Using a Holland Code to Help You Find a Career

Using a Holland Code to Help You Find a Career

Are you trying to plan your career and your future? If so, you may need some guidance. It's difficult to decide what industry or path you want to pursue for the rest of your life. So, why not have a helping hand? You can use the Holland code to determine which career path is right for you.

What is the Holland Code?

Years ago, Dr. John L. Holland created a system designed to classify people by their interest. As an academic psychologist, Holland felt that it was important to develop a system that could match interests with a career path. You may also hear people refer to the Holland codes as the RIASEC system.

Whatever you call it, the system is a useful way to pick a career or narrow down your options. According to the theory, you can categorize every career into six categories. You can also categorize people into one of those six categories.

The categories describe your personality and interests. Consider this example. If someone is in a building career, they work with tools and machinery. They might be a carpenter, pilot, or mechanic. For someone to enjoy and thrive in this industry, they probably like to work with their hands and make products you can see and touch.

How It Works

If you want to use Holland codes to find a career, the process is simple. You get a code and then match it with the proper career. Before you get started, you need an understanding of your own interests. You can then take the assessment, known as the Holland Code Assessment. After you receive scores for all six interest areas, you are able to search for the careers that line up with the interests.

All of this may sound confusing. But in reality, it's as simple as taking an assessment. The process was made so that anyone can figure out their ideal career without the need for too much research or time.

The Interest Areas

A quick look at all six of the interest areas may give you some additional insight. Every one of the areas describes a relatively broad range of duties. The interests also describe values, preferences, and motivations of people. It's a matching game that allows you to find what you might enjoy or excel at.

Because this system is so effective, most career advisors know about it. It's not something all jobseekers know about, which could be why so many people end up in careers they hate. If you want to do your due diligence before you choose a career, you should look into this assessment.


The first interest area is Building. If you have a building job. You routinely use tools, machines, or physical labor. For success in this industry, you should enjoy building with your hands, or working outside. People who like working with plants and animals sometimes end up in this type of career.


A thinking job is one that requires research and intellectual prowess. As a thinker, you should like working with concepts or ideas. You might like technology or science, or consider yourself to be an academic. If you have a huge library at home, you might be a thinker. The same can be said for people who spend hours pondering philosophical questions.


Are you as creative as they come? People who fall in this category work jobs that involve some type of creativity. For instance, you may love to express yourself or design things. Creative writers also are in this category. Typically, artistic individuals don't like to work in a structured environment and they often appreciate being able to make unique things.


Some people want to spend their life assisting others. Whether you work as a coach, a teacher, or a caregiver, you are a helper. Generally, helpers enjoy working in a cooperative way to make life better for someone else. This career can be highly rewarding for the right person, but result in burnout for the wrong person.


Natural born leaders usually fall under this category. If you like to motivate and influence others, you may thrive in a career aligned with persuading. You would do well in a position of power and may work in politics, sales, or management.


Often, organizing jobs involve data management and similar tasks. You like to work in a structured environment and are known for precision.

Which Job Is Right for You?

Taking the assessment and using your Holland Code can help you pick a career path. However, it's not the only thing you should use to pick a career. Deciding your future isn't as simple as taking a quick test. Rather, it involves thinking about all the things you want from life.

Here are a few other details you should consider as you examine your career options:


If you have dreams of being a millionaire, there are certain career paths that almost guarantee your failure. Think about your financial goals and consider how your career path could lend to those goals. While you shouldn't only pick a career based on your income, you should consider the possibilities.

Daily Duties

You should consider not only your job, but your daily duties. Although you might love the idea of being a zookeeper, would you enjoy all of the daily tasks that come with it? Delve deep into the day-to-day duties and think about whether or not it's something you want to do for the rest of your life.

Social Needs

Additionally, think about your social needs. Do you want to work closely with others every day, or do you value your alone time? Pick a career that aligns with your social needs.

Why It Matters So Much

Picking the wrong career can set you up for disaster. Before you spend years in a job you hate, take the time to plan your future. You can save yourself a great deal of time and frustration.

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