An Option for Career Preparation
What's in a label?
There are many ways to approach selecting a career, so Dr. John L. Holland developed the Holland Codes. This approach breaks people into 6 categories. Each category describes a general personality, preferences, and abilities. You find your code by combining the categories most like you (after taking a test), and use that to help you decide upon a career. Brief descriptions of each category include:
- Realistic: Generally practical and focused, this type prefers to deal with things.
- Investigative: Typically analytical and independent, these people prefer to deal with things and ideas.
- Artistic: This type can be expressive and impulsive and prefer to deal with ideas and people.
- Social: This type has a preference to deal with people and likes to help, inform, and serve.
- Enterprising: Can be described as energetic, ambitious, and persuasive and generally prefer to deal with data and people.
- Conventional: Commonly prefer to deal with data and things and can be described as careful and conscientious.
Receiving the label or knowing your “code” is just one step in exploring career options. Positive Psychology promotes the idea of building on one’s strengths, rather than overcoming weaknesses. For those feeling lost while trying to select a field of work, this mindset, based on personality type and preferences, could help to alleviate stress, confusion, and wasted energy.
How does this information apply throughout the lifespan? For elementary aged children, it might include paying attention to a child’s natural tendencies and encouraging them to flourish in that area. Some children are naturally athletic, others inquisitive, and others born leaders. As they grow, you can allow them to spread their wings and try other areas to help them become well-rounded, and to explore other facets of their personality. When it comes time to begin working, help them to understand that work is just that: work. However, when you are in a career that highlights your strengths, character, and skills, it should feel like you are where you are meant to be.