John L. Holland was an American Psychologist that dedicated his professional life to studying personality and the workplace. As a result he created what are 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 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, according to the theory an extension of your personality.

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 as well as 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 but also 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 makes 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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