With the mass of personality tests spawning across the corners of the internet, it’s no news if you’ve previously fallen into the black hole of finding your true lover or what animal are you quizzes. Or maybe you’ve tested as a green or a blue personality type. Either way, we’re guessing you’ve probably poured in some sweat in pondering your personality traits.
Fun as some of these absurd quizzes may be, there is some science behind personality types and how they can have a great impact on how successful you are in your career.
The most prolific of these researchers was John Holland, whose theory proposed that we are most satisfied in jobs that are congruent with our personalities.
Famed as RIASEC, his theory pinned down 6 job types: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising and Conventional.
If this sounds like a can of worms, don’t fret! We’ve compiled a comprehensive (but brief!) summary of each trait to give you a better idea of what your personality says about you in relation to your future career path.
#1. The Doers (Realistic)
Are you a Doer?
Are you often told that you’re persistent, self-reliant, handy and a practical soul? Are you motivated by building and repairing projects and roaming the great outdoors?
Pictured as athletic, independent and logical, you also tend to be more adventurous and physically brawny than others since you feel at ease using your body to explore the world. “Do you have to be that practical?” is probably a statement that’s always thrown at you.
What matters to the Doers?
As the name suggests, folks with this personality type tend to value practical things that have basis in reality (read: things that you can physically see and touch). Working with plants, animals, tools and mechanics all hit the sweet spot of “doers” as these are clearly defined objects that are easily observable.
As such, “doers” will pick working with things rather than people any day. Since they live in very technical and realistic terms, they also typically avoid social situations (e.g. public speaking and crowded parties). Driven by rules and orders, they prefer to stick to established orders and are often solution focused. At its core, “doers” generally value craftsmanship, physical challenge, dependability as well as practicality.
What types of careers are a good fit for the Doers?
For starters, a very organised environment coupled with clear lines of authority make working a simple and straightforward endeavour for “doers”. Additionally, outdoor positions with routine and a clear purpose are equally appealing work environments as well.
If you’re a “doer”, look out for career clusters such as:
- Agriculture (e.g. plantation manager)
- Architecture (e.g. architect, construction managers)
- Automotive Technology (e.g. automotive technician, technical supervisor)
- Culinary Arts (e.g. commis chef, sous chef, station chef)
- Engineering (e.g. civil engineer, electrical engineer)
- Manufacturing (e.g. production technician, mechanical technician)
- Quantity Surveying (e.g. building surveyor, construction executive)
- Medical Lab Technology (e.g. medical lab technician)
- Veterinary Science (e.g. veterinarian, veterinary nurse)
#2. The Thinkers (Investigative)
Are you a Thinker?
Notorious for thinking about things until a solution is found? Does solving abstract mental challenges and intellectual problems excite you?
If the thought of analysing, inquiring and researching fuels you, chances are, you’re also on a perpetual quest to answer unknown questions. An advocate of originality, you might even find yourself irritated with limits, mainstream ideas and trends (#realhipster).
What matters to the Thinkers?
“Thinkers” value logic and order like their “doer” comrades, but they also prefer to use their investigative qualities to delve into innovative ideas. They typically flourish in an environment that encourages independence without being constrained by rules. When a problem strikes, they prefer to think through rather than act out problems.
“Thinkers” also gravitate toward working with new ideas and crave a challenge, albeit a solvable one. They have their eyes fixed on what mechanisms make things work as compared to how things are working. The gist here is that they favour comprehending how things function or come into existence because the thrill of the task lies in truly understanding it.
What types of careers are a good fit for the Thinkers?
Driven by a passion for analysis, “thinkers” gravitate toward jobs that involve theory, research and scientific inquiry. There are generally drawn to careers in maths and science, technology, engineering, medicine as well as research and academics. In work settings, “thinkers” are typically introverted and more inclined to work independently rather than on a team.
If you’re a “thinker”, look out for career clusters such as:
- Finance (e.g. market research analyst, economist)
- Computer Science (e.g. software developer, computer systems analyst)
- Engineering (e.g. software engineer, mechanical engineer)
- Psychology (e.g. clinical psychologist, industrial-organisational psychologist)
- Medicine (e.g. doctors, surgeons)
- Veterinary Science (e.g. veterinarian)
- Bioscience (e.g. biomedical scientist, microbiologist, life sciences research scientist)
- Optometry (e.g. optometrist, optometry researcher)
- Pharmacy (e.g. pharmacologist, research pharmacist)
#3. The Creators (Artistic)
Are you a Creator?
Has anybody ever
complained complimented you on your unconventional, impulsive and (sometimes overly) imaginative flair? Do you live to intuitively express creative insights and produce art? What about being the artistic friend who’s free-spirited, intense, sensitive and yet complicated at the same time? If these sound familiar, you probably also cherish aesthetics, language, beauty and emotions.
What matters to the Creators?
Thriving in relationships with room for change and unconstrained expression, “creators” also tend to be abstract thinkers that often get caught up in deep conversations. Laying their hands on a variety of expressive mediums, they tend to naturally seek out environments that grant them the space to explore their creativity independently.
Fleeing from ordered settings of mundane and repetitive activities, these sensitive souls work best according to their own rules. While painters, musicians and writers are the stereotypical names paired with creative expression, it’s worth noting that not all artistic types dabble in the practice of art.
Their distinct characteristics bloom whenever there’s room for creative expression. Take for instance a creative employee with a knack for illustrating marketing campaigns, a chef who fuses dragon fruit with nasi lemak or merely someone who exhibits unique fashion choices.
What types of careers are a good fit for the Creators?
If you keep your eyes peeled for “creators” around you, it would strike you that most creative folks are lumped under majors such as Art, Journalism, Music, Design and even Philosophy. The mutual factor in each of these majors? The incredible space and freedom for creative thinking and experimentation. Not surprisingly, their characteristics often make the conventional 9-6 realm a bore for them.
If you’re a “creator”, look out for career clusters such as:
- Architecture (e.g. landscape architect, 3D visualiser)
- Culinary Arts (e.g. food stylist, pastry chef)
- Design (e.g. industrial designer, graphic designer, interior designer)
- Digital Animation (e.g. multimedia animator, art director)
- Film / Video Production (e.g. director, producer)
- Music (e.g. musician, composer, orchestral conductor)
- Mass Communication (e.g. copywriter, social media specialist)
- TESL (e.g. interpreter, technical writer)
- Education (e.g. kindergarten teachers, primary school teachers, lecturers)
#4. The Helpers (Social)
Are you a Helper?
Do you have a soft spot for kids, the needy or helpless felines? Or perhaps you’re the go-to person whenever your buddies are in need of an outlet to pour out their worries and predicaments?
Depicted as humanistic, helpful, kind, understanding and sometimes a tad too talkative, you also tend to deal with problems through feelings. Above all, the ability to help and attend to others is your driving force.
What matters to the Helpers?
Embracing the philosophy to serve for the betterment of people, this humanistic tendency makes them very warm folks to be around. An added bonus, “helpers” also boast superb communication skills due to their friendly nature. Inherently, the mission of working with people and communicating with them openly also helms the virtue of patience.
Generally, “helpers” flock towards workplaces that prioritise cooperation and good communication skills. Not surprisingly, they also find comfort in cheering members of the group by encouraging others in their endeavours. As such, they tend to gravitate toward work environments that foster a sense of support, teamwork and collaboration.
What types of careers are a good fit for the Helpers?
At heart, a work environment that allows them to communicate with and help others will fit the bill for “helpers”. Essentially, the humanistic and affective approaches will drive them toward fields such as teaching, nursing and social work. Armed with the skills to comprehend others, these fields allow them to better empathise and serve others.
If you’re a “creator”, look out for career clusters such as:
- Early Childhood Education (e.g. kindergarten teacher)
- Psychology (e.g. counselling psychologist, psychotherapist)
- Medicine (e.g. general practitioner, surgeon)
- Nursing (e.g. nurse)
- TESL (e.g. English teacher)
- Physiotherapy (e.g. physiotherapist, clinical therapist)
- Social Work (e.g. child, family and school social worker, mental health and substance abuse social worker)
- Hospitality and Tourism (e.g. travel consultant, training manager)
#5. The Persuaders (Enterprising)
Are you a Persuader?
Do taking risks and attacking problems give you an adrenaline rush?
Touted as the “decision-maker”, your aptitude for leadership, persuasiveness and assertiveness have most likely charmed your peers who look up to you for direction. Known for being competitive, popular, witty, sociable and self-confident, you may also have a keen eye for the next-best-thing that will give you the avenue to lead others.
What matters to the Persuaders?
Brimming with ambitious and optimistic confidence in their work and projects, “persuaders” place high value on status, leadership positions, authority, financial remuneration (read: making money) and excitement. They have a knack for convincing others of their ideas, toting to the gravitational pull “persuaders” have on people.
Essentially, enterprising souls thrive on creative ways to expand current ideas, provide services and generate revenues. As compared to other personality types, fast-paced environments will put “persuaders” at ease as it pumps them with constant stimulation. These prized attributes further strengthen their forte to build and coordinate teams of people causing them to stand out against the rest when it comes to teamwork.
What types of careers are a good fit for the Persuaders?
The hungry ambition of “persuaders” will often lead them into the business-oriented scene. A stereotypical career path for them include sales positions, since their likability and enthusiasm can easily convince clients into trusting what they have to offer. Management positions in any field also comprise of “persuaders” due to their ability to organise and rally troops.
If you’re a “persuader”, look out for career clusters such as:
- Business (e.g. sales and marketing manager, public relations professional)
- Finance (e.g. financial advisor, financial manager)
- Law (e.g. litigation lawyer, in-house legal counsel)
- Hospitality and Tourism (e.g. restaurant manager)
- Real Estate Management (e.g. real estate agent, property consultant, land economist)
#6. The Organisers (Conventional)
Are you an Organiser?
Do you roll out of bed every morning with a to-do list racked up for the rest of the day?
Well gotcha! Odds are, you’re also very inclined to following procedures as well as routines, and have zero tolerance towards uncertainty and disorder. Friends around typically picture you as organised, systematic, controlled, efficient and practical. Your motto for problems? There are always written rules to tackle the issue.
What matters to the Organisers?
Drawn to working with predictability, stability, precision and finite quantitative amounts, “organisers” are naturally averse to taking undue risks or breaking from the correct order. Practical tasks like structuring, processing data and managing information fuel these law-abiding souls, making them very diligent folks in structured tasks that others may shy away from.
As such, very organised work environments pose as the perfect fit for “organisers”. A setting that runs by clear structure, unambiguous lines of communication and demand for precision is ideal as it allows them to flaunt their skill sets on a daily basis.
What types of careers are a good fit for the Organisers?
Generally, “organisers” dabble with professional positions in the workplace. They tend to be respectful and aware of positions of power. Understandably, they fit in very well in the financial realm as it is vital for bankers and accountants alike to rely on their organisational prowess.
If you’re an “organiser”, look out for career clusters such as:
- Accounting (e.g. accountant, tax consultant, auditor)
- Actuarial Science (e.g. actuary, actuarial pricing and risk analyst, mathematician)
- Quantity Surveying (e.g. cost manager, quantity surveyor)
- Economics (e.g. economist)
- Finance (e.g. financial analyst)
- Pharmacy (e.g. pharmacist)
- Computer Science (e.g. web developer, web administrator)
Before we draw the curtain, you may ask, “What if I can identify with more than one type?”
Don’t get flustered just yet. Here’s the beauty of the theory — in reality, most people are a concoction of types, such as Realistic-Investigate or Artistic-Social. Hence, you should weigh your area of interest in more than one category.
If you’re still in two minds, give the RIASEC personality test a go. With a dash of luck and thorough research about your career path, fingers crossed that your work weeks will involve fewer cases of Monday blues and more days where you can express your unique vocational flair!