Help me find a job in Jacksonville, FL!

It’s looking like I’ll be leaving North Carolina in August to head to Florida. I’m hoping to be there a max of one year (Aug-Aug), and I’d like to do some sort of volunteer work. Sadly, I can’t live off volunteer pay, but I can live off of a pretty small amount, especially since it’s only for a year. My interests are strongly in the medical field, and the more exposure I can get to that the better. Sadly, I’m thinking I’m not really qualified for much. Here’s what I got:
BS in electrical engineering from Univ of Mich - cum laude
Strong background in biological sciences (probably a little more than a minor, a little less than a major)
Good lab research experience, but no wet lab experience - I’d like to get more.
Pretty decent programming skills

Anyway, the point of this is, how do I even go about trying to find an NPO or similar such group that would want to hire somebody with almost no experience in such things? I did a bit of community service in college, but nothing on the planning level. Just a low-level grunt.

What I’m looking for:
Either a paying position with a non-profit or not for profit, especially health related if I can, or
A research position in a biological sciences related lab. Unfortunately, Jacksonville doesn’t have that much in that way. There’s the Mayo clinic, and I sent my resume off to them, but no responses yet. Same goes for the University of Northern Florida.

I’m just looking for tips on how to find a job like this. Anybody got anything?

I was in the similar situation about 10 years ago. I moved to Jacksonville from NJ. I was looking for a full time job in social services. I was 1 year out of college, with not very much experience. Here is what I did:

  1. Got a job as a “weight loss counselor”. I thought, Counselor! That sounds good. Well, it wasn’t, and it lasted about a month
  2. Worked for Urban Jacksonville as a case manager. I drove around to the aged and determined whether or not they could remain at home with services in place or be institutionalized. That lasted 6 months. It was really depressing.
  3. Got a job with the YWCA as a Community Services Coordinator. This lasted over 3 years. We provided social services for low income residents on several properties in Jacksonville. Mine was Spanish Oaks in Arlington. I got to learn a lot about other not-for profits in this position. Jewish family community Services, Florida Community College @ Jacksonville, Planned Parenthood…This was awhile ago though, and my memory is not what it once was.

I moved back to NJ in 1998. I’ll try and remember some more Jacksonville stuff.

How did you find these jobs? Did you just go down there and apply in person? Also, what kind of qualifications did you have at the time?

I had a BA in psychology/sociology. I had about 1 year experience working with troubled youth and the mentally ill. I just kept looking in the paper, and I applied to everything that looked social servicey. I never applied in person. One particularly weird interview I had was one for an organization whose mission was to prevent teen pregnancy. I went to a middle school with the instructor to see her demonstration. She brought a pregnancy “suit” with her, and had the kids try it on. Then she told them how if they got pregnant now, their hip bones might break giving birth.

Oh yeah! I was also a bartender at the Radisson on the St. Johns River. My career in social services didn’t bring in enough to pay my student loans, so I did some banquet bartending on the weekends. That one I did apply for in person. Out of all the agencies I worked for, THAT was the one that made me take a drug test prior to starting. Weird.

I kind of miss Jacksonville now that I’m thinking about it. I hope you like it there.

I wonder if any of those places would even consider somebody with my lack of qualifications, though. Being an electrical engineer would be great if I enjoyed engineering. Sadly, it’s not much use for health related fields.

I don’t see why not. You can say that “although I am happy in my current field, (even if you aren’t) I am interested pursuing/in the challenge of a new career in social services.”

Do you have any experience at all? The Mayo Clinic idea is a good one. I went there for training on Alzheimer’s once. Also keep FCCJ in mind. They have a lot going on. I never ONCE got a call from the Univ. of North Florida. That’s where I really wanted to work.

Try the University of Florida…they are only an hour or so away, and have some teaching locations in Jax(and perhaps some research stuff too)…you also might try Jacksonville University, it’s a private institution, and worth a shot.

There’s a Johnson & Johnson plant in Jax - where they make contact lenses - would you consider that health-related? Besides Mayo, there are a lot of hospitals in the area.

Just out of curiosity, why Jacksonville? I left 2 years ago after almost 20 years there, and I must say, I don’t miss it at all.

A girl I love will be there in the fall (or most likely will be), and we’re trying to stay close together. I had no idea there was a Jacksonville University - I’ll have to check that out tomorrow. Thanks!