By the time I was ready to graduate college, I didn’t much waver in my choice of careers. My laser-like focus on journalism jobs was dictated by my utter lack of any other skill. I grabbed my b.a. in journalism, took the NJ Transit train straight to my first reporting job (making $20 gees at Adweek, thank you very much), and have never migrated to another field—much to the detriment of my net worth.
This put me in the minority, turns out. Eight in 10 college graduates never work in a career related to their major field of study, says GraduateResumes.com. Seems most of us leave college with absolutely no stumpin’ idea of what the heck to do next.
That you? Fear not, young folks. What with your access to the World Wide Interweb, the job world is your oyster…you just need to crack open the right shell. Following are some resources for career-sampling:
VocationVacations: The idea behind this web site is that you won’t really know if a dream career is dreamy until you try it out. So why not spend Spring Break wrangling alligators or shadowing a restaurateur or designing handbags? The site lets you search for jobs, narrowing down your choices by general categories (how about something to do with alpacas? or baking? or baking and chocolate?). You could sign up for the free resource guide, or buy the book, Test-Drive Your Dream Job: A Step-By-Step Guide To Finding & Creating The Work You Love, by VocationVacations founder Brian Kurth.
OneDayOneJob: This site profiles one job a day. Tuesday’s was an opening at Woot!, a web site offering, among other things, auctions for Bags o’ Crap. All right, don’t all click at once. Not all the jobs are kooky; this guide to finding jobs at Apple is helpful and easy to follow. You can subscribe by e-mail or RSS feed for your daily eureka.
Squidoo’s Odd Jobs Club: Here’s the pitch for this site, in its own words: “The Odd Jobs Club connects unconventional people with unusual jobs in under-the-radar organizations.” This bloggish site is more of a compendium of silly, out-there jobs—”weird clown in Venice”; “condom tester”—but it does offer useful links. And who knows—maybe you’re a chicken-hat designer and you don’t know it.