Academic journal article Career Planning and Adult Development Journal

DEVELOPMENT of the VETERANS and MILITARY OCCUPATIONS FINDER(TM) (VMOF(TM)): A New Career Counseling Tool for Veterans and Military Personnel

Academic journal article Career Planning and Adult Development Journal

DEVELOPMENT of the VETERANS and MILITARY OCCUPATIONS FINDER(TM) (VMOF(TM)): A New Career Counseling Tool for Veterans and Military Personnel

Article excerpt

John Holland's RIASEC theory posits that most people and occupations resemble a combination of six personality types. Our veteran population is facing many unique career challenges, such as high unemployment rates and transitioning to the civilian workforce. In attempt to address these challenges, a new resource, the Veterans and Military Occupa- tions FinderTM (VMOFTM), was developed utilizing Holland's typology. The VMOF includes two sections, the Military Occupations Index and the Military to Civilian Occupations Crosswalk. The Military Occupa- tions Index lists Military Occupational Classifications (MOCs) along with a corresponding two-letter Holland Occupational Code (HOC). The Military to Civilian Occupations Crosswalk lists MOCs along with corresponding civilian occupations and two-letter HOCs. In order to gain a better understanding of typical military users, the Holland codes and occupational aspirations of 28 active and retired members of the mili- tary were analyzed. In females, S (Social) was the most common code, followed by I (Investigative), C (Conventional), and E (Enterprising). For males, R (Realistic) was most prevalent, followed by S (Social), E (Enterprising), and I (Investigative). It is important to note that the pat- tern among males reflects the pattern found among the occupations in the VMOF, whereas the pattern among females is consistent with previ- ous findings about RIASEC gender differences. Given this evidence, recommendations for career professionals working with the veteran and military population are discussed.

John Holland's RIASEC Typology

John Holland's RIASEC theory has been described as the most com- prehensively studied career theory (Brown & Lent, 2013; Nauta, 2010; Spokane & Cruza-Guet, 2005). Arguably, no theory of career develop- ment has had a greater influence on the practice of career counseling and education than Holland's (Rayman & Atanasoff, 1999). The concept of this theory is that most people resemble a combination of six personal- ity types. Each of the six types is defined by a specific set of interests, preferred activities, beliefs, abilities, values, and characteristics. The six types are known collectively as RIASEC types: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional.

Figure 1 [see Appendix] describes each of the six RIASEC types.

One of the unique features of the theory is how easily it can be applied to a variety of populations. A recent review of the literature related to Holland's theory from 1953-2007 revealed 746 citations related to its use with specific populations and 1,299 citations regarding applications of the theory (Foutch, McHugh, Bertoch, & Reardon, 2014). Within the extensive body of literature on Holland's theory, there is a considerable amount of empirical data to support Holland's RIASEC typology among persons and environments. Specifically, studies have been conducted with several different age groups, ethnicities, and genders (e.g., Betz & Gwilliam, 2002; Darcy & Tracey, 2007; Edwards & Whitney, 1972), as well as various other groups including high-risk middle school students, high school students, and college students (e.g., Gottfredson & Holland, 1975; Osborn & Reardon, 2006; Zener & Schnuelle, 1976). A number of studies have also been conducted with international samples (e.g., Leung & Hou, 2001; Tuck & Keeling, 1980).

From his theory, John Holland developed several assessment instruments (e.g., Self-Directed Search [SDS; Holland & Messer, 2013a]; Vocational Preference Inventory [VPI; Holland, 1985]) and accompanied resource materials (e.g., You and Your Career [Holland & Messer, 2013c]; Occu- pations Finder [OF; Holland & Messer, 2013b]; Educational Opportuni- ties Finder [EOF; Messer, Holland, & PAR Staff, 2013]). These instru- ments and resource materials are direct products of Holland's theory of personality types and environmental models, and they facilitate the use of the theory when working with clients. …

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