- Primary = I would love to do this, so it is very important to have this as a big part of my future job. This type captures the most significant part of my career interests; for me to feel satisfied with my future job, I will need this Primary type to be a part of the work I do.
- Secondary = I would like to do this, so it would be nice but not essential to have this as a part of my future job. It captures a significant part of my career interests but is not the most important type for me. In other words, I could still be happy in a job that involves my other career interests but not this particular Secondary career interest.
- Nope = I am indifferent (i.e., I don’t care either way) or would dislike having to do this, so I don’t need it as a part of my future job. This Nope type does not capture a significant part of my career interests.
I recommend writing down the names of the six types on a sheet of paper. Start by
crossing out those types that are Nope for you. Next, (circle) the types that are Primary for you. Ideally, you will have 1 or maybe 2 Primary types, but no more. Lastly, underline the types that are Secondary for you. Ideally, you will have 2 or 3 Secondary types.
Sometimes, people will have a medium score on a Secondary type because there are certain aspects of that type that overlap with aspects of their Primary type. For example, imagine someone who has higher scores on Social (Primary), Investigative (Secondary), and Artistic (Secondary). It’s possible that the main reason that Artistic showed up as a Secondary code is because this person likes to be creative (Artistic) in how they help others (Social) and in how they use scientific methods to analyze and solve problems (Investigative). Thus, if you are having trouble deciding if a given type (e.g., Investigative) is Primary or Secondary for you, think about whether that type is getting a higher score mostly because it overlaps with your main Primary type… if this is the case, then Investigative is probably just a Secondary type rather than another Primary type for you. Again, it can be tricky to do these interpretations on your own, but just do your best.
Here’s a video where I describe my thought process for classifying my own types: (coming soon)
Some people have a difficult time classifying their types. Sometimes this is because their true score profile is undifferentiated (i.e., they don’t have both high-scoring and low-scoring types that make it possible to determine what is Primary, Secondary, or Nope). There can be many reasons for this. Here are a few reasons, along with my suggestions for what you can do if these reasons are true in your case.
- You may genuinely have a wide variety of career interests. Some people just like a lot of stuff and could honestly be happy pursuing a wide variety of occupations. This can be both a blessing and a curse. This can mean that you can be happy pursuing one of many diverse occupations, but this can also make it very hard to choose a favorite. In this case, additional career experiences may help you further develop career likes and dislikes, which can then make it easier to classify your types. Also, you may find that using other aspects of your self-knowledge around your skills/talents, work values, personality, etc. may be more helpful and important than career interests in determining what occupations will fit you best.
- You may be experiencing difficulties related to personal growth or mental health that may be impacting your self-perception and in turn the accuracy of your interest assessment scores. I know that, when I was dealing with depression in high school, it was harder for me to decide what occupation and undergraduate major I wanted to pursue in the future. It made me doubt my own abilities and reduced the energy I had available to do career exploration stuff. If you think such difficulties may be influencing your career exploration experience, I strongly recommend finding a qualified mental health professional who can help you conquer/cope with these difficulties.
Classifying your types is a crucial moment when using the SCEA. Step 2 of the SCEA will be smoother and more accurate if your classifications are accurate. The best way to double check the accuracy of your classifications is to consult with a qualified career exploration specialist. If you have access to this kind of specialist through your school, family, or community, I recommend consulting with them at this time. They can help you make sure that your top types are an accurate reflection of what you truly enjoy. If it is not practical or affordable to obtain consultation (a lot of folks are in this situation), that’s perfectly fine. The last part of Step 1 is using your classifications to obtain your Holland Interest Codes.