Holland Codes

One of the big decisions every person has to make in life is what they are going to do for a career. It is necessary for (nearly) everyone to find some way of earning a living in the modern world, as money is needed for the purchase of necessities like food and shelter. Of course, picking a career can be hard. You spend most of your waking hours at work, so you want to be happy to the greatest extent possible. Also, you want to be successful in your role, and you want to make enough money to live comfortably. Needless to say, this is a hard decision.

Holland Codes

Not only is this decision an important one for people setting out to create a career, but it also matters for employers. When you make a hiring decision, you want to find the right people to put in the right positions. Individuals who are well-suited to their work are far more likely to be successful than those who are just trying to make a paycheck. Regardless of which side of the equation you are on – employee or employer – it is important to match person to career properly.

The Holland Codes were created with just this problem in mind. Dr. John Holland developed this code, which looks to individual’s personalities in order to match them with a career. In total, there are six personality types highlighted in the code – three of which will be chosen as a person’s dominant personality traits. Based on the results of the personality assessment, that individual will be able to move in the right career direction.

Let’s take a closer look at each of the six types.


Someone with this personality trait is typically going to enjoy work which is concrete in nature. That means the work is right there in front of them, and they can see the results as they complete tasks. A great example of this kind of work is repair. Whether it is electronics, cars, or anything else, working to fix something that was broken is very ‘real’. When the job is done, the item works again, and the repair person can move on to the next challenge.


This is a category which is quite different from the first. Here, we find a personality trait that is always looking for answers. It is never good enough for this person to just accept things as they are – he or she needs to think critically about what is going on behind the scenes. While this kind of work can be mentally rewarding for the right kind of person, it is not something that is seen in many professions. Those who are strongly pulled in an investigative direction may be called to science, psychology, or sociology, as a few options.


If you are an artistic person by nature, you love creating things. These things can be functional, they can exist solely as art, or they can serve a number of other purposes. Some businesses have very little use for artistic individuals, while other companies thrive on their abilities. Where they excel at being creative and innovative, artistic people usually do not fit well within a structured corporate setting. Finding the right balance of direction and freedom is important if you are going to get the most from an artistic type.


As you would imagine, this is someone who likes to interact with people most of the day. Many social people enjoy working somewhere they can help others – or, at least, they like to work in a setting where they will have a chance to speak with and see others most of the time. These people are not well-suited to focused, individual tasks that require a closed office door. Rather, they work well in open-office environments, and they tend to be perfect for service industries where the consumer is receiving some form of care.


When you are looking for someone to fill a dynamic, decision-making role within your organization, a person with an enterprising personality is a great place to start. This is an individual who is happy to accept nearly any challenge, and he or she will take the lead when working in a group. It would not be a successful formula to have an entire team filled with these kinds of individuals, but having some within your organization can be a major positive. Enterprising individuals tend to need some degree of stake in the outcome of their projects, so performance-based incentives work well here.


This last code is a personality type which fits well into what many people would consider traditional employment. These are jobs where the hours are set, the duties are clear, and there is nothing to do but get down to business. Creativity is usually not required, but those in conventional jobs will need to be reliable, consistent, and trustworthy. Some of the jobs which work well for conventional personality types include human resources positions, accountant, bookkeeper, and more.

Holland Codes

It is worthwhile to take personality codes into consideration before hiring someone for a position, or before taking that position for yourself. Is the job going to be a good fit? It is tempting to overlook signs of a potential problem based on the fact that you just want to fill the position. However, such a decision is not going to lead to a good outcome in the long run. Instead, it is important to take personality closely into account before moving forward with the job. As long as the Holland Codes are considered during the process, you should find it easier to make smart employment choices with personality as a major determining factor.

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