Getting Your First Job For Dummies
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Paddle is a great tool that helps you figure out what you like and gives you insight into what career sectors may be of interest to you. It’s also free to take the assessment and to get a basic report. Instead of using games, like Mercer Match does, Paddle takes you through a series of A versus B type questions — about 45 of them — so that it can learn about you.

The science behind Paddle is based on research initiated by Matthew Thomas and Nick Lovegrove at McKinsey & Company and Harvard Kennedy School on the topic of nonlinear careers. Although this sounds fancy, the site itself takes a light-hearted approach to helping you find your path.

To use Paddle, go to the website and click Get Started. Then, on the top menu bar, click Assessment and start your evaluation.

Answering the questions will take you 10 to 15 minutes. As Paddle recommends, find a quiet place to take this test that is distraction-free. Create an account as soon as you’re given the option, so you can go back and reference your results.

When you finish answering the questions, you’ll be taken to your results, which you can always access by logging in and clicking Assessment. You can see the author's results here.

1stjob-paddle-results Using Paddle to uncover what motivates you.

In this case, the author was classified as a “Captain Prosperity,” which means he's motivated by building wealth but also by driving change and doing good. This meshes well with what he's been doing with his career.

You can scroll through the report to learn about the motivators Paddle has identified for you, as you can see in Part 2 of your report, “Priorities,” for example. You can also review tips. These are helpful because they make you think about what drives you, which helps to determine what you want to do and in turn, what careers you may want to pursue.

As you scroll down, go to Part 3, “Sectors,” and click it in the left-hand menu bar. You’ll be taken to a page with your primary and secondary sectors. Click each one to learn more about it, and most important, to see sample job titles for that sector, as shown.

1stjob-paddle-sector Sector and job titles recommended by Paddle.

This is actionable data. You can take the sample job titles given and type them into various job boards to get an idea of what jobs in this field entail.

Gather feedback from assessments like Paddle and ponder the results. Ultimately though, you need to follow your curiosity and passion and do what you want to do, whether it agrees with the results or not.

You can also browse all the other motivational archetypes on Paddle and explore other sectors, not just the ones recommended to you, to get an idea of what’s out there.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Roberto Angulo cofounded AfterCollege, the largest online marketplace in the U.S. where college students and employers can connect. He collaborated with the Obama Administration on the launch of Summer Jobs+, which successfully created more summer opportunities for youth ages 16?24. He is also cofounder of, a STEM mentorship program.

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