RIASEC (and sometimes Y)
How great is that acronym? Maybe we like it cuz it comes from Holland. No, not the Dutch- we’re talking about John Holland and his research. He’s kind of a rockstar around here.
Since the early 1900s, researchers have attempted to understand how an individual’s motivation can impact their performance in the workplace. Rather than try to handle everything that makes up a person’s motivation, researchers studied elements of motivation – such as vocational interests – in order to break up the complex topic. Broadly speaking, vocational interests represent an individual’s preferences for certain work activities and situations that they find motivating. The RIASEC typology of vocational choice proposed by John Holland in 1959 has become one of the most enduring and widely-accepted theories in the field.
His research proved that interest alignment has a strong relationship with employee motivation. Translation- if you’re doing something you like, then you’ll be more motivated to keep doing it. Who knew. (Holland. John Holland knew.) The model suggests that people will demonstrate effort and stability in careers that align with their interests.
On the other hand, if there’s a disconnect between a person’s interests and the environment they’re working in, it’ll lead to dissatisfaction, unstable career paths, and lowered performance. To measure this alignment, the RIASEC model is made up of six types, each reflecting a different domain of vocational interests (i.e., Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional interests). Since its inception, the RIASEC model has exerted a significant impact on the fields of industrial and organizational psychology, along with vocational counseling.