Every person is different and has some unique attributes. Understanding one’s personality can bring a lot of clarity while making the important decision choosing a career.
Many personality based tests are devised on research done in this field. Holland’s theory is widely used in the personality assessment tests.
According to Holland’s (1997) theory, people seek environments that are aligned with their personality types and engage in activities that utilise their abilities. Holland stated that people resemble a combination of six personality types:
Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising and Conventional (RIASEC).
Personality types differ according to the activities that are related to abilities and competencies of an individual.
Realistic personality types have practical, productive, and concrete values. Realistic individuals are active and stable and enjoy hands-on or manual activities.These behaviours lead to competencies in the use of machines, tools, and materials. They perceive themselves as skilled in mechanical and physical activities but may be less adept with human relations. The preferred work environment of the realistic type fosters technical competencies and work that allows them to produce tangible results. Typical realistic careers include electrician, engineer, veterinarian and the military.
Investigative personality types are associated with analytical or intellectual activities. Investigative individuals are observant and enjoy research, mathematical or scientific activities. Their core interest lies in finding solutions of common problems. The preferred work environment of the investigative type encourages scientific competencies, allows independent work and focuses on solving abstract, complex problems in original ways. Typical investigative careers include medical technologist, biologist, chemist and systems analyst.
Artistic personality type is associated with the acquisition of innovative and creative competencies such as language, art and music. Artistic individuals are original, intuitive and imaginative. People who fall into this category prefer flexibility and ambiguity and have an aversion to convention and conformity. Artistic types are generally impulsive and emotional and tend to communicate in a very expressive and open manner. The preferred work environment of the artistic type fosters creative competencies, and encourages originality and use of the imagination in a flexible, unstructured setting. Typical artistic careers include musician, reporter and interior decorator.
Social types have a preference for activities involving working with people to train or help them. Social individuals are humanistic, idealistic, responsible and concerned with the welfare of others. These result in competencies in areas such as teaching and counselling. They are generally focused on human relationships and enjoy social activities and solving interpersonal problems. The preferred work environment of the social type encourages teamwork and allows for significant interaction with others. Typical social careers include teacher, counsellor and social worker.
Enterprising types are often attracted to work profiles that require influencing other. Enterprising individuals are energetic, ambitious, adventurous, sociable and self-confident. They enjoy activities that require them to persuade others, such as sales, and seek out leadership roles. These behaviours results in the development of competencies in leadership and entrepreneurship.The preferred work environment of the enterprising type encourages them to engage in activities, such as leadership, management and selling, and rewards them through the attainment of money, power and status. Typical enterprising careers include salesperson, business executive and manager.
Conventional types are attracted to activities such as data manipulation which result in clerical and business competencies. Conventional individuals are efficient, careful, conforming, organised and conscientious. The preferred work environment of the conventional type fosters organisational competencies, such as record keeping and data management, in a structured operation and places high value on conformity and dependability. Typical conventional careers include secretary, accountant and banker.
A personality test will help you understand which careers might be the best fit for you. It is meant to help you find careers that you might enjoy. Understanding your Top career interest based on your personality will help you identify a career focus and begin your career planning and career exploration process.
As a career counsellor, I do recommend a student to take a career assessment test after having a one on one detailed counselling session with them. The one that I conduct for students and professionals is a Multi dimensional test with considerable focus on personality. Based on the evaluation of personality, development plans suiting every student are made and suggested in a personality report created for the student.
I have observed that many times students are not aware of their dominant personality traits. This assessment helps them get better clarity of the same and also work on developing traits which would help them succeed.
Did you take a personality assessment test before choosing your career? Do share your observations.