Career Adventure Guide

What Do You Know About Yourself?

Now, What Do You Know About Yourself?

John Holland’s Holland Code is one method, with good research behind it, to look at the environments that you are comfortable to be in…including the types of people and work you enjoy doing in the world.


The Holland Code

Sometimes we work hard to fit our great skills into possible jobs, yet the mix we create lands us in a situation where we are not happy. Has that happened to you?


John Holland created a tool to help us examine the environments and people that we enjoy. Not surprisingly, it is called the Holland Code. He developed this methodology after a lot of research and exploration of why people miss having good matches between their environments and talents.


It isn’t a “truth” about you. Instead, the Holland Code process can be a lens to think about the work settings that make you more comfortable — settings that match how you deal with environments and ways that you deal with problems and opportunities.

How Can a Test Help?

Assessment tools are just one method to uncover parts of your stories and skills that you can design around. One past student commented that to them, the Holland Code is like a horoscope, in that anything can seem correct. Others have noted that the results are dependent on the mood you are in that day or the bad things that may have happened most recently. Researchers have found that changes by mood and over time are actually small on average, though we’ll explore this more on this and the next page.

Think of the Holland Code exercises as a storytelling device to consider some evidence in the story that you live in and ways that you can design the type of environments you seek to be ones that match your own ways of working and skills a bit better. If you can drive the plot, what might your character (YOU!) enjoy?

A Quick Test

First, here’s a quick fun graphic test to work with the Holland Code and think where you can place yourself, before taking any further assessments: Do a quick Holland Code assessment in the graph. Write down your choices from this quick exercise on a piece of paper, plus what you found in terms of possible jobs. Did they match the interests that you had thought about already? Were they a quirky mismatch?

Of Note: The site also has information on specific creative careers in California at

Is this good information to work from? If you take a quick read, it seems . . . general? This is some of the challenges of creative careers — they aren’t the general overviews that most sites and resources provide. They are rich and different . . . and we’ll be working toward a more personalized profile for you by the end of this program.


Delve Deeper

Now, write down your favorite magazines and websites that you go to at least once a week. What Holland Code letters do they line up with? This can help show where your interests line up and what you are drawn to.

Next, write down your favorite TV show (or YouTube or TIkTok channel). Why is it your favorite? What would you tell a friend as to why this show is important to you?


Think of it as the archaeology of your life.  What do you see in what you already do that tells you what you are passionate about and the type of environment that you like.  Do you enjoy ideas?  “Things”?  Connecting with people?  Systems? 

WHY this is important to you —  is a more interesting question than What.  

One researcher talked with a group of undergraduates who all loved the Gilmore Girls.  Each person had a very different story of what they saw in the show.