RIASEC Personality Type: Social (Helpers)

by Marquis Matson

Social Personality Type

John Holland formulated an assessment tool to help determine dominating personality traits in a person in order to help make job searches more meaningful. With his assessment tool he came up with the Holland Codes, a set of six main personality types, based on the patterns he found in the general population at the time that he created the assessment. The codes are often quickly identified by the acronym RIASEC, with each letter representing a different personality type.

The social personality types, according to the Holland Codes, are best known for their warm and friendly personalities. What is more is that they are great problem solvers with a great ability to work with others. In the occupational setting these personality types are known as the “helpers.” They tend to be concerned with the welfare of others and use that as a guiding principle in their work. The social types rely on their capacity to empathize in order to help with problem solving, making them great leaders as well as workers.

Characteristics of Social Types

The social types are best known for their humanistic nature, a general philosophy that serves the betterment of people. You can see this by observing which activities they are most drawn toward. Usually someone of a humanistic nature will volunteer to help others or organize workshops or events to help others in some capacity. Their humanistic tendency makes them very warm people to be around, both in and out of the workplace. Because of their friendly nature they usually tend to have very developed communication skills as well. This combination of friendliness, communication skills, and desire to help others tends to be the most identifiable part of a social type.

Social types describe themselves as caring, responsible and patient. Just like their developed communication skills are a positive byproduct of their friendly nature, it seems that they can also be very patient with others as a byproduct, as well. Working with people and communicating with them openly and often certainly helps develop patience in the social types.

Preferred Work Environments for Social Types

The social types really value people and work places that demonstrate cooperation, good communication skills and help foster a sense of community. They also are sometimes great cheerleaders of the group by encouraging others in their endeavors, as well. As such they will gravitate toward work environments that foster a sense of support and collaboration. A work environment that helps others and encourages problem solving by way of communication is also a great fit for the social type.

Within a workplace these helpers are usually the ones to lead discussions and organize group activities. No matter the field, in fact, a social personality type will surely seek out a workplace that allows for collaboration and teamwork.

Typical Occupations for Social Types

The valued characteristics just described will drive social types toward fields such as teaching, nursing, social work and non-profit community organizations. In these professions they can use their skills in understanding others in order to serve them better. Whether this means as a teacher or as a facilitator in training at a corporate job makes no difference, as either position will draw upon the social types' best qualities.

Though teaching and serving are the two most likely professions that the social personality types gravitate toward they are not the absolute professions for them. Instead, we can look more closely at what motivates the social personality type when looking for work to determine what kind of occupation may be the best fit. The most notable characteristic is that they value nurturing others as well as empowering them. These two general goals combined with their friendly and generally outgoing nature makes them not only great teachers but also great leaders, as well. As such, community non-profit organizations and family services are also great fields of work for the social occupational personality type.

The Holland Codes / RIASEC Series

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