Identifying your work personality type.

If you have put in some time and thought on the exercises so far, you should feel like you have a solid understanding of your interests, skills and values—all important things to keep in mind when job seeking. The next step in your self-assessment is to identify your work personality.

We will be using vocational psychologist John Holland’s system of personality typing. He has identified six work personality types, defined below. Though individuals may have a dominant work personality type, most of us demonstrate a combination of these types at any given time and so appropriately fit within two or three (or more) of these categories.

Definitions of Holland’s Work Personality Types

  • Realistic: This personality type is mechanically inclined, likes to use tools, possesses good manual dexterity, is athletic, and/or enjoys the outdoors.
  • Investigative: This personality type often excels in mathematics, science, and other analytical fields. Investigative personalities like to think, experiment, analyze, and problem solve.
  • Artistic: This type enjoys performance, drawing, singing, writing, painting, music, and and/or other expressive and creative activities.
  • Social: This type enjoys acquiring, understanding, teaching, and communicating information.
  • Enterprising: This type likes to guide, influence, convince, or persuade others. Enterprising personalities enjoy managing or selling things.
  • Conventional: This type enjoys working with data or finances. Conventional personalities often excel in organizational tasks, are detail oriented, and like well-defined roles with clear goals.

Holland uses the following codes to identify his six work personality types: R = realistic; I = investigative; A = artistic; S = social; E = enterprising; and C = conventional.

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