Hollands Hexagon

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					                  Holland's Hexagon:
      How It Can Help You Organize Your Thinking

People earn money in thousands of ways. The number of new careers that pop up each year
makes this an ever-changing list. In a way, trying to find a life mission under such
circumstances is a lot like hitting a moving target that changes as you’re shooting at it. For
example, even people working on developing the Internet even five years ago had no idea
that it would have the employment impact that it did. Those who have flourished in the E-
economy have had to know their skills, their passions, and how their personalities fit into
this web environment.

This is where Holland steps in. He developed a model of thinking about careers called the
Holland Hexagon. Like all models, the Holland Hexagon is meant to illustrate some ideas
about personality, work activities, and work environments to make sifting through thousands
of career choices a little less overwhelming. Here’s how it works.

Holland envisioned six different occupational personalities and six different occupational
environments. Each of these six occupational categories contains careers that have some
common similarities and requirements. These categories are called THEMES in you interest
inventories. The positions of the various themes are important because they represent the
similarity or dissimilarity of one theme to the other. The traits of the occupational themes
next to one another are the most closely related; those at the opposite side of the hexagon
are the least like one another.

If you notice the diagram illustrating Holland’s Hexagon on the next page, the arrows
indicate the similarity or differences of one theme from another. For example, Realistic
careers are related in some ways to Investigative careers. Enterprising and Social careers
relate in some ways also. The career areas situated directly next to one another have
related qualities. In contrast, Investigative careers are most unlike Enterprising careers.
Those directly across the hexagon from one another have the least similar characteristics.
               Realistic         (similar)   Investigative




                              tional


Conventional                                                 Artistic




               Enterprising                   Social
                                 (similar)
                                The Holland Hexagon



The different occupational orientations or themes can be described in the following ways:

REALISTIC


 Practical, physically strong and coordinated, mechanical, competitive, stable, persistent,
frank, genuine.
 Interested in activities requiring mechanical ability, physical strength, or coordination in
working with objects, machines, tools, athletic equipment, plants or animals.
 Likes the outdoors, sports, building with tools, machines, prefers things to ideas or
people, concrete over the abstract, cars, airplanes, speed boats.

INVESTIGATIVE


 Intellectual, curious, reserved, abstract, analytical, task-oriented, independent, original,
unconventional.
 Interested in activities requiring intellectual or analytical skills to observe assess,
evaluate, and theorize in order to solve problems.
 Likes the sciences, school, abstract problems, hard date, ideas, numbers, graphs,
formulae, ambiguous challenges, computers, calculators, and electronic games.

ARTISTIC


 Imaginative, aesthetic, independent, creative, complicated, emotional, idealistic, impulsive,
intuitive, introspective, non-conforming, original, expressive, intense.
 Likes activities requiring artistic, creative, expressive and intuitive skills to convey
esthetics, thoughts, and feelings in words, movement, sound, color, and form.
 Likes free environments, beauty, small intimate groups, making things, taking risks, self-
expression, unconventional clothing, words, music, art forms, and the theater.

SOCIAL


 Cooperative, friendly, generous, helpful, idealistic, tactful, responsible, understanding,
cheerful, achieving, service-oriented.
 Likes activities requiring work with people to counsel, instruct, educate, train, or to treat
their ailments.
 Likes relationships, working in groups, discussing philosophical ideas, leading group
activities, church groups, service clubs, being the center of attention, and enlightening
others.




ENTERPRISING


 Extraverted, aggressive, persuasive, adventuresome, ambitious, energetic, impulsive, self-
confident, optimistic, sociable, talkative, enthusiastic.
 Likes activities requiring persuasive, managerial, supervisory, and leadership skills to
obtain social, political, institutional, and economic gain.
 Likes selling, convincing, running meetings, organizing committees, competitive activities,
influencing others, making things happen, status, recognition, material wealth and
possessions, resort hotels, country clubs, and famous people.

CONVENTIONAL


 Con trolled, structured, efficient, conservative, sociable, orderly, conscientious,
persistent, practical, calm.
 Likes activities requiring attention to detail, accuracy, and clerical skills to record, file,
and organize numerical and verbal data according to precise conventions and procedures.
 Likes order, structured tasks, attending to details, regular hours, indoor environments,
large organizations, knowing what is expected of them, associating with power and status,
shopping for bargains, and savings accounts.

Remember that these are descriptions of pure orientation types. None of us has only one
orientation.

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