Passions via your Holland Code

You’ve analyzed your talents and realize you, lets say, have knowledge and skills in the field of biology coupled with the ability to solve complex problems which may lead you to believe a career in medicine is appropriate for you.  But you don’t particularly enjoy any of these things and the thought of working with sick people isn’t appealing.   Just because you are good at something, doesn’t necessarily mean you enjoy doing it, but oftentimes it does.

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.

Consider what Seth Godin said in Tribes. In discussing “something to believe in” he says, “Many people are starting to realize that they work a lot and that working on stuff they believe in (and making things happen) is much more satisfying than just getting a paycheck and waiting to get fired (or die).

He goes on to say “It turns out that the people who like their jobs the most are also the ones who are doing the best work, making the greatest impact and changing the most.”

The next step in knowing yourself in the career development process, then, is to identify your passions.  Many career assessments identify what I call passions as “interests”.

One way to identify your passions based on this interest model is to know your Holland Code.  Here are the six dimensions that your two or three digit code could be comprised of:

Realistic — Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.

Investigative — Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Artistic — Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules.

Social — Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others.

Enterprising — Enterprising occupations frequently involve starting up and carrying out projects. These occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business.

Conventional — Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.



What is your code?

You can click on each of the six areas to see job matches, or you can use any of the following assessments (some free, some not) to determine your Holland Code and search for occupations through ONET to determine career matches.

Self Directed Search

My Next Move

Strong Interest Inventory with 1 hour coaching session


Mary Ila Ward