The typological model of the Netherlands and its role in career guidance

Personality is the general pattern of behavior, perception and thought that each of us has, our individual configuration being unique and distinctive from that of others. Nonetheless, the inherent characteristics that make up this personality are more or less the same, although we have them to different degrees along a continuum.

The large differences between them mean that an attempt has been made to integrate personality knowledge into different streams of thought, generating different personality models and possessing some for a specific purpose. An example of this is the typological model of Holland, Which offers a series of basic personality models which are mainly used in the field of career counseling.

    Holland’s typological model

    The Dutch Typological Model is a personality model proposal that stems from the author’s intention to generate an explanatory theory regarding the choice of a professional profession, relating different characteristics and traits to be fulfilled correctly and to the liking for certain tasks and certain areas of work. For the author, we tend to want to find a high level of congruence between our personality and the type of task we perform.

    For Holland, the choice of a career or a specific profession will depend on the development of all the elements and traits that constitute the personality, being more competent and feeling greater satisfaction of the person in his work based on harmony between his personality and type. of the task you are performing.

    In order to help with career guidance, the author has generated a hexagonal model with six main personality types, which he associates with certain types of environments and interests. This does not mean that we cannot perform a task that does not correspond to our personality type, just that from the ground up we are looking for a job where we can develop our main skills, we will tend to seek and we feel more comfortable in certain areas. It would be a question of finding jobs for which we could feel a vocation, Although we may end up performing tasks that are not suitable for it.

    The relationship between profession and personality is two-way: not only do certain professions require certain skills and certain ways of doing things, but it also follows from the fact that the type of task attracts people with a particular personality. As a result, a large number of professionals in a given sector generally have, if they exercise this profession by vocation and not out of simple necessity, relatively similar personality characteristics.

    Affiliation with a certain personality type or choosing one career or another is neither better nor worse, all of which are equally positive and necessary. Also keep in mind that hardly a person will be fully reflected with one personality type: We all have different traits that make us complex beings and that can make us fit into different profiles. In these cases, the career choice may seem more complicated, although in general some characteristics or interests prevail over others.

      The different personality types

      As we said, the Dutch model establishes, according to the predominant characteristics of each individual, the belonging or the possession of one of the six types of personality of which they facilitate orientation towards certain types of professions. The six types are as follows.

      1. Realistic

      Realistic personality refers to that pattern of behavior and thinking that tends to see the world as an objective and concrete whole. They take the world as it comes to them. They are generally realistic, dynamic, material and although they are not anti-social, contact with others is not the top priority for them. They are also generally patient and consistent.

      These types of personalities tend to feel more comfortable working directly, with solid practical components and which require certain motor skills and systematic use of the elements. They generally excel at using mechanical instruments and require manual precision. Areas such as agriculture and ranching, architecture or engineering would be conducive to this type of personality.

      2. Intellectual

      This type of personality tends more towards observing and analyzing the world, often in an abstract way and trying to make associations and find relationships between the phenomena that take place there. They are curious and analytical personalities, with a tendency to introspection and to use reason above emotion. They are not particularly sociable and tend to have a rather theoretical worldview., Not so interesting the practice.

      This personality corresponds to tasks based mainly on research. Physics, chemistry, economics or biology are some of the fields in which this personality type is most often seen.

      3. Social

      The most notable aspect of people with this personality type is the need or desire to help others by dealing with them, and their great need for human interaction. They are generally very empathetic and idealistic people, very communicative and have a certain ease or taste for relationships and cooperation.

      The type of tasks that this personality type usually finds itself in are all those that involve direct contact with other people and in which this interaction is aimed at the idea of ​​supporting the other. Psychologists, doctors, nurses, teachers or social workers often exhibit characteristics of this personality type. More mechanical tasks are generally not to your liking.

      4. Artistic

      Creativity and the use of materials in search of expression are some of the main elements that characterize the artistic personality. It is not uncommon for them to be people impulsive, idealistic and highly emotional and intuitive. Aesthetics and the ability to project their feelings into the world are important to them, and they are usually independent people. While they also try to see the world of abstraction, they tend to focus more on emotion and tend to dislike the simple intellectual, possessing the urge to elaborate and create.

      Painters, sculptors or musicians are among the professionals who tend to this type of personality. Also dancers and actors, writers and journalists.

      5. Entrepreneur

      The skills of persuasion and communication are typical aspects of the entrepreneurial personality. A certain level of dominance and the pursuit of success and power is common in this type of person, as is the value and capacity for risk. They are usually people with social skills and very outgoing, With leadership ability and high energy level.

      The professions in which this type of person prevails are banking and business. Salespeople and entrepreneurs often have traits of this personality type as well.

        6. Conventional

        We are dealing with a personality type characterized by a taste for order without the need for major changes. They also do not need significant social contact at the work level. They are usually very organized, orderly, disciplined and formal people. It is not uncommon to have a certain tendency to conformism, because they identify with the already established organization. They are generally nimble and logical.

        Within this personality type we find people with a vocation for aspects such as accounting, office work, secretarial work, librarians … in general with a tendency to seek order.


        The Dutch typological model, despite its limitations and having been criticized for many reasons (for example, does not predict whether in the same type of professional environment one place or another may be more desirable and it is also necessary to assess that there will be people whose characteristics overlap with more than one of the types), it remains to this day one of the most relevant in terms of career guidance.

        The test that Holland created based on this model, the Occupational Preference Inventory, is widely known, which has also served as the basis for the creation of other questionnaires and models that offer a better approach to the relationship between characteristics. personality and adaptation to certain professional areas.

        Bibliographical references:

        • Holland, J. (1978). Professional choice. Career theory. Editorial Trillas: Mexico.
        • Martinez, JM; Valls, F. (2008). Application of Dutch theory to the classification of occupations. Adaptation of the inventory of the classification of occupations (ICO). Mexican Journal of Psychology, 25 (1): 151-164. Mexican Society of Psychology, Mexico.

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