career path

Choosing a Career Path Based on Your Personality

Choosing a career path for your field of study can turn into an overwhelming task. More than 61% of college graduates end up changing their majors right after they get admitted in a reputable college. Nowadays, college students leverage several important factors before applying to an area of focus where they then invest 4 years of their lives. They choose a degree program that best fits their personalities.

Matching an education degree with your personality is what is termed as congruence. Congruence is a term that indicates how well a specific personality type fits a particular environment. In simpler words, congruence allows people to become compatible with the environment. An artistic personality type will only be congruent with an artistic environment. Whereas, a person who is more analytical minded might choose a different major such as accounting, finance, physics, chemistry, mathematics, and so on.

People who mismatch the two often become victims of incongruency. They do not fit well with their environments.

John L. Holland’s Theory of Careers

In 1997, John L. Holland presented his theory on how individuals can make vocational choices based on their personality types. He styled it by adjoining six basic career types in a hexagonal diagram.

Here’s a graphical representation of John L. Holland’s Hexagon.

As you may have noticed, personality types that are closest to each other have similarities. They are more alike in comparison to personality types that lie on the complete opposite sides. For example, if you’re a social personality, then you may completely differ from the realistic personality type, and hence, you won’t easily fit in the realistic type environments. With the help of this hexagon, people can understand what type of personality they are and the type of environments they must avoid.

Do you wonder why choosing a college major is an essential task? According to Career Key’s research,

A college major that fits your personality will bring you greater success.

When you follow the right path that matches your personality, you will earn higher grades, graduate on time, and above all, you find the personal satisfaction you need to progress forward in your career.

As they say, “Birds of a feather always flock together,” so is the case with personality types. Similar personality type individuals naturally gravitate towards similar pursuits. For example, a person with an analytical mind will always find himself in situations where he will be challenged to use his analytical skills. Most of the solutions he or she will suggest will be analytical, and hence, you will often find them working in research labs or solving complex mathematical equations. Whereas, a person who has a more creative mind will be more likely to be engaged in creative things in some art studio or design firms.

The Six Different Personality Types – Explained

The six different personality types which John Holland preached in his research are,


People who are realistic like to engage themselves with tasks to see and touch things in physical form. They are the kind of people who are highly skilled with tools and can operate effectively on machines, animals, tools, and plants. The best careers that suit such people are engineering, surgery, education/teaching, construction, agriculture, etc.


People who are more inclined to perform research and have a higher capacity for analytical thinking are the investigative types. They are the individuals who can take up scientific challenges and have the capability to think analytically. They can persuade people by proving their point. People who want to become researchers, physicists, scientists, etc. fall into this category.


People who have high creative stimulation are artistic minds. They are unique individuals who excel in painting, sculpting, dancing, writing, drama, music, and other similar activities. If they ever find themselves performing repetitive tasks, it can dramatically turn them off. They are very original. For career path development, artistic minds can groom themselves in becoming an artist of any kind.


Social individuals like to work around people. They are talkative. They have this very skill to engage people, and by engaging, they can convince them to do things. People who have a more extroverted soul fall in the social category. Such individuals become great counselors, teachers, trainers, and more. They have an innate trait to solve society & community problems because they have a gift for it.


Are you energetic & ambitious? Do you see opportunity in almost everything you come across? Do you seek to change the environment? Then you are an enterprising type of personality. People with solid leadership skills fall into this category. They become great managers, powerful leaders, and strong sales individuals. If you’re more of an opportunist, then an enterprising personality is your best fit.


People with conventional personality types have a great talent to work with structured and orderly tasks. They can create statistical sheets, record information, perform data analysis, & do similar tasks. They are good at performing a specific task continuously. Although, can be bookkeepers, auditors, accountants, bibliographers, editorial assistants, virtual assistants, ticket agents, receptionists, and more.

What college major would best fit your personality?

By understanding the different personality types, you will find it easier to choose a specific career path.

In conclusion, the market is full of options and you need to cherry-pick which compliments your personality. Find out what traits you’re strong in. If you’re not sure what personality type you’re, you should first take the Myers Briggs personality test. It’s a free personality test that will provide you with general information on which of the 16 personality types you fit in. Once you know your personality type, follow John Holland’s hexagon diagram to see which is the best-suited education & the best working environment for you.

Now choose a career path and be sure that it was in your destiny to follow it.

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