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My neverending job search is starting to really get to me.


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Hi everyone. I'm posting this mainly to vent, but I could also use some support. I graduated college last May. I couldn't find employment that provided a salary I could support myself on, so I had no choice but to move back in with my parents. Since then, I have been constantly searching for full-time employment. I've filled out a countless number of applications. I've signed up with two employment agencies. I've attended job fairs. Basically, I've done everything I can think of. I had a job for four months that was supposed to turn into full-time employment, but changes in the company forced them to give what would have been my job to someone else who would have been laid off otherwise. It was really disappointing, but I thought I'd recover easily. Ever since I found out I wasn't going to get to keep that job I've upped my search even more with zero results.

 

I have a college degree. I graduated Cum Laude. I'm in prestigious honor societies. I was the type of student you would point at and say "That person is going to do great things" or something like that. From the time I was in elementary school I've always been future-oriented. I've worked so hard over the years so that when I got out of college the world would be full of opportunities that I could choose from. Now I'm 35k in student loan debt that I can't pay for, living with my parents at almost age 23, and, in all honesty, starting to get depressed. I know that a person's occupation doesn't define their worth as a person, but knowing that doesn't stop me from crying at night over the fact that I feel like my 20s are racing by with me having nothing to show for my persistence and patience over the years.

 

Admittedly, I do live in one of the worst states I could possibly be looking for a job in, but you have to have money to move, and right now I can't even pay my own phone bill. I also can't go back to school because I can't pay for that either. And even if I could, I feel like it would be just another few years of my life basically wasted, because there's no guarantee whatever additional degree I'd get would help me either. My degree is in business administration. I chose to major in it almost solely because I thought it would provide a stable career. Now I'm almost regretting college altogether. I wish I could go back and go to trade school, but I can't. I've even looked up volunteer opportunities to keep me busy, but there's very few around here, and even if there was, I can't even afford the gas to drive there.

 

I just don't know what to do. I thought I did everything right while growing up. I didn't party. I stayed focused. I sacrificed a lot. But for what? To spend day after day in my parents' house praying for a call that never comes? I've gone to multiple interviews that I thought went so well, but I've never gotten an offer. Now I might be forced to take a very low-paying job with no benefits. But I don't want to do that either because then it takes away my time from my real job search. Plus, it would be a job I'd quit as soon as something better comes along, and that makes me look bad.

 

I'm at such a loss.

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It looks better to an employer that you are in employment, even if it is low paid instead of being unemployed.

 

I graduated from University a few years ago and was in the same position as you. There were no jobs then and there are none now. Its been roughly three years now so my degree is now basically useless but i am in a low paid job just so I am bringing in some money and i will look good to employers because I am employed. Also i am able to pay my parents ''rent/contributions'' to living at their place.

 

So my advice to you is dont feel so bad but you need to get a job even if it is low paid, you will look more desirable to an employer if you were employed for 3 months than unemployed for 3 months.

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As a practical matter, the job you had for 4 months - do you have a brief explanation in parenthesis on your resume on why you were let go? To anyone looking at resumes, this would be a huge red flag that you only lasted in a job 4 months out of college unless there is a reason like position eliminated/company downsized. Something that would make the employer recognize that this was not related to you, but rather something out of your control. Otherwise it just looks like you might be book smart but not employable.

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As a practical matter, the job you had for 4 months - do you have a brief explanation in parenthesis on your resume on why you were let go? To anyone looking at resumes, this would be a huge red flag that you only lasted in a job 4 months out of college unless there is a reason like position eliminated/company downsized. Something that would make the employer recognize that this was not related to you, but rather something out of your control. Otherwise it just looks like you might be book smart but not employable.

 

That job was obtained through one of the employment agencies I use, so I was never officially employed by the company. When I put the company name on an application, I always put EmploymentAgencyName/CompanyName and if it gives me an option to put a reason for leaving I explain it.

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I was in the same position as you until a few weeks ago. I graduated from a really good public school in May and ended up working at a grocery store and living with my parents. I just started a full time job in a field I know nothing about last week. It doesn't pay a lot but its enough for me to save up for a car, which I desperately need, and eventually move out of my parents house. Once i've done that, I plan to start looking for jobs in my field again and I feel like if I get a good job in my field and stay with that company for a few years or more, quitting this random unrelated job so soon wont look so bad. These days, people totally understand, the economy is bad, you have to take what you can. So...basically my advice is tackle one goal at a time. You are young and you will get that perfect job eventually but for now, take what you can and make the most of it.

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Schedule interviews with temp agencies--at least 3 per week. Emailing resumes is a waste of time. Get on the 'active' rosters of temp agencies by applying in person, filling out the paper work, taking the skills tests, and reward yourself with a favorite coffee or snack or play time after each morning interview.

 

It doesn't matter whether the job is a mailroom clerk or a receptionist--the goal is to get inside companies to assess their cultures and decide where you'd want to work. From there you can apply for jobs from within, after you've formed some relationships with people who can vouch for you.

 

I've seen percentages ranging from 70 to 90-plus percent of job openings that never make it to the public. Most companies hire from within, and you don't need a related job to market yourself from within.

 

The trick is not to be a snob about what jobs you're willing to do to get in doors. You get to make what you will of any relationships you cultivate from inside, and you get to walk away from any cultures you don't like.

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Never list a company where you did a temp. job as employment. You list the staffing service and add the details of the work you did then you note that the position was temporary. When you list a company where you temp'd at it can make it look like you were not good enough to hire. What is nice about a temp service is you can list your entire time with them as employment even though your contracts may have been limited. Did you get a degree in one of those flooded fields? That could be a reason behind not finding work. You may wish to make a "toned" down version of your rèsumè for jobs you would be wayyy over qualified for so you can get your foot in the door without being overlooked. Over qualified usually means once you find something better you are gone. You may also wish to volunteer at places sponsored by companies you wish to work for. First, volunteer work looks good on a rèsumè. Second, you can meet and network at volunteer events. Third...it makes you feel better

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