Post # 1
I moved to the Bay Area 5 weeks ago and figured it couldn’t be too hard to find a minimum-wage job. Apparently I was wrong. I don’t know if my “problem” is that I’m overqualified or underqualified. On one hand, I’m 18, graduated from high school in 2010, don’t have a degree, and only have one year of work experience (not counting helping my parents with their jobs or taking care of people’s houses). On the other hand, I’m very intelligent and creative, have a well-written resume, and have many qualities that would allow me to advance in a career. However, I know that people who hire people for minimum-wage jobs are often not too interested in those qualities and just want someone who will be content with a menial job for a long time. The problem is that I can’t get any other kind of job because I don’t have a degree.
The most I’ve ever made at a job was $8.30/hour when I left Target to move here (and this is California, so that’s only 30 cents over minimum wage). I’ve tried looking for retail management or assistant manager positions at clothing stores, but most of them require at least 2 years of retail management experience. So it seems like the only way to get a job like that is to move up within a company, but it also seems like the only people who are able to do that are those who “play the game,” kiss up to their superiors, and are dishonest.
Another problem is that I try to actually go into stores and speak to people whenever possible instead of just applying online. Most of the time when I try that, though, the employee I speak to just tells me that there is no manager available, or if I actually do get to speak to a manager, they tell me to go apply online. Thanks, I couldn’t have thought of that on my own. I even began the transferring process at Target before I left, and the HR at one of the Targets down here seemed really excited about hiring me. But they never called me back like they said they would, and when I tried to call them, they just told me to apply online again.
I need a job soon and I don’t know what to do anymore. 🙁
Post # 3
It is hard. You are not the only one.
1) You do not have the qualifications to be an asst manager so don’t focus there for now. In fact, you do not have much experience, so any experience you can get is good. (see number 4)
2) What sources are you using for jobs? They are posted everywhere.
- company websites (make a list of all the companies you can think of and google in the area and then methodically go through those to apply
3) For most hourly jobs, resumes are not that important. They want you to fill out their application. However have someone else look at your resume. Just because you think its a great one, doesnt mean it necessarily is (or isnt). You need someone who knows resumes, not just your friend, to review it.
4) Look for volunteer work. It is something else to give you experience. There 1,000s of organizations you can volunteer weekly or at one time events.
- Check out volunteermatch.org
5) Keep looking! Think of it like an oil pipeline. You keep pumping and pumping and nothing is coming out the other end of the pipe, but in the meantime you are filling it. Finally after a lot of work something will come out the other end.
6) You are right, to get experience you have to start at the bottom and work your way up, however, you are wrong those that climb are dishonest.
They are hard workers who are responsible, who treat their superiors with respect as well as coworkers and who demonstrate leadership capabilities. They also perform above average.
7) Once you apply online, call the store and ask to speak to the manager on duty. Ask them if you could come in to discuss the open position. Don’t just show up- these people have jobs to do and you are interupting it. Dress nice- basic black pants and white button down is always safe. No cleavage, no sandals, minimal jewelry and makeup.
Post # 4
@lefeymw: Thanks 🙂
I’ve had several people look over my resume–parents, friends, FH, teachers, etc. and I’ve improved it each time.
I only look on companies’ websites; I don’t use any of those job websites because I am under the impression that the jobs that get posted on there are ones I am not qualified for. I’ve never seen minimum-wage, menial jobs posted on those sites.
Also, I guess I was not clear about this, but the only times I just show up and ask to speak to a manager are when it’s a store that doesn’t have an online application–like at boutiques and small restaurants.
Post # 5
Post # 6
I feel your pain!!
I think so many people are stuggling to find work at the moment, like @lefeymw: says, its just about keeping at it, fingers crossed we will both find something soon!!!
Post # 7
My job is to help people with resumes, and help them find work, and the number 1 most important thing is to network, anyone you know who lives there, anyone you meet, even managers you interview with, ask them if they know of anyone hiring. Something like 85% of jobs are gotten from knowing someone or networking, very few people get jobs just from applying online.
Just because a company has an online application does not mean that you should not being going in to places to apply first, or to check on your application.
Also, expect to start at the bottom, you do not have enough experience to be a manager or assistant manage, but with a little time somewhere, if you are a good employee maybe you will get a chance.
Something I always tell my clients is that looking for a job should be a full time job, you should be looking for work/ applying for jobs 40 hours a week, and if you are doing this, presenting yourself well, acting professionally, and networking you will find something.
Also I agree you should be using sites like indeed.com, simplyhired.com, americajobexchange.com, etc for job search they will help you and they do have many entry level positions.
Post # 8
Be happy it has only been 5 weeks. My Fiance moved with me when I got a job in another state, and he was out of work for 9 months. He has a BS in Biochemistry. The market right now is just not great. Apply for anything and everything you can find. No job is below you. I have followed this advice, and have never been out of work for more than a month or two since I was 15. Good luck finding something 🙂 I am sure that if you are determined, you will have a job soon!
Post # 9
@MrsStormy: Hey you! Any advice for someone out of work that doesn have any clue what they want to do? Haha, JK-well kinda. I have only applied to a select few because I am tired of doing something I hate so I am being much more particular this time around.
@NatAndTy: I would suggest reading “What Color is Your Parachute”. Its a really good book to help you get a job as well as get a job you will like. You can find the most recent publication at most book stores or online. Take it seriously and do each chapter and exercise.
Post # 10
@NatAndTy: I would recommend dressing in interview attire and literally walking around door to door with a resume in hand, stopping in restaurants and shops that you may be interested in working at. I got a job the second day of moving to Berkeley because of that. If you do this and are applying to restaurants (and retail, for that matter), be sure to go only during the downtime–generally late afternoon before the dinner rush. There’s nothing worse than an applicant coming by right when the employees are slammed.
Based on your work history, it doesn’t sound to me like you are overqualified. Do you have any management experience? Frankly it sounds like you are underqualified for management jobs and I agree with @lefeymw that in order to move up in a working environment, you generally need to demonstrate maturity, responsibility and a strong work ethic. I hope this doesn’t sound harsh, but it does sound to me like you may be projecting an air of arrogance or coming off in interviews like you aren’t really all that interested in the jobs for which you’re applying (I’m saying this because you assert that you’re a creative, intelligent person and the places you’re applying are just looking for drones, essentially). I could be wrong, but watch how you’re coming off in interviews. Don’t lie in interviews–most people who hire for customer service-related jobs don’t expect you to be in the position for the rest of your life–but phrase your gifts in terms of how they will help you better do the job at hand. Creativity and intelligence can help greatly in customer service jobs.
Post # 11
I feel your pain as well! However, I have a college degree and 5 years management experience and have been out of work for over a year now. It’s very frustrating for me to not be able to find my next career, and that a “job” is not going to pay my mortgage. I have been told I am “over qualified” which is why i can’t land interviews or second interviews let alone a job. So, some people’s solutions were to “dumb myself down” on my resume which is crap. You will find something, just keep your head up and use all the online sites you can. Good luck!
Post # 12
@lefeymw: Oh yeah thats such a tough place to be! Before I got the job I’m in now (which I really enjoy!) I started taking random classes at community college that only met like one night a week or were for just like 1 unit, but were specific to a field, I got an idea what I liked AND I met people in the field who were doing continuing ed or were just taking a class for fun, and I found something I loved (nonprofits) and I actually got a job with one of the women who were in a course I took (she was a manager). So I’m a huge advocate for volunteering places, or taking classes, or anything like these things to gain new skills, find what you enjoy, and meet people.
Post # 13
@MrsStormy: Done and Done! haha, yeah I volunteer at two places weekly right now to keep me entertained and in the area I would love to work (health and nutrition)
A class might be a good idea. I certainly don’t need more degrees, but more education can never hurt! and you never know who you are going to meet.
Post # 14
Sorry, but I agree with @mckernae, you’re really not overqualified for retail jobs. With only a year of an entry level retail job, I think the best you’ll be able to get right now is another entry level retail job. Another red flag to employers would be that you graduated in 2010, but you don’t have a job yet, so at least one year of unemployment. It’s much rarer for companies to hire someone who has been out of work for a while. It seems cruel and counterintuitive, but that’s the way it is.
I hate to say it, but can you go back to school? Even just a community college? It’s much more attractive to an employer to see that you’re working toward a degree, even if you just started, than if you have nothing to bring to the table in terms of education. It will also help you to move out of retail someday. Teenage unemployment is head and shoulders above the national average, at about 25%, so anything to set you apart from the rest of 18 year old, only a high school diploma workforce would help.
Post # 15
I have to agree with the other posters, specifically lefeymw & mckernae. You are definitely not overqualified, and I don’t think you should even look at management positions right now. You probably will have to start at the bottom and work your way up. Sometimes you have to take what you can get, unfortunately. Even if it’s a menial job with no creative outlets. I’m 21, never been to college. I worked my butt off for three years in a restaurant for a not-so-great owner/operator. I knew just about everything there was to know about that place. Finally in January he gave me the promotion to supervisor/assistant manager that I should have gotten much earlier. Last month I quit because I wasn’t willing to be dishonest, play the game, and kiss up to him. And because he wasn’t willing to give me a decent wage. So just know that not all people that move up within companies are bad. Sometimes it just takes a LOT of hard work. And the ability to put up with a ton of crap, lol.
Right now I’m only pulling a few hours a week at the jewelry boutique I worked at last year, since they were happy to hire me back. But it doesn’t pay my bills and I don’t really enjoy it. I look everyday online and go to put in applications wherever I can think of. I’m rather shy and it’s hard for me to cold call people or just walk in places so that’s an added complication. I think the middle of summer is not such a good time to be looking either, with so many people on vacation, etc. But do check sites like indeed.com and snagajob.com. Also I’ve found leads on a couple of jobs on facebook. “Like” any stores, restaurants, or shopping centers/malls you might consider working at. Sometimes they will post on their page before taking out an ad on an external site. That’s how I got my job at Charming Charlie last year. The mall we were opening at mentioned it in a facebook post.
All these ladies have given some great advice. Good luck! Here’s hoping we both find something very soon. 🙂
Post # 16
@mckernae: I am not looking for assistant manager jobs anymore because I know I cannot get them. I am looking for entry-level, minimum wage jobs. I am interested in the jobs I apply for and I try to show that. If people don’t see that it’s because I’m a very reserved person. I didn’t mean I thought I was overqualified for management positions, but I do think I am overqualified to clean toilets at McDonalds–not that that would keep me from applying for that job if it were my only option.