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If you think you might have to do a career 180 post-COVID, now is the time to think about what else you might excel in. One aspect you can think about is what’s known as your ‘vocational personality’. In the 1950s, an American psychologist called Dr Holland, came up with a way of describing what people’s work preferences are. 

These preferences are organised into six categories, and it’s likely that you are dominant in either two or three. Here’s our version of the quiz to help you identify yours. 

  • Realistic people enjoy activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of these occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others. 
  • Investigative people enjoy involve working with ideas, and jobs that require an extensive amount of thinking. Investigative occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.  
  • Artistic people enjoy working with forms, designs and patterns. They often require self-expression and the work can be done without following a clear set of rules. 
  • Social people enjoy working with, communicating with, and teaching people. These occupations often involve helping or providing service to others. 
  • Enterprising people enjoy starting up and carrying out projects. Enterprising occupations can involve leading people and making many decisions. Sometimes they require risk taking and often deal with business. 
  • Conventional people enjoy following set procedures and routines. Conventional occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow. 

Now that you know what your vocational personality is, you can then think about what work you’d enjoy. In the same way that your personality is a combination of two or more types, careers are also combined. For example a physiotherapist will be made up of Social, Investigative and Realistic, as they have to communicate with a patient to find out what’s wrong, employ common and tested methods to improve the patient’s physical health, and do this partly through trial and error.

Here’s a list of common careers and their vocational personality types if you would like to find a career suitable for you.

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