As was foretold, we've added advertisements to the forums! If you have questions, or if you encounter any bugs, please visit this thread: https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/240191/forum-advertisement-faq-and-reports-thread/
Options

I Need A Job

Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
edited February 2012 in Help / Advice Forum
This is probably the third "help me find a job" thread I've written here, but I felt it would be easier to start a new thread and post my current information than go back a few months with updates.

I've been unemployed for about 3 years now, not counting the odd working-at-home job here and there (mainly my online articles, but more on that below). I earned my Bachelor's degree last year in Criminal Justice, and have been constantly checking USAJobs and Indeed.com for positions. I've been constantly submitting new applications but have yet to hear back from anyone. I'm constantly told that I need to "be patient", but it's wearing down on me. I want to make a steady salary and not constantly wonder if there's a future for me.

So I'm taking every piece of advice I can get, including this thread.

The way I see it, there are multiple paths to take in order to achieve a salary for me. They include...

1. A Criminal Justice Position: The first thing I feel I should get out is that I don't want to be a police officer...if I can help it.

Everyone is always telling me "You're a big, athletic guy, you could totally be a cop!". As much of a fan as I am of movies or games that give you that "man of the law" mentality, I also know reality would be much less exciting but every bit as dangerous. It only takes one disgruntled guy getting a ticket to end my day forever, and I'd rather work in that field in a more behind-the-scenes fashion, like an investigator or fingerprint examiner.

Problem is I have no prior law enforcement experience, which a lot of these agencies have been asking for. I recently spoke to two of my professors about possible entry-level positions, such as Probation Officer or Child Protection Team, but so far results in Florida haven't turned up much.

People have told me straight-up that a CJ degree is worthless these days. Two of my friends both graduated with the same degree and gave up to become managers in an unrelated field.

If that is the case....

2. A Bachelor's Degree Job: Those same friends also told me that just having a Bachelor's in anything opens up my chances for higher-paying jobs.

If that's the case, then I'm willing to also seek a non-federal, non-CJ related position. Problem is, I have no idea what kind of jobs I can get that don't require a specific degree. Even though it's important that I enjoy what I do, earning lots of money is even more important in the long run. If there's a job out there that sounds like something I could conceivably do, I would love to hear about it.

And if said job still requires a degree or certification, then....

3. Another Degree: I don't want to start all over just to earn another Bachelor's, but is there perhaps a certification or trade-school I can take for a semester? Something that would only take a month or two, but gives me the chance to be considered for a position with a higher hiring rate?

Another option, as suggested by my professors, is to attend Law School. I have been told more than once that I have the makings of a lawyer. It's something I am considering, but not before I have a job here and now that can pay for the tuition. I don't want to have to leech off my folks anymore than I already am.

4. Work At Home: As you may or may not know, I do a decent amount of freelance writing online. Most of I do not receive payment for aside from the free game that I'm writing about. It's an adequate compensation when it happens to be a game I want, and it allows me to express my opinions through creative writing (a field I would love to make a professional reality, were it possible).

But people also ask me "Why don't you make money of your blog"? I'd be happy to, if I knew how to do it and if it was viable. I have no experience on how people make revenue off their own blogs, or what steps I could take to get my writing noticed by more professional online circles that would actually pay me for my time.

I frequently check this site for any new gaming-related positions: http://videogamejournalismjobs.com/

But most of the time, people want volunteers for their sites, which barely last a week or two. The ones that do pay offer a rather pathetic pittance (one guy offered me 0.50 per 500 word article. I asked if that was a typo, and he said specifically it was fifty cents)

Any advice on how to take my freelance "career" further would be great, although I'm not expecting to make a living off of it. It's always been more like a hobby with benefits over anything else, but if there's a way to make more money by prattling on about my opinions online, I'd love to hear about it.

That's the gist of it. If you have anymore questions, I'll respond as quickly as possible. But going another day without working and earning wages is really getting to me. There's only so much I can do to take my mind off of this fact, and I continue to worry about my work ethic should the time finally come. I need a job yesterday.

Professor Snugglesworth on
«13

Posts

  • Options
    amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    I've got a four year criminology degree with an emphasis on sociology and social work and a minor in psych.

    I make a very comfortable living...

    as a systems administrator on a windows server farm....

    A CJ degree is unfortunately, in this economy, about as useless as generic business, lit, etc degree.

    I've been a retail cash register jockey, a retail assistant manager, a waiter, a construction worker, a corrections officer, refinished furniture, desktop support tech, and now I'm in a good spot.

    The plus side is that you've at least got the degree. That helps, for what it's worth. IF you honestly don't want to be a cop, don't. It's a crap job with crap pay and I got burned out on it quickly when I went that road.

    I do some freelance writing, and it took a year of dedicated unpaid article writing to get some actual credentials that allowed me to comfortably start charging and getting replies when I applied to freelance gigs. It's nowhere near a full time job though, and probably won't be for another five to ten years at the rate I'm going.

    I wouldn't advise going to law school, but there are some practicing attorneys on this forum that may tell you differently. Their opinion is better than mine, as I'm not a lawyer. I thought about going, and decided against it.

    My advice would be to find a good stable job in retail or an office (contact your cities local temp agencies. They'd love you have you) and work your way into a salaried position with a 40 hour week if you can pull it off. Spend all of your free time focusing on doing what you love and try to make that your goal for a full time job, even if it takes a decade, you've got time.

    are YOU on the beer list?
  • Options
    HadjiQuestHadjiQuest Registered User regular
    I've got a four year criminology degree with an emphasis on sociology and social work and a minor in psych.

    I make a very comfortable living...

    as a systems administrator on a windows server farm....

    A CJ degree is unfortunately, in this economy, about as useless as generic business, lit, etc degree.

    I've been a retail cash register jockey, a retail assistant manager, a waiter, a construction worker, a corrections officer, refinished furniture, desktop support tech, and now I'm in a good spot.

    [...]

    I wouldn't advise going to law school, but there are some practicing attorneys on this forum that may tell you differently. Their opinion is better than mine, as I'm not a lawyer. I thought about going, and decided against it.

    My advice would be to find a good stable job in retail or an office (contact your cities local temp agencies. They'd love you have you) and work your way into a salaried position with a 40 hour week if you can pull it off. Spend all of your free time focusing on doing what you love and try to make that your goal for a full time job, even if it takes a decade, you've got time.

    The bolded stuff is such good advice. I'm in a similar position to you guys, although even more in trouble since I just have a plain Soc degree rather than a Criminal Justice specialty. I'm currently applying for every office position I can find online in hopes I will get some calls back. Otherwise I'm working maybe 15 hours a week retail while I hunt for something better. Originally I was going to be in grad school right now, but my personal and financial stuff all imploded in the fall and this is where I ended up.

    As for Law School, read about that before you even consider it. I've heard that prospects for Law School grads are just as miserable as anything else right now, with a system full of lawyers but without as much demand for them.

    Lastly, @Amateurhour, how'd you get into IT? Before I got my BS in Sociology, I obtained an Associate's Degree in Information Systems. I can't "fall back" on it because it obviously doesn't qualify me for much, but I don't even know where I can break in at with it. Retail tech positions and some of the call centers I have applied for don't even ask for tech knowledge, just good people skills. Where did you break into things, and if I wanted to do so, where should I look? Do you have any certs or qualifications outside of hard experience?

  • Options
    amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    Honestly, IT was a 6 year journey. I spent the time in retail working tech support back before best buy office depot max had the whole geek squad setup stuff so I farmed myself out privately and built a clientel that provided me with much needed beer money. I used that experience with a lot of bullshit fluff to pad my resume and got on with the state government (which was hiring like a son of a bitch before the economy tanked) in desktop support (their basic application test is pretty much A+ certification so if you ace that you're in the top group of applicants)

    I did desktop support for about eight months until they realized I knew servers and moved me into server support, office level desktop support, active directory, etc and I just kept my eyes open and picked up all the training I needed on the job, no certifications. Eventually I had four years banked so I met the requirements for most business to start applying to entry level sys admin jobs and I've moved up two levels since then.

    I started by basically lying my ass off though and saying that Big Box office supplies as the electronics supervisor and 1.5 years at gamestop gave me "extensive desktop support and networking (i.e. lan games) experience..."

    are YOU on the beer list?
  • Options
    Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    My last really good job was at American Express. In less than a month I was promoted to Gold Card Event Rep, making $15.50 an hour plus bonuses. I bet an Xbox 360, a 12 year subscription and two games in one day and didn't even need to think about it.

    But, and this is a big But...people are assholes. It didn't take long for me to be incredibly miserable with the customers I had to deal with. If money is involved, you can bet they will scream death threats at you over the phone. Eventually I was let go.

    So it sounds like retail is the way to go, but generally I hate dealing with customers. Is there anything I could do that doesn't force me to deal with the general populace?

    I've been focusing on Asset Protection careers, since that's the closest relation to my degree that I could find. But again, I'm looking for more options, so I'm all ears.

  • Options
    zilozilo Registered User regular
    Definitely don't go to law school. Job prospects for lawyers are worse than they've ever been, and still getting worse because of all the people who got laid off / couldn't find a job when the recession hit and went to law school.

  • Options
    HadjiQuestHadjiQuest Registered User regular
    Honestly I didn't want to go back into retail at all. The 15 hours I'm doing right now, I'm only doing because it's a locally-owned business that I frequent a lot and because they specifically asked me to apply.

    But I'm considering going back to big box, just because the options are pretty weak right now. The office positions I have been looking at pay only a dollar or two more per hour than the minimum-wage retail stuff, so everything is pretty discouraging right now.

  • Options
    amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    I wouldn't worry about finding something associated with your degree. I made peace a long time ago with the fact that the degree I earned in college was useless compared to the work experience, people skills, and personal achievements (like properly learning to funnel three beers without vomiting) I learned in that time frame.

    Find something that won't make you want to stab someone, save your cash, and spend your free time doing things that make you happy. Hopefully one of them pans out for you.

    I've had an off and on comic strip online since 2008 and last year my wife started a comic, immediately was more successful than me at it, and now we work together on various projects and started exhibiting at conventions and are working toward doing what we want to do full time, and in the mean time server work pays the bills.

    There's hope, don't worry. Just find a job. That will make you feel so much better about everything. I got laid off two years ago, took like a 1 year hiatus from the forum, I was depressed, and it was going from a 45K a year job to nothing that did that. I finally got off my ass and took a 9$ an hour job at staples and within two months I was back in a sys admin role, mostly because having that crap job that paid the bills made me look harder for what I wanted to do.

    are YOU on the beer list?
  • Options
    Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    I'm interested in hearing more about this comic of yours.

    I mentioned before that I enjoy creative writing. That includes comics, of which I briefly worked with an artist regarding a personal project that unfortunately was abandoned a few months afterward.

    So if there's a way to be the scriptwriter while someone else handles the art, that's something I'd like to pursue in addition to a regular "steady" job.

    You mention doing what you like, which is important, but I can learn to adjust or roll with the punches if the money is there.

    So basically I should try and research what retail/office careers are high-paying and hopefully do not involve much interaction with the general public.

  • Options
    TraceofToxinTraceofToxin King Nothing Registered User regular
    Have you ever considered the military as paralegal? It sounds like that's what you're interested in, and that would give you plenty of job experience, help you pay off school if you still owe, get you employed.

    I know it's not for everyone, but it's an option.

    Everyday I wake up is the worst day of my life.
  • Options
    Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    Someone at SA asked me that same question today, so I'll share my response with you.

    I have thought about it, but ultimately I know that I would quickly get homesick, assuming there was no way to join the military but still be stationed in Florida. My entire family resides here, and considering the drama that occured when my youngest sister moved to Lousiana for her career, being stationed in Afghanistan or wherever else means my family would not get an ounce of sleep.

    It's been very conflicting, since there's a certain pride that I know I would feel for being part of the military. But that pride may have also been clouded by TV and videogames, so while people may have expectations about the career thanks to Michael Bay or Infinity Ward, the reality would most likely be far more boring, far more miserable, and every bit as dangerous.

    But I am taking these ideas to heart, and am going to start focusing my job search at retail. I don't want to start all over as a bag boy, as I already did that for five years. I want something in the managerial range, or some sort of office job.

    Again, there has to be jobs at there where a Bachelor's degree, regardless of the subject, can get you a leg up at the totem pole.

  • Options
    KiplingKipling Registered User regular
    Why did you choose a CJ degree? You have complained multiple times so far about interacting with customers. And yet you like journalism, probably because the journalist in the customer in that situation.

    If you want Armed Forces like structure while being constrained to the U.S. - the Coast Guard works. And you may be able to work to a position where you screen cargo and do little to no customer interaction.

    3DS Friends: 1693-1781-7023
  • Options
    November FifthNovember Fifth Registered User regular
    Since you already have a B.A. you might consider getting a paralegal certificate from an accredited program. With a college degree its generally only about 10 or more classes to get certified and that might open up a few doors for you depending on where you live. Many schools will also offer evening classes, so if you did find full time work, you could still finish the program.

    I'd forget about being a games journo for the short term, except as a hobby. If you want to get more serious about it, think about moving your blog over to its own domain and set up an email address for yourself on that domain.

    There are some Work at home jobs you can try for supplemental income. While most of the "freelance writing" style gigs like Demand Media have dried up since Google revised its search engine, there are things like data entry, transcription that you can try out while looking for your next career. You might be good at court research. Check out http://realwaystoearnmoneyonline.com/money-earning-directory

  • Options
    ChopperDaveChopperDave Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Kipling wrote:
    Why did you choose a CJ degree? You have complained multiple times so far about interacting with customers. And yet you like journalism, probably because the journalist in the customer in that situation.

    If you want Armed Forces like structure while being constrained to the U.S. - the Coast Guard works. And you may be able to work to a position where you screen cargo and do little to no customer interaction.

    Yeah, I'm having a hard time understanding this as well. If you don't want to be in law enforcement, can't afford to be a lawyer, and hate interacting with people too much to be a counselor or a probation officer, why study criminal justice?

    On the blog, you have to ask yourself a hard question. Do people care about your opinion, or think that you have interesting things to say? Do you have something to offer the typical online reader that other writers do not (e.g. a particular sense of humor or POV?) If so, give it everything you've got. Write about shit even if you're not getting a freelance commission for it. Whore links to your blog out everywhere -- facebook, twitter, on comment pages, whatever (though not here on the forums, of course ;)). Comment on websites that write about the same stuff vociferously. Send e-mails to your favorite bloggers about their latest posts. Get other bloggers to link to one of your posts, whether it be by saying something insightful or starting a good ol' fashioned flame war. Network. These forums are a good place to start... I'm pretty sure there are some successful web journalists lurking around, or at least fellow bloggers who might be willing to take you on as a regular voice. Before you even begin to think about monetizing your blog, you need to get yourself out there and make people notice you. If you're successful in doing this, next steps will come naturally.

    I talked to someone earlier this year who had interesting and I think quite good advice: when looking for a job, don't look for a job that let's you do the things you're passionate about for a living, as it's a pretty rare thing for people to actually find meaningful work doing the things they love. I love writing and playing video games too, but playing video games for a living sucks ass and writing about video games generally isn't much better. Instead, find an issue or a problem that you are passionate about solving, and build your job search around that. The idea here is that you need to think like an entrepreneur and orient yourself toward providing a good or service that people actually need and would pay you money for.

    So what's a problem that you care about? Homelessness? Child abuse? The poor quality of education in your town? Lack of business services to serve an existing market (e.g. lack of a comic shop when there's a bunch of comic nerds at the nearby university)? Lack of government services in your area? Your favorite website has terrible editing? You have opinions that other people haven't heard and need to hear? Chances are that if you see a problem somewhere like-minded people will see it too, and you might have better luck finding a job (or at least a volunteer opportunity that will let network) that you don't totally hate.

    ChopperDave on
    3DS code: 3007-8077-4055
  • Options
    amateurhouramateurhour One day I'll be professionalhour The woods somewhere in TennesseeRegistered User regular
    I can defend the Professor about career choices. I mean how many people honestly study something in college and end up in that field? That number isn't nearly as high as it used to be, I can tell you that.

    I got into Criminology when I was 17 because I had declined the chance to get into the Air Force Academy and opted for a more traditional college experience, but still was interested in one day working for the FBI or going through OCS with the Air Force after school.

    Four years later I had two broken ankles with pins in them (which ended a chance at a military career) and a first hand look at how bad the CJ system is and thankfully I had IT to fall back on. You can love something and decide you would rather teach it than do it or do something else.

    Professor, just to be clear, there is no "retail/office careers are high-paying and hopefully do not involve much interaction with the general public"

    I'm saying find a nice office job or retail job and work your way up to a decent mid thirties or mid forties salary so you can live comfortably (depending on your area) while you work on what you have a passion for.

    are YOU on the beer list?
  • Options
    Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    Well, let me try to clear things up: I'm not trying to avoid interacting with the general public, period.

    I was referring more to the type of consumer who gets into a rage when you're out of Bisquick (true story, one my friends force me to tell them every single time), or wastes your time on the phone by casually eating potato chips and telling you he does not owe large amounts of money.

    I'm not saying interacting with people in a law enforcement position would be a breeze (especially the ones who would like to shoot you), but it would be a heck of a lot more rewarding knowing you're trying to help save lives instead of being some guy's go-to bag boy.

    But that's not to say I can't adjust to that either, as long as the monetary rewards are there; I was willing to put up with the flood of angry customers at American Express, except my bosses were no help whatsoever and only chided me for not getting them to hang up faster. I was more concerned about meeting their strict performance queues than anything else.

    I'll check out the US Coast Guard, but for now I'm going to take the advice here and focus more on landing retail/office jobs that could potentially hire me now, not later. I've never had managerial experience, but I believe I could be a good manager if given the chance.

    Again, if there were a list of jobs that could get you hired for possessing a Bachelor's degree of any kind, that would help me narrow my search. Tried Googling it, but it only led me to more tech schools.

  • Options
    Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    There was a small news blurb on Friday (coincidentally as I was doing my usual online job search) about an author who specializes in job searching giving a quick bit of advice.

    He suggested that when you apply to a place, go visit it and speak to the available manager or HR guy. Establish a "human connection" so that they have a face to go with your application.

    I've heard that before, and tried my luck in the past only to end up speaking with someone who is clueless and usually says "did you apply online? okay, so wait for a response".

    But I've tried my luck in the last few days, stopping at Gamestop, Publix, and then Target. The first one gave me the e-mail for the district manager, the next one gave me the phone number for corporate, and the last one gave me the number for HR.

    Not sure if this will improve my chances, but at least it's something new to try. I have to stay vigilant, especially how I've been irritable all week due to the pressure. I have those days where I start nervously wondering if I'll ever get to work again, own my own place, get married, etc.

    I mentioned before how I was about a few classes away from earning an IT certification in Cisco. I'm still considering finishing it, but I would preferably like to do it in a trade school or some other place rather than my community college (where repeated attempts caused me to hit a wall, thus shelving the idea). What would be the best way to go about this?

  • Options
    zepherinzepherin Russian warship, go fuck yourself Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    What GS rank are you applying for on USAJobs, if you aren't applying at the right rank you won't even be considered. with a 4 year degree you should be poking in at GS5-GS7. However chances are without vet pref your going to get beat out.

    zepherin on
  • Options
    CygnusZCygnusZ Registered User regular
    You should give more serious consideration to joining the police. It's stable work, the pay is decent and you it's something you can do and go home feeling good about yourself. Low level office work and retail may keep you afloat in the short term, but working for the police will at least put you closer to the kind of work you want to do in the long term.

  • Options
    peridotperidot Registered User new member
    edited February 2012
    CygnusZ wrote:
    You should give more serious consideration to joining the police. It's stable work, the pay is decent and you it's something you can do and go home feeling good about yourself. Low level office work and retail may keep you afloat in the short term, but working for the police will at least put you closer to the kind of work you want to do in the long term.

    Seconding this. We all need to pay our dues working at the bottom of the ladder, and, if that's a requirement for eventually getting a job you think you would like, you might as well get that experience out of the way now.

    peridot on
  • Options
    DrakeonDrakeon Registered User regular
    edited February 2012
    Wow, this is ironic coincidental, I'm suffering the exact same thing as you, got a CJ degree a few years back and can't find shit. Although I did have a few interviews that went south recently (for probation officer and probation technician). Also kind've wanted to do something like crime analyst or investigator, an office type job in a cj environment. As I'm sure you've learned, those are in extremely limited supply for people fresh out of college (As did I). Right now I've run out of upcoming interviews/tests scheduled, so I'm just floating along with a retail job, slowly working my way up, but not really wanting to advance, still living with my parents. I can't seem to get anything to stick. I've learned that USAjobs is mostly a waste of time, at least for me, because I've never once heard back after applying probably over a hundred times to various positions (happens with state jobs too, I'll score lowish on an exam that is purely based on what experience you have and then never hear back from any of the 100+ applications i send out, all including letters of recommendation, cover letters, etc). Wish I had an answer for you, but unfortunately I'm going through the exact same scenario, although I've got more of a sticking point with correctional officer than police officer (admittedly, I'm not trying for either, but would never want to be a CO).

    Also, police officer isn't the easiest job to get in to, depending on location. I have a buddy who's searching for a position with a police department and given the lack of a need of a degree, sometimes a thousand show up to each test. With that said, he's gotten pretty far with some departments.

    Might want to try searching for office type positions with the state government. I know California has a position that only requires a bachelors degree (basically every single department in california has this position and hires for it), although I've had literally no luck at all with it, as on the "exam", they ask you a bunch of questions regarding experience and none of it seems to apply to what i did in school, so i typically score low.

    Drakeon on
    PSN: Drakieon XBL: Drakieon Steam: TheDrakeon
  • Options
    Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    It seems I am not a unique and beautiful snowflake.

    Along with Drakeon, I'm seeing more and more people posting online about their failed aspirations after earning a CJ degree. It's disheartening, to be sure.

    But it also motivates me even more to seek employment now. I'm trying to broaden my horizons and apply for things I never considered before, such as Sales.

    Typically I've avoided the idea, as I don't want to work purely on commission, and my experience with rude customers has kept me from shooting for a job that specifically interacts with them.

    But, I'm motivated by money and demand, and if Sales has both, I'm willing to give it a shot.

    But again, I don't want a commission-only job. I need a straight salary to keep the stress down.

    If I could just find out which jobs/companies are in high demand in Florida, I could narrow my search there. Still looking to this thread for advice.

  • Options
    fightinfilipinofightinfilipino Angry as Hell #BLMRegistered User regular
    i can give you a lawyer perspective if you need it.

    don't go to law school.

    do. not.

    the cost is simply too high to justify how few legal positions are out there. things are improving, but at a very slow pace. i'm incredibly lucky to be working where i am now. many of my former classmates are still looking for work and scratching out a living.

    also, the law is really really something you know you want to do, or bust. if you have any reservations at all, do not do it.

    ffNewSig.png
    steam | Dokkan: 868846562
  • Options
    XArchangelXXArchangelX Registered User regular
    Have you tried contract security companies? I worked for a contract security for about 5 years, and made it to a Shift Manager position with no degree at all. Some of the positions entail contact with crazy, but there's a lot of positions that are just sitting in an office monitoring cameras. Work a midnight shift at an office building somewhere and you can effectively treat it as a writing job with regular paycheck and benefits. We had at least 4-5 writers on my midnight shift at all times when I was there, pretty hilarious.

    Eve Online is a terrible game, but I used to play, for the lulz!
    Steam
    Only the strong can help the weak.
  • Options
    R0land1188R0land1188 Registered User regular
    I don't know how things are going in Florida, but have you considered joining a trade union?

    Work is slowly picking up here in CA for construction and companies are always looking to exploit young healthy people as apprentices. Depending on which specific trade you are looking at you made need a sponsor company, but it is good honest work and gives you a nice skill set as well without needing any experience prior to working.

    I know that on the jobs I have done we try and use the apprentices as much as possible, and if they work hard and know what they are doing we keep them around as long as possible.

    steam_sig.png
  • Options
    necroSYSnecroSYS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    zepherin wrote: »
    What GS rank are you applying for on USAJobs, if you aren't applying at the right rank you won't even be considered. with a 4 year degree you should be poking in at GS5-GS7. However chances are without vet pref your going to get beat out.

    Absolutely. With the amount of veterans hitting the job market right now, it will be very difficult to get a government job.

    I agree that your BS is your biggest asset, regardless of the field. Most professions really want you to have that four-year degree (and I'm speaking as someone who doesn't have one and managed to overcome the fact) but they don't care so much that it's directly related to your job duties.

    While I feel your pain re: your call center experience, I think you might want to take a hard second look at those opportunities. The high turnover guarantees that they are usually hiring and if you keep your eyes and ears open, you can usually transition to a non-phone-jockey role within a year, whether in operations, facilities, IT, etc.

  • Options
    Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    Before I forget, are there any scripts/programs that could help speed up the tedious act of applying online?

    I have a "master form" set up with LastPass that inputs my basic contact info (name, address, etc), but I don't see any way to set up a similar shortcut for work experience. Nothing is more infuriating than an application that lets you upload your resume but still requires you to manually fill in the employment details.

    I especially hate the assessment questionnaires. Hate them to death.

    "I consider myself more valuable than other employees Y/N"

  • Options
    sportzboytjwsportzboytjw squeeeeeezzeeee some more tax breaks outRegistered User regular
    I can tell you that it is important to "get in" with the HR people and such.

    A few ways to do this are: going in and visiting with them when you can (this is also known as "can I speak to the manager" at a lot of places) and make sure you're looking sharp as hell. It might seem silly, but if I go in and visit with someone for five minutes wearing my best blue dress-shirt/tie/slacks, I guarentee I can get the job over the guy who didn't do that and shows up looking only decent, not awesome.

    Also, go to any career fairs you see! Your college almost certainly has them and so do many community colleges and such. There may be a neglegible cost, but it is worth it! For one, there will be food and such (probably) so your money will basically cover your snack, and for two, you get more face-to-face time with people who will be hiring.

    Again, look sharp as hell. THINK about what you're going to say. You have roughly five minutes to blow people away; have a charming and appropriate repetoire! Plan ahead.

    Look, I got okay grades in college (accounting), but nothing special; I knew what I had on my side though and I got the only accounting position I interviewed for (which will hopefully be permanent in the next few week, c'mon big numbers!) by getting face-time before the interview, dressing/grooming really nicely (get a haircut hippie etc), and planning how I wanted to present myself. I emphasized that I am a veteran of the USAF, so I had lots of experience with teamwork and accepting authority and being flexible with my work. I talked about how I had years of great customer service and how important this is ("Look, I can be trained as an accountant at any firm. It will be good training here or at KPMG, but I already have the customer service skills that many college graduates have not developed yet. I'm fun to work with and I bring energy to the office," was basically my pitch. YMMV)

    Do these things and you should have some positions that aren't reprehensable opening up. Also, consider accounting/finance firms; you're not an accountant/finance graduate, but they need HR people and general degree-holders in places too!

    Also, the energy sector is worth looking into. Yea, you're probably involved with durty oil, but hey, you gotta make a living!

    Walkerdog on MTGO
    TylerJ on League of Legends (it's free and fun!)
  • Options
    sportzboytjwsportzboytjw squeeeeeezzeeee some more tax breaks outRegistered User regular
    necroSYS wrote: »
    zepherin wrote: »
    What GS rank are you applying for on USAJobs, if you aren't applying at the right rank you won't even be considered. with a 4 year degree you should be poking in at GS5-GS7. However chances are without vet pref your going to get beat out.

    Absolutely. With the amount of veterans hitting the job market right now, it will be very difficult to get a government job.

    I agree that your BS is your biggest asset, regardless of the field. Most professions really want you to have that four-year degree (and I'm speaking as someone who doesn't have one and managed to overcome the fact) but they don't care so much that it's directly related to your job duties.

    While I feel your pain re: your call center experience, I think you might want to take a hard second look at those opportunities. The high turnover guarantees that they are usually hiring and if you keep your eyes and ears open, you can usually transition to a non-phone-jockey role within a year, whether in operations, facilities, IT, etc.

    PS I adore working at a call center. I thrived on customer-insanity. So entertaining.

    Walkerdog on MTGO
    TylerJ on League of Legends (it's free and fun!)
  • Options
    Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular

    PS I adore working at a call center. I thrived on customer-insanity. So entertaining.

    I wouldn't have minded the insane customers (even the ones who call me "a piece of shit") had the managers done a better job of training me. After a time, they would drill me on "keeping them happy, but also wrap up your calls quicker", without any advice on how exactly to wrap up the calls.

    I had this one asshole who wanted to debate every single charge in his last few statements. The information was clear as day on my computer screen, so it wasn't up for debate.

    I literally heard him recline on his chair, open and eat a bag of chips, and casually shuffling through all his receipts. The call lasted two and a half hours. I missed my lunch.

    And I have been to several job fairs sponsored by my college (they were free), and I'll have to disagree on their usefulness. Even when coming in sharply dressed, dropping off my resume and so on, nine times out of ten all I would get from it is "visit our website".

    I could have visited your website from home, dammit.

    I've also been visiting a few stores to speak to the manager, as you also mentioned, though not sharply dressed (not terribly dressed, either, mind). I got some contact numbers for corporate and such, but it hasn't bore fruit yet.

  • Options
    sportzboytjwsportzboytjw squeeeeeezzeeee some more tax breaks outRegistered User regular

    PS I adore working at a call center. I thrived on customer-insanity. So entertaining.

    I wouldn't have minded the insane customers (even the ones who call me "a piece of shit") had the managers done a better job of training me. After a time, they would drill me on "keeping them happy, but also wrap up your calls quicker", without any advice on how exactly to wrap up the calls.

    I had this one asshole who wanted to debate every single charge in his last few statements. The information was clear as day on my computer screen, so it wasn't up for debate.

    I literally heard him recline on his chair, open and eat a bag of chips, and casually shuffling through all his receipts. The call lasted two and a half hours. I missed my lunch.

    And I have been to several job fairs sponsored by my college (they were free), and I'll have to disagree on their usefulness. Even when coming in sharply dressed, dropping off my resume and so on, nine times out of ten all I would get from it is "visit our website".

    I could have visited your website from home, dammit.

    I've also been visiting a few stores to speak to the manager, as you also mentioned, though not sharply dressed (not terribly dressed, either, mind). I got some contact numbers for corporate and such, but it hasn't bore fruit yet.

    Going in SHARP helps. I've done it a couple of times and had feedback that went "yea, we have to do it through the website,but we'll be looking for you. Go get that application in."

    Walkerdog on MTGO
    TylerJ on League of Legends (it's free and fun!)
  • Options
    rockmonkeyrockmonkey Little RockRegistered User regular
    I would dress above the job you want when looking for a job, even when just dropping off a resume/application.

    I dressed in a shirt/tie/jacket when interviewing for an office job at a construction company straight out of college. The controller and president interviewed me. I was contacted through monster or some such via email about coming in for an interview so they had an electronic verison of my resume, but I also brought a printed copy on nice paper, kept crisp in a portfolio. The president saw my clothes and actually asked me if I "knew what they did here" (presumably because it was mechanical construction company so they did hvac and plumbing and here I am in a jacket and tie). Which having some common sense, I had checked out their website before coming, and was able to answer that. He seemed pleased.

    That was Thursday afternoon, Friday they call and offer me the job, Monday I started. I've been here 5 years now and make good money.

    We typically wear business casual all the way down to jeans and a collared shirt (dress/polo) so I was definitely overdressed, but I was applying for an accounting position and had a bachelors degree so I was dressing for the sort of job I WANTED.

    NEWrockzomb80.jpg
  • Options
    sportzboytjwsportzboytjw squeeeeeezzeeee some more tax breaks outRegistered User regular
    rockmonkey wrote: »
    I would dress above the job you want when looking for a job, even when just dropping off a resume/application.

    I dressed in a shirt/tie/jacket when interviewing for an office job at a construction company straight out of college. The controller and president interviewed me. I was contacted through monster or some such via email about coming in for an interview so they had an electronic verison of my resume, but I also brought a printed copy on nice paper, kept crisp in a portfolio. The president saw my clothes and actually asked me if I "knew what they did here" (presumably because it was mechanical construction company so they did hvac and plumbing and here I am in a jacket and tie). Which having some common sense, I had checked out their website before coming, and was able to answer that. He seemed pleased.

    That was Thursday afternoon, Friday they call and offer me the job, Monday I started. I've been here 5 years now and make good money.

    We typically wear business casual all the way down to jeans and a collared shirt (dress/polo) so I was definitely overdressed, but I was applying for an accounting position and had a bachelors degree so I was dressing for the sort of job I WANTED.

    Exactly.

    Walkerdog on MTGO
    TylerJ on League of Legends (it's free and fun!)
  • Options
    KarrmerKarrmer Registered User regular
    If you really "need" a job you should probably stop listing things that a job isn't allowed to be. Being picky in this economy, again assuming you really need a job, isn't the wisest thing ever, and judging by everything you've posted you seem REALLY picky. We don't all get to have awesome jobs making bank money - for every wealthy manager out there, you logically need to have a lot more simple register jockeys.

    And sometimes people just don't have that special talent or spark that makes an interviewer interested in you and lands you the job. When I went in to try to get my job there were over 500 applicants for the position, and I'm the only one that walked out with it. That means I stood out above 499 other people in who knows what way. This was also 7 years ago, when the economy wasn't all that bad. Expect it to be worse.

    Make yourself special, make yourself desirable, make yourself worth hiring. No one is entitled to a job, you have to prove you're worth it.

  • Options
    JihadJesusJihadJesus Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    I'd also point out that your degree is probably 'worthless' because everyone applying for entry level jobs has one. If that's the case...go somewhere else. I started looking for work in Seattle after I graduated and couldn't get so much as a damn interview for most jobs - everyone and their brother was qualified.

    I now live in a much more poor county where less than half as many people hold college degrees, and the number in the typical entry level age bracket is about a third of that. I applied for and received offers for a half dozen entry level jobs in three different industries within two months of relocating. This was in Oct of 2008 - you might remember that as the moment the economy was shitting its pants.

    Is it a wonderful place full of social opportunities and night life? Hell no, but now 3 years later I'm a slam dunk for all those positions that require experience that never called me back right out of school, when I spent 18 months job hunting and then gave up to make copies for a 'career'.

    JihadJesus on
  • Options
    DrakeonDrakeon Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    JihadJesus wrote: »
    I'd also point out that your degree is probably 'worthless' because everyone applying for entry level jobs has one. If that's the case...go somewhere else. I started looking for work in Seattle after I graduated and couldn't get so much as a damn interview for most jobs - everyone and their brother was qualified.

    I now live in a much more poor county where less than half as many people hold college degrees, and the number in the typical entry level age bracket is about a third of that. I applied for and received offers for a half dozen entry level jobs in three different industries within two months of relocating. This was in Oct of 2008 - you might remember that as the moment the economy was shitting its pants.

    Is it a wonderful place full of social opportunities and night life? Hell no, but now 3 years later I'm a slam dunk for all those positions that require experience that never called me back right out of school, when I spent 18 months job hunting and then gave up to make copies for a 'career'.

    Is it wise to move somewhere before you get a job offer though? Seem's like a risky proposition. I mean, speaking from my own experience, I'm not opposed to moving, so I've been applying up and down California state, driving 2-4 hours one way to get to the test/interview often enough, but outside of that, I can't really apply outside of my driving range. I mean, believe me, I've tried, but I never ever hear back from anyone who's not in California (Nevada might work, but they're in just a bad a spot as California is, if not worse, so I don't generally look there either). However if the sentiment is being willing to go where the jobs are, assuming you can get contacted if you apply, then I agree wholeheartedly. You can't be picky about where a job is located in this economy.

    I'd say don't lose all hope, I've got an interview next Thursday for a Probation position about 4 hours from me (and a test the same week, which is the same test I keep passing to get to those interviews, so theoretically 2 upcoming interviews), I know California is in the midst of a hiring spree for all probation departments right now because of a new assembly bill that is shifting offenders into probation and jail from prison.

    Drakeon on
    PSN: Drakieon XBL: Drakieon Steam: TheDrakeon
  • Options
    schussschuss Registered User regular
    Apply somewhere like South Dakota, you may hear back. Does it always work? No. Could it? Yes. If you don't have to live where you currently do, you're sacrificing nothing by trying.

  • Options
    WildEEPWildEEP Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    When i was a younger man, I made a huge mistake in the job market... and that was that I only searched in towns that I was in..or very nearby.
    You no longer have this luxury. Our economy went straight to hell and most of the front line jobs went with it.
    Add in the unemployment from the mid levels and you've got job market veterans crowding out people who barely just got their degrees.
    You have to expand your search all across your state and if that doesn't help, expand it outside your state.

    I'm going to add in the - What did you actually want to be when you decided on CJ? I mean..there is a lot of jobs in law enforcement that dont actually involve patrol. A lot of IT Forensic guys were just CJ guys who bothered to learn to use the forensic analysis programs. A lot of those guys make money by being "expert" witnesses on the side. Have you considered something like the FBI, ATF, DEA, etc?

    WildEEP on
  • Options
    Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    So I'm heading to Orlando this Monday to take a written exam on Customs Border Protection Officer on Tuesday. The exam is nearly five hours and covers three sections (logic, arithmetic, and reading). Been studying quite a bit, confident that I'll pass the exam but not sure if I'll be guaranteed an interview afterward. I'm not sure how many people they're looking to interview, and even if I score high, I don't have the prior goverment/law enforcement experience other applicants may have.

    On the upside, I also have a test for Communications Operator at a local sheriff's office the week after. I'd like to think my odds are a bit better, as much as me and my family want the Customs job instead.

    I wish I could just take the exam and get it over with. The two weeks I've been waiting/preparing have got me bonkers. If anyone's familiar with either job, I wouldn't mind some advice.

  • Options
    KarrmerKarrmer Registered User regular
    I was an Emergency Services Dispatcher for one of the biggest agencies in the US if you have any questions about the Communications side, but it's a pretty straight forward test really. Type quickly and accurately and be ready to repeat quickly memorized numbers are probably the biggest things.

    I got my job over the other 450+ people taking the test that day probably because of my typing speed (over 140 WPM on the exam, yes for real). The typing speed alone didn't seal it, but it got me noticed enough to get a chance at the numerous interviews afterwards. Nail that test hard and you'll have a chance to show them you're worth hiring.

    This is generally the same case for the Customs job also. You need to hit *very high marks* almost always to even be considered. It's definitely never a pass/fail scenario.

  • Options
    Professor SnugglesworthProfessor Snugglesworth Registered User regular
    Updates:

    1. I went to Orlando and took the written exam for Border Protection Officer two weeks ago. I got an email a couple of days ago indicating I had passed, and moved on to the next step (submitting signed documents). Now I have to wait and see if/when they'll call me. They said my passed status makes me eligible for callback for up to a year, so all I can do now is wait.

    2. I then took the Communications Operator exam earlier this week, and got instant results that I had passed. According to the rep, I'm guaranteed a callback for an interview, but that they want to wait until at least 10-15 people passed before calling back (I was one out of five at the time, she said).

    I will gladly accept whichever of the two positions will hire me, but if there's a chance they both offer me a job, I wonder who I should go with.

This discussion has been closed.