John Holland and the Personality Theory of Career Satisfaction

Topics: Personality type, Personality psychology, Psychology Pages: 4 (1380 words) Published: October 24, 2012

Holland linked a person’s personality to the careers that would be most satisfying. Psychologist John Holland believes that a strong link exists between personality and career satisfaction. He called this personality-type theory. The theory states that people feel that their job or profession is fulfilling if there is a match between some important features of their work and their personality. A simple example is that of a "naturally" creative person who lands a fulfilling job in the arts. Holland (1992) identified six personality types and their best job matches in his career satisfaction theory. You will note in Table 2.1 that some professions appear in more than one category; this is not unusual. Professions may offer several major rewards, each of which may appeal to different personality types. For example, an elected government official may feel most rewarded by helping others, by the power of the office, or by the chance to solve complex problems. Table 2.1 is certainly not inclusive of all the jobs offering rewards for each personality type. In addition, people’s personalities are seldom totally dominated by one type, so multiple characteristics are likely to lead to a number of satisfying careers. Table 2.1 John Holland’s Personality Types| Personality Type | Characteristics | Matching Careers |

Realistic | Likes to solve concrete problems, work with hands and tools, do physical labor, is practical. Social activity jobs do not appeal. | Firefighter, repair and construction, farmer, rancher, forestry, athlete, physical therapist, police officer, soldier, engineer, architect | Investigative | Likes to solve puzzles and discover relationships, enjoys math or science ideas, values scientific and intellectual jobs. Enjoys exploration of places and ideas. Selling or leading does not appeal. | Lawyer, psychologist, reporter, scientist, engineer, computer scientist, professor,...
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