What Interests you?
While we all adapt and evolve with time, research shows that our core interests and passions stay relatively stable. For a peripheral jab into your interests, answer these questions:
- What do you ‘like’ doing?
- What activities do you ‘enjoy’ doing?
- What were your childhood hobbies?
- What activities do you ‘dislike’? (That is something that does not interest you!)
Why do Interests Matter?
Many people give up on their childhood interests and hobbies in the process of ‘adulting’ and replace them with drudgery (I was guilty of that!). Their life satisfaction drops over time and the drudgery zaps their life. There comes a point when they can’t even remember what hobbies they enjoyed once.
- If you want more life satisfaction, more fulfillment, pursuing your core interests (at work or outside of work) will you help you get there.
- It is not only common sense but it is backed by research that people enjoy occupations or work environments that match their interests (and personality traits).
Deep Dive into YOUR Career Interests
Holland’s Occupational Themes
Holland’s framework will help you identify your strongest career interests among six occupational themes: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising and Conventional. For most people, primary interests combine two or three themes. Holland’s framework is based on a theory developed by John L. Holland that our vocational interests are an expression of our personality. This makes it an excellent framework for identifying what type of work activities or work environments are most aligned with your interests and personality. In other words, what types of work will you thrive in.
Generally speaking, realistic people are ‘doers’, investigative people are ‘thinkers’, artistic people are ‘creators’, social people are ‘helpers’, enterprising people are ‘influencers’ and conventional people are ‘organizers’. For a more in-depth analysis of what types of work activities and work environments you would enjoy based on your Holland’s Themes, download the FREE chart below.
There are plenty of free and paid self-assessment tools available online that are based on Holland’s theory. For starters, use the FREE tool listed in the free self-awareness toolkit. There will be questions asking you how much you would like or dislike doing an activity. It is quick, there are no descriptive answers, you just choose from multiple choice options. For this self-assessment exercise, think about whether you would enjoy the activity proposed, irrespective of your level of skill or experience with it.
Strong Interest Inventory
Psychologist Edward Kellog Strong, Jr developed a test to help people exiting the military find suitable jobs back in 1927. This is the modern version of this test which is now also based on Holland’s 6 Themes. It measures an individual’s interests not just in terms of occupational interests but also in other areas such as Subject Areas, Leisure Activities, People and Characteristics.
‘Each of us carries within a secret yearning – a yearning that, as time and life march on, often becomes a secret sorrow. That yearning will be different for each of us, as it is the most deeply longed-for expression of self. Only to the degree that we – each of us – are able to bring forth our own heart’s core will our lives feel fulfilled, truly worthwhile.’ – George Kinder