John L. Holland was an American Psychologist who dedicated his professional life to studying personality and the workplace. As a result, he created what is now known as the Holland Codes or the Holland Occupational Themes (RIASEC), a set of six major personality types that can indicate a person’s general interests, work habits, and lifestyle choices. Once the codes were published in 1958, they became a popular tool in career counseling and guidance, and are still used nowadays. The US Department of Labor's Employment and Training Administration has been using the RIASEC model (

The personality traits are incredibly important when selecting a job because they will help determine whether someone will thrive in a position. A job is essentially an extension of your personality, according to the theory.

List of Personality Types and their Occupations: 

Realistic (Doers) – People that are identified as “realistic” are generally more independent and stable than their peers. They tend to prefer working with things rather than people and value the outdoors and nature in their work.

Occupations: Carpenter, Electrician, Auto Mechanic

Investigative (Thinkers) – Investigative thinkers are curious individuals that prefer concepts to people. They also tend to use experiments, investigation, and methodology in their work.

Occupations: Software Engineer, Mathematician, Biologist 

Artistic (Creators) – Artistic people are naturally creative, sensitive, and innovative. These people tend to work well in the field of arts, but also thrive in other areas that lend to abstract thinking and concepts.

Occupations: Graphic designer, Musician, Art teacher  

Social (Helpers) – The helpers of the world are indeed kind and generous, and tend to use these traits in order to help benefit others. We can see these social helpers in the roles of teachers, counselors, and in non-profit capacities.

Occupations: Counselor, Librarian, Social Worker, Physical Therapist, Nurse

Enterprising (Persuaders) – The enterprising individuals of the world thrive in leadership positions because they tend to be outgoing, ambitious, and charismatic. These traits combined with their innate internal motivation make for powerful leaders.

Occupations: Sales Manager, Account Manager, Sales Engineer

Conventional (Organizers) – Conventional thinkers are logical and efficient workers that prefer practicality to creativity in any task. Order and structure are hallmark traits for this group, which makes them excellent in math-related work alongside clerical work.

Occupations: Bookkeeper, Secretary, Bank Teller, Mail Carrier, HR Consultant

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