Friday, September 21, 2007

Best Publishing Jobs for Your Personality

Back in the 1950s, a career guidance researcher named John Holland came up with a set of six personality types that he used to match people to the jobs they were best suited to. Supposedly we all fall into one of these categories, but usually have leanings toward a second or third category, which is what makes us all unique.

The five types, called the RIASEC codes, are the following:
  • Realistic: People who like work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions.

  • Investigative: People who like work activities that have to do with ideas and thinking more than physical activities.

  • Artistic: People who like work activities that deal with the artistic side of things, like self-expression, and like to work without following a clear set of rules.

  • Social: People who like work activities that assist others and promote learning and personal development.

  • Enterprising: People who like work activities that have to do with starting up or carrying out projects, especially business ventures. They like persuading and leading people, making decisions, and taking risks for profit.

  • Conventional: People who like work activities that follow set procedures and routines.

I looked through the book 50 Best Jobs for Your Personality and picked out the jobs that are common in the publishing industry. Most of them fell into the Artistic category, but there are almost as many Enterprising jobs. Here’s a list of personality types and the publishing jobs that appeal to these types. Secondary personality types, where available, are in parentheses after the jobs.


  • Editors (Social)

  • Advertising and promotions managers (Enterprising)

  • Art directors (Enterprising)

  • Copy writers (Enterprising)

  • Creative writers

  • Graphic designers (Enterprising)

  • Painters and illustrators (Realistic)


  • Agents (Social)

  • Human resources managers (Social)

  • Lawyers (Conventional)

  • Marketing Managers (Conventional)

  • Executives (Conventional)

  • Public relations specialists (Artistic)

  • Sales managers (Conventional)

  • Chief Financial Officers (Conventional)


  • Accountants (Enterprising)

  • Administrative assistants (Enterprising)

To find out your RIASEC type and match it to the right jobs for you, see 50 Best Jobs for Your Personality by Michael Farr and Laurence Shatkin.

1 comment:

Laurence said...

You make an excellent point here, and I'm not sure I made it sufficiently in this book, which I co-authored (although I did hammer the point home in another book, 40 Best Fields for Your Career). And that point is this: People planning their careers often think only in terms of the occupational goal, whereas they also should be considering the industry goal. For example, people who fit the Enterprising type but also have an Artistic streak may want to consider working as an accountant in the publishing industry--or in some other Artistic industry, such as the theater, the music business, etc.