Finding the Right Job for You

What Kind of Job is Right For You?

Whether you are searching for your first career or looking for a new one, it is important to find a career that helps you earn enough money to meet your needs, that you can do well, and that is satisfying to you. It is also important to develop your skills in new ways. It is great to find a job that you enjoy doing, but it is also important to think about how what you are doing now can prepare you for your long-term goals.

Even if you have a long way to go to reach your goals, thinking about your long-term career can help you focus on your current job search. But you don’t have to know exactly where you want to end up. Each job you have will help you learn more about your interests, acquire new skills, and develop your long-term goals.

Thinking carefully about the skills and interests you have now is a good way to begin your search for a satisfying job. The tools below can help you get a clear picture of your interests and skills.

Discovery: Understand Yourself

Self-Assessment/Personal Inventory

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) has an excellent guide called Finding a Job that is Right for You: A Practical Approach to Looking for a Job as a Person with a Disability that has helpful information for each step of your job search.

It begins with a series of quizzes and worksheets to help you learn more about what is important to you, your interests and strengths, and what you need from a job. Each worksheet has a slightly different focus:

  • The Job Priority List helps you list the things that interest you the most and the job features that are most important to you.
  • The Overcoming Obstacles Worksheet helps you anticipate challenges you may find when looking for work. Thinking of solutions to problems that you might run into before you get started can make your job search easier and more effective.
  • The Personal Inventory Worksheet helps you begin building a resume by organizing your experiences to show your interests and strengths.

Self-Assessment Resources

There are many tools available to help you learn more about your likes, dislikes, and how your personality fits with different work settings and occupations. Different assessment tools work differently and focus on different things. A list of these tools is available at My Perfect Resume, which describes how different assessments work so that you can find one that you think might be useful to you. Some of the assessments will cost money but others are free.

Another great place for self-assessment tools is the U. S. Department of Labor's CareerOneStop.org. The site's Career Exploration page includes a section on self-assessments and a discussion of why they are helpful to jobseekers.

A collection of many different online self-assessment tools is available at LiveCareer, which reviews and evaluates each of the tests, includes how easy they are to use and what information they offer.

Talking to a Career Counselor

It can be hard to choose from all the different self-assessment tools. It can also be difficult to know what to do with the results once you have them. A career counselor can help you choose the right test, understand what the test results mean, and help you get started with your career planning. Often these services are at a low cost or no cost to you.

You can find a career counselor at a local county human services department or at the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR). To apply for services, call or visit a DVR office.

Your Individual Needs

Interests and skills are important when deciding what work you might like to do, but it is also important to know what you need your job to do for you. A good way to explore the financial and other benefits you need from a job is to complete the Personal Needs Assessment Worksheet available from the Job Accommodation Network (JAN).

Reasonable Accommodation

If your disability makes aspects of your job difficult, you may want to ask for a reasonable accommodation. A reasonable accommodation is any change in the work environment or in the way things are usually done that leads to an equal employment opportunity for you as a person with a disability.

Reasonable accommodations can include modifications to the facility, changes in the job process, and assistive technology allowing you to meet the expected job performance standards.

You usually start an accommodation request, either verbally or in writing. Get information on how to put your request in writing.

Reasonable Accommodation Guides

Disability Law Colorado (DLC) has two fact sheets on employment discrimination and your rights. These also explain reasonable accommodations and employment protections:

See all of Disability Law Colorado's fact sheets covering different disability-related issues. They also have a full section on employment, including information on Disability Law Colorado’s employment-related programs and links to related resources.

If you have developed strategies or used equipment to successfully accommodate your disability, then you may want to share this with your employer. However, if you have not needed an accommodation before and do not know where to start, contact the Job Accommodation Network (JAN).

JAN is a free service that offers:

Finding Careers That Match Your Strengths and Interests

Once you have a clearer picture of your skills and interests, you’ll need to figure out what type of work might suit you. The sites below have tools that help match your interests with possible jobs. They also explain what types of education and training you may need to prepare for the career you are interested in. Even if you already have a job or career in mind, it is a good idea to explore the sites below. They may suggest a career you hadn’t thought of, but matches your interests.

  • The U.S. Department of Labor’s O*Net Online offers careers search tools. O*Net lets you look for jobs that use a specific skill, tool, or software. It also allows you to browse groups of similar occupations so you can learn about jobs that are related to the job you are interested in.
  • CareerConnect, from the American Printing House for the Blind, lets you browse careers by field or interest area. It also allows you to explore specific careers and offers details about the knowledge, interests, skills, and abilities needed.
  • CareerOneStop has an education and training page that includes the education requirements and training needs of different occupations.
  • Although it is aimed at high school students, Exploring Career Information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics helps you use your current interests to find and explore different careers.
  • The Resource Library at University of Colorado’s Career Services has many resources and fact sheets to help you plan and pursue a career.
  • Connecting Colorado lets you search for jobs through a job database, post your resume, and apply for specific jobs.
  • GettingHired.com has a Job Recommendations tool.
  • Careers and the disABLED magazine has in-depth articles and information on career options.

What Does the Future Look Like for the Type of Job You Are Seeking?

Before you become too focused on a specific career, it is good to understand how easy or hard it is to find a job in that area.

CareerOneStop has information on:

In addition to resources for exploring careers and job searching, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has information on occupations that are expected to:

The University of Colorado offers Salary and Wage Statistics. It also links to four other websites for comparing salaries:

  • Salary Calculator Center helps you do a detailed search of possible salaries. It includes questions about the state you want to work in, the type of job, and your levels of experience and education.
  • The LinkedIn Salary website lets you find the pay scales for different types of jobs in different parts of the country.
  • The PayScale Salary Survey lets you do a simple search or something more detailed.
  • The BestPlaces Cost of Living Calculator is helpful if you are considering jobs in different cities.

By looking at websites that list jobs, you can see the types of jobs that are in demand in your state or local area. You can find local job openings at Monster.com and Indeed.com.

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