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I need a job yesterday!

Career Exploration The Local Job Market Success on the Job

Question:  People keep asking me what I want to do for my next job. I don’t know what I want to do, and I don’t have time to figure it out. I need a job yesterday! It doesn’t matter what job; I need money to pay my bills. What do I do now? Answer: When folks visiting Frederick County Workforce Services at the Business and Employment Center tell me this, I have a stock response: “McDonald’s is hiring.” Usually the person says, “Oh, no, I don’t want to work at McDonald’s!” So maybe it does matter where you work. Maybe you don’t know exactly what you want, but you do know some things you don’t want. (If not, McDonald’s is hiring.) Now there’s nothing wrong with working at McDonald’s. It’s good, honest work, and many great careers begin there. McDonald’s has taught thousands of young workers the value of hard work, punctuality and many other skills that all employers appreciate. The point is that it’s important to take some time and think about what the right job is for you. Maybe you have to take a job today to keep a roof over your head, food on the table and the lights on. If that’s the case, grab the highest paying job that’s available to you immediately (see other editions of “Ask the Career Coach” and all the Frederick County Workforce Services seminars and materials for tips on how to do that.) But don’t stop there. While you’re looking for that temporary job, and even after you find it, I recommend some soul searching. Think about what you’d really like to do, even if it doesn’t pay as well as what you’re doing for an interim job. There are various ways to do this. A fairly comprehensive way is to take the vocational testing available for free through Frederick County Workforce Services. “Career Exploration Assessment” is held almost every week; it’s paper-and-pencil testing that helps you uncover your interests, values and aptitudes (what you’re hard-wired to do well.) Sign up for it at the Resource Desk in the lab. “Myers-Briggs Type Indicator” happens once a month; you’ll need to sign up, and there is a charge for it that can be waived if it’s a financial hardship. The MBTI measures your personality in four dimensions, and tells you how you are similar to and different from those with other personality types. There are also many tests online. The really quick way to do this is to answer this question: “If you could do anything at all for a job, what would it be?” What just popped in your mind? There may be your answer. What if that answer was something you don’t really know how to do? We may be able to help with that too. Frederick County Workforce Services can connect you with a Career Specialist to explore the possibilities. If you are a Frederick County resident, or laid off from a Frederick County business, you may even be eligible to have FCWS pay for training for that new career. In any case, don’t give up without a fight for what you’d really like to do. Life is too short to spend most of it in a job you hate. It may be more feasible to get that perfect job than it appears right now. If you don’t ask the question, well …. McDonald’s is hiring.