Career, Counselor, Seattle, Bellevue, WA 98005

Holland Hexagon Themes—Matching People to Jobs

John Holland PhD was a psychologist who developed a model of matching interests to jobs.  He capsulized interests into six distinct themes. I incorporate his model into my own career program as it helps to clarify how your interests correlate to jobs.  Following are his six Themes.



John L. Holland’s research has shown that people can be described by one or more of six general occupational-interest themes. These themes are called: R (Realistic), I (Investigative), A (Artistic), S (Social), E (Enterprising), and C (Conventional). Although no one theme can take in all your interests, a combination of themes can tell you something about them. As you read each of them, underline those statements which best describe you.

Six Themes of Interest:

REALISTIC THEME:  People in this category are practical, aggressive and have good physical skills. Because of these qualities, they like outdoor activity and working with tools or machines. Although they are not creative with words, they enjoy making things with their hands. Interests of this group include farming, military activities, construction work, skilled crafts, laboratory work and fish and wildlife management.

INVESTIGATIVE THEME:  Science and science-related interests dominate this theme. People with these interests enjoy challenges and solving hard problems, particularly those of the physical world. They can get very involved in a task. And they are creative and original in their ideas. Occupations usually associated with this theme include engineer, social scientist, biologist, computer programmer, medical doctor, and mathematician.

ARTISTIC THEME:  As the name implies, people in this group like to express themselves in artistic form. While they are usually less assertive about their abilities, they can be described as original, independent, unconventional, sensitive and emotional. Among the many occupations in this group, some typical ones are artist, dramatist, entertainer, writer, composer and singer.

SOCIAL THEME:  People in this category genuinely care about others, express themselves well and enjoy attention. They can be described as cheerful, popular leaders who prefer solving human problems rather than scientific ones. Some vocational choices in this group include guidance counselor, high school teacher, religious leader, recreation director, and school superintendent.

ENTERPRISING THEME:  People in this theme see themselves as dominant, self-confident, enthusiastic, and energetic. They like power, status, and wealth. As a result, they enjoy persuading others. They prefer occupations like politics, law, sales, merchandising and realty.

CONVENTIONAL THEME: This theme describes people who prefer more routine tasks. They consider themselves conventional, stable, dependable, and well-controlled. While they value money and status, they do not seek leadership. Most people in this category have business occupations. Examples are bank teller, credit manager, bookkeeper, computer operator, and tax consultant.

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"I was immediately impressed by Jan. After going through the Dot-Bomb, I knew that I needed to make a career change and that I needed an experienced guide to help choose the right path. Jan's extensive professional credentials -- including her successful track record -- along with her caring, tough-love approach made it a pleasure to work with her. By interpreting standardized aptitude tests, providing counseling, and directing me to conduct career research, Jan helped me to quickly focus on a profession where I can thrive. As a result, Jan has helped me to get on a new and more successful career path. Thanks, Jan! ."--Graham, 41, Seattle

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