How do I find a job that doesn't suck?

Okay, just a quick rundown of the situation-

I had a job that was okay, not great, but okay, for about a year and a half. They announced layoffs, and since I wasn’t a big fan of the job I went out and found a new one so I would not have to be unemployed. The new job that I got is not what I thought it would be at all, mainly because I was lied to in my interview. I was told it was a customer service position and it turns out it is collections, I was told the position had a regular schedule (albeit a 2nd shift schedule, but steady nonetheless), and that was a lie. They move hours around whenever they feel like it and have recently decided to require people to work on Saturdays. You get the picture. I have been searching for a job for a total of 4 months now if you include my searching from when I was with my previous employer, and have found nothing. I have been offered positions within pyramid schemes and where the requirements of the job strike me as being borderline illegal, but nothing where one could go and earn any kind of decent money at a place where you don’t mind going everyday.

My question is this…where do the good jobs hide? I know I am young and have only been out of college for a couple of years, but geez, I was not taught that job hunting should actually require camoflauge and a big butterfly net! Do I really have to take a crappy unpaid internship for a year and live on ramen to find a job that is tolerable? I know that there are people that are far worse off than I am who have been looking for years and found nothing, but there has got to be somewhere someone with a college education can go to find work that isn’t horrible, right? Right?

What is your degree in? Where in Texas are you?

I don’t really have an answer for you. When I was younger, I had trouble finding good jobs also. Everybody wanted someone with more experience and it was difficult to get a foot in the door in the industry/career I wanted to be in. I ended up working for 6 years in an unrelated field (the jobs I had were still pretty good though) until I found a job that was close to what I wanted to be doing the whole time. This job, with HP, was found by going back to my college career center (6 years after graduating) and with their help contacting the HP recruiters that recruited form my university.

There’s exactly two methods that work for the vast majority- networking & posting your resume online (Monster, etc). I am going to skip the obvious- get skills or education, as I assume you know that.

From my own expereinces and talking to my freinds, no one has ever gotten a decent job by applying for it. :eek: Either you have a friend or relative who helps you with an “in” or a head-hunter tracks you down and offers you a job. Mostly the headhunters search the big on-line job sites now, except for very specialized jobs.

So, contact everyone you know- relatives, friends, old teachers, and so forth. If you don’t have many of them, join a church or a Fraternal org or something. I have been told that the Masons network like crazy. (I am not a Mason, so take that as you will)

Then, get a pro to write your resume using all the right buzzwords the headhunters Search for.

Wait for the offers to roll in. :slight_smile:

Forgot: then post that resume on several of the larger Job sites, including Monster.

A great source for really crappy jobs is the newspaper. Some companies have such a high turnover rate that they never remove the ad from the paper.

You could get some ideas by thinking of what type of employee perks you might enjoy. For instance, if you like concerts you could apply at Ticketmaster, if you are into investing look for openings at investment firms.

You get the idea.

It’s out there- I spent three years at an assortment of the world’s crappiest minimum wage jobs, but I finally found one I like (and that pay well) and I am on my way to doing something I’ll like even better (joining the Peace Corps.) Part of it is you- finding direction, taking steps, seeking opportunities. But a lot of it is the luck of the draw. I always thought the interview process was a poor one- one hour to decide on what is probably one of the most important things in your life, all based on who happens to have openings the particular time that you are unemployed. It’s a matter of trial and error to find something that is really a good match.

Just keep your hopes high but your expectations low. Nobody tells you this, but your first years out of college are some of the hardest in your life. A degree doesn’t keep you from having to take hard, boring, humiliating, low-paid, or dumb jobs. Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do and the educated are no exception. But it can keep you from being stuck in those forever.

I’ve had amazing luck with posting resumes (not replying to ads, which never got me anything) on Craig’s List. I try to write an engaging and funny summary of my skills and invite them to contact me for a resume (they never do- they always skip right to an interview). And you have to find an angle to your flaws- for example, I’ve worked a huge assortment of random jobs. I managed to spin this as having a lot of interesting experiences and flexibility, when in reality it most likely means I’m a directionless flake.

Finally, when you are working try to take on as many responsibilities as you can. Take on projects outside of your job descriptions. Volunteer to do anything. You never know where a particular random task will lead you- I’m now doing some technical writing mostly because when I worked at a motel I was responsible for drafting replies to complaint letters! It may be years down the road before something pays off, but you never know what will lead some place good.

This has been said many times here, but if you have any concrete skills at all, apply at several temporary help agencies. All you need is a crappy filing job to get in the door at many corporations. Find out where the HR department is and they will have listings of actual jobs in there that they have to fill. Make friends with the permanent employees and ask for the names of department heads that have the power to hire. Many companies like to get people from temporary help agencies and see how they work out before making a permanent commitment. This advice is very general but I think you can figure out how to make it work for you personally.

What medstar said. Get a crappy temp job at a great company. Kick ass at the crappy temp job and you will get noticed. This leads to a good job at the great company.

Working temp jobs also gives you insight into how the company treats its employees. It may *seem * like a dream place to work, but once you start there and get to know people, you hear about all the bad stuff, which could very well outweigh whatever positives there are.

Temp job backer chiming in. And some of them pay well to boot. In 1996 I worked as a bank teller for twice the minimum wage solely because I had a college degree. That 2 month assignment looked good on my resume and I ended up with an entry job at a Trust company.

As DrDeth points out, networking is great. Search your area for any social event that you can get into for free - book night at the library, small biz association, young republicans convention, ANY convention. It will take you a few days of Net searching to find things to attend, but once you find the listings, it will be easier.

Now go and make yourself a personal business card. Drop the extra $20 on double sided. Put your name and contact information on the front. (For security, start a new email at Gmail or Yahoo! and get a cheap voice-mail box through Skype). On the back put a quick resume of bullet points:

  • College degree
  • ? years experience in Customer Service
  • Company names and titles

Dress as nice as you can and start meeting people. Networking seems awkward, but it is easy at events. In a social setting, people expect social interactions. Find someone standing alone and just say “Hi. That was an interesting book they talked about, eh?” “Hi, I’m here to network, what brought you here tonight?” Be blunt and nice. Some people will talk, some will act awkward, but just keep doing it. Give your card, take theirs, be honest about what you are looking for. “I’m here searching for a new line of work and this committee on the historic park refurbishment seems to have a lot of neat people…Know anyone I should talk to?” People are exceedingly helpful if you ask them for help.

Many companies offer bonuses to current employees for bringing in new people. This is your ticket in the door. You make it worth their while to find you a job.

This combination of networking and temp jobs will land you something, I promise. Temp jobs allow you to take anytime off for an interview (be honest - “I have an interview for a neat job on Tuesday, can I come in late?”) as well as can be a launch pad for a better job in the company.

Good luck-

You’re doomed: jobs suck. :eek:

I highly recommend you go snowboarding as often as possible, and when there’s no snow strap on the backpack and explore via feets.

Goof off as much as possible. Hammocks & towels ftw!

I’ve been gainfully unemployed for 20 years now, and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Need money? This is America. It’s everywhere; go get you some! :smiley:


Of course, if yer dead set on having a j-o-b thingy, you should prolly ignore my advice and do what everyone else tells you. Maybe you’ll like it that way. :rolleyes:

Check the terms of your temp agency though- mine charged companies hiring their temp workers around $10,000…way more than any company is going to pay for an entry level worker.

You are sooo right. I live in Austin now and it is worse than the other places I’ve lived before.

The only way I get response is bulk. By my calculation, it is 99% who you know and 1% what you know that will get you ANY job. I sent out 300 applications in late 2004 and got 30 responses (~10% response of positive or negative). What irks is that people who have work are often lazier than those who do not. :slight_smile: I then got 3 intrviews, of which one was barely close enough for me to slip in… and it was a nightmare. :slight_smile:

so, in summary. For every 100 resume’s without a contact in the company:
total base: 100 resumes
total response: 10 (lazy bastards!) and Yes, I was fully qualified for 75-80% of the jobs.
total interview: 1

It was about the same in Seattle after 9/11.

*So, agreed. The only way you are going to get any job that is half-assed not horrible is to know someone in the company and get them to vouch for you – Chonie America sucks. If you are new in a town, it is going to be hard – you just have to blow the hell out of the market and catch the tricklers.

You know, every job I have I got by applying, contrary to what DrDeth says. I also got three very good jobs from the newspaper, contrary to what dnoorman says. I never got a job through knowing someone. I have always made decent money and have only had a couple truly horrid jobs.

But the job I have now I got by going to the city HR office and looking at books they have there of city, state and school district jobs. The school district where I now work also keeps these flyers that govt. agencies send out. These jobs pay relatively well, the office ones have fairly basic requirements, and many of them require tests be passed. Since the OP is a recent grad, test taking is probably a skill that he/she has. As I am an older worker I welcomed the testing process as a way to avoid age discrimination and as a way to get an excellent retirement plan. So OP might try this approach. The public libraries sometimes have these flyers of govt. jobs too.

That is not always true. MANY companies will pay that figure and much more to get a pre-screened, pre-tested, pre-qualified employee: an employee who they KNOW is suitable, who is liked, who can do the job, who is already doing the job satisfactorily.

$10,000 for recruitment costs - for a GUARANTEED solid placement (since the person has already been working there and the company wants him) is extremely low at a medium-to-large-sized business.

I was offered a permanent job at every place I ever temped. I remember at one, where I learned that the fee the temp agency would charge would be 40% of my first year’s salary, I sadly informed the boss that I wanted the job but I understood that he wouldn’t be able to hire me with that huge (to me) a fee. He laughed and laughed. In a nice way.