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Opinion: Selecting a career that suits your personality

Do you sometimes get confused about selecting a career that suits your personality?

Dr. John L. Holland, an American Psychologist, has made it easy for us by developing six personality types on a hexagon, which is abbreviated, RIASEC.

RIASEC simply stands for Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising and Conventional.

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These are the following traits under the various codes.

• Realistic: practical, concrete, hands-on, machine, tool-oriented.

People under this code involve themselves in activities that are practical, work on hands-on problems and find solutions to them. They sometimes also deal with real world materials such as; animals, plants, wood, tools and machinery stuff. Many of the occupations do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

• Investigative: analytical, intellectual, scientific, explorative, thinker

People under this code work with an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve researching for facts and figuring out problems mentally. They also like to study and solve maths or science problems.

• Artistic: art, drama, dance, music, inventive, crafts, media, graphics, writing

Artistic occupations involve working with designs, patterns and forms. It often requires self expression and the world can be done without following fixed rules. They see themselves to be original and independent.

• Social: cooperative, supporting, helping, healing/nurturing, teaching

These occupations involve communicating with and teaching people. People under this code often help and provide services to others. They are friendly and trustworthy.

• Enterprising: competitive environments, leadership, persuading

These occupations involve carrying out self projects. They involve people that like to lead and make decisions. They also deal with business and sometimes require risk taking. They also see themselves to be energetic and ambitious.

• Conventional: detail-oriented, organizing, clerical

Conventional occupations involve people who follow a set of procedures. Such occupations include working with data and details more than working with ideas. They are good at working with numbers in a systematic way. Usually, there is a clear line of authority to follow.

Now, in creating your Holland Code, Dr. Holland didn’t say that a person is just one of these types. If it is so, then there would be only six types of people in the world.

However, only 3 letters are necessary to create a useful description. So, a Holland Code is a three-letter code that is made up of an individual’s controlling personality types, out of the six.

For instance, you can have a code that will be SEA. This means that, the person has the traits of being social, enterprising and artistic. Some occupations under this code are: Public Relations Specialists, Music Producers, Clergy, Firefighters, Cosmetologists, News Analysts, Script Writers etc.

These codes increase the satisfaction of your career selection and also enable you to match your interests, skills, traits and abilities.

The closer your personality type aligns with your work environment, the more likely you are to find fulfillment at work.

If you want to know your Holland Code, you can visit the Careers and Counseling Centre at the University of Ghana or see any Psychologist to take the test.

Source: Adelaide Octavian

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