Please enjoy a guest post by the Father-In-Law interspersed with pictures of chalk masterpieces and driveway fun.  You’re welcome on both counts.  – Joanna
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Here I am again dear readers with a little time on my hands.  Today I think I’ll talk a bit about personalities.  Although we’ve all probably met people who seem not to have one, researchers adhere to the philosophy of a pioneer in personality typing, Dr. John Holland.
Cozy Coupe Petey
In a previous life, in between teaching mechanical engineering classes, I was also the director of career services at a major Ohio university.  I found it interesting to test incoming students and try to match a major to their personality type.  The downside of this is I immediately place each person I meet into one of the six Holland personality types.  Assuring you that you will fit into one of the following personality descriptions, I hope you’ll enjoy trying to decide which personality you have.

The actual test to determine personalities is a ten page, multiple choice, “preference” test which takes about thirty minutes to complete.  Let’s explore the six Holland personalities and see who you are.

REALISTIC – This person is money motivated, enjoys math and science and likes to know how things work.  They are structured, detail oriented, and good time managers.  They make lists and check off their accomplishments daily.  Major in: engineering, computer science, architecture, chemistry, and biology.
Worms eat Birds

ARTISTIC – The least money motivated of all of the personalities (and one of the most challenging students to assist).  This person loves creative endeavors, art, music, theater, writing, etc.  They are not very concerned about schedules or organization.  They change their mind frequently and tend to lose focus easily.  While the student loves the thought of majoring in musical theater, their parents usually try to intervene (hey, your grandpa was an accountant, I’m an accountant, BE AN ACCOUNTANT).  Majors (with an eye toward a future paycheck): computer art/design, computer animation, interior design, music education, English education, art education.

Horse artistic

SOCIAL –  Not very money motivated.  These are the caring, helping people among us.  They enjoy interacting with people and usually have a very active social life. This was our friend growing up that never missed a dance or party and surrounded themselves with a large circle of friends.  Major in:  education, social work, psychology, sociology, nursing, physical therapy.


ENTERPRISING – This is the most money motivated personality when it comes to choosing a career.  This was the friend we grew up with that was always in charge.  They were the class president, chairman of the prom committee, and the person who made the plans for everyone’s weekend activities.  This mover and shaker should major in:  business, advertising, marketing, or investment banking.

Making Moolah

CONVENTIONAL –  This was the friend we knew who was never late for anything.  Their school lockers were very organized as was their room at home.  They liked things neat and orderly.  They are money motivated and thrive on conformity and repetition.  Major in: accounting, banking and finance, and computer technology (as opposed to computer science – they would prefer to write programs all day and nothing more).


INVESTIGATIVE –  This person loves a mystery.  They are avid readers and have a great interest in all types of discovery.  While falling somewhere in the middle of money motivation among personalities, a career that pays well while allowing them to make discoveries would be of interest to them.  Major in:  criminal justice, anthropology, medical research.

Cozy Coupe Parking

So there they are.  Did you see anyone familiar to you?  This of course is the “lite” version of Holland codes, as blending of personalities usually occurs.  Career professionals look at a person’s second and even third personality types as they are scored on the test.  Also, a student’s previous educational background should be taken into account to give the student a fighting chance in certain majors (your GED is a great milestone for you but medical school might be a stretch).

It has also been my experience that home-schooled students were among the brightest and most verbal individuals I encountered, BUT unless mom was a math, chemistry, physics, or biology major, we have a problem Houston.  Many of the more in-demand and lucrative majors (read math and science) were usually a stretch for them.

Also, one of the first questions I asked a student was “are you willing to relocate or do you prefer to stay local?”  I did have one student who wanted to major in oceanography but remain here in Ohio.  Hmmm – I could have sold him some oceanfront property in Columbus.

One last thing about these personalities, some marriage counselors use Holland typing to assist with their work.  We have always heard that opposite personalities “attract” people to each other (Paula Abdul had a hit record about that many years ago.)  While this is true, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good thing. The two most extreme opposite personalities here are the artistic and conventional types.  Woe be unto that marriage.

Well, my time is up and I didn’t mention anything about food this time.  Joanna may need to add a picture of a cabbage or something.  Hope I didn’t bore you too much with this post and I promise I’ll get back to my usual off-color humor in the next one.  Will there be a next one Joanna?  By the way, as a realistic, money motivated person I haven’t seen any royalty checks yet either.

– Father-In-Law

Question of the Day: So, who are you?  Who who  . . . who who?  I really wanna know.  Who are you?

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  1. We must have a very smart toddler. I’d say his horse drawing is at least the artistic prowess of a four year old!

    • Father-in-law

      I would have to deduct that the horse artwork indicates a long line of paternal geniuses.

  2. Though I originally stuck around for the art (cozy coupe speed? amazing) but I ended up loved the article! My dad is a psychologist (family/marriage counselor) and I’ve always been fascinated to hear his insight on personality types and individual motivations.
    In browsing the descriptions above, I am clearly a social and David is a realistic. I think we make a pretty good pair because he is focused and makes money while I tweet on the internet all day 😉 Juuuuuuuuuust kidding- there is a bit more to us than that, but I really enjoyed the post. Thanks!
    Brittany (Healthy Slice of Life) recently posted…7 Things You Need to Know Before You GoMy Profile

    • Now this is funny… I read your post earlier today, clicked on your “Dad” link, and then spent way too much time reading his articles. Insightful stuff! I particularly liked his post talking about the potential genetic predisposition for faith.

    • Father-in-law

      Thanks Brittany, I’ll check out your dad’s posts. Joanna wants me to do one on “interesting people I’ve interviewed over the years” sometime. Now that could be a long one! People always amaze me and whether I was teaching them or counseling them, it usually kept my day eventful.

  3. Interesting topic! I couldn’t find where I belong…I majored in math and education, but neither of those really matched me with the descriptions. Is it possible for people to be a blend?
    Aly recently posted…Almond and Citrus Tea CakeMy Profile

    • Father-in-law

      Blended personalities are very common Aly. Mine happens to be Realistic and Social. With your skills in math plus interest in teaching you may have the same two. Math and science teachers have a special calling in education, congratulations!

  4. Cool post! Thanks for sharing. School pegged me as a realistic, but they were ding dong wrong. I was too obedient though, so ended up with a Neuroscience degree that has never even paid half a phone bill. Luckily I snuck in an extra major in English which was WAY more fun. I’m an artistic! I only care about money while shopping.

    • Father-in-law

      Glad it worked out after all for you Ann. It sounds like you were rushed through the process at school. I used Holland Codes as a starting point, then went through quite a few other indicators that usually came up during an interview with the student. Thanks for commenting.