The Effective Job Search
To identify jobs that use your skills and abilities, try the following:
- Check the Occupational Outlook Handbook. This guide allows you to explore information about many different careers.
- Read the "Help Wanted" ads in newspapers to find jobs that might tap your strengths and skills.
- Talk with people in the workforce who have interests and strengths similar to yours. Ask them about their jobs. You might even be able to spend a few hours "shadowing," or following them at work. This will give you a good sense of what their jobs are like.
- Volunteer to work in a job area that interests you. This might be a good way to find out more about a specific occupation firsthand and determine if it is right for you.
- Join clubs or groups that match your interests. These may focus on issues such as computers, gardening, public speaking, music, theater, or the environment. Your participation will help you network with others and may lead you to more opportunities like volunteering, internships or even a job.
- Take classes in subjects that interest you. The instructor and other students may provide information about job opportunities in your area of interest.
- Talk to professionals who can help you determine your marketable skills and help you narrow your job search. If you are in high school, talk to a guidance counselor. If you are in college, visit the campus career center. If you are out of school, make an appointment to see a career or Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) counselor.
As you go through these steps, make a list of the possible places of employment in your community (and beyond) that offer jobs that are interesting to you. Once you've prioritized this list, you are ready to start applying for a job.