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Let Your Interests Guide You!

According to theory proposed by John Holland, work environments and the people who work within them can be analyzed in terms of 6 basic interests, represented by the R.I.A.S.E.C acronym:

  1. Realistic - People who have athletic or mechanical ability, prefer to work with objects, machines, tools, plants, or animals, or to be outdoors.

  2. Investigative - People who like to observe, learn, investigate, analyze, evaluate, or solve problems.

  3. Artistic - People who have artistic, innovating or intuitional abilities, and like to work in unstructured situations, using their imagination or creativity

  4. Social - People who like to work with people – to inform, enlighten, help, train, develop, or cure them, or are skilled with words.

  5. Enterprising - People who like to work with people – influencing, persuading, leading or managing for organizational goals or for economic gain

  6. Conventional - People who like to work with data, have clerical or numerical ability, carrying things out in detail or following through on others instructions.[1]

If you are considering making a career change, knowing your top 3 Holland interests is a great way to start exploring new career options.[2] You can get your interests assessed by a certified Career Coach or you can use other online alternatives. Either way, knowing which occupations match your interests is a great first step.


[1] The following R.I.A.S.E.C descriptions were quoted from “The Party: Introduction to the Holland Code.Global Community of Academic Advising. Retrieved on February 21st, 2019.

[2] It is worth noting that Holland’s theory does not distinguish between preferred interests and interests per se. A preferred interest is something you would enjoy doing or perhaps have some skill in doing; but you can be interested in something without being skilled at it or enjoying it as a job. For example, you might have an interest in music (and subsequently fall into Holland’s “Artistic” category) but not be able to carry a tune or even know how to play a musical instrument! And even if you could sing or play an instrument, there is no guarantee that you would enjoy a job in the music industry! In other words, music would not be a preferred interest of yours, even if you were passionate about it. So be cautious about how you interpret your Holland code results, keeping this important distinction in mind.