RIASEC: A Career Assessment Acronym

Some photos of my presentation: Top right- students completing sudoku puzzles (Realistic); Bottom left- drawing and coloring pictures (Artistic); Bottom right- Arranging pennies according to dates using non-dominant hand (Conventional)

By Danielle Golinski, Career Advising Fellow

Last week, the Career Advising Fellows presented to 4 sophomore business communication classes on the Strong Interest Inventory career assessment. Developing the presentations from the ground up, we made the class engaging and interactive while sharing the message of John Holland (who revised the assessment in 1974, and it continues to be revised today) and his predecessors. Overall it is an assessment of interests, not abilities, so that an individual may have an easier time in determining an appropriate career choice for themselves.

People are grouped into 6 themes: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, conventional. Work environments can also be grouped by the same 6 types – General Occupational Themes (GOTs) – and in each occupation a certain personality type tends to dominate. “Thus, the personality types of co-workers, as much as the job requirements, establish the working tenor of a given occupation”. Individuals find success and productivity in work environments that allow them to use their skills and abilities. “Behavior is determined by an interaction between a person’s personality and the characteristics of his or her working environment. Factors such as job performance, satisfaction, and stability are influenced by this interaction.” Although there are about 720 different combinations, most individuals are given a one, two, or three letter code. For me, as I have a firm grasp on what I want out of life (but, boy, has it been a journey to get here) and the work environment that I can see myself working in, I have a one letter code – S or Social. Having a one letter code (compared to a two or three letter code) simply means that I have a better understanding of my likes and dislikes when it comes to my career (phew! *pats self on back for a lot of hard work and reflection to get to this point*).


  • Described as: practical, persistent, adventurous, sensible, self-reliant
  • Motivated by hands-on, tangible results: work with things
  • Typically assertive and competitive; tend to be interested in scientific or mechanical


  • Described as: curious, independent, reserved, rational
  • Motivated by: curiosity, learning, knowledge: work with data
  • Typically think and observe

ARTISTIC: The Creators

  • Described as: impulsive, independent, non-conforming
  • Motivated by: self-expression: work with ideas and things
  • Typically creative, open, original, perceptive, independent, and emotional

SOCIAL: The Helpers

  • Described as: humanistic, idealistic, cooperative
  • Motivated by: helping others: work with people
  • Typically teach or help in scenarios

ENTERPRISING: The Persuaders

  • Described as: persuasive, adventuresome, competitive, energetic, social, optimistic
  • Motivated by: persuading others: work with people and data
  • Typically good persuaders, and value a good reputation, power, money, and status

CONVENTIONAL: The Organizers

  • Described as: practical, organized, systematic, accurate, and conscientious
  • Motivated by: organizing and bringing order to data and things: work with data
  • Typically likes rules and regulations and emphasize self-control

    Source: https://www.cpp.com/ An updated version of the Holland hexagon, to highlight the interaction of all themes.

Author: Danielle G.

Danielle Golinski will be serving as one of two Career Advising Fellows for the Student Professional Development Center. She serves as a liaison between the students at Elon University and the SPDC. Before arriving at Elon, she earned a M.Ed in School Counseling from Rivier University in New Hampshire where she worked as a Graduate Assistant for Student Success. Prior to completing her Master’s program, Danielle attended the University of New Hampshire where she received her B.S. in Psychology, with a minor in Nutrition. Danielle has spent time working for the non-profit organization Big Brothers Big Sisters as a Match Support Specialist, and for Work Opportunities Unlimited as a Career Resource Specialist. In her role as a fellow she is devoted to helping students work towards clarification of their professional and educational goals through self-reflection and experiential learning. With a focus on interests, strengths, and values Danielle works with students in all areas of professional development. She also partners with Greek Life and other organizations across campus to provide career-related programs and drop-in advising hours in an effort to meet student’s needs in a way that is convenient for them. Education/Training M. Ed., 2014, School Counseling, Rivier University, Nashua, NH B.A., 2011, Psychology, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH Professional Interests/Background Career advising, professional development, positive psychology in career development, career services in higher education, mentoring, school counseling, and client-centered therapy Professional Activity North Carolina Association of Colleges and Employers (NCACE), Member 2014-Present Personal Interests New to the area, Danielle enjoys exploring all that North Carolina has too offer in regards to both indoor and outdoor recreation. During her free time she enjoys working out, experimenting with new recipes, being crafty, and trying to find as many things that Sriracha tastes good on. I can help you with: Career Exploration Connecting you with the Career Services Department for Support Cover Letters Interviewing Skills/Mock Interviews Networking Resumes

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s