(Closed) Help! Job advice for a girl without college.

posted 7 years ago in Career
Post # 3
2025 posts
Buzzing bee

receptionist jobs are great places to start.

i worked at best buy for 3 1/2 years before landing a receptionist job for a contracting company. i got promoted to a buyer/subcontracts position within the company about 6 months later.

during my interview i made it a point to let them know that i was interested in an entry level position in a more corporate setting to apply what i had studied to date at the local community college towards a bus admin degree. are you currently in college? a lot of places really like to see on your resume that you are currently working towards a degree of some sort and will be more lenient on the educational requirements. it shows that you are looking to further your career and lets them know you are willing to put in the extra work to be great. 

oh – and a huge interview tip (it’s what got me my receptionist job): at the end of the interview when they ask you if you have any questions, before you conclude the interview ,ask them that once the decision has been made, even if you were not the final choice, ask if they can give you a debrief of your interview of what you did well, and some things you could do better for future interviews. 

hope this helps 🙂

Post # 4
7291 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011

@Stassney: What exactly do you consider college? Would you be willing to do a adult certificate program in health care or another high demand field?

If not, then as the pp mentioned, secretarial/reception is good!

Post # 5
1370 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I second what PPs have said about a receptionist position. Also, any entry level corporate job could lead to a promotion or potentially financial help with certain job related college classes.

I have a college degree, but I’ve worked in entry level positions where a degree wasn’t required and I’m currently working as a receptionist. If you have any friends working the type of job you want, ask them for tips or to keep a lookout for you for any job openings.

Post # 6
7385 posts
Busy Beekeeper

I have a friend that recently took a Certified Nursing Assistant course. At least here in NY they start at about $15 per hour.

Post # 7
2522 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

Honestly, I think you’ll be hardpressed to find a receptionist position in this job market.  A lot of them around here require at minimum an associate’s degree or several years of experience in lieu of.

So my suggestion is to do a certificate program at night or during the day (whenever you don’t have work) and find a job doing that then progress from there.  For example, as bklynbridetobe suggested, go through a CNA program (which doesn’t take very long) and you can work in a wide array of places (nursing homes and hospitals).  CNAs doing really heavy lifting though so keep that in mind, they’re basically like the grunts of healthcare.  Then you may be able to get into a hospital direct entry RN or LPN program that works with your schedule.

Another option is to get an HR or other business certificate, or some sort of Information Technology certificate from your local community college, that coupled with your customer service in retail should get you an okay entry-level position.

I’ve researched a lot of this on my own b/c I thought about taking time off from college and found out there are simply no other jobs than retail/food service/custodian for those without any sort of degree/certificates.

Post # 8
7385 posts
Busy Beekeeper

@beekiss: A lot of them around here require at minimum an associate’s degree or several years of experience in lieu of.

So true. Its like now a BA is the equivlant of what H.S. diploma was years ago. You are so limited in your options when you don’t have a degree.

Post # 9
1526 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

@Stassney: I don’t know about Texas, but here in Utah I have held a few jobs that paid very well with no training. I am going to college right now but my degree had nothing to do with the jobs and they didn’t ask me about my educational experience.  I think a receptionist/secretary can be a great job if you have no schooling. Also, in Utah you can be a phlebotomist without getting certified. You will have to be practiced on and practice on other people but it pays well. I was also an endodontic assistant with no schooling or certificates.  It’s a really good job to get if you can get into it (or dentist assisant, orthodontics, etc). Once you get in and get some experience, you can get hired anywhere and wont need a degree.  My dentist’s assistant in San Diego was making $65,000 a year with no official training, but she had been doing it for like 15 years. I definitely promote going to school if its at all possible but if the circumstances wont allow it there are a few options!! Good Luck!

Post # 10
941 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Sometimes moving up the ladder in a retail business is a good way to go.  My fiance began working at a large retail store as a part time employee about 5 years ago, and now works as a department supervisor and working towards becoming an assistant manager.  He has no college experience.

A friend’s boyfriend began working at a large chain grocery store I’m pretty sure as a low level job and went from department manager to assistant store manager a few months ago.  He also has no college experience.

My best friend’s husband is a manager of a retail store, and was a manager of a supermarket.  I don’t know where or when he started, though I’m pretty sure all of his post-high school education after he was already in the assistant management position.

And generally, I know you can do pretty well in high level retail positions.  the positions pay more than I make, and I have a masters.  (Not in a high paying field, but still….)

Post # 11
488 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I know in this area receptionists are hard to come by (I am in Texas).  The jobs that normally are NOT going away are call center jobs… Granted they are quite repetitve, but they are decent paying (most start at $10 an hour) with great benefits.  They also usually promote from within as well pretty quickly.  I will warn that it is something you can get tired of very quickly… But some of them are offering options to where you can work from home, which is pretty nice.  Worth a shot!  

Post # 12
627 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2013


First, you might want to consider a long term plan for getting certified or a degree…you really do need it, but you don’t need more than community college and the Pell Grants pretty much cover the entire cost of community college. Call your local school and start planning.

If you have time to study and learn without college, you only need a HS diploma to be a court reporter in TX, but you need to pass a certification test with the state (I think also it would cost about $500). If you or your Fiance are fast typers, this might be a good option. You also need to not have a criminal record.

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