I meet with individuals every week who are at a career crisis point of one kind or another because they did not understand how important it is to take the time to really discover who you are and to explore the world of work before making any decisions about a college major or career path. Read more here. You have to know WHO you are and WHY you want to work before you can truly know WHAT you want to do and WHERE you want to do it.

Intentionally exploring all six areas of the world of work is an essential part of discovering who you are. It is an important first step before making decisions on a major and career path for the first time, or before making a change mid-career. I suggest you choose at least 3-5 activities in each of the six areas to try out and explore, the key being to intentionally pay attention to and keep track of what you liked and what you didn’t like about each of the activities.

The Realistic area of the world of work consists of “The Doers.” They are physically active, reliable, down to earth, hands-on, product-oriented people and often value tradition, practicality, and common sense. They like to see tangible, physical results from their work and working with things, computers, tools, animals, nature, and the outdoors. You can read my suggestions for exploring the Realistic area here.

The Investigative area of the world of work is made up of “The Thinkers.” They are analytical, curious, and research-oriented and often value independence, curiosity, and learning. They enjoy problem-solving, working with ideas and information, and subjects like science, math, and medicine. You can read some suggestions for exploring this area here.

The Artistic area of the world of work is comprised of “The Creators.” They are creative, expressive, and idea-oriented people and often value beauty, originality, independence, and imagination. They like to create and/or enjoy visual art and design, performing arts, culinary arts, music, and writing. You can read ideas for exploring the Artistic area here.

The Social area of the world of work is made up of “The Helpers.” They are helpful, caring, service-oriented people and often value cooperation, generosity, and service to others. They enjoy working with people and helping them in altruistic ways, counseling, empowering, ministering, guiding, nurturing, caregiving, nursing, leading, directing, and teaching. You can read my post on things to try out to explore the Social area here.

The Enterprising area of the world of work consists of “The Persuaders.” They are persuasive, assertive, results-oriented people and often value risk-taking, status, competition, and influence. They enjoy working with people, motivating, directing, and leading them towards organizational goals and financial success. They like business, politics, leadership, and entrepreneurship. You can read my post on things to explore the Enterprising area here.

The sixth area of the world of work is the Conventional area. These people are “The Organizers.” They are organized, practical, orderly, data-oriented people and often value accuracy, stability, and efficiency. They often enjoy organizing information so they can access it easily and solve problems efficiently, setting up procedures and systems, investing, developing computer applications, accounting, data management, and information systems. Here are some activities to try out and explore the Conventional area:

  • Collect things such as coins, stamps, or other memorabilia
  • Try out Code Academy for free online coding lessons.  http://www.codecademy.com/
  • Manage personal finances
  • Learn about investments
  • Keep club or family records and files
  • Learn Excel and other computer programs
  • Work with numbers and math games
  • Organize household, workshop, etc.

The ideas I have shared about exploring the areas of the world of work were adapted from two excellent resources – check them out for more ideas and information: Where Do I Go Next? by Borgen & Grutter and www.career.missouri.edu/index.php/career-interest-game .



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