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Holland’s Theory of Career Choice – Dr.Ali Abasaltian

This theory is based on 4 assumptions:

  1. Most people are one of the six personality types: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional.
  2. People may have all 6 types of personalities, but the main point is that one type is dominant.
  3. There are 6 career paths, based on 6 personality types.
  4. People are seeking paths by their personality, so they can develop their skills and abilities and express their values.
  5. Individuals would be satisfied, only if their path is in line with their personality. According to this theory: an individual can build a powerful personal brand, only when his career is in line with his personality.

These six personality types are the following:

  1. 1. Realistic personality: These people have low social skills, are frank, materialistic, and operational. Human relationships are of little importance to these people and speak more about their responsibilities than emotions. Such people should base their brands on a realistic path. In such a path, vocational skills, and practical works. Activities which includes the use of tools. In such careers, using tools is of more importance than relating with people.
  1. Conventional Type: these people are precise, disciplined, and planning-minded, and have a high ability in office jobs and working with numbers. Since new and uncommon tasks and things are hard for these people, they love regular environments and without any challenges. Their bran should be in line with their vocational type, careers such as office jobs, secretary and any other activities which need partial discipline, dependence and following orders. They have a high ability in understanding statistical issues and they use statistical tables well in their work reports.
  1. Enterprising type: these people can lead and influence others. They have high self-esteem, ambition, domination and verbal power. The mostly over-estimate their abilities, and they do not do anything unless they do it with the highest quality. Their most important values are power and money, and they form their brand in entrepreneurial ways. In such ways, there are some managing involved, and financial and monetary factors are valued mostand risks are encouraged.
  1. Artistic Type: independent, free, creative, unorganized people, who express themselves through art. They love to dress up as they desire, and manage their time as they wish and do not like predetermined schedules. Their brand should be built in an artistic path with activities such as designing, acting, writing, music and ….
  1. Investigative Type: they want others to gather around them and they have high self-esteem and have a cold relationship with others. Their brand should be built on the investigative path. In such a path, clever, logical and independent people are required.

Activities that require complex and abstract thinking suit them. Computer-programmer and fields relating to biology, physics, and chemistry are suitable for investigative personality type.

  1. Social Type: these people are ethical, shy and caring. They are interested in educational activities. Their ability to work with tools and machines is lacking but is highly able in human relations. Their brand should be built in a social path; a path that helping others, flexibility, generosity, kindness and understanding others are the main activities. Teacher, counselor, nurse, and careers that seek to help others are considered on the social path (28).

Our personality type depends on inheritance, life history, and our interaction with the environment. Our inherited characteristics are born with us and many events happen in our lives which forms our character.

If one’s personality type would is in line with their career path, one would be satisfied with this consistency. Individuals who define their career path in line with their personality, they may have an unchallenged path and they can be their actual ones, otherwise, their roles and goals may conflict and they may have a fragile path. Personality type and career path-consistency can result in stability in personal branding, life satisfaction, and stable choices. Brand identity would be formed only when one has a clear understanding of his values, talents, interests, and attitudes. He understands his current and future career path goals and would be consistent with his work environment and goals. For instance, if one knows that he has a social personality type, and by considering this fact, he determines all his activities revolving around helping others and works in an environment where he can deal with others, then he has achieved his brand identity.

Holland’s theory has been developed by Tracey to 6 personality types and paths. Tracey presented eight major paths and attitudes, and 10 minor paths and attitudes.

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