Lesson 2. How to decide what kind of job you want

Think about your skills and interests. If a teacher or a friend asked you what kind of job you wanted, would you be able to come up with an answer?

Here are some questions to get you thinking about the type of job you want and what things you are good at. If someone is helping you find a job, you can share these questions with him or her. This person might be a teacher, a service coordinator, a parent or another family member, a neighbor, or a job coach.

If you are talking with your friends about what kinds of jobs you would all like, you can share these questions with them, too.


What am I interested in?

  • What are/were my favorite classes in school?
  • What do I like to do in my free time?
  • What are the things I am good at? These are also called “skills.”

Is any of this related to what you wanted to do for work as a kid?! Maybe!


Learning about work

Let’s think about people you know. What jobs do they have?

  1. Your father 
  2. Your mother
  3. Older sister or brother 
  4. Your favorite television or book character


Linking your skills to potential jobs

Look back at your list of the things you are good at: your skills. These skills can help you decide what a good job might be. For instance, if you are very organized, you might want to work in a library or an office. If you are friendly, you might want to work at the check-in desk at a gym. If you know a lot about music, maybe you could work in a music store.


What are some jobs where you might use your skills?

  1. _________________________________________________
  2. _________________________________________________
  3. _________________________________________________



Learning about different jobs

What are three things I could do to learn about jobs I might like? For example: Ask questions about how to apply to a job in store that I like to shop at; Ask for an informal “meet and greet” chat with a person who has a job like one of the ones you listed above.

            1st thing I could do: ________________________________

             I will do this by (date) ______________________________

            2nd thing I could do: _______________________________

            I will do this by (date) ______________________________

            3rd thing I could do:  _______________________________

            I will do this by (date) ______________________________

OK. You’ve decided on a few jobs that you might like. Now let’s think about one job that you would like to do the most. This job is at the top of your list.  What do you not know about the job, but need to know? For example, if you wanted to be a librarian, you would need to know: What are a librarian’s tasks? What happens on a typical day working in a library? Will you work long hours? Will you be on your feet all day? What will you need to do on a computer?


Write down three things you need to know about this job before you decide whether it is the right one for you.

  1. _________________________________________________
  2. _________________________________________________
  3. _________________________________________________


For each of those questions, think about one step you can take to find out the answer. For example, can you:

  • Ask someone about the job.
  • Read an article or book about the job.
  • Go on an informational interview. An “informational interview” means that you go and ask questions to someone about what it’s like to work where s/he works.  For instance, if you wanted to work at a museum, you can ask someone who already works at a museum if you can plan a time to sit down and talk with this person and ask questions about his/her job.
  • Take a class or training.
  • What other ideas do you have?


Which one will you do?  ______________________________________

By what date will you do it? ______________________________________

Sponsored by United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Developmental Disabilities and the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, Inc.

The EmployMe1st project is a joint project of the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council, the  Institute for Community Inclusion at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services.