Post # 1
I’m a recent (May) college graduate looking for a job. However, finding a job that will use my BS Chemistry degree in southern WV has been… frustrating to say the least. We’re not able to move for at least 2 years because FI got accepted to the medical school of his choice here and I don’t want to leave him. I tried getting ahold of a distant family friend who works in pharmaceutical sales, no response back. I tried the government jobs, no response. The medical school is actually in a nice(aka urban-ish) part of the state, so the closest coal mine plant is +1.5 hours and I would prefer not to drive that far.
Most of this areas income comes from a really fancy, really well known hotel and the rest seems to come from tourism and the medical school.
Anyone have any advice? I really don’t want to work a minimum wage job for the next few years.
Post # 3
Oh, and I’ve had jobs before, but they’ve been like “cashier” or “desk attendant” and for really “adult” jobs.
Post # 4
Monster.com is a great job hunting site. It’s hard to get your first job but I think you have to be flexible. If moving is not an option you may need to look into other fields.
Post # 5
@AlwaysSunny: Thanks! Unfortunately I’ve already tried Monster
I’m trying to be flexible, but I’m getting discouraged. Most of the jobs I’ve been finding don’t require a college education at all and I’m starting to feel like I wasted my time getting the degree. Or flip side, I’ve found a few that require a masters, but I wouldn’t be able to get a masters until FI is done with school and and I don’t want to waste +2 years working at some dead-end job 🙁
Blarg… What do you guys think a reasonable commute is?
Post # 6
Honestly, it’s only been a month! You JUST started. I know the employment market is starting to pick up, but they say that it takes an average of about 6 months to find a job after college. For me and a lot of my friends, it was much longer than that, 1-2 years of working something totally crap (AMERICORPS, Starbucks, etc) before snagging a full time job in their field. (I basically just left the country for grad school and have more or less been gone for five years since.)
Here are a few suggestions:
A) Look directly on company websites and use their systems.I don’t know WV at all, but I know that BASF has a plant in WV. Google says Huntington? What about Dow or P&G?
B) Local colleges? I know you said there’s a medical school, but what about regular college. Try looking on those websites for lab tech jobs, etc.
C) Once you find places you would like to work, network the crap out of those places. Find people who work there on linkedin, ask them if you can ask them a question about their job. Then email them with 1-2 very specific (i.e., the answer wouldn’t require a novel) questions to get the ball rolling.
D) Work on your web presence. Google yourself, what do you see? That’s the first thing someone will do when they look at your resume. Make a website (try flavors.me – they have great templates) with your resume, and professional use social media.
E) Start a chemistry blog. Keep ’em short and snappy. If you do it once or twice a week for a few years, it will add up. My husband has a few thousand blog hits a month and has gotten some really awesome opportunities from his.
F) Make sure you spend at least 30 minutes a day reading something industry specific that you don’t already know about.
Post # 7
@Mrs.LemonDrop: has lots of good insights, but I’d also like to add polishing up your resume and hitting up staffing agencies.
Post # 8
I applied almost everywhere for six months before getting an interview once I knew I was going to change jobs. Unfortunately, it was my job experience and not my education that got me the job. Even after I taught high school for two years, no one would even look at me. I worked for an accountant for three years after that – I friend recommended me for the job. Luckily for me, he is a terrible employer so I was an ideal employee. That was the experience that parlayed me into my current job.
Unfortunately, you’ll have to do what you have to do eventually. My BIL has a degree in Zoology but couldn’t find a job where my sister works. He now works at the deli department at a grocery store.
Post # 9
Have you done any internships? I spent a lot of time volunteering in my field and meeting people before I got job offers.
I don’t know many people who only have a B.S. in chemistry with a good job. Most jobs in that field require a graduate degree, unless you’re talking a $10/hour job in a lab.
Is there any reason you can’t start grad school online?
Post # 10
Been there…done that. 🙂 I’m originally from SW Virginia (probably not far from where you are) and graduated with a degree in biology. I finally found a job as a chemist at an environmental laboratory because I had 2 years of chemistry also. My suggestion is to try to get on with an environmental lab even a waste water treatment plant. They’re always willing to hire new graduates because they really don’t pay a tons of money. The upside is that you can learn so much because they’re normally limited on employees so you get to do a bit of everything. Where exactly are you located? You can send me a private message if you don’t to post it for all eyes to see.
Post # 11
Sorry for the late replies..
@Mrs.LemonDrop: Actually it’s been a few months… I started looking forbore graduation.
The blog is different… What did you husband write about? Like persona experiences with his field? Or was he freelancing for something?
@solidarity: I’m doing volunteer stuff, but it’s not really related to my field. And believe it or not, $10/year is pretty good here. Also, I kinda assumed you couldn’t get a legitimate graduate science degree online… maybe I should look into it…
@OctBride-2012: sending message 🙂
Post # 12
Ditto all the comments about lab tech work either at the university or private companies.
You could piece together some work by being a chemistry tutorfor high school and university students. Also check out your local school districts. They always have difficulty finding people who can do home instruction in chemistry for students who are out of school due to medical issues.Find out who the science supervisor is at local high schools and ask for a face to face. Give him/her your card and say you are available as a tutor if he/ she hears of anything. Also, home school consortiums often hire instructors for subjects like chemistry. Not the career you may want but could be a stop gap as you look for more meaningful Work.
Post # 13
@MiraJo: I sent you a response. Hope it’s helpful!!
Post # 14
@MiraJo: Right. But even a few months, is still really just starting in the grand scheme of things. Good luck.
My husband writes about Urban Planning issues because he’s an Urban Planner. He basically invented his own field, and its working, in large part because he’s been blogging for years at this point. It has totally paid off for him. Blogs are more about the long game than the short game.