Here are some resources I’ve written about in Getting Your First Job for Dummies, to help you figure out what to do:
The science behind Paddle is based on research conducted at Harvard Kennedy School on the topic of nonlinear careers. Although this sounds fancy, the site itself takes a light-hearted approach to helping you find your path.
To use Paddle, go to www.paddlehr.com/careers and click Get Started.
Answering the questions will take you 10 to 15 minutes.In my case, I was classified as a “Captain Prosperity,” which means I’m motivated by building wealth but also by driving change and doing good. This meshes well with what I’ve been doing with my career. I wanted to start my own business, but also do it in a way that has a positive impact on others.
Mercer Match, powered by Pymetrics, is another great tool that lets you learn more about yourself through games. You can play these games for free on your laptop or on your smartphone. Underlying these games is decades-long neuroscience research that helps you identify top skills and traits as you complete the various games.
To use Mercer Match, just go to www.mercermatch.com, register for an account, and log in and start playing games. In one example, you get to inflate balloons. With each pumping of the balloon, you get some money. But if the balloon pops, you lose the money you’ve accumulated. One of the attributes tested here is your propensity for risk.
After you’ve played for some time, you’ll get a report that shows you your top traits. You’ll get a list of top career matches. Take the top career matches recommended by Mercer Match and plug them in the search box of your favorite job board to see what jobs and internships come up.
AfterCollege’s Explore is a career discovery tool that uses big data to show you relevant jobs you may not have known about.
Go to AfterCollege and under “Explore Curated Jobs”,enter your college or university, major, and graduation date. You’ll be taken to Explore, which presents you with job or internship recommendations, depending on your graduation year, based on your educational background.
The first thing you’ll notice is a graph of the jobs being recommended to you grouped by job category. You can like or dislike entire categories and Explore will include more or less of those types of jobs. Initially you may agree with some of the recommendations but not with others. That’s because Explore gives you suggestions as best it can based on your background, which it uses to compare you with other similar students who’ve used Explore and have rated jobs. As you give more feedback, Explore will get more personalized to you and the recommendations will get better and better.