How To Identify Where Your Career Interests Lie

It’s a ‘chicken-or-egg’ situation, isn’t it? How can you find a job you might find interesting when the only way to do so is to be in a job?
Jaideep Patel

Worry not. There are a few tools you can use to determine what your career interests and competencies are to help you set a plan of action.

Holland Code Assessment

The Holland Codes, Holland Occupational Themes or RIASEC is known by many names, but only serves one purpose: to help you understand your strongest interests by classifying your work personality type.

RIASEC stands for the 6 different themes developed by American psychologist John L Holland:

  • Realistic
  • Investigative
  • Artistic
  • Social
  • Enterprising
  • Conventional

The Holland Code Assessment is used by many university career counsellors around the world, including in Malaysia. Its popularity stems from its ease of use – one can easily match his or her personality and interests to one or several of the 6 codes, and see which jobs are the best matches.

Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) 

The Myers–Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) was developed by mother and daughter team Katharine Cook Briggs and Isabel Briggs Myers to bring Carl Jung’s psychological theories to different areas of life. In a career context, it determines how one perceives their work environment and makes decisions.

MBTI focused on 4 principal psychological functions:

  • Extraversion (E) vs Introversion (I)
  • Sensing (S) vs Intuition (N)
  • Thinking (T) vs Feeling (F)
  • Judging (J) vs Perceiving (P)

Based on the combination of the different functions, the MBTI is a personality profiling system that can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses while giving you an insight of what type of employee you will be.

Keirsey Temperament Sorter (KTS)

The Keirsey Temperament Sorter is based on the Keirsey Temperament Theory, which was conceived by Dr David Keirsey. This self-assessed personality questionnaire closely resembles the MBTI but differ in a few areas.

When devising the KTS, Dr David Keirsey observed the ancient study of temperament put forth by Greek philosophers Hippocrates and Plato. In fact, the names given to the four temperaments are based on Plato’s suggestions:

  • Artisan
  • Guardian
  • Idealist
  • Rational

Each of these temperaments contain a further two roles:

  • Operator (proactive Artisan)
  • Entertainer (reactive Artisan)
  • Administrator (proactive Guardian)
  • Conservator (reactive Guardian)
  • Mentor (proactive Idealist)
  • Advocate (reactive Idealist)
  • Coordinator (proactive Rational)
  • Engineer (reactive Rational)

Now that you know where your interests lie and what your aptitudes are, do something with this knowledge! The most successful people play to their strengths, and this is exactly what you should be doing in your future career. Spend more time researching into jobs you know you would really excel at – you’ll thank yourself for it later.