Create Bigger Impact by Aligning Your Interests with Your Work

My first interaction with Horizon Point was in 2017 as a participant in Mary Ila’s Facilitating Career Development (FCD) Training. At the time, I was the Program Champion for the Department of Management at Auburn University’s Harbert College of Business, and my primary focus was professional and career development for undergraduate students. I completed the FCD course, became a Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF) and a Certified Career Services Provider (CCSP), and have since used the experience and knowledge to provide career development coaching and instruction for over 500 students and professionals. 

After joining Horizon Point in 2019, I’ve seen the real-world application of career development theories outside of a formal education environment. In all areas of our work, from FCD Training to HR Consulting to Community Workforce Solutions, and across different industries, demographics, and team dynamics, we utilize career development theory, helping skills, and adult learner strategies. Learning about yourself and your interests will always make you a better teammate, employee, manager, friend, sibling, parent, etc. 

Now, I am a Certified FCD Instructor with the National Career Development Association (NCDA), and today, I have the absolute pleasure of returning to Auburn University to deliver FCD Training to a new group of career developers! 

As I prepared for this training, I looked back through my notes as a participant in the course for the first time. The first activity in the course is to complete O*Net’s Interest Profiler, which is adapted from The Holland Codes or Holland Occupational Themes (RIASEC). 

Mary Ila once wrote about “Passions Via Your Holland Code” on The Point Blog, where she demonstrates the purpose behind assessing your interests. She says, “We typically enjoy what we can do well quite simply because we are good at it. This is where it is important to consider your passions and whether or not they align with the talents you possess.” 

So, what does my Holland Code say about my interests, and am I working in a role that creates space for me to utilize them? My 2017 results indicated SCE, or Social, Conventional, and Enterprising (read about these here). In other words, I was interested in teaching and training others, I appreciated clear expectations and structure, and I enjoyed entrepreneurship and generating new business ideas. Because of all that, I thrived in my role as Program Champion, because my interests / passions aligned with the type of work and the environment. 

Would you be surprised to learn that many people in coaching and/or counseling related fields have similar Holland Codes? People with careers as Educational, Guidance, and Career Counselors and Advisors commonly have S, or Social, in their Holland Code. O*Net says: 

People with Social interests like working with others to help them learn and grow. They like working with people more than working with objects, machines, or information.

They like:

  • Teaching
  • Giving advice
  • Helping and being of service to people

When I took the Interest Profiler yesterday, my results indicated SAC, or Social, Artistic, and Conventional:

Turns out, Training and Development Specialists (closest match to my current role), are linked to the Holland Code SCA, or Social, Conventional, and Artistic. Over time, my interests have shifted away from enterprising activities and towards creative roles. With Horizon Point, I’m given the autonomy and the space to stretch my artistic/creative interests through creation of new training content and materials, amateur graphic and web design, and more. Clearly, I’m in the right role for me in this season of life. Are you? 

As I work with this group of Auburn Career Developers over the next 8 weeks, we will talk about the application of career development theory like Holland with both our clients and ourselves. What can you learn about yourself today that will improve your effectiveness in your current role? 

Learn more about FCD, Continuing Education, HR Consulting, and Training programs developed and facilitated by Horizon Point at or email us at  

Jillian Miles Massey