, what they work with, the education level needed, and much more.

Parent Insights

Our personality shapes who we are and our behavior. When we have a different personality from our child, we tend to interpret and make assumptions about their behavior based on the lens of our personality. Different personalities have different motives.

If your child is a:

  • Doer – Offer your child chances to engage in hands on, practical activities that have tangible results.
  • Thinker – Consider opportunities to stimulate your child’s thinking.
  • Creator – Look for ways to provide him with creative outlets.
  • Helper – She will place value on serving others and making a difference in people’s lives. How can you provide opportunities for her to serve and help?
  • Influencer – He will likely enjoy persuading and leading. How can you provide leadership opportunities for him?
  • Organizer – Where can you leverage her preference for creating structure and routine. Is there something she can help organize and plan for the family?

In this series, we’ve given you a lot to think about! Work through the activities in each blog and make a list of insights and information. Discuss with your student, offer observations, and share stories of his talents, values, skills, and personality in action.

Finally, and most importantly, pray God will direct your son or daughter’s steps according to His perfect will for their lives.

This post was written by Kristin Sherry.  Kristin is a member of the Crossroads Career Board of Directors.  She is the best selling author of YouMap & Your Team Loves Mondays…Right? She joined our board in 2019 and lives with her husband and 4 kids in North Carolina.



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