Education, Career and Personal Development

Finding the Right Career with the ABCs of RIASEC

Published by: SkillsFuture Singapore

Finding the Right Career with the ABCs of RIASEC

Do you find yourself feeling unmotivated at work? Or are you still looking for a good job fit after having tried out a few jobs over the years? For anyone feeling stuck in an unfulfilling career, dwindling job satisfaction and performance levels are common.

Having seen his fair share of individuals settling into the wrong job, we sat down with Gerald Tan, Projects Director and Lead Career Developer Gerald Tan at Avodah People Solutions, to understand how your vocational personality is important when choosing the right career.

P.S. Read on to the end for a webinar workshop on how you can strategise for your job hunt using the RIASEC test! 

What’s the value in vocational personality profiling?

Your vocational personality simply refers to the work roles, tasks and activities that you are inclined to, interested in and possibly good at doing. Knowing this is important because it increases your self-understanding and helps you contemplate career choices. Having this knowledge also helps you to set the right direction for skills and career pathways and grounds our decisions.

Utilising vocational personality profiling assessment tools such as the RIASEC test acts as a mirror by providing a snapshot of yourself in areas of interests, values, personality and skills. Essentially, such tools can help to create greater self-awareness and understanding of roles to consider.

So, what is the RIASEC test?

RIASEC is an acronym that stands for six dimensions: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising and Conventional

In short, RIASEC is an acronym that stands for six dimensions: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising and Conventional. Founded by the famous psychologist - John Holland in the 1950s, it can also be referred to as John Holland's Six Occupational Types of Personality. 

The test was created to help individuals identify their preferred interests and facilitate job role selection. 

What does each personality type entail for an individual?

Each dimension reveals how you behave, respond and what you value. For example, the Social dimension refers to traits and tasks related to educating, helping, counselling, supporting, guiding, listening and behaviours such as being empathetic and caring. A person who has a higher preference for the Social dimension is more likely to enjoy a career in Social Services or Healthcare. Similarly, those with a high Artistic dimension may excel in creative or unconventional careers in humanities, the arts and music or art therapy that requires self-expression and intuitive abilities.

The RIASEC test will show you a mix of scores for the six dimensions, with some dimensions being higher than others. Focusing on your top two or three dimensions can help you pick out suitable areas of work. For example, someone with high scores for the Conventional, Investigative and Realistic dimensions is likely to thrive on structures, logic, processes, and details, which makes the person suitable for working in a career that involves machinery.

Is there a benchmark for a good profile result?

Interestingly, I get asked this question often. Truth is, our results may change over time due to our exposure to new experiences which show us more about what we like and dislike.

It is important to note that everyone has all six dimensions within us and that we have natural preferences and inclinations towards two or three of them. So, there isn’t such a thing as a good or bad profile. You should not let your results “box” you in. 

Remember, you define your RIASEC, not the other way round!

How can an individual better plan their career using the RIASEC test?

The RIASEC test is one way to provide clarity on the work you enjoy doing and are more inclined to do. Your RIASEC code will help you understand the type of work tasks that you are inclined to do and this helps you to have a better idea of your preferences, allowing you to shortlist and evaluate your work choices. 

Are there success stories of those who have benefited from the RIASEC test?

At Avodah People Solutions, I use a variety of interventions and tests to support our clients as they journey towards career awareness, and RIASEC is one of them! Once, I had a client who was doubtful of his own choices and felt uncertain about what to look for in his next job role.

After the RIASEC test helped identify his preferences and inclinations, he was able to shortlist possible job roles linked to his RIASEC preferences. Along with some research on industry insights, training opportunities and conversations with relevant industry peers, he was able to reach an informed career decision. 

In need of skills and training guidance? Consider speaking to a Skills Ambassador.

Would you recommend individuals to try out the assessment?

Most definitely! I always describe RIASEC as a snapshot of who you are and what you would like to do. It is a useful reference point for every stage of your career trajectory.  

Career coaches like me use tools such as RIASEC to help bring greater self-awareness to your situations and facilitate greater application and internalisation of the results. While RIASEC is useful to set you thinking about the potential jobs that could be a good fit for you, having the right support to guide you is equally important. In moments when you are faced with a career roadblock, the help of a career coach to help you process your thoughts, struggles and hopes can be invaluable.

How important do you feel upskilling is in this current climate?

Upskilling is an important career development activity that should be done continuously throughout our careers. In today’s uncertain and fast-changing economy, the only way we can develop our careers with confidence is by reinventing ourselves. This can be done by staying curious, recognising new interests, pursuing new opportunities, learning new skills and persevering towards skills mastery.

Kickstart your upskilling journey today. Pick up a new skill with your SkillsFuture Credit now!

Take the RIASEC Profiling Test to understand more about your personality, strengths, and work values to identify suitable career options today! 

About Gerald Tan

Gerald Tan is a certified career development coach with Avodah People Solutions, a private career service provider. In his role as a Lead Career Developer, Gerald works with individuals who require career support and helps them to be clear about their career directions, abilities and strategise actionable steps to navigate through career transitions.

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