Career Advice for Job Seekers

How four factors will help you find your dream job

Libby Rothberg AvatarLibby Rothberg
July 30, 2018

College Recruiter regularly is asked by job seekers, “What kind of a job should I apply to?” If this question has been racking your mind too, stick around for a little, we’re going to help you out. Many young adults aren’t sure what they want to do with their major. They don’t know what kind of employer they should be looking for. This can be puzzling and extremely frustrating. Here, Steven Rothberg, President and Founder of College Recruiter, dives into the four primary factors that you need to focus on in order to end up with an outstanding career.

First Factor: Competency

Ask yourself what you’re good at. Competence often comes right out of educational experiences. Perhaps you’re in an engineering program or recently graduated from one. This experience allows you to say you are competent in the engineering field. Competence can also come from jobs that you have held or completed. These jobs could be ones you were paid a wage for or ones you did for a friend. A formal job like working at a restaurant demonstrates you are able to work in a fast paced environment, serve food, and keep track of money. Rothberg provides an example of an informal job, “Let’s say you help an uncle with his tax returns each year. Well, that shows you are good at math, paperwork, and being careful.”

Second Factor: Interest

Rothberg points out, “Just because you help your uncle with his tax return doesn’t mean that you enjoy doing it.”

If you did enjoy it, that’s fantastic. Maybe you’re interested in accounting, finance, or another taxation related occupation. Did you just get through the day at your restaurant and earn your paycheck? Well then you’re not interested in that type of work and that’s fine, don’t mark that down as an interest.

Third Factor: Values

What’s important to you? Rothberg offers an example, “Social justice is very valued amongst many people and especially younger Millennials and Gen Z’s.”

Many people want to work for a company that gives to the community, that’s what they value. The thought of going to work for a company that is wasteful and selfish is something that would turn off many younger adults. However, some people don’t care that much about community impact. Therefore, that won’t be a deciding factor if they are going to work for a company or not.

Pollution, war, poverty, those sorts of issues matter more to some people than to others. Rothberg says, “If money is what is important to you, then you value money, and that’s okay.”

If improving the lives of people around the world or in your community is what’s important to you, then mark that down as one of your values.

Fourth Factor: Compensation

The final factor is compensation. Rothberg points out that you can be exceptional at something, really value it, but if you don’t have enough money to survive, it’s not going to be a good job for you. It might work as a great hobby or volunteer opportunity, but you have to eat.

This factor also gets more important as you age. You might need money to support other people in your life. However, you don’t have to work in a job that pays you $500,000 a year if you are a minimalist. “On the other hand, if you want to drive a Bentley and you want to live in a penthouse on Fifth Avenue,” Rothberg emphasizes, “you better be making millions of dollars a year.”


Look for Commonalities

Rothberg wants to be clear, “When I talk about marking something down or adding it to your list, I mean that quite literally. Take a big sheet of paper. Draw a line across the top of it. Then, draw three vertical lines down. What you’re doing is you’re creating four columns. At the top of the first column write the word competencies, the top of the second column write interests, third column values. Under each one of those, list every word and phrase that you can think of that applies.”

By writing these things out in front of you, you will find commonalities. That is where you want to focus your job search.

The goal is to find a job that you’re competent in, that you’re interested in, that’s important to you, and that pays you well enough for how you want to live. So again, write down those lists. You might have 30 or 40 keywords under each of those four categories. Look through and circle the ones that have similarities to each other. Those will lead you to the occupational fields that you should focus on.


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