Career Advice

Is Your Job Right for You? Take the Holland Code Career Test To Find Out

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Many folks spend a lot of time working and rarely stop to consider whether they enjoy or feel energized by said work. While the concept of job fittedness understandably comes as a secondary concern to making ends meet, once that latter condition is met, considering how you feel about the work you do is a worthy exercise. That's where the the Holland Code Career Test, which you can take on personal and career test site Truity, can help you tease out what might be a sure match for you.

This test is based on the Holland code model, which academic psychologist John L. Holland, PhD, developed as a way to categorize people's interests in such a way that matches them with certain career paths. The Holland Code Career test looks at six areas of interest—building, thinking, creating, helping, persuading, and organizing—and suggests careers to explore based on your results, along with a report explaining your areas of interest.

When life and career coach Letisha Bereola took the test, she “was really impressed with how closely it sort of nailed [her] down. What I really liked about this, though, is [the] one-page explainer about the type of job you should have [based on] what category you fit. The report that the test gives you is really helpful.”

"A test like this is almost the bridge to help you think about all of the possibilities there are for you.” —Letisha Bereola, life and career coach

The Holland Code Career Test is, perhaps, especially useful for people who know they feel stuck at their current job and would like a change of pace, says Bereola. “It's really tough to take your brain and your energy to start thinking about what else you want to do, so a test like this is almost the bridge to help you think about all of the possibilities there are for you.”

That said, if you don't feel your results resonate with you, career specialist Shari Santoriello, who works with coaching services company Ama La Vida, encourages you to take it with a grain of salt. “I would not want to see [anyone] exclude any of the other jobs in any of the other [areas of interest that speak to them]. But if it gives you that starting point, and that's the push that you need to move forward, okay, great,” she says.

Read on to learn more about the six areas of interest that the Holland Code Career Test highlights as well as jobs you might consider based on your test results, per career experts.

The 6 interest areas of the Holland Code Career Test (and jobs that fall under them)

Building

According to Truity, people best suited for building jobs are those who enjoy using tools, machines, or a physical skill to accomplish a goal: “Builders like working with their hands and bodies, working with plants and animals, and working outdoors.”

Bereola says that someone whose primary area of interest is building can consider jobs in set design, landscaping, or local animal reserves. “It also may be any work that requires you to get a little bit dirty and where the setting is outdoors,” she says.

Thinking

“Thinking jobs involve theory, research, and intellectual inquiry,” according to the Truity report. “Thinkers like working with ideas and concepts, and enjoy science, technology, and academia.” Within those parameters, your mind might immediately go to a doctor, a professor, or a researcher.

Sometimes, though, it’s beneficial to think outside the box. According to Santoriello, “ales falls into a lot of thinking and research, especially if you're in a specialty area [like medical equipment sales].” Sales people, adds Santoriello, need to think about who “their audience is, who the prospective client is, and how they tie that back to a problem-solving situation.”

Creating

When you say someone is “a creative,” you might glean that their interests involve some sort of art, design, language, or self-expression. “Creators like working in unstructured environments and producing something unique,” according to the Holland Code Career Test report.

“When we think ‘creative,’ we think, ‘Pull out those crayons and get going,’” Santoriello says. But in many positions, creative problem-solving is required. For example, project managers have to find innovative ways to make something happen, and chefs use food as a form of self-expression, adds Santoriello.

As far as the “unstructured” environment is concerned, Bereola says creatives crave this because “when you are designing something, it's hard to do that with a lot of restrictions and deadlines. It almost hinders that creative spirit."

Helping

Those whose primary interest area is helping might enjoy “jobs [that] involve assisting, teaching, coaching, and serving other people,” according to the results. “Helpers like working in cooperative environments to improve the lives of others.”

Santoriello says that outside of the obvious helper roles like teachers, social workers, and counselors, someone who values helping might consider jobs in fundraising, being directors of development, or grant writers. “Sometimes, the greatest helpers...are not on the ground, doing the teaching or assisting other coaching,” says Santoriello. “They're making the help possible through raising the funds or raising awareness.”

Persuading

“Persuading jobs involve leading, motivating, and influencing others. Persuaders like working in positions of power to make decisions and carry out projects,” according to the Truity test results.

This includes C-suite executives as well as politicians, says Santoriello, because it’s clear to folks that they’re using their power to persuade others. One-not-so obvious persuading job? “Teachers and caregivers,” says Santoriello. “Every day, they’re needing to get buy-in, and they have to do that through persuasion.” (Yep, certain jobs can cater to multiple areas of interest, like persuading and helping.)

Organizing

“Organizing jobs involve managing data, information, and processes. Organizers like to work in structured environments to complete tasks with precision and accuracy,” according to the test results.

When people think of organizing, their mind might immediately go to personal assistants, accountants, or project managers. But there’s a lot of organizing in some less-than-obvious careers, says Santoriello. “What people don't think of is back to some of those art-type spots, like an event or conference planner, or the publisher of a magazine—there's a lot of organization that's needed in all of those things,” she adds.

Take my first-hand experience as a journalist: Santoriello isn’t wrong.

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