Lists you need to make when you start your job search

Many job seekers, especially those who are more toward the beginning than the end of their careers, struggle to decide what kind of a job they want to do. For those, we recommend pulling out a legal pad and dividing it into four columns:

  1. Competencies
  2. Interests
  3. Values
  4. Compensation

Under competencies, list in a few words everything you’re good at, whether it is career-related or not.

Under interests, list everything that catches your attention, whether it is career-related or not.

Under values, list everything that matters to you, whether it is career-related or not.

Under compensation, list all of the things that you want and need to do which cost money and estimate how much each costs per month or year.

Now, look for commonalities in the first three columns. Are there items that are in the competencies, interests, and values columns? Circle those. Now, look at the items which are circled and consider those along with your compensation needs. Can you do any of the circled items for work — even part-time — and meet your compensation needs? If so, you’ve just found at least one career path.

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College Recruiter believes that every student and recent graduate deserves a great career. Over the course of a year, about 2.5 million students and recent graduates use our site to find part-time, seasonal, internship, and entry-level jobs. Our customers are primarily Fortune 1,000 companies, government agencies, and other employers that hire at scale, meaning dozens, hundreds, or even thousands a year.

By Troy Hopkins
Troy Hopkins Director, Undergraduate Career Counseling Troy Hopkins