Career Interests: People, Things, Facts, and Ideas

One important factor to consider when deciding on a career is interests. Four main categories of career interests are people, things, facts, and ideas. Interests may be partially determined by one’s personality. For example, a very introverted person might prefer working with things or ideas while extroverts might prefer working with people. Most of us have at least two interest areas, one primary interest area and one secondary interest area.  Fortunately, most careers combine two or three interest areas.



Those with an interest in working with people have a great advantage because people-oriented jobs aren’t as vulnerable to off-shoring. In-demand careers in education and health-care involve working with others most of the day. If you enjoy working with people consider the following careers:

* physical therapist                            
* sales representative
* social worker
* psychologist
* personal financial advisor
* public relations specialist

Working with people may mean providing a service, working with a team, or trying persuade others. Motivations for wanting to work with people vary from person to person. These motivations will affect the type of people-oriented job one chooses.


Those interested in working outdoors or working with plants, animals, tools, and materials have an interest in working with objects. Jobs that involve sitting at a desk all day or working with abstract ideas would not be fulfilling for people with an interest in things. Hands-on work provides the most satisfaction for these individuals. Examples of jobs that primarily involve working with things:

* electrician
* truck driver
* welder
* computer repairer
* mechanic

Skilled trades are particularly good choices for those who prefer realistic work. Electricians, plumbers, and carpenters don’t have to worry about their work being off-shored. They can earn a very good income depending on skill level and location.


In most careers that involve working with facts, information is analyzed and used to develop new ideas or to make recommendations. These careers may also entail recording facts and checking the accuracy of information. A few careers for those who are interested in working with facts:

* accountant
* paralegal
* statistician
* chemist
* technical writer

Working with facts often requires the development of ideas based on the facts, but a few careers allow for working only with facts while others develop ideas based on the given information.


Artistic careers are popular choices among those who are interested in ideas. However, artistic jobs aren’t the only occupations that involve working with ideas. Teachers must develop creative lesson plan ideas to keep students interested, and managers have think of new ideas that will solve problems that develop in the workplace. Some jobs that allow you to try out your ideas:

* photographer
* creative director
* interior designer
* software engineer
* graphic designer

With increased technology and globalization, ideas are becoming more important because ideas can help distinguish an individual from his or her competitors.

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Recommended Books:

50 Best Jobs for Your Personality
What Color Is Your Parachute? 2010: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers

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