The new SDS is here!

The next generation of John Holland’s Self-Directed Search is here! Based on data collected for the SDS Form R, 5th Edition (2013), the gold standard in career personality assessment has been rebranded, repackaged, and refreshed!

A bold new look and a cleaner, more user-friendly interface means clients can easily learn more about their personality and find a career that fits.

Self-administered, self-scored, and self-interpreted, the SDS is based on the theory that both people and working environments can be classified according to six basic types: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional. Known as RIASEC theory, it is based on the idea that if your personality type matches your work environment type, you are more likely to find job fulfillment and career satisfaction.

So if you are looking for a job, want a career change, or are searching for a program of study, knowing more about what types of potential careers fit your personality will greatly improve your search.

PAR staff and authors are on the way to Chicago for this year’s conference. If you are in Chicago for NCDA, make sure to stop by the booth and say hi! Several PAR authors will be presenting on career-related topics. Don’t miss this opportunity to learn from them! Integrating CIP and RIASEC Theories in Career Interventions and Services Wednesday, June 29, 1:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Janet Lenz, PhD & Bob Reardon, PhD, authors of Handbook for Using the Self-Directed Search®: Integrating RIASEC and CIP Theories in Practice   Exploring the Gender Gap in STEM: The Impact of Women's Ratings of Mathematical and Scientific Self-Concept on Aspirations Friday, July 1, 10:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Melissa Messer, MHS, co-author of the Self-Directed Search® (SDS®) Form R, 5th Edition   Examining the Differences in Interest, Skills, and Abilities Across the Workforce Friday, July 1, 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. Melissa Messer, MHS, co-author of the Self-Directed Search® (SDS®) Form R, 5th Edition   Using an Interactive Career Counseling Tool to Engage Clients Friday, July 1, 10:15 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Jennifer Greene, MSPH, co-author of The Veterans and Military Occupations Finder™   The Relationship Between RIASEC Personality Types and Negative Thinking: Implications for Career Counseling” Friday, July 1, 1 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Jennifer Greene, MSPH, co-author of The Veterans and Military Occupations Finder™   Assessing Your Clients’ Work Values: A New Way to Home in on Occupational Matches Friday, July 1, 4 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. Jennifer Greene, MSPH, co-author of The Veterans and Military Occupations Finder™  
SDS_HBThe Handbook for Using the Self-Directed Search®: Integrating RIASEC and CIP Theories in Practice by Robert C. Reardon, PhD, and Janet G. Lenz, PhD, is now available!  A second edition to The Self-Directed Search® and Related Holland Career Materials: A Practitioner’s Guide, this book is designed for professional counselors, psychologists, career development facilitators, career guidance technicians, librarians, social workers, and graduate students learning to be career counselors. It incorporates John Holland’s RIASEC theory with cognitive information processing (CIP) theory and studies four aspects of the career choice process: self-knowledge, options, decision making, and executive processing.  Order your copy today!  
RIASECMore than 35 million people worldwide have used the Self-Directed Search® (SDS®) to discover the careers and fields of study that are likely to be a good fit for their interests and skills. Now, the SDS is even better with the addition of a Web-based, easy-to-use report that provides a personalized snapshot of your client’s career-related personality. The new Interactive Report is offered in addition to the traditional printable report at no extra cost! See what’s important
  • A simple interface allows clients to more quickly and easily navigate the various sections of the report.
  • Custom links enable immediate access to job openings nearby and allow clients to see the typical salary range for their recommended occupations.
  • A Summary and Resources tab provides helpful links and follow-up recommendations.
Customize the experience
  • The SDS display can be customized to show occupation, field of study, and leisure activity results by how closely they match a person’s results.
  • Sorting and filtering tools narrow results.
Be confident in the results
  • The Interactive Report is the newest offering of the SDS, one of the most widely used career interest inventories in the world.
  • A full, printable SDS report with detailed, personalized information is available.
Help your clients find their future with an even better SDS experience. Available only at www.self-directed-search.com!
The latest edition of the Career Planning and Adult Development Journal features a chapter by PAR authors Melissa A. Messer, MHS, and Jennifer A. Greene, MSPH. The article details the development of the newest edition to our Self-Directed Search® product line, the Veterans and Military Occupations Finder™ (VMOF™), and explains how to use this new tool when counseling veterans through their transition from the military to the civilian job force. The VMOF helps clients better understand how to transition their skills to civilian occupations through use of John Holland’s RIASEC theory of career development. The entire Fall 2014 edition of the Career Planning and Adult Development Journal focuses on helping veterans with career development and transition. Click here to read the article by Melissa A. Messer, MHS, and Jennifer A. Greene, MSPH.  
One of the most respected and widely used career interest inventories in the world has been revised and updated to meet the needs of Spanish-speaking clients. Developed concurrently with the English version, the Self-Directed Search (SDS), 5th Edition Spanish Version by John L. Holland, PhD and Melissa A. Messer, MHS is a self-administered, self-scored, and self-interpreted career counseling tool designed specifically for use with Spanish speakers living in the U.S. Translated by experts and reviewed by practicing bilingual counselors, the SDS Spanish components include the Assessment Booklet, the Occupations Finder, and the You and Your Career booklet; the complete SDS Spanish Kit also includes the 5th Edition Professional Manual (in English) along with a Manual Supplement for the Spanish Version. An online Spanish Version is also available at www.self-directed-search.com, where clients can not only take the SDS online but also receive their client reports in Spanish, as well. Visit the SDS Web site to take the SDS in Spanish or to see the new Spanish language features and resources.    
SDS_CoverOnly 45 percent of the working population in the U.S. are satisfied with their jobs, according to a recent survey of 5,000 households. To address this problem, people need tools to help identify careers that are a good fit for their interests and skills. The popular Self-Directed Search® (SDS®) from PAR provides a solution for today’s job seekers. The brand-new SDS 5th Edition is a 15-minute, self-administered test for those beginning their career search as well as those considering a career change. “Taking the SDS is an important first step in developing a career plan that can prevent years of dissatisfaction on the job,” says SDS 5th Edition author Melissa Messer. “The SDS guides users toward careers that will help them meet their personal and financial goals and that they enjoy.” According to Ms. Messer, no special training or qualifications are needed with the SDS; it is designed to be self-administered, self-scored, and self-interpreted. The SDS can be taken online; with paper and pencil; or via PARiConnect, PAR’s new online assessment system. The SDS 5th Edition is based on Dr. John Holland’s theory that both people and work environments fit into six basic categories: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional (known collectively as RIASEC). The SDS generates a three-letter Summary Code for each user, based on his or her aspirations, activities, competencies, and interest in different occupations. Users can match their Summary Codes to jobs in the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) database, which lists thousands of current jobs at all skill and education levels. The SDS Web site has also been updated with new resources targeted to specific groups and a contemporary, easy-to-navigate user interface. The newly revised report includes an “at-a-glance” summary, and users can share their results via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more. The SDS 5th Edition is designed to work on mobile devices and tablets. To learn more about the SDS 5th Edition or any of PAR’s other career or vocational products, visit www.parinc.com or call 1.800.331.8378.
sds-blog-picPAR is delighted to announce the release of the new Self-Directed Search® (SDS®), 5th Edition, by John L. Holland, PhD, and Melissa A. Messer, MHS. The Self-Directed Search (SDS), John Holland’s original gold-standard assessment and one of the most widely used career interest inventories in the world*, has been updated to meet the needs of today’s clients. Whether they are college students choosing a major, veterans entering the civilian job market, or adults pursuing a career change, individuals can use the SDS to learn about themselves and their career options. Like its predecessors, the SDS 5th Edition is based on Holland’s theory that both people and work environments can be classified according to six basic types: Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, and Conventional (known collectively as RIASEC). The SDS asks questions about the user’s aspirations, activities, competencies, and interest in different occupations, and from the responses it generates a three-letter Summary Code. Using the revised Occupations Finder, users can match their Summary Codes to jobs in the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) database, which lists thousands of current jobs at all skill and education levels. No special training or qualifications are needed with the SDS; it is designed to be self-administered, self-scored, and self-interpreted.  The SDS can be taken on the internet, with paper and pencil, or via PARiConnect, PAR’s new online assessment system. The SDS Web site has also been updated with new resources targeted to specific groups and a contemporary, easy-to-navigate user interface. The newly revised report includes an “at-a-glance” summary, and users can share their results via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more.  The SDS 5th Edition is designed to work on mobile devices and tablets. To learn more about the SDS 5th Edition or any of PAR’s other career or vocational products, visit www.parinc.com or call 1.800.331.8378. *The SDS has been used more than 35 million times and has been translated into more than 25 languages.
The Self-Directed Search® has been used by more than 30 million people worldwide and has been translated into more than 25 languages. There are a number of career assessments on the market, yet the SDS continues to be extremely successful. What sets it apart? Recently, PAR had the opportunity to catch up with two SDS experts, Robert Reardon, PhD, and Janet Lenz, PhD, both from the Career Center at Florida State University and widely published in the career counseling arena. Reardon and Lenz have worked closely with SDS author John Holland as collaborators and authors of many SDS-related publications, including The Self-Directed Search and Related Holland Materials: A Practitioner’s Guide (PAR, 1998). The SDS is based on Holland’s career theory, which argues that vocational choice is an expression of personality, and that by identifying certain personality characteristics and preferences, better career choices can be made. “People often feel overwhelmed about how to relate their self-knowledge to career options,” says Reardon. “The SDS gives them a way to intuitively and logically make that connection.” One of Holland’s most important contributions was his identification of the personality and environmental characteristics that have become known collectively as RIASEC: realistic, investigative, artistic, social, enterprising, and conventional. These factors form the basis of the SDS. Reardon and Lenz have worked with the SDS for nearly 40 years, and they have seen it develop in response to career counseling research and new technology. “Our counseling service started using the SDS in 1973 because it included a self-help feature that we knew would be useful to our clients,” they explain. “Holland took note of what we were doing and was supportive along the way.” Reardon and Lenz have been deeply involved in revisions of the SDS, and they have been key players in updates and revisions to many of the individual elements in the SDS product family, such as the interpretive report generated by the SDS software. But what keeps these products current and relevant? “The SDS is informed by both practice and research,” they explain, “and we continue to draw upon both to keep SDS materials current and relevant. For example, the revised Occupations Finder published in 2010 is very important because it now connects the SDS to the O*NET system of occupational information, which is online and updated constantly. Unlike many other assessments, the SDS embraces users—after all, ‘self-directed’ is in the title—and this user perspective helps to keep the SDS relevant.” Today, using the on-screen administration, clients can complete the SDS electronically on a laptop computer, a tablet, or even an iPhone® or Android device. For college students and other clients living in this era of instant information, the SDS has kept pace by providing a fast, accessible, portable, and reasonably priced tool that can help them gain real insight into making good choices about career. In the category of reliable, valid, theory-based instruments, the SDS is one of the most user-friendly, and it is very easy for practitioners to use with clients. “Some have described the SDS as simple,” say Reardon and Lenz, “but when fully interpreted and connected to Holland’s theoretical constructs (for example, congruence, differentiation, coherence, consistency, vocational identity), it provides a rich source of information for both clients and practitioners to discuss and incorporate into a plan for next steps. The information not only addresses self and option knowledge, but it provides diagnostic data about the client’s ability to move effectively through the career decision-making and problem solving process.” As the SDS has evolved, it has always been research-based; through the years, more than 1,600 published studies have examined, evaluated, and supported Holland’s career theory. Reardon and Lenz have themselves collaborated in more than 35 publications related to the SDS and RIASEC theory. “Over time, our interest in the SDS has deepened as we learned more about the instrument, not only from our own research, but from hundreds of studies and articles that were published as more practitioners adopted the SDS and more researchers began to consider it.” “One of the things we’ve seen from doing workshops with counselors all over the country is how many different settings and with how many different client populations the SDS has been used successfully,” say Reardon and Lenz. “It’s been rewarding to see how it has helped so many people become more effective career problem solvers.” To learn more about the Self-Directed Search and other materials related to career intervention services and resources, visit the SDS product page on PAR’s Web site; to take the SDS online right now, click on http://www.self-directed-search.com/default.aspx.
According to the Dictionary of Holland Occupational Codes, Third Edition, there is no one-size-fits-all code for psychologists. In fact, there are 9 entries for different types of occupational codes for psychologists, one entry for psychometrist, and many others for closely-related jobs. Does your job fit your Holland code? Psychologist, chief- ISE Psychologist, counseling- SIA Psychologist, developmental- IRS Psychologist, educational- IES Psychologist, engineering- IRS Psychologist, experimental- IAE Psychologist, industrial-organizational- IES Psychologist, school- SEI Psychologist, social- IAE Psychometrist- IES To learn more about Dr. John Holland or to take the Self-Directed Search in order to find your Holland code, visit www.self-directed-search.com.