Why Choosing the Right Career Could be the Most Important Decision of Your Life - Part 2: Which of the Six Themes Describe Your Work Personality?

Aug 20, 2015

When you reflect on your “work personality” what comes to mind? Do you think of yourself as creative or analytical? Do you prefer caring for other people or like detail-focused tasks? Do you enjoy doing more hands-on types of work or taking on leadership roles? Is your work personality a good fit for the work you are actually doing or want to do? Think about your child, spouse or friends – are they pursuing a good fit?  For many people there is a mismatch, which leads to dissatisfaction, frustration and often failure to succeed.


Decades of research (CPP) has found that people’s interests, work activities, potential skills and personal values can be organized into six General Themes, which can be used to describe one’s work personality: Realistic (R), Investigative (I), Artistic (A), Social (S), Enterprising (E), and Conventional (C). Most people’s interests are reflected by two or three Themes, combined to form a cluster of interests. This information provides a direct link between your interests and the career and education possibilities likely to be most meaningful to you. Let’s break it down!

(S) SOCIAL: Is all about helping, instructing, and caring for others.

  • Social people describe themselves as caring, helpful, friendly, and responsible.
  • They are attracted to work environments that are supportive, collaborative, and cooperative. They like to solve problems through discussions of feelings and interactions with others.
  • They tend to be very expressive, and they often enjoy taking a leadership role at work and in school.
  • Social occupations frequently involve working with, communicating with, and teaching people. Persons in these occupations often help or provide service to others.

ARTISTIC:  Is all about creating and enjoying art.

  • Artistic people describe themselves as creative, expressive, and nonconforming.
  • They are attracted to work environments that encourage individual self-expression.
  • They tend to be sensitive and creative, and they bring a unique approach to their work. They often pursue their specific artistic interests separately from their career.
  • Artistic occupations frequently involve working with forms, designs, and patterns. They often require self-expression. The work can usually be done without following a clear set of rules.

Enterprising: Is all about leading and influencing others.

  • Enterprising people describe themselves as ambitious, assertive, and self-confident.
  • They are attracted to work environments that are fast-paced and businesslike, and that reward individual efforts.
  • They tend to be outwardly communicative, and they use their verbal skills to promote organizational goals and financial success.
  • Enterprising occupations frequently involve selling products or ideas and leading and managing others.

Conventional: Is all about organization, detail, and accuracy.

  • Conventional people describe themselves as efficient, persistent, and practical.
  • They are attracted to work environments that are businesslike with well-ordered reporting lines.
  • They tend to be careful and conscientious, and they use their organizational skills to support those in authority.

Investigative: Is all about analyzing and interpreting data.

  • Investigative people describe themselves as analytical, original, and scientific.
  • They are attracted to work environments that are research-oriented and encourage independent thinking.
  • They tend to be thoughtful, intellectually curious, and nonconforming.
  • Investigative occupations frequently involve conducting research, doing scientific or laboratory work, and analyzing new facts or theories. The work is often done in a university setting.

Realistic: Is all about physical activity.

  • Realistic people describe themselves as physically active, practical, and down-to-earth.
  • They are attracted to work environments that are product-oriented.
  • They tend to be hands-on, adventurous, and athletic.
  • Realistic occupations frequently involve exerting physical strength, using tools, operating equipment, and working outdoors. The work can often be done without a lot of interaction with others.

You can discover which of the six themes best describe you by taking the Strong Interest Inventory on CareerPuppy.com! Simply click on “Find Your Passion” to get started. When you check out just enter the code CPB815 to receive a 20% discount!  You can even share the discount code with your friends. You can choose the iStartStrong report or one of our more detailed reports that comes with consultation from our professional staff. The assessment also comes with one year of access to all of the CareerPuppy.com resources, which include career profiles, videos, an interactive forum, and activities to help you with your career quest!

As part of this series during the month of August, next week in Part 3 we’ll delve even deeper into the Strong Interest Inventory to explore how the six Themes connect to specific interests and occupations!  What are your interests and which occupations might be a best fit for you?