What to Do?
Setting Sites on a Job
If you're about to start a job search, the first thing to know is what sort of job you're looking for.
If you're dedicated to finding a career you love, one idea would be to start with a personality test (or "self-inventory") that can help you understand what sorts of jobs might feel like a fit. You could also jump straight into looking at the categories and types of jobs available. Resources for this route include:
- Online job sites, such as TotalJobs.com. The provided link will take you to an overview of job categories sorted by personality traits — job lists sorted by common fields are also available on the TotalJobs.com site. In addition, you can try a general search for jobs ranked according to income, growth rate, job satisfaction, or any other factor that's important to you; there are literally dozens of prominent job sites, so just play around with different searches and see what you can come up with. (And remember, if you're not satisfied with the results of looking around online on your own, you can always ask a librarian to help you find the information you want. It's what we're here for!)
- Books at the library. Old-fashioned? Yes. But full books do allow for a lot of information laid out very clearly, and you can always use whatever you find as a jumping-off point for further online research. We tend to keep our job guides fairly up-to-date, and some of the ones you can get here include The Big Book of Jobs, The Book of U.S. Government Jobs, America's Top 101 Jobs for People Without a Four-Year Degree, and many more. If you'd like to try this route, you can use our online catalog to look up titles yourself, or you can call/email us at the library to round up some books for you.
- Friends, family, and other people already working in various jobs. If you know people working in jobs you might be interested in, ask them what the job is like, what they do and don't like about it, and (if they know you fairly well) whether they think you'd be a good fit. Especially when your job search is limited to a particular area, this can be effective in helping you narrow down your choices.
If you'd be open to lots of different kinds of jobs, but don't want to get stuck with something you hate, just use your best decision-making skills for now — remember, you can always change jobs later if you really do hate your first one. Most people change jobs and fields multiple times in their life, so it's nothing to be especially scared of. (Full pep-talk on that subject here, and we do also have books available on career-changing for those anxious about it.)
If any job will do, what are you still doing here? You're ready to move on to: