The following exercise is based on the work of John Holland, a career theorist who looked at the relationship between interests and occupational fit. As you complete the exercise, you will be identifying your top interest categories based on Holland’s schema.
Instructions for the Holland Party Exercise
Imagine you are at a party with six different groups of people gathered around the room.
Read the description of the six Holland Types (Realistic, Artistic, Investigative, Social, Enterprising, Conventional). Imagine yourself joining the group of people that you would most enjoy being with. If several groups appeal to you, pick the one that appeals to you most and note it down. Occupations in that category and courses that prepare you for them are your best option of study at the university.
Pretend all the members of your group have left the party and you decide to join another group. What would be your second choice? Note this group as your second choice, occupations in it and the courses that prepare you for them are your next best!
Now can you make a third choice? If so note down the third group as well, occupations in this third category and the courses that prepare you for them are your third best option of study at the university.
Look through the groups and make your first, second and third choices. In the paragraphs below are listed the occupations and necessary courses you can study for a career in whichever of the occupational lines suit your personality type and interests.
Holland Types (Adapted from the Self Directed Search by John L. Holland, Ph.D.)
Kindly Select One Of The Groups Below
Interested in athletics; good with their hands; prefer to work with objects, machines, plants or animals rather than people. Prefer to do the job without a lot of talk or debate, do it right the first time, and get to the point.
Like to observe, learn, evaluate, or solve problems. This type is associated with scientific/academic pursuits. Prefer to analyze a problem, evaluate options and data, set a plan of action, and analyze the results.
Interested in artistic expression. Like to work in unstructured situations using imagination and creativity. Prefer creative approach to problem solving and planning, which relies heavily on intuition and imagination.
Like to work with people in some helping capacity — informing, teaching, developing, curing people. Prefer to gather data from all involved parties before generating an action plan. Will try to find solutions equitable for all concerned. Good at networking with people
Like to work with people in a leadership capacity — managing, performing, persuading, influencing, often for organizational or political goals or economic gain. Prefer to investigate a direct plan of action to be carried out by others. Focus on achieving the goal, not concerned with minor details. Like to keep big picture in mind.
Like to work with data and numbers, more than people. Like detail, tangible products, and have little tolerance for ambiguity. Like following others and instructions rather than being in charge. Prefer to follow a defined structured plan of action. Attentive to detail. Enjoy putting all the pieces of a plan together.