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John Holland’s occupational scale as a tool for career choice

A session on career choice at ISME

The importance of a career choice remains very elusive in our society. In the bygone days individuals had a standard option of careers “Doctors or Engineers” though many of them were not really cut-off for it. The rest who could not slot where they belong too, felt ostracized in the long run. We have seen in the past that many such talented individuals could not identify their strength and were at loss in the process of identifying their career. The constraints were many, right from the lack of awareness and exposure to pre-conceived notions and glued mind sets of individuals.

However in today’s hyper competitive world though the limitations have been comparatively less still there is a vacuum or void left in the career planning context. Individuals do not easily understand the skill sets they possess and which is the right job or best suited career for them.
Here is an attempt made to relate John.L.Holland’s occupational theme-which is a theory of career and vocational choice based upon personality types. Management students require help in understanding the personality traits, skills sets that can be synchronized with their respective career. Such tools help in identifying the personality traits and the kind of career that can be in congruence.
Literature Review:
Dr.John Holland’s theory is based on people and work environment. Different people’s personalities may find different environments more to their liking. The codes referred in the model are called as “Holland code”. For example with a code of RES you would most resemble the REALISTIC type, somewhat less resemble the ENTERPRISING type, and resemble the SOCIAL TYPE even less.
The types that are not in your code are the types you resemble least of all. Most people and most jobs are best represented by some combination of two or three of the Holland interest areas. In addition most people are more satisfied if there is some degree of fit between their personality and their work environment.
This tool can be used as an intervention in the placement department to assess and evaluate the candidate’s job fitment. The tool refers to personal characteristics and occupational knowledge because the choice of a vacation is an expression of personality
Holland’s Hexagon
John Holland created a hexagonal model that shows the relationship between the personality types and environments. This hexagonal model of RIASEC occupations is the copywrited work of Dr.John Holland. The Holland Game is adapted from Richard Bolles “Quick Job hunting Map”

Developed by John Holland the inventory is referred as RIASEC scale. Each letter stands for a particular personality type.
·         REALISTIC-are the Doers
·         INVESTIGATIVE– refers to thinkers
·         ARTISTIC– are Creators
·         SOCIAL– refers to helpers
·         ENTERPRISING– are persuaders
·         CONVENTIONAL– are the organizers
REALISTICindividuals have the following attributes. They are independent stable and practical. Some of the professions that might suit them are the following: Aerospace, agriculture, aviation, construction etc. The realistic individuals are prone to be dexterous; they are basically action-oriented people who are keen on venturing into roles which bore realistic outcomes.
INVESTIGATIVEindividuals are usually thinkers. They are intellectuals, introspective and inquisitive in nature. They fit in the areas of Law, Medicine, engineering, Manufacturing and Research. The investigative individuals believe in concrete and substantial elemen
ts like teaching, training, research etc.
ARTISTIC are creators with a creative bent of mind. They are sensitive, articulate individuals who heavily rely on imagination. They like to work with ideas and concepts. They can be a right fit in the areas of Art schools, Linguistic arena, Fashion designing, web developers etc. The designers, architects are certainly artistic oriented individuals
SOCIALindividuals are helpers, who are kind, generous and caring people. They are keen on team work and like to nurture and support people. The right kind of jobs for them can be in the area of education, counseling, human resources. Most of the individuals of this attribute tend to become counselors, psychologist, and mentors.
ENTERPRISING are the persuaders who can easily convince others. They would love to talk and are the kind of people who sell ice to the Eskimos. They can be the right fit in the marketing arenas, public relations, event management etc. They are always looking for opportunities to promote themselves, or their ideas or the company’s product and services.
CONVENTIONAL are the organizers who are bound by formalization or rather rules. They adhere to the facts and figures and believe in the power of measurements and scales. They would be the right fit for data analysts, researchers, statisticians and the like. They believe in routinized kind of jobs.
The individuals should basically undertake the test which is available on the net. It is an easy and quick approach; the following link can give the personality style which can be further used to understand the career choice one can make.
 This tool can be administered as a psychometric tool to assess and evaluate the career choice especially for the management graduates.
· Codes


Preeja Sreedhar