Focusing Your Job Search


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. It doesn’t matter what job; I need money to pay my bills. What do I do now?


When folks say 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. 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 at the Frederick County American Job Center. There are also many tests available 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? That may be your answer.

What if that answer was something you don’t really know how to do? Frederick County Workforce Services may be able to help with that too. Our staff 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 receive funding that will cover the cost of training for that new career. Attend the Navigating Success seminar to find out (see the Events Calendar and sign up for a date that suits you.)

In any case, don’t give up without a fight on 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.

Julie Anderson