1 answer

How do I know what job is right for me?

Asked Natick, Massachusetts

How do I know what jobs are good? Do I judge it by the benefits or the job itself? #job #first-job

1 answer

Cathleen’s Answer

Updated Lake Mary, Florida

Hi Carly,

That’s a great question and it really depends on what’s most important to you.

If it’s a job to make money while you go to school then the schedule, type of work, and work environment may be most important to you – do you like a lot of interaction with the public (for example server) or do you prefer behind the scenes?

If it is the first job in your career then you want to know how well the job responsibilities will give you the chance to learn and gain experience in the field of your interest. Entry level jobs may not have pay as a strong suit, however, they should give you the experience you need to begin in a field.

If you’re not sure where to begin, look for people on social media that are in the jobs or field or company that matches your goals and ask them what’s important to consider for your first job.

When I was looking for my first journalism job, I knew the pay would be low and the experience was more critical than the benefits. The things I considered then were – circulation size, the quality of the paper, their reputation in the community, and how much opportunity I would have to produce much-needed writing samples in the process. I turned down a job in my dream location because they didn’t use AP style (an industry standard), the quality of the paper was poor, and there were a number of complaints from the community about their accuracy and objectivity. That online research spared me a bad situation. It’s important then to consider the applicable aspects for your field.

If you are looking at jobs that are relatively equal, consider the company culture, pay, benefits. Is it an environment you would enjoy working in? Is your take home pay more important than a benefit package? Does the company offer a 401K with matching funds?

Regardless of where you go, participate in a 401K and contribute enough to get the full matching amount from the company. You may need to do a little research to understand what it’s about but the bottom line to remember is that if you start contributing early and stay with it and don’t cash it out when you change jobs, you can stop contributing by 40 and still have a good retirement fund. If you don’t start until you’re older (I got serious at 28), you will have to contribute your whole working life to get what you need. Look up info on 401K contributions and compounding interest. It’s the best thing you can do for yourself!

I hope this helps and wish you all the best!