Career Tracks

Personality and Career Choice

Have no idea what to do with your life? Are you struggling to choose between 2 or more majors? Understanding how your personality and interests match up to six career tracks based on personality types developed by John Holland, Ph.D.--can help you choose courses that are interesting and a career where you can succeed.  Below is a simplified exercise which aids you in identifying your top occupational types. Each occupational type description reads across. You rank the types based on which ones you share the most to least common personality traits, skills and interests highlighted in the descriptions. You then move on and review the career/major suggestions offered by the Career Tracks brochures highlighting your top choices.

More than likely, you will discover that you identify with more than one occupational type--that is a natural occurrence considering the occupations listed in the Career Tracks brochures are influenced by more than one type. Therefore, you should review brochures outlining your top three selections below.

Simplified Inventory Experience -- Exercise 1 Identify your occupational type

Below are six occupational types.* Read each of the six. Then go back through and rank them. The type that best describes you is first, the type that next best describes you is second, and so on.

If you are:

If you can:

If you like to:

Then you may be:
(occupational type)

practical, straightforward, mechanically inclined, persistent, conforming, thrifty

fix electrical things, solve mechanical problems, operate tools and machinery, repair cars, build things

mechanic, restaurant cook, industry supervisor, computer-aided design technician, fish & game warden, mechanical engineer

Realistic

inquisitive, analytical, scientific, observant, precise, independent, cautious, curious

solve math problems, understand physics theories, interpret formulas, perform experiments

biologist, chemical engineer, clinical laboratory scientist, electronics technician, geographer, pharmacist, physician, veterinarian

Investigative

creative, expressive, intuitive, imaginative, open, and individualistic

sketch, draw, paint, play a musical instrument, sing, dance, design fashions or interiors, write stories, write poetry

actor, artist, architect, art teacher, reporter, high school English teacher, illustrator, interior designer, music teacher, photographer, editor, musician, dancer, archivist

Artistic

friendly, helpful, warm, understanding, sympathetic, social, patient

teach/train others, lead a group discussion, mediate disputes, make people feel at ease, cooperate well with others, understand social relationships

dietician, elementary teacher, nurse, parole officer, child care worker, police officer, physical therapist, school psychologist, social worker, speech pathologist, YMCA/YWCA director, recreation leader

Social

self-confident, persuasive, energetic, adventurous, sociable, optimistic, assertive

convince people to do things your way, sell things or promote ideas, give talks or speeches, organize activities or events, supervise the work of others

public relations representative, computer salesperson, politician, credit manager, business education instructor, lawyer, restaurant manager, sales manager, corporation executive, museum director

Enterprising

numerically inclined, methodical, conscientious, efficient, practical, conforming

work well within a system, do a lot of paperwork in a short time, keep accurate records, use a computer terminal, write effective business letters

accountant, bank teller, computer programmer, word processor, secretary, editorial assistant, financial analyst, bookkeeper

Conventional

*Based on personality types developed by John Holland, Ph.D.

Sample Careers Matching Occupational Types

Review the careers described in the top-ranked occupational types you have chosen. Then record the occupations that appeal to you. These are careers in which you may share interests, abilities and personal traits with professionals working in those fields. 

Realistic

mechanic, electrician, restaurant cook, industry supervisor, computer-aided design technician, fish and game warden, mechanical engineer

Investigative

biologist, chemical engineer, chemical laboratory scientist, electronics technician, geographer, pharmacist, physician, veterinarian

Artistic

actor, artist, architect, art teacher, reporter, high school English teacher, illustrator, interior designer, music teacher, photographer, editor, musician, dancer

Social

dietitian, elementary teacher, nurse, parole officer, child care worker, police officer, physical therapist, school psychologist, social worker, speech pathologist, YMCA/YWCA director, recreation leader

Enterprising

public relations representative, computer salesperson, politician, credit manager, business education instructor, lawyer, restaurant manager, sales manager, corporation executive

Conventional

accountant, bank teller, computer programmer, word processor, secretary, editorial assistant, financial analyst, bookkeeper

Where To Go From Here

The Career Track brochures for each of the six occupational types provide a career path to follow at NMU. These brochures are available at the Academic and Career Advisement Center 3302 C.B. Hedgcock.

Following this Career Tracks exercise, it would be good to attend the "Identify Your Career Choices" workshop offered by ACAC staff. This workshop leads you through the Holland "Self-Directed Search Career Assessment," which will in greater detail reflect your occupational types. The workshop will then provide information on how to move directly to reference resource materials connected to these occupations. The ACAC staff member will suggest additional career planning activities which will benefit your search for a major and career.

Please contact the Academic and Career Advisement Center at 906-227-2971 if you have any questions about career development and what steps would be best for you to take next.