Two weeks ago I shared about vocational foreclosure and recommended choosing a proactive approach to avoiding career crisis points by taking the time and opportunity to thoroughly explore the world of work and really discover who you are before you narrow your interests and make a decision on a major and career path. You can read that post here.

As part of your discovery and exploratory process, I recommend that you try out a variety of activities in all six areas of the world of work using the RIASEC hexagon, the framework of John Holland’s theory which divides people and work environments into six occupational areas: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. I challenge you to choose at least 3-5 activities in each of the six areas to try out. The key to this process is paying attention to what you liked and didn’t like in each of the activities, perhaps even keeping a journal to keep track of what you experienced and learned about yourself.

Last week I discussed the Realistic area of the world of work and who would benefit from this exploratory process. Check out that post here. Realistic people are “The Doers.” They like to see tangible, physical results from their work, and often like physical activities and working with things, computers, tools, animals, nature, and the outdoors.

The next area of the world of work is the Investigative area. These people are the “The Thinkers.” Here are some activities to try out to explore the Investigative area:

  • Solve math problems
  • Play chess and other games of strategy
  • Read and take part in a book club
  • Collect rocks, stamps, coins, etc.
  • Study astronomy and use a telescope to look at the stars
  • Read scientific or technical journals
  • Attend lectures
  • Research scientific theories or do medical research on the Internet
  • Use computers and computer programs
  • Perform lab experiments
  • Analyze data
  • Go scuba diving to explore marine life
  • Analyze stock portfolios
  • Do crossword puzzles
  • Visit museums
  • Work on the preservation of endangered species

I will discuss the other four areas of work in the coming weeks. Have fun exploring!


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