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Not Sure What Kind of Job You Want? Try This Exercise by NYU

A compass on top of a map.

Currently there are over 10,000 jobs posted on These jobs cover a variety of causes and locations and require different kinds of skills and expertise. While it’s exciting to know that there are so many opportunities to make a difference, how do you know which one is right for you?

One activity we like is the Career Tracks exercise developed by the Office of Career Services at NYU Robert. F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. This exercise gives you a way to explore positions and organizations that are interesting to you, identify the commonalities, and create career “tracks” that you will pursue.

Start by collecting 50 or more job descriptions that appeal to you, either because of the employer or the job itself. Don’t limit the job descriptions you collect because of job location, salary, or whether you are qualified — you just want to focus on what resonates with you.

After collecting at least 50 job descriptions, analyze them to find commonalities — what kinds of work and organizations are you drawn to? What are the requirements for these kinds of positions? From there you can start making strategic steps on how to learn more and pursue those opportunities.

Find the full description of the Career Tracks exercise here (PDF).

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by Allison Jones

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