(Closed) I'm desperate to leave my current job/profession but I'm not getting interviews.

posted 4 years ago in Career
Post # 3
7680 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

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LadyBlackheart :  I think I would keep on applying for interesting jobs, and hope to God you don’t get the same lead teacher.  I feel for you.  Also, if you can, there are places that you can take your resume and cover letter and have someone help you with them, that may help you get more interviews-  Good luck!

Post # 4
1480 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

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LadyBlackheart :  What about substitute teaching instead of assistant teaching? SInce you have a bachelor’s degree it shouldn’t be a problem getting jobs. From what I understand (step mom substitute taught while getting a master’s in education), you sign up/register with a school district and they’ll call when they have a need. She signed up with mulitiple school districts simultaneously so she always had work when she wanted it (up to 5 days a week). Where I live, subs can make around $2500 a month if they’re full time. And you don’t have to teach young kids, you can sub for elementary, middle, or high schools.

Post # 5
1515 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

Due to the ADA, employers are not allowed to proactively ask about your disability, not even whether you have one.  However, once you tell them about your disability, ADA also requires them to make reasonable accommodations that will not cause the organization “undue hardship”.  I know you said you want to leave your field, but it may help your current job become more palatable for you to seek out these accommodations. 

Post # 6
486 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2017

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LadyBlackheart :  What about a job as a bank teller?  Or a waitress, especially places that get very busy on the weekends that could land you some good tips?

Honestly, opportunity has a lot to do with where you live.  Do you live in a small town in the middle of no where where there’s very little demand for anything good, career-wise?  Or do you live in a metropolitan area where there’s much more opportunity, but more competitive?  Or somewhere in between?

Another good alternative is substitute teaching, especially if you live near many schools and multiple school districts.  Usually to be a substitute teacher, you need to pass a very easy exam and go through background checks and apply for a substitute credential on your state’s edu website.  

Post # 7
2873 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

As a hiring manager, I wouldn’t call you unless you have experience that’s directly applicable, which is retail and education. 

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starrynight898 brings up some great points – what’s your job market look like? What kind of jobs are available vs. what other candidates look like and what you bring to the table?

you sound like you’re having a tough time. If you can, practice self care, get enough sleep and food. If you don’t take care of yourself, how can you take care of anyone else or have the emotional resources to deal with shitty people?

Post # 8
441 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

There’s a great blog – askamanager.com – that was really helpful for me when it came to writing effective cover letters and structuring my CV. It can be difficult to break into a new field if you don’t have a lot of professional experience and it’s a bit difficult to give specific advice without knowing what the job market is like in your area, but I would definitely not recommend going to grad school unless you have a very specific career path in mind. Otherwise you risk adding a lot of student loan debt and losing years of professional experience for a degree that may not make you a more attractive candidate.

I think the best bet is to try to figure out what it is that you do want to do, talk to people in your network who have the type of job you’d be interested in and try to figure out what the gaps on in your CV (for instance, I work in communications and we wouldn’t hire someone who isn’t familiar with the basics of web design and some graphic design, but I’m sure there are other places where this isn’t as crucial). You said you did internships – if these were in your field try reaching out to your supervisor(s) to say you’re currently looking for new challenges and ask if s/he could keep you in mind if s/he hears anything.

It’s difficult to see how your disability impacts your career now, but it’s not something that I would bring up until I had a job offer, since the above posters are correct that the ADA prohibits employers to make hiring decisions based on it. At that time you could mention it and let them know what accommodations you’ll need as a result, but I think in that sense you have to be really clear what those accommodations would look like.

Honestly, in the 5+ years I’ve been working I haven’t had anyone ask me what my GPA was at university and, while it was good, it’s not something that I put on my CV. At this point – 5 years out – I’d be really surprised if that’s what’s keeping you from getting interviews.

Post # 9
208 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

Could you tutor privately on the side? I am not sure if that is possible where you are but I used to tutor math,  physics and chemistry while I was at university and it’s quite a nice job. You could build it into quite a nice little business and then you’re your own boss. 

Post # 10
21 posts
  • Wedding: September 2018

Have you looked into child life specialist or teaching jobs at your local children’s hospital?  Or maybe IT jobs?

 I’m sorry to say that a BA in the arts is this generation’s high school diploma.  You need to get more specialized skills if you want to stand out.

Post # 11
13904 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Have you considered getting a paralegal certificate and trying to work at law firms?  Depending on where you are, you may start low on the salary scale, but there’s always room to grow.

I hate to say it, but English degrees are hard.  They are tailored for a career field, and it makes the holder work harder to identify transferrable skills.  A friend of mine has a BA and MA in English and she works at a hospital now, doing nothing related to her degrees.  Like a PP said, you need to acquire specialized skills to really make it with an English degree.

Post # 12
7266 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

I would consider looking into jobs that don’t require much training, like a Teller or CSR at a bank, or receptionist at a company. Something that potentially gives you a nice stable income, M-F, etc.

Here’s the thing, I personally wouldn’t be applying for any specialized jobs that you don’t have any work experience in because your resume will get looked over. I’m currently in the process of interviewing people for a marketing job, and the sheer number of people who are applying for this position that have NO experience is shocking. Yes ideally we want someone with a degree, but real world experience is just as important….but when people applying have only worked retail we don’t even give their resume a second thought because they clearly don’t have the experience to do the job we need done.

Post # 13
99 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

A lot of it probably has to do with how you’re framing your experience in your CV. Retail experience is so great to have, and the skills you learn are easily transferrable to many different work environments, but you have to be smart in how you position yourself. Ditto child care and teaching. Don’t focus on the actual, hands-on things that you did day-to-day, focus more on the broad, big picture things that you could relate to other fields, i.e. “curriculum planning”; relate it to project planning and mention some organizational tools and resources that you used. If when you worked retail,  you ever did training, refer to that. You’d be amazed at how much you can extract from seemingly mundane jobs, and being a writer, you should be able to make this look more impressive than it really was! The key is to relate it all back to the job you’re applying for.

Also, I’m a freelance writer, and it absolutely is difficult to make a lot of money when you’re first starting out, but if you put in a couple of months of work, it pays off. I transitioned from a corporate job where I did business development and marketing to freelancing, and initially no one wanted to hire me for the jobs that I actually had expertise in. It was frustrating, but I started to take the low level jobs that I was overqualified for on sites like ELance. I wrote blog posts for $5 a pop, and then found a client to write articles for $12 each, then I wrote travel articles for $40 apiece, then a marketing plan for $200, and once my feedback and rating were solid, I started getting assignments in my field (grant and proposal writing) that actually paid my bills (I charge $40-$90  an hour  depending on complexity and industry). So, it definitely is possible to make money, but you have to start at the bottom and you’ll be working many hours. It’s definitely worth it if writing is what you love to do, and the freedom that goes with freelancing is awesome! Don’t write it off just yet – try Elance or a similar site and apply to every job you can.

Post # 14
5152 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2014

I agree with a PP – what about subbing? Subs where I work make $90-$100 a day. While it’s not fabulous, it’s definitely better than less than $9/hour. Plus, it leaves you flexible for interviews, etc. 

Post # 15
457 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: City, State

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LadyBlackheart :  Have you looked at admin jobs at universities or colleges in your area? I also have an English degree and I work as an administrative assistant at a university (I previously worked in marketing, but that wasn’t a great fit for me!). I work with the faculty so I think they like to hire English majors for that as you are communicating over email a lot and helping with research paper edits, getting books from the library, etc. Other departments like development, communications, and admissions might be more interesting to you as far as writing. I definitely had to put in a lot of applications for different positions at this university before I got hired, but now that I’m in, it’s awesome. The benefits are wonderful and any new jobs are offered to internal applicants first, so it’s great to have the option to be able to switch departments if I want to. 

Also, if you have time it might be worth it do to some studying on your own for programs like InDesign, Photoshop, or basic coding. Even if those skills aren’t necessary for the jobs you are applying for, I found that employers were interested in how I had learned those skills in my free time. 

As far as grad school, I totally get you on being nervous about taking on additional debt and being unsure of what type of degree to get! However, I don’t think you should let your GPA stop you if you’re really interested in that path– my Fiance also has a low GPA (lower than most grad schools’ minimum), and he has researched their policies and found that some schools will allow you to take classes as a non-degree student, and then once you show that you succeeded in those classes, you can apply to be in the program. 

It looks like you’re in the Atlanta area? Fiance and I no longer live there but we are from the area (south of Atlanta) and our families are still there. If you want to talk about some more specific places to work/apply to, PM me and I’d be happy to chat! Good luck!! 

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