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Start Your Career Search

(Find the Right Job for You)

Let’s be real, a lot of people work to simply pay the bills. So when you’re starting off on your hunt for the perfect job, salary may be the first thing on your mind. But before you jump at the first Help Wanted sign you see, there’s a lot more you should consider.


First you need to determine the wage or salary you need for the job to make financial sense. Create a budget that considers all of your expenses, from rent and food to entertainment costs. Once you’ve calculated how much money you need to make, visit websites such as and Payscale to get ballpark pay ranges for different types of jobs.


Now is the time to envision your life, and decide what days and times you want to be working. While many jobs are traditionally 9-to-5, there are many opportunities to work a more flexible schedule. If you go to school part-time or have family responsibilities, consider when you're available and look for jobs that correspond with those times.


Obviously, you need to make sure you can get to your job. But you need to understand the true cost of your method of transportation. Will you have to pay for a pass for public transportation? If you drive there, will you need to pay for daily parking? How much money will you spend on gas? Also, consider the value of your time. If one job will cause you to spend two hours per day sitting in commuter traffic, is it worth it? Maybe so. You just need to beware of what exactly you are signing up for.

Young woman searching for new career from her mobile device.


You know better than anyone if you have artistic skills, the ability to sell an idea, or a knack for numbers or technology. Now, turn those talents into job opportunities. Not sure where to look? Try some aptitude tests that will link your interests and abilities to career possibilities:

  • Holland Code: This test helps determine what jobs fit your personality
  • ONET Skills Search: This quiz helps you narrow down possible careers based on your talents and expertise


The start of your career is the perfect time to explore and learn more about the opportunities that are out there for you. Guess what? Not every decision you make will be one you want to stay with until you retire — and that’s OK. Now is the time to make mistakes and learn from them. Don’t worry, you’ll find the right job for you.

As always, we’ve got your back. — The On Your Own Team End of article insignia

[Any reference to a specific company, commercial product, process or service does not constitute or imply an endorsement or recommendation by On Your Own, the National Endowment for Financial Education or any of its affiliate programs.]