- 6 years ago
- Wedding: August 2012
Alright Bees, I’m going to vent a little here. Not quite sure what I’m looking for, or even if I have a question in mind, I’m just going to type it out and see what it turns into.
To begin with, there are two important facts about my job searches. I have a bachelor’s degree in Psychology that I obtained with honors in 2008. The second fact is that I took a job in the grocery retail buisiness during college in order to help support myself while obtaining my degree. I quit the job at a certain point to concentrate on school, and then went back to the job directly after I graduated just in order to have some income while I looked for something better. What was intended to be a stop-gap summer job turned into a five year rut.
During my time at the store, I have constantly tried to get myself into positions that would teach me new skills to put on my resume. I started out by conditioning the store in the evenings and I ended up being a payroll admin, back up file maintenance clerk (with some management), cashier, stock clerk, etc etc. I feel like I have made every effort to learn what I could from this job.
There is a part of me that loves what I do. I love the small town country feel of the store I work in. I love the customers and my coworkers. I am very comfortable there… but also very unsatisfied. I feel like it is not something that I want to be doing for the rest of my life. And it’s not that I think that I’m “better” than this job because of my degree… my mother is also a full time stock clerk (at another store) and I know that her having that job has given our family a lot of what we have today. But I do feel like I am damaging my body by working stock for much of the week, and I also feel like I am constantly wishing for something more. The situation is made worse by the fact that hours continue to decline as the economy has declined, and what used to be a 30 hour a week position is now a 15 hour a week job. Full time is not an option… for anyone (we’re all essentially waiting for someone to retire). I do get health care and I get paid well by the hour… but at 15 hours a week it doesn’t really matter what my hourly pay is because I still cannot afford to pay my bills and student loans.
So I have gone through huge stretches in the past 4 years where I send out applications. Not only do I send out applications, but I send resumes, cover letters, the whole shabang. I get very stressed when I do this… everything has to be perfect. I work for hours on my cover letters. I tweak my resume to fit every job I apply for. It usually involves tears at some point, just over the stress I feel imagining the HR department tossing my letter into the trash over some small error. I always do the absolute best that I can.
In the 4 years that I have spent sending letters into the void, I have gotten 4 call backs. One job (very early on) I decided I did not want because it involve cold calling, and at the time I was uncomfortable with that. Two of the jobs (very recent) I went to interviews for but was not offered. I felt that I presented myself the best I could but was not fully qualified for the positions. The 4th actually hired me, but it was ALSO a grocery based (vending) position. I worked both jobs for two years but eventually left the vending position because of the time commitment (and also, partly, because I couldn’t stand it that I now had TWO grocery positions that I couldn’t stand.)
I don’t want anything special. I would love to just be in a nice office job. I feel that I am more than qualified for that… but I feel like maybe potential buisinesses take one look at my current job and throw my resume away because “grocery payroll probably isn’t like real payroll” (and maybe theyre right). Many of the postings I see say that they want 25 years of experience… to be a RECEPTIONIST. I feel so stuck and frustrated.
I began applying again last night. It once again involved a lot of tears and yelling because my husband didnt understand why I was so upset while writing a cover letter. I tried to explain to him that this is YEARS worth of pent up frustration and self-esteem issues stemming from the fact that all of these letters that I get so hopeful about seem to just fall into the void and I’m stuck paying so much for student loans while Im stuck at the same place day after day and year after year.
I got really excited today because I wandered into one of my fave stores (at the mall no less) and I jokingly asked if they were hiring, and the clerk said that they were planning on hiring seasonal help soon. Now, I spend A LOT of time and money at this store. Some people drink, some people smoke, my vice is this store’s products. I really believe in what they sell. And I was hell bent on getting out of retail, but I started thinking, if I could get into this store I think I would be proud to work there because I feel strongly about them and what they sell. And I feel that I am MORE than qualified to work there because of all my retail experiance (and it doesn’t hurt that many of them know me at this point 🙂 ). If I got in, I really feel like I may be comfortable working my way up into a management position, because while this is a “bullshit job” to many that work there, I would actually care about the company.
But there are major risks. What does seasonal mean (are you automatically fired after Christmas?) How hard would it be to work my way into management? I’m fairly sure that they hire in a slightly (and I do mean slightly) above minimum wage. I am having money problems as it is. But it is soooo much closer to my house, so I would save a huge amount in gas money if that counts for anything. They do not offer health insurance… but I have seen others at my current job take another primary job and stay at the store one day a week for the insurance, and I probably could do the same.
I feel like it wouldn’t hurt to apply and at least go in to an interview (assuming theyd call me back of course). But another part of me feels like… is this a bad plan? So much could go wrong. and essentially I am still moving from a shitty retail job to another shitty retail job… for less pay. Am I underselling myself? Should I be ashamed that I’m 27 years old and pining after a job in the mall? Do I pin my hopes on a management position that may never come? Will I trap myself in another position where I cannot move or go anywhere?
Or should I continue to send letters to office jobs that never call me? Continue to apply for jobs that in many ways I am not that qualified for? Apply for a transfer out of my store to a store closer to home (it would save on the gas at least). Stick at the store because I am comfortable there?
Any words of wisdom? Advice? Any HR managers out there?
P.S., I’m aware that I should be greatful that I have a job in general, and I am. But I do strongly feel that I’m very much one of those “UNDERemployed” people that presidents always refer to. I really want something better for myself. Also, my resume had been reviewed by a job councilor (a while ago) but my interview skills probably need some practice… I will say though that I think I present myself very well, I am always calm and personable, and I do my best to study and rehearse the night before.
Sorry so long! >.<