Finding a Job That Fits Your Interests
1Think about what you are good at. Usually the things we love are the things we are good at. Research the fields and options that best deal with those interests so you can spend your time at work doing things that you enjoy. To begin, you can start off by simply researching job titles online.
- Consider your current hobbies and how you can apply them to a job.
- Think about your past work experience and the things you liked and didn’t like about them.
2Talk to people who work in a variety of jobs. This will give you a better sense of what certain jobs entail. Many communities offer job fairs that can be found on your local city website. These are great opportunities to ask questions. You can ask friends or family members about their experiences too.
- Ask about the hours they work, the highlights of their job, and what they find to be most challenging.
- Get opinions on the jobs you’re considering and feedback about your plans to get there.
3Spend time job shadowing. Job shadowing is a career evaluation activity that allows you the chance to spend time with a professional currently working in a particular career field. You can see what it’s really like working in a certain job.
- Check with the local college to see if they offer a formal job shadowing program through their Career Services Office. Career counselors can also be a huge help in assisting you to find potential job shadowing opportunities.
- Government agencies also offer job shadowing programs for students who are interested.
4Take a career personality test. There are many free tests on the web that will psychoanalyze your mind to help narrow down interesting jobs for you. These tests are designed to provide you with specific jobs that fit your unique interests and ultimately help you down a career path. You may even see jobs you didn’t know existed be recommended to you.
- You can find the test at http://www.careertest.net/cgi-bin/q.pl.
- The test has 68 questions and takes approximately 10 minutes to complete.
- Your responses should reflect who you really are and not the way you want to be, think you should be, or are asked to be by someone else.
- You will be provided with some helpful links to help you research the jobs that are suggested to you.
- Remember, there are no right or wrong answers or personality types.
5More about the test. Your results will help you discover deeper traits about yourself like if you are more of a logical or emotional thinker, or whether you enjoy working around a crowd or by yourself. Consider your ideal work environment. If you are extroverted and like being around people, you may want to think about jobs that allow you to meet new people and converse with them. If you are more of an introvert, you may want to think about jobs that involve more solitaire work. The career personality test will tell you which side you fall on.
- Extroverts may enjoy fields such as teaching, sales, hotel management, restaurant work, or jobs in medicine.
- Introverts may enjoy more secluded jobs such as office work, accounting, writing and editing.
6Think about the lifestyle that is important to you. If you see yourself having a more lavish lifestyle, or one filled with travel, you may want to seek out a higher paying job. Look at the salary and wage averages for the jobs you are considering to decide if they will provide you the type of lifestyle you are looking for. Salary averages for jobs in specific areas can be found at http://www.payscale.com/research/US/Country=United_States/Salary.
- Also, consider if you want a family and will be raising kids. Some jobs require more than 40 hours of work per week and this is something to consider with a family.
Searching for Jobs
Stay focused. Do not get discouraged finding a job. Seek out support from others in your hunt. They can either offer you practical advice or just listen when you need someone to listen. Remember that finding a job takes time and the best thing you can do is stay patient and dedicated.
2Create a great resume. Your resume needs to be professional and polished, and should list your qualifications. If you don’t have this, your application materials probably won’t get a second glance from any hiring director. Use resume formats on microsoft word that help guide you through creating a resume. There are also sources online that can help give you guidance.
- One great place for help can be found at http://rockportinstitute.com/resumes/. This site will help you build a strong and unique resume.
- Your resume should include appropriate experiences that relate to the job you are applying for.
3Put together a portfolio. A work portfolio is a great way to keep all of your stuff in one place and show off any work you have done. A portfolio is also excellent for lulls in an interview or for giving interviewers concrete answers to their questions. For example, if you’re asked about experiences you have in your profession, you can pull out a report or give statistics about what you’ve done.
- If you’re a teacher, you can include your mission statement, letters of recommendation, student work, and a sample lesson plan. Photographers putting together some of their best photos or other work is another great use for a portfolio.
4Get your resume out there. There are now more ways than ever to search for and apply to jobs. You can search on Craigslist.com, Monster.com, check your local newspaper, go directly to company websites, or apply in person. Whichever method you choose, just make sure you are always looking and always applying.
- For each company you apply with, you need to send a cover letter that is catered to each job. Your cover letter should include a little bit about yourself and why you are applying to that job. You can find help with your cover letter at http://jobsearch.about.com/od/coverletters/a/aa030401a.htm.
5Utilize networking and build great relationships. Many jobs that people receive are done through networking and communicating with people they meet and already know. By building positive relationships with past employers, coworkers, and friends, it can help you find work more easily in the future. Employers love using connections that current employees bring to them.
- Talk to people you know and let them know what you are looking for.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. It never hurts to ask people for favors, just make sure you show your gratitude and be professional.
6Create a LinkedIn profile. Meet up with like-minded people and become friends with them online through job finding sites. The most successful job searches and career explorations are based on networking, and LinkedIn is a major outlet. Creating a profile is free and will help you discover professional opportunities, business deals, and new ventures.
7Keep your current job until you find another one. Because finding a new job can take some time, you shouldn’t quit your current job until you are offered a new job that you want to take. Once you are ready to leave your current job, be sure to give a two weeks notice so you can keep a good relationship with that employer.
- Leaving a job on a good note will allow you to use that employer as a future reference on your resume.
8Be realistic. You may not be qualified for the job of your dreams, yet. You need to do your homework and find out the qualifications and steps needed to get where you want to be. You can’t start out as CEO, but you can start taking steps to get there.
- Find out if your job needs schooling or college degrees.
- Take jobs that can lead you into the job you want. Sometimes all it takes is getting your foot in the door and then you can work your way up.
- Seek out a job that is in the field you are working towards. For example, if you want to be a nurse, try working as a receptionist in a doctor’s office while you are earning your nursing degree to help you get a feel for the environment and pace.
Having a Successful Interview
1Practice for your interview. Practice any specific skills necessary for your desired job, but more importantly, practice how you interact with potential interviewers. You can practice by yourself or with others. Consider attending mock interviews hosted by colleges or career centers. They will provide you with great feedback on the impression that you give off to potential employers.
- When rehearsing potential interview answers, actually say your answers out loud in front of someone. This will help you prepare.
- Your resume should be in 12 point font and free of grammatical and mechanical errors. 
2Dress professionally. What you wear to an interview creates an image or perception of the type of person you are, so choosing your attire is very important when presenting yourself as the right person to hire.
- Research the company to determine appropriate interview outfits.
- Whenever you find yourself doubtful about what to wear, lean towards slightly over dressing, rather than show up looking too casual.
- If you don’t have an appropriate outfit you can go to a department store like Nordstrom or Macy’s and ask one of the sales associates for help.
3Research the companies you interview with. Find out the history, mission statement, founder, or anything you can about the company. You may be asked related questions during your interview and you want to come across as prepared and interested in the company.
- You most likely will be asked why you want a job with the company you are interviewing for. Make sure you are ready with a good answer.
4Take all interviews. Interview with any company that will meet with you for their open positions. Learn from anyone in the industry that you can. Interviews can be good resources for information and networking, whether or not they lead you to a job or not.
- Take interviews even for jobs you may not want because the practice will help you become better at the process.
Show your appreciation after your interview. The day after your interview, send a thank you to the person you interviewed with. This will help leave a positive lasting impression with them. You can send a thank you card in the mail or an email. Just be sure to thank them for their time and let them know how eager you are to hear back from them.
6Reflect as you go. If you are wondering why you didn’t get a job for which you applied or interviewed, make a list of pros and cons to see what didn’t go well. Work on your weakest links and stay focused on improving your performance. Interviewing for a job can have a lot of competition so it is important that you are always learning from your experiences and staying prepared.
- Review your resume and make sure that it is free of errors.
- Share your interview experiences with friends or family and get their advice on how well they think you answered questions. This will help you brainstorm for the next interview you have.
Why are some companies concerned with the age of the employee?
With age, there come problems with minimum wage, child labor laws, and taxes. If the employee is under age, the company may not want to risk running into a lawsuit. If the employee is older and more experienced, the company might be reluctant to give them a higher salary based on their experience.
Ask a Question
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- Learn how to listen closely during your interview. It is easy to be overcome with nerves and distracted with your own insecurities, but try to take a breath and stay focused.
- Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and remember that it is okay to ask others for help.
- You may not get the job you were hoping for but that doesn’t mean you should be gloomy over it. Get proactive and stay focused on your path, instead.
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