Activities > Holland Codes

 

The Holland Codes represents a set of personality types described in a theory of careers and vocational choice formulated by psychologist John L. Holland. Holland's theory argued 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. His typology provides an interpretative structure for a number of different vocational interest surveys, including the two measures he developed: The Vocational Preference Inventory and the Self Directed Search. His model has been adopted by the U.S. Department of Labor (and many others) for categorizing jobs relative to interests.

 

Four Assumptions of Holland's Theory

  1. In our culture, persons can be categorized as one of the following: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, or Conventional.
  2. There are six modal environments: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising and conventional.
  3. People search for environments that will let them exercise their skills and abilities, express their attitudes and values, and take on agreeable problems and roles.
  4. Behavior is determined by an interaction between personality and environment.

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. As the theory is applied in interest inventories and job classifications, it is usually only the two or three most dominant codes that are used for vocational guidance.

 

If a job or program of study has the same or a similar code as that of a person, it means that the job (or program of study) offers activities that use the person's interests and skills. Being able to do that work may also satisfy some of the individual's values. So according to Holland's theory, you want to choose an occupation whose personality type is the same as, or similar to yours. This is most likely to lead to your job satisfaction and success.

 

Realistic - "Doers"

 

  I am...

  • practical
  • athletic
  • frank
  • mechanical
  • a nature lover
  • thrifty
  • curious
  • stable
  • concrete
  • reserved
  • self-controlled
  • ambitious
  • systematic
  • persistent

  I can...

  • fix electrical things
  • solve electrical problems
  • pitch a tent
  • play a sport
  • read a blueprint
  • plant a garden
  • operate tools & machinery

  I like to...

  • tinker with machines or vehicles
  • work outdoors with plants and animals
  • be physically active
  • use my hands to build things
  • tend/train animals
  • work on electronic equipment
  • work in farming, forestry or fishing
  • do carpentry work
     

Investigative - "Thinkers"

 

  I am...

  • inquisitive
  • analytical
  • scientific
  • observant
  • precise
  • scholarly
  • cautious
  • curious
  • self-confident
  • introspective
  • reserved
  • broad-minded
  • independent
  • logical

  I can...

  • think abstractly
  • solve math problems
  • understand scientific theories
  • do complex calculations
  • use a microscope or computer
  • interpret formulas

  I like to...

  • work with scientific equipment and procedures
  • use computers
  • work independently
  • perform lab experiments
  • read scientific or technical journals
  • analyze situations and find a solution
  • use a chemistry set
  • do puzzles
  • be in a science fair
  • solve math/science questions
     

Artistic - "Creators"

 

  I am...

  • creative
  • intuitive
  • imaginative
  • innovative
  • unconventional
  • emotional
  • independent
  • expressive
  • original
  • impulsive
  • sensitive
  • open
  • complicated
  • idealistic
  • nonconforming

  I can...

  • sketch, draw, paint
  • play a musical instrument
  • write stories, poetry, music
  • sing, act, dance
  • design fashions or interiors

  I like to...

  • attend concerts, theaters, art
    exhibits
  • read fiction, plays, and poetry
  • paint, sculpt, or do ceramics
  • take photographs
  • express myself creatively
  • deal with ambiguous ideas
  • read art/ music magazines
  • go to concerts
  • act in a play
  • design new fashions
  • study a foreign language
     

Social - "Helpers"

 

  I am...

  • friendly
  • helpful
  • idealistic
  • insightful
  • outgoing
  • understanding
  • cooperative
  • generous
  • responsible
  • forgiving
  • patient
  • empathetic
  • kind
  • persuasive

  I can...

  • teach/train others
  • express myself clearly
  • lead a group discussion
  • mediate disputes
  • plan and supervise an activity
  • cooperate well with others

  I like to...

  • work and socialize with other people
  • help people solve problems
  • do volunteer work
  • work with young people
  • play team sports
  • belong to a club
  • work with the elderly
  • cater to the needs and wishes of others
  • help others with mental, spiritual, physical or vocational needs
     

Enterprising - "Persuaders"

 

  I am...

  • self-confident
  • assertive
  • sociable
  • persuasive
  • enthusiastic
  • energetic
  • adventurous
  • popular
  • impulsive
  • ambitious
  • inquisitive
  • agreeable
  • talkative
  • extroverted
  • spontaneous
  • optimistic

  I can...

  • initiate projects
  • convince people to do things my way
  • sell things or promote ideas
  • give talks or speeches
  • lead a group
  • persuade others

  I like to...

  • make decisions affecting
  • others
  • be elected to office
  • work on a sales campaign
  • start my own service or
    business
  • campaign politically
  • have power or status
  • use language skills to influence
    others
  • be with leaders
     

Conventional - "Organizers"

 

  I am...

  • well-organized
  • accurate
  • methodical
  • polite
  • conscientious
  • efficient
  • conforming
  • orderly
  • practical
  • thrifty
  • systematic
  • structured
  • ambitious
  • obedient
  • persistent

  I can...

  • work well within a system
  • do a lot of paper work in a short time
  • keep accurate records
  • use a computer
  • write effective business letters

  I like to...

  • work with numbers
  • type reports or work on computers
  • be responsible for details
  • collect or organize things
  • follow clearly defined procedures
  • keep things neat and organized
  • work with forms and reports
  • work from nine-to-five
  • follow a budget
  • follow other people’s instructions