(Closed) Unemployed, no career path in sight, losing hope

posted 3 years ago in Career
Post # 47
Member
9752 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: April 2019

Rowanberry :  what got me out of being unemployed was doing a tax course with my current company, I got employed from that. So perhaps, as PPs suggested, an internship could be a way in, or doing further study in a short course. I know some offer work experience as part of the course so that could give you a foot in the door of a company. Best of luck!

Post # 48
Member
47202 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

You are coming off like your own worst enemy. You rule yourself out for certain jobs as being underqualified, overqualified, job is not related to your degree, job is not interesting etc etc

When  I left my first husband I had no degree and had not worked outside the home since the first year of marriage. I got a job within two weeks because I needed one. I identified my skills, sold myself to employers, and proved myself to be a capable, reliable employee. Later I went back to school to get my nursing degree.

You’ve had a lot of good advice. Follow it and you will get a job. Despite the economy, people are getting hired every day.

Post # 49
Member
2332 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 2015

You need to be sending out way more applications! When I was unemployed for several months I was sending out 40 a week! 

Post # 50
Member
1170 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

I’m a commercial loan officer at a bank and I work with people with degrees like yours, also English and Psychology seem to be popular ones.  One coworker has a degree in Archaeology, not quite sure what her plans for employment post graduation were, Indiana Jones?   Entry level (teller) where I work in Nor Cal is $30k, with decent benefits and 100% 401k match.  You would advance fast if you work hard and pay attention.

Post # 51
Member
824 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2017 - Sea Cider

Rowanberry :  this is NOT meant to chastise you, but rather to present a statistical analysis, of sorts: with 1.5 years of clinical experience, it took me about 1,000 job applications over the course of five months, two months worth of dressing up in a suit and personally handing in my resume to offices, and two interviews before I landed my dream job. my “actual” first professional job was in a temp agency, but when I had just about given up, on a “real” professional job, I started looking around at grad programs, and interviewing schools (it was a good power play, requesting to interview them to see if they were good enough for me). my temp boss had remembered something unique on my resume (working with First Nations populations), mentioned it to the head of Public Health, and he offered me a job in my school interview. I had near zero of the experience he needed, but he liked my passion for the project, and thought I had a good head for numbers (I correctly calculated the sales tax on a book in my head during the interview).

so:

– 40 resumes is underexposed.

– networking is major. if you don’t want to/can’t leave the house, there are TONS of online forums, fo’ free, that you can use to get in touch with other professionals in the area. offer to shadow them. ask who’d hiring. ask for advice. WB is awesome, and I’m so glad you reached out, but we are not your professional community. talk to them, too!

– contact companies in your area that hire people like you, and ask if they’re hiring. not all jobs are posted online. write to say, “I admire your company because x, and I would love to work for you someday. I think we could be a good fit because y. Please let me know if you have any openings in the future.” I’ve gotten a job offer this way.

– gender studies: awesome, especially with translation, and in LA. and FINNISH. and QUEER (sorry if this label offends, I’m lesbian identified and use queer as well). and you’re HYSTERICALLY FUNNY (in what I find to be an endearingly self-depricating way, but hey – I was raised by Swedes and Jews). these are all GREAT, and stand out. I get it, you can’t put “gay” on a resume, but I can only imagine the amount of work for charities, LGBTQIA-oriented programs, and social service type stuff that you might qualify for. branch out!

– re: LGBTQIA, have you tried shaking your local lesbian phone tree for leads? I can’t tell you how many apartments/jobs/dates/yard sales I have wrangled for that part of my community, and they have wrangled for me, in turn.

you’re not a loser. go get ’em!

Post # 52
Member
471 posts
Helper bee

It is SO much easier to get your foot in the door of a job you want when you’re already working, even if it is your dreaded $8/hour retail gig. As much as it sucked, my years in retail gave me more skills and knowledge than my degrees did. (Mulitasking, working under pressure, patience, communication, team work etc). Great skills to spin for an interview in most every field. 

Post # 53
Member
1552 posts
Bumble bee

I understand. My psychology degree hasnt helped me at all. I was unemployed and desperate for money so I ended up taking minimum wage work (which I am still in). It sucks to know you are overqualified but sometimes you have to take any job to make ends meet. If you can afford to not work for a while then look at volunteering in something you care about. It doesnt have to be for a specific career but to give you useable skills e.g volunteer with children if you are interested in any kind of care or social work. Volunteer in a business setting if you wish to gain office skills. It fills out the gap in your CV and might help get you into jobs that required more experience. 

Post # 54
Member
34 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: March 2016

WillowBee33 :  Informational interviews are a great idea however there is a right and wrong way to approach them. The wrong way is to try to just contact someone you don’t know out of the blue and talk to them in a way that just shows you are only are contacting them for a job. Instead view it as an opportunity for advice on an industry or organizations and be genuinely interested in their career story. Most people are flattered and don’t mind talking about themselves for 20 minutes. Go into it with no expectation specifically other than knowledge. Also it helps if you find someone that you have a mutual connection with if possible (like a second degree connection on LinkedIn as they might be able to introduce you to the person you want to speak with although this isn’t a requirement by any means) in your case, you might consider starting with someone in the actual department/ roll you are interested in  as opposed to HR. Then perhaps that person might be able to introduce you to someone in HR or advocate for you if a job opens up. This isn’t my college but here is a good resource https://career.berkeley.edu/Info/InfoInterview

Post # 55
Member
1290 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2016

Havenspartyof2 and Bostonbee817 have hit the nail on the head (haven’t read many of the other responses). 

You need to increase your proactivity on two fronts: networking and application ouput.

Networking is not about talking to people to get a job. Networking is reaching out to people in the field you’re interested in, learning about their jobs and their paths to those jobs, and then getting them to connect you to new people in THEIR network to continue that learning process. Nearly every single person will at somepoint in the conversation ask you something along the lines of “What are you looking for” — that’s your opportunity to say (in 2-3 sentences) “This is my background, this is the direction I’m hoping to go, at this point I’m just trying to learn about the field and build networks in order to find a position that’s a good mutual fit”. 

You can cold e-mail, but it’s definitely more effective to have a mutual connection (I find about 80% response rate with mutual connection and only about 10% response rate with cold emails). DO NOT take no responses personally. 

Application output: 40 applications in 1 year is SUPER low. You want to average one a week day at minimum. You don’t need to check every qualification or be able to perform every responsibility on the job description. You need to have the confidence that you can quickly learn how to do the responsibilities.

When you combine application output and networking you’re going to start finding opportunities. Once you’ve started the networking, if you’ve met with someone at a firm that has a job open up, you e-mail the person you met with saying “I saw this job opening (link) that seems to suit my interests and experience. Can you recommend someone that I can reach out to to learn more about the position?” — they’ll often either directly connect you or offer to email your application directly to the responsible hiring manager. Having that is INVALUABLE and greatly increases your chance of an interview.

Also if you’re in LA, there will be tons of meetups, social events, seminars, workshops, etc that are loosely tied to your interests. GO TO THOSE. Network network network. My sister (works for a major Fortune 500 company) was sitting in a meeting with her head of office and they were talking long shots and the manager said “Ha those odds are like someone submitting an application for a job here and expecting an interview without knowing somebody”. Depressing…but true.

You can do this! If you believe you can be an asset to a company, they will to. Get that confidence up!

Post # 56
Member
88 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I work as a career counselor.

Have something (anything!) current to add to your resume whether it be a MS Office course you take at a local community college or Volunteering somewhere. Current activities (whether educational or unpaid work) show that you are eager and active while in your job search.

Also on career websites use terms like “virtual,” “cottage”,

or “remote” when job searching. There are a lot of remote job postings that could be sitused in another part of the country and that are not coming up in your search results if you are narrowing your search to just the LA area or state of CA.

and also as PPs recommend: network and try to improve your self esteem!

Post # 57
Member
10 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: July 2016

Rowanberry :  how about teach for America or the NYC teaching fellowship?

Post # 59
Member
2019 posts
Buzzing bee

I work in marketing, and really think canvassing your local businesses can give you a good start. Offer to write brochures, website content, be a free intern at any local firms to you. You’ve got the time, so start doing stuff pro-bono. Look for new businesses in your area and offer to come in and help set their marketing strategy for a low fee/free.

People want to hire people who are hard working, want the job, are willing to learn, Etc. a LOT in marketing is learned on the job. Join a local charity and help throw big fundraising events. You’ll meet LOTS of connections at big companies that way. 

sometimes there is NO qualified candidate. were hiring someone a position lower than mine at work. I read the job posting and laughed, because half of it is total crap I don’t even do a level up. if you don’t know what the job description says, google it and make your best guess. youre capable of asking questions & figuring it out once you get the position. 

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