The dreaded question: What do you want to be when you grow up? A question that follows us from childhood into adulthood, often evoking feelings of uncertainty and pressure.

But here’s the thing: it’s perfectly normal not to have all the answers, especially at a young age. And even if you do decide on a career path, some day down the road you might change your mind, such is part of life. Finding your calling is hardly a straightforward process. It’s a journey of self-discovery, filled with moments of doubt and self-reflection. 

Take time to explore different ideas and fields, follow your interests and things that excite you. Ultimately, it’s about finding something that you love and are passionate about. Consider your personality and the kinds of things you enjoy. The artistic types may prefer jobs that will challenge them creatively, while social extroverted people may feel more inclined to choose jobs where they have to interact with others. What I’ve just described is a snapshot of a vocational personality. A vocational personality is essentially a reflection of your interests, inclinations, and skills, revealing which career paths complement your natural talents. An easy way to uncover your vocational personality is with the RIASEC test. Developed in the 1950s by psychologist John Holland, the test assists with identifying a person’s preferred interests, intending to simplify the job search process. 

What is the RIASEC?

RIASEC Job Personality Type Visual

The RIASEC is an acronym, standing for: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. Each dimension describes a specific personality trait that aligns with a career path that may be best suited for you. 

RIASEC Realistic Individuals
RIASEC Investigative Individual
RIASEC Artistic Personality Type

Realistic (R): Realistic individuals often prefer practical, hands-on activities. They tend to excel in fields such as construction and engineering. 

Investigative (I): Those with investigative interests tend to be curious and enjoy the thrill of solving a complex problem. If you score heavy on the investigative interest side, you may enjoy work environments that involve research and explore scientific processes. 

Artistic (A): An artistic type usually enjoys unstructured situations where they can fully leverage their creativity in their work space. These people can consider working in radio & television, communications and predominantly in the arts space. 

RIASEC Social Individual
RIASEC Enterprising Job Personality Type
RIASEC Conventional Personality Type

Social (S): These people are usually extroverted and enjoy working with people. They are also usually compassionate and empathetic and want to help others. They may work well in counselling, healthcare and social work. 

Enterprising (E): Individuals with enterprising interests are usually the leadership type. They are ambitious, persuasive and often are the first people to volunteer to take charge of a project. These people may work well in entrepreneurial environments, sales and leadership roles. 

Conventional (C): Conventional people tend to be more detail oriented and have a preference in working with data and in a structured office space. These people may enjoy working in administrative jobs or data heavy jobs like financial management or data analysis.

A tool like RIASEC is not meant to be used as means of boxing yourself up and tying yourself to a specific career, but rather as a way to help you gain a deeper understanding of your strengths and how to translate them into the professional sphere.

The results you receive from the tool may not align with your view of yourself and the kinds of careers you’re interested in, but you don’t have to be tied to them. The RIASEC is meant to be used as a tool for self exploration, helping you to think about your personality traits and how it might possibly fit into a professional work space. 

Moreover, your vocational personality isn’t a one-time revelation. As we continue to grow and change, our vocational preferences may evolve as well.

RIASEC Myskillsfuture chart

Photo Source: MySkillsFuture

Education plays a huge part in your journey leading to your future career. If you need some extra help, Happy Tutors can help! Students at Happy Tutors are taught by subject specialist tutors who are patient and passionate in aiding their students tackle school examinations. Find a centre closest to you:

Learn more about your strengths, values, and personality with the RIASEC Profiling Tool: