The Self-Directed Search
John L. Holland Johns Hopkins University
Jack R. Rayman Pennsylvania State University
This chapter reports the origin and development of the Self-Directed Search (SDS; Holland, 1985b), its application to career counseling and other forms of career assistance, and an account of future research and development possibilities. Our goal was to provide a more complete account of why and how the SDS was developed, evaluated and revised, and how it may be revised in the future. In doing so we have written a more comprehensive history than test manuals or journal articles permit. Such reports typically provide an incomplete and somewhat misleading account of how test development has proceeded by omitting the role of a developer's experience, judgment, and occasional irrationality, and by omitting the influence of colleagues, publishers, test-takers, opportunities, and obstacles.
In short, this chapter supplements rather than supplants the content of the SDS manual. It provides a more comprehensive and clearer understanding of the SDS and its related developments so that graduate students, practitioners, and researchers will find support and stimulation for current practice and new research.
This section reminds the reader about the essential characteristics of the SDS and makes the case for its value as an innovative vocational device.
The SDS is a self-administered, self-scored, and self-interpreted vocational counseling tool. It includes two booklets: an assessment booklet and an occupational classification booklet.