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Holland developed a typology of six personal orientations to life: realistic (R), investigative (I), enterprising (E), artistic (A), social (S), and conventional (C). He defined the six different personality types in terms of their characteristic activities, interests, and competencies. According to Holland, people with similar personalities are likely to form a group. For instance, investigative people are likely to make friends and work with other investigative people. In addition, those who decide to work in a setting comparable to their personality type have high chances of satisfaction and success in their areas of expertise.
This paper analyzes results obtained using interest profiler and work locator instruments to learn how these instruments can be used in career development.
Career Instrument Results
The results from the test areas are indicated in the following table. Given the high score in the social personality type, it is safe to infer that I fall under this category.
A person with a social personality type enjoys helping others. For instance, they are most comfortable working as educators, counselors, informants, or nurses. They are people-friendly and generally do not like using machines, tools, or animals to achieve their goals. They value helping people solve problems and perceive themselves as helpful and trustworthy. In addition, social individuals are optimistic, accountable, and are involved in the well-being of others. They love taking part in group activities, as well as educating and counseling others.
I consider myself social since I enjoy caring for and supporting others; training and meeting new people; assisting colleagues, and interviewing. I also love reading fiction, plays, poetry, and coaching. Consequently, my ideal job is that which involves working face to face with people and in a people-friendly environment.
A realistic personality possesses practical and mechanical ability but lacks social competencies. As the doer, the personality traits of the realistic type include genuineness, stability, conformity, and practical. I admit a weakness in this aspect since I prefer to work with people rather than things. This explains my poor score.
Investigative personality types are more analytical and enjoy creative roles like research, mathematical or scientific activities. Since I get stifled by structured working environments, it is no surprise that I got an average score here. However, I fall short of the required standards in areas like working autonomously, mathematical ability, or scientific skill.
The relatively high score on the artistic type is a good reflection of my personality. This is because I see myself as original, intuitive, and fairly creative with an ever-growing love for music and theater. I also value aesthetics and prefer an environment that encourages creativity and originality.
As I had expected, my highest score is in the social category. As a sociable individual, I like building personal relationships and helping others develop. Does this score represent my personality? I think it reflects my disposition as an individual and in my career since I like working with people and communing in a friendly and skillful manner. I also consider myself very persuasive.
The scores of seven and five on the enterprising and conventional types respectively are a fair representation of my personality. Though sociable and confident, I am less assertive and domineering than is expected of the enterprising type. On the other hand, the conventional type is efficient, conforming, and conscientious. Unlike me who dislikes working in a structured setup, they have a preference for orderly activities and do not like ambiguity.
A previous study shows that younger adults have less control over impulse than their older counterparts when dealing with stress. This suggests that as we grow old we tend to adapt well to stress. Older adults also have reduced emotional reactions. This shows that age as an intrinsic factor may have influenced my responses to the questions in the instruments. I was better placed to answer the social questions and my response to stress also influenced my focus during the administration of the instruments because of my age (forty-two). For this test, I do not think that my gender affected the test results in a significant way.
Psycho-pathological symptoms are mostly associated with stress developed during the process of acculturation, especially among immigrant populations. Nevertheless, most of the standard assessment tools used cannot interpret the social and psychological problems that result from this kind of stress. In this regard, being African-American may have had significance in my predisposition to answer particular questions. Consequently, psychologists ought to gather useful data on the cultural aspects of their participants at the onset of the evaluation. This information is useful in selecting culturally appropriate instruments and style of delivery.
Other factors such as mood during the administration of the instruments, weather, and technology may also have had an impact on the results. However, the magnitude of their role in the results is small and cannot change the outcome in a significant way.
In real life, most people possess a blend of personality types such as realistic-conventional, or social-artistic. Hence, one should perhaps contemplate working in professions in different categories. The closer two personality types are to each other the more alike they are compared to those that are further apart. For instance, social (S) and artistic (A) are closer to each other than social (S) and realistic (R).
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The scores for social and artistic types are the highest at 24 and 25 respectively and are close to each other. This means that I have a social-artistic personality. The social and realistic types being further apart, account for a bigger difference in scores (25 and 1 respectively). Though E and C are low, they are still close to each other with only a difference of two separating them. There is, however, a big difference between E and I, C and A, and others.
My social-artistic personality type places me in a social-artistic environment where I have to interact with people regularly. This gives me an opportunity to serve other people and to work in teams that put my interpersonal skills to good use. An artistic working environment provides aesthetic qualities while making use of my creative ability.
Going by past personal experiences, I can conclude that people are happiest when working in professions that suit their personalities. I have served in the military for ten years with a stint at Christian City Schools where both environments lacked aesthetics. Tasks there were strictly defined, and socializing was restricted. Since my satisfaction with these jobs was low, I can now deduce that it had much to do with my personality.