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Finding the Right Job: Job Seeker Planning Tool

To succeed on a job, its important not to just take a job because you can earn money doing it. Its important to find a job that is a good match for you, and that you like what you do!

A job that is a good match is one where you are:

  • Doing things you like to do
  • Doing things that you are good at
  • Working in places you are comfortable
  • Working with people you like
  • Working the number of hours your want to
  • Working the time of day you want to
  • Working the days of the week you want to
  • Earning enough money

Before you start looking for a job, its a good idea to think about these things. While you may want to think about them by yourself, it also may be a good idea to talk to other people who know you to get their ideas. These could include:

  • friends
  • family and relatives
  • neighbors
  • people youve worked with
  • people who participate in activities with you
  • people at the places you shop or spend money
  • teachers (current or former)
  • counselors

Note: The One-Stop system has a number of excellent tools that can also help you in determining what types of jobs and careers might interest you. Among these are the following tools from the United States Department of Labor.

  • Americas Career InfoNet (, which includes a wealth of information on job trends, wages and what types of jobs are available in your local area.
  • O*NET Online (, has information on a wide variety of jobs and occupations, the skills required for these jobs, and how much you can earn in these jobs.
  • O*NET Career Assessment and Exploration Tools, which include:
    • Interest Profiler - A career exploration tool, where you can identify and learn about broad interest areas most relevant to your interests.
    • Work Importance Locator - A career exploration tool which helps you clarify what you find most important in jobs.

[Additional information on these O*NET tools is available at:] This form is intended to supplement, not replace those tools.

Some Questions To Help You

Here are some questions to think about, in deciding what kind of job would be good for you.

At Home:

  • What do you do when you are home?
  • What household chores do you like doing?
  • What household chores do you not like doing?
  • What do you like to do for fun at home?

At School:

  • What classes did you/do you like in school?
  • What classes did you/do you not like in school?
  • What activities and clubs did you/do you participate in at school?
  • What school activities did you/do you like?
  • What school activities did you/do you not like?
  • What did you/do you like about school?
  • What did you/do you not like about school?

At Work:

If youve had jobs or work experience (paid or unpaid):

  • Where have you worked?
  • What jobs have you liked?
  • What jobs have you not liked?
  • What were the things about the job(s) that you liked?
  • What were the things about the job(s) that you didnt like?


  • What do you like to do for fun?
  • Are there sports or other recreational activities you enjoy?
  • Do you have any hobbies?
  • What do you like to do with your friends?
  • Do you like to do things by yourself or with other people?
  • Whats Important To You About A Job

There are a variety of things people consider in deciding what kind of job to pursue. What is important to some else, may not be important to you. In conducting a job search, its important to think about what things are absolutely required of a job, if you were to take it, what things would be nice to have (but arent absolutely required) and what things dont really matter. On the following is a list of items to think about. Put a check mark in the appropriate column which best describes how you feel about each item. Add any additional items that are important to you about a job.

The following list has been converted from table format.

If you got a job, what would be okay and not okay?

okay/not okay:

  • Working indoors
  • Working outdoors (including bad weather)
  • Doing physical labor
  • Lifting things
  • Doing clerical work (like filing & copy work)
  • Doing cleaning
  • Organizing and sorting things
  • Working with food
  • Working on a computer
  • Having to read things
  • Having to write things
  • Having to do math
  • Doing the same thing all day
  • Doing lots of different things during the day
  • Working in an office
  • Working in a factory
  • Working in a store
  • Working in a warehouse
  • Working in a small building
  • Working in a big building
  • Working by yourself
  • Working with a few people
  • Working with lots of people
  • Working in a place that is noisy
  • Working in a place that is quiet
  • Having to talk to people
  • Having to be quiet all day
  • Having a supervisor nearby most of the time
  • Not having a supervisor nearby
  • Helping customers
  • Dressing up for work
  • Wearing a uniform
  • Dressing how ever you want
  • Moving and walking around
  • Sitting all day
  • Standing all day
  • Getting dirty at work
  • Having to stay clean at work
  • Working with people your own age
  • Working mainly with people older than you
  • Working mainly with people younger than you
  • Working around children
  • Starting work in the morning
  • Starting work in the afternoon
  • Starting work in the evening
  • Working on weekends
  • Working on holidays
  • How many hours per day would you like to work? _____________
  • How many days per week would you like to work? _____________
  • Now that youve thought about what you like and dont like, make a list of jobs that you might like and/or the kind of places you would like to work.
  • The Next Step

    Youve got a list of possible jobs and places you may want to work. Before you make any final decisions about the type of job you want, do some research. The tools of Americas Workforce Network available at One-Stop Centers, and online, can be an excellent starting point. These include:

    • Americas Career InfoNet ( which includes a wealth of information on job trends, wages, and national and local labor markets, as well as other valuable occupational, economic, and demographic information.
    • O*NET Online (, a database that describes a wide variety of occupations, the skills needed for those jobs, and how much people make who work in those jobs.
    • Another great way to do research is to go out and talk to people who work in the jobs and places you are interested in. Ask your family, friends, teachers and/or counselors for help in coming up with names and places to contact.

    When you visit places that you think you might want to work at, talk to the supervisors and workers. Find out what the jobs are like and what kind of skills and training you need. Walk around the place and watch what people are doing. Find out whats good and not good about working there. Decide if its a place you would be happy working, and what types of jobs would be a good match for you. If you really like it, then find out how to get a job in that place or in that type of business.