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BS: Job search woes

Ely 20 Apr 01 - 02:36 PM
gnu 20 Apr 01 - 02:50 PM
wysiwyg 20 Apr 01 - 02:50 PM
Mary in Kentucky 20 Apr 01 - 02:52 PM
UB Ed 20 Apr 01 - 02:56 PM
GUEST,UB Dan 20 Apr 01 - 03:03 PM
SINSULL 20 Apr 01 - 03:18 PM
GUEST,Margaret V at work 20 Apr 01 - 03:22 PM
GUEST,Margaret V at work 20 Apr 01 - 03:24 PM
annamill 20 Apr 01 - 03:25 PM
mousethief 20 Apr 01 - 03:30 PM
GUEST,UB Dan 20 Apr 01 - 03:36 PM
GUEST,Midchuck upstairs 20 Apr 01 - 03:39 PM
late 'n short 2 20 Apr 01 - 03:46 PM
UB Ed 20 Apr 01 - 04:05 PM
mousethief 20 Apr 01 - 04:08 PM
UB Ed 20 Apr 01 - 04:33 PM
mousethief 20 Apr 01 - 04:36 PM
Maryrrf 20 Apr 01 - 04:40 PM
UB Ed 20 Apr 01 - 04:50 PM
mousethief 20 Apr 01 - 04:50 PM
mousethief 20 Apr 01 - 04:52 PM
Burke 20 Apr 01 - 05:06 PM
GUEST,John Gray / Australia 20 Apr 01 - 06:56 PM
GUEST,Karen 20 Apr 01 - 07:11 PM
Mrs.Duck 21 Apr 01 - 02:04 PM
Liz the Squeak 21 Apr 01 - 02:24 PM
Irish sergeant 21 Apr 01 - 05:44 PM
Chicken Charlie 21 Apr 01 - 06:10 PM
pattyClink 21 Apr 01 - 11:33 PM
Paul S 22 Apr 01 - 08:36 AM
Liz the Squeak 22 Apr 01 - 06:56 PM
Hollowfox 23 Apr 01 - 10:16 AM
Amos 23 Apr 01 - 10:34 AM
GUEST,_gargoyle 24 Apr 01 - 09:52 AM
UB Ed 25 Apr 01 - 08:27 AM
GUEST,Pepper 26 Apr 01 - 08:27 AM
GUEST,Pepper 26 Apr 01 - 08:32 AM
Midchuck 26 Apr 01 - 09:04 AM

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Subject: Job search woes
From: Ely
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 02:36 PM

I hate to be a whiny brat but . . .

How on earth does one go about getting one's first job?

I graduated from college in December and I'm turning into a bored suburban housewife--walking the dog, cleaning, running errands--trying to earn my keep in my parents' house. My parents are being very understanding but I obviously can't stay here forever.

Every place I look wants "absolutely three years experience". How do you get experience if nobody will hire you without it?! I'm smart enough to learn a job, a good worker, and reliable if somebody would just give me a shot. So far, I'm apparently not qualified for Kinko's, Office Depot, and the receptionists' desk at the vet's office. Every time I ask if they are calling for interviews yet, I get, "Uh, you'd have to talk to the business manager, and I don't know where he is. Come back tomorrow."

The only offer I've gotten paid $6.75/hr for 20 hours a week, no benefits, and was a 40-minute drive (each way) through the worst of Houston traffic--my mindless dishwashing job in the college dining hall paid better and I could have gotten more hours. I couldn't afford it--I have to pay my own health insurance starting in July and somehow I need to start saving for a car so my dad can have his back.

Any tips for a (don't laugh) history major who lives in a largely residential (read: few jobs) suburb?


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: gnu
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 02:50 PM

Housewife ? If hubby's working and driving, stake out the area near his job for ANYTHING and grab it if the hours fit. Then, keep looking. Remember the following becasue it may come in handy. If you get paid weekly, that's all you owe your employer - a one week notice. Absolutely nothing more.

The most important thing is not to get discouraged. Always keep your head up high. But look down every now and then to make sure noone's stealing your cookies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: wysiwyg
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 02:50 PM

Yes.

Take what is offered and build a work history while you keep scrambling.

Scrambling includes shoehorning all of your relevant experience into the resume, immediately. There is a rather new way of doing these that focuses on skills and abilitires, rather than a dry recounting of where/when/what on past jobs. So what you list does not need to rely entirely on paid jobs.

Once you have that done you blast it everywhere it needs to go. You can create several versions, each one focusing on various aspects of your talents. Cover letters and thank you notes matter a lot too.

Be pulling in as many written letters of reference as possible-- you are building a file. Do not label it JOB. Label it MY CAREER. You will use it all your life. Write your references from time to time to tell them what you are doing and to ask for any contacts they might offer. And work the contacts. (With e-mail nowadays, it's easier than ever.)

Once the resumes are out on the street, you add a hefty, visible volunteer involvement with a well-know local nonprofit. Not only will this contunue to build your skill, it will give you instant cache and CONTACTS. The American Red Cross is the BEST as far as continuing impact of a reference-- and get it in writing, so you can plaster America's most trusted symbol on YOU, just with that letterhead. The blood program is especially in need of people, and you can meet a lot of employers working with ARC on blood.

And NEVER be afraid to volunteer into a job. Good employers prefer to hire who they know already works well in their shop.

In short, you have to put yourself out there. If you are not good at that, find a formerr PR or marketing major and buddy up. Push each other out there.

I can do the resume if you want to e-mail me what you have so far and then correspond to refine it.

Been there. Done this. HS dropout on welfare goes to work for school superintendent, 40K, early 90's. *G*G* Running a Red Cross chapter eight years later. Consulting gigs, all sorts of fun in between and around the edges. Easy, if YOU are in charge.

~Susan


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: Mary in Kentucky
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 02:52 PM

Ely, there is just too much to say about this topic. But my first thought is to start a job search campaign. A good place to start is your college alumnae center which probably has a job search program (free!) and lots of resouces. There are countless websites which give guidance. Most folks read the book "What Color is Your Parachute" which helps you analyze what you WANT to do. Remember, time is on your side. I gather that you are ~22 years old. Get movin' and find a program with structure and guidance and JUST DO IT!

Good luck.
Mary


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: UB Ed
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 02:56 PM

History major in Houston? IMHO I suggst you examine what you like to do and then see how that could fit into a career (not a "job"). Then with polished resume in hand, off you go to all available businesses that are congruent with what you like. The Internet could be helpful.

Expect to be treated as "brand new" and that's ok. Your resume should list your academic achievements, including constructive extra-curricular activities and any other part-time or summer jobs you've had. Again, these should all, if possible somehow relate to what you WANT to do.

Additionally, I would imagine your college would have a good career planning and placement office.

Let me know how this goes.

Ed


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: GUEST,UB Dan
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 03:03 PM

My first job out of college was with Enterprise Rent A Car...take a look at them. You get some good experience...really. But, the down side was that they had fairly long hours, and once you were working for them it was hard to look for any other job afterwards.


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: SINSULL
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 03:18 PM

Ely,
Start with "What do I want to do?" I would be surprised if you wanted a cash register position at Kinko's.


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: GUEST,Margaret V at work
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 03:22 PM

Ely, first you might tell us what it is you think you'd like to do, and then our tips might be more helpful. There are plenty of ways around having no experience, especially if you're able to stay with your parents for a while and don't have to have a hugely well-paying job... Should we assume you're quite interested in working in the history field? Do you want to teach? Research or write? Have you looked into jobs or internships at history museums in the area? For the most part, gone are the days of the unpaid internship... so you could expect some form of remuneration. Alternately, consider taking a "mindless" job on a part-time basis so that you'll have the flexibility of volunteering your time somewhere interesting and relevant to the kind of work you want to do. Of course, that won't help with the health benefits thing, which may be tricky.

If you're being turned down for mindless jobs at Kinko's etc. it's probably because you're "overqualified" or because you're sending out messages of not wanting the job... are you being honest when you interview with them? You know, no need to say you've always wanted to work at Kinko's all your life, just tell them that you're a reliable worker, easily trainable, with a good work ethic who will bring good and valuable qualities to the job while you are there, even though you do hope to ultimately pursue work closer to your field of interest...

Doesn't your college have a career placement center or something equivalent? You could even snoop around the career placement centers (or history departments) of other colleges near you, look at their bulletin boards, etc. for postings.

Good luck, and just keep putting yourself out there, even for things that seem like a long shot. Strike up conversations with strangers in the supermarket or on the bus (the more people know you're looking for a job, the better).

Margaret


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: GUEST,Margaret V at work
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 03:24 PM

Gee, lots of other people posted while I was typing away, rendering much of my sage advice redundant! Oh well, good luck anyway... Margaret


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: annamill
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 03:25 PM

Just curious. What did you have in mind when you decided to go with a history major? Was it teaching? Can you get a certificate? You might be able to start out as a substitute then move on.

Meanwhile, everyone is right. Do anything while you wait. BTW, have you tried Monster.com or one of the other internet headhunters.


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: mousethief
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 03:30 PM

I started my career as a kelly girl. Honest, I was even "Kelly Girl Employee of the Month" once -- they had to actually strike out the word "girl" on the preprinted form and scribble in "Employee" because I was the only kelly girl in the office that wasn't female.

Sign up at as many temp agencies as you can. At least it's money trickling in while you look for something more "real" -- I used the temp thing to swing myself into a real job, and eventually a career. A career I hate, mind you, but still it's better than flipping burgers.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: GUEST,UB Dan
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 03:36 PM

I think Alex's suggestion is great. I feel into my current career by working at a temp agency after leaving Enterprise ...a lot of companies bring in temps because they need more staff. Its also a great way to build experience and get a good look at lots of different companies and careers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: GUEST,Midchuck upstairs
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 03:39 PM

I was an undergraduate Psych major. I wasn't interested in clinical work and my grades weren't good enough for grad school and teaching.

After a year I went to Law school for want of a better idea.

I would have preferred to be a common drunken bum, but luckily the two careers are compatible.

Peter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: late 'n short 2
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 03:46 PM

Sometimes the hardest part of finding a job is figuring out what kind of job you want. But it's an important step: if you don't know where you want to go, you'll have a hard time figuring out how to get there! Approaching prospective employers with a "here I am , what have you got for me?" approach doesn't work. You have to convince them that you have the skills they want. This takes time and effort. But you'll find that if you are looking for a specific type of work, your search will be more productive than if you're just looking for "a job".

Start by assessing your skills and interests, the kinds of things you enjoy doing and do well. What kind of work do you want to do? The "I'll do anything" approach usually doesn't cut it. You must have chosen history as a major for some reason. What was the reason? Many large companies hire liberal arts majors for entry level positions because they are often articulate, intelligent and quick learners. If you chose your major because you had to major in "something", it's even more important that you find out what you are good at and enjoy.Talk to the people you know about the kind of work they do and where they do it. Ask them for referals. The career books call this "networking". Begin to develop a list of companies/organizations that you think you would like to work for and go after them. This is a lot more effective than posting your resume (I'm assuming you have one-if not, put one together) to a web site and waiting for responses.

As for the "absolutely three years experience" don't take it literally. But you do have to know how to talk about the things you've done and part-time jobs, summer jobs volunteer work, activities all count ---even the dishwashing!

It also sounds like you've placed some geographic restrictions on your job search. Sure, it would be nice to work 10 minutes from home but is that realistic? A longer commute may be necessary. (I know plenty of people in large metropolitan areas who would love to cut their commute to 40 minutes!)

A job search is hard work, but if you go about it the right way you can make it easier. And don't hold out for the perfect job. Chances are you're not going to find it this early in the game. Good luck!

Dan


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: UB Ed
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 04:05 PM

Alex, you were a Kelly Girl? Ohmygod!

Ely, what happened to forenisc anthropology?


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: mousethief
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 04:08 PM

Well, I was a Kelly Girl Employee, anyway. You got a problem with that, UBED?


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: UB Ed
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 04:33 PM

errr, uh, um, nnnoo, Alex. Dat's cool.

Actually, when I read that, the first thing I thought of was Zappa's Valley Girl (funny how the mind works) which I always thought was funny as hell. To be serious, starting off in a temp agency gives one the opportunity to see what they may like and provides good leads. It also speaks highly of your personal initiative.

All in good humor, my friend.


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: mousethief
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 04:36 PM

All in good humor, my friend.

No wonder I felt so sticky.

Oh ----- I see. The "Ohmigod" was meant like Moon Unit's drawn-out valleyspeak "ohmigaaaaaaawd" in the Valley Girl song, right?

These things lose a lot in print, I fear.

I wasn't really angry. Just joshin' with ya.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: Maryrrf
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 04:40 PM

A temp agency is a good way to go. I went from being a temp to being a sales rep in charge of managing a network of agents throughout Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean - in the space of 2 years. When you get your foot in the door of a place that looks like a good bet, go the extra mile, learn all you can, and dress like the executives of the company. I had work experience but nothing in the field of sales, most of it was in adminstrative positions. And I was a political science major!


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: UB Ed
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 04:50 PM

Understood; after a couple of these other threads I'm watching my back.

So...did you have to wear a uniform? LOL!

Ed


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: mousethief
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 04:50 PM

No but I had to wear a tie. Bleh!


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: mousethief
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 04:52 PM

You can tell if I'm angry -- I get really nastily sarcastic. Blustering, like "you got a problem with that?" is nearly always a sign of good humor in me.

I mean the happy feeling, not the ice cream.

Alex


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: Burke
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 05:06 PM

I was also a history major.

I started with Kelley Services as well. By the time I did it, they'd dropped 'girl' from the name of the company.

I watched for government ads & took any civil service test I slightly qualified for. I even took the Foreign Service exam. I did qualify on the general federal professional test (PACE?), but there were hiring freezes & I discovered I was more afraid of moving at that time than I'd thought. While in college Kelley had put me into an accounts payable office for a summer. I ended up taking a county account clerk test, studied the ARCO book & qualified. Had a pretty decent clerical job with the county for 6-7 years before I got bored with it & went to library school. All my unused vacation & sick time paid for my 1st semester.

Good luck.


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: GUEST,John Gray / Australia
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 06:56 PM

Ely, you want to the mandatory 3 years experience that employers seek ? you want to be paid a good income in getting it ? and you want extra training that makes you an attractive proposition ? Then join the Navy. You might even get to Greece etc to expand your interests in history.

JG / F.M.E.


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: GUEST,Karen
Date: 20 Apr 01 - 07:11 PM

Well what do you know? More history majors. Maybe we should start our own website. I also am doing NOTHING with my major except impressing my family with my quick answers to most Jeopardy questions but I had no intention of teaching or researching so knew right at the beginning I wasn't going to get a job related to that field. Alot of good advice in this thread especially the substitute teaching to start you in that field or a temporary service to try anything else. We've hired many people at my company who started as temps. It's a great way to build up experience.


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 02:04 PM

Geoff qualified as a tertiary college teacher last year and still has not been able to find work. He is not in a position to take just any job as the salary would not cover child care. The worry is that if he doesn't find a teaching post soon he will be out of practice and overlooked by employers should any jobs arise. Unfortunately there are no easy solutions and it is not always a question of what younwant to do but whether anyone will let you do it!


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 02:24 PM

Keep plugging away at it - sometimes the job you least expect will turn up... I was sacked for a poor sickness record (asthmatic, aggravated by conditions at work with crappy boss) and thought I'd never work again, but ended up getting a job with the Civil Service - Inland Revenue to be exact! Most of all, fill your vacant days now with stuff that will keep you in practice. Join a local group that interests you, or if you go to church, volunteer to help out in the office, doing finance stuff, freelance research, secretarial stuff, ANYTHING that will show on your CV that you haven't sat on your arse for a year doing nothing. Even the "housewife" bit can be used... It translates as budget control, general maintenance, social therapy, animal husbandry and catering assistant! Driving is also a skill to enhance. Offer yourself as a designated driver for any groups you belong to, we always need these in our church.... and if you can pick up experience in different sized vehicles, go for it! Anyone need a driver for a van to move stuff> offer yourself.

Good luck, I know it sounds trite and pathetic for those of us with jobs to say this, but it really is true, keep your end up and don't give up hope. If there is someone who will employ me, there'll be someone to employ you, and you have age on your side!!

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: Irish sergeant
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 05:44 PM

Many good points. I do a lot of work through temp agencies as my "Permanant" employer tends to have a lot of lay offs. Meanwhile the temp jobs pays the bill. I do a lot of job research on line also. Don't give up!! Persistance does pay off. kindest reguards, Neil


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: Chicken Charlie
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 06:10 PM

May I weigh in as the nth history major and former [male] temp agency employee to comment??

One thing nobody has mentioned yet, unless I skimmed over it, is computer skills. Good temp agencies will have the option to test you on various softwares & then they will try to find you a slot where those skills are needed. Being the only kid on your block who can do Whatsis 9.1 might get you around the lack of experience. If you can't do Whatsis 9.1, there are a lot of computer schools and even a few free or low-cost job training programs where you can learn it. That would be cheaper & quicker than another year of school, which I suspect you might need for a teaching credential, right??

Another place history majors can go is libraries. Older librarians don't think a person without a library degree has a reason to live, but economic realities force them to accept general lib arts folks like us. At worst, you might have to be a "page" and reshelve books for a while, but depending on how flush the Houston lib. system is, they should have frequent hires of Clerk I and Lib. Assistant I's, who do not need lib. degrees, and who, for example, might work on the reference desk where general, Jeopardy-type all-around stuff is exactly what you need. And it's rare, but I am now in a "professional" Librarian I slot, based on a history degree, not a library science degree.

Don't get discouraged. This too shall pass.

CC


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: pattyClink
Date: 21 Apr 01 - 11:33 PM

coupla ideas..

Take a resume around and introduce yourself at EVERY museum you can find, even ones that aren't hiring. An opening can come up at a strange time and you may be fresh in their minds. And museums and other places RUN by historians are the best places to turn into a decently paid professional.

Many of us got 10 misspent years of early adulthood not knowing life is not a one-shot test. You can have multiple shots at opportunities. So if you see a place or a job you really want, let them tell you no, but then follow up with a note saying how much you really want it, and call or drop by (very briefly) to say it again. Yes, this is considered pushy by teachers and other nice people, but many many professions expect this sort of determination before they see you rising out of the pile. Again, only for something you're really crazy about.

If your first love is really music, visit clubs, venues, concert halls and apply there, whether or not they're hiring. If you're going to do ick work, do it in the right industry and it could lead somewhere. Maybe into performance stuff, maybe you'll find you have a talent for running a joint. Half the people in show business started out in ick work but rubbing shoulders with the right people.

Good luck and don't take any 'no's' personally.


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: Paul S
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 08:36 AM

Hey Ely.

You have more experience than you think. Here is one of the listings from the "Work Experience" section of my resume:

The Prowlers' Blues Band. Manager/Performer (1992-1994).
Marketed unknown band to nightclubs, negotiated jobs, coordinated rentals of sound equipment, transcribed musical arrangements, managed income and expenses, planned recording sessions, set play lists, performed, and interacted with audiences.

Pretty fancy way of saying "Jammed and smoked weed for three years", and none of it is a lie. Look back at your life for skills you've acquired, you will be surprised.

Paul


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 22 Apr 01 - 06:56 PM

See? Just think of all the things you do as a 'domestic engineer' or housewife as they used to be called....

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: Hollowfox
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 10:16 AM

After about nine months with a degree in anthropology and no job, I went to Snelling & Snelling. For a cut of my first few paychecks, they got me a job as a ward clerk in a hospital. Either S & S or the hospital could work for you. After getting my master's degree (some few years later) I ended up as a museum guide, but it didn't pay as well as the hospital jobs I had. I also found that Kelly paid better than Manpower (if that compans is still around).
When you list your skills, list any audiovisual machines you know how to operate (overhead projector, slide projector, etc), and office machines as well; even photocopiers. In pre-computer days, it showed a certain mechanical skill and general trainability, and a lack of fear of technology/machines. It might still help.
One important thing that hasn't come up. If you sign on with a temp agency, call every day that you don't have a job, and even if it's some small potatoes, dull gig, take the first job they offer you. Both of these are seen by the service as evidence that you really want to work. To not do these is evidence to them that you don't really care, and they won't call you. Good luck, Mary


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: Amos
Date: 23 Apr 01 - 10:34 AM

ANother option is the interneships that are becoming more and more popular with places like (for example) PBS, various studios, some high-tech companies, etc. These lead directly to possible hiring exposure and also look good on a resume.

Regards,

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: GUEST,_gargoyle
Date: 24 Apr 01 - 09:52 AM

A newly wed .... and already jaded.

Take the opportunity to study up on your domestic skills. Mastering the Kama Sutre should improve the boring and decrease the bore.


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: UB Ed
Date: 25 Apr 01 - 08:27 AM

So, Ely, whatdaya say?


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: GUEST,Pepper
Date: 26 Apr 01 - 08:27 AM

Ely said: Any tips for a (don't laugh) history major who lives in a largely residential (read: few jobs) suburb?


Ely, when you decided to major in history, what were you thinking you would do for a living? Many people seem to forget that the primary goal of education is training for a job. As a history major, your options are teaching, graduate school, and washing dishes.

The $6.75/hour job may be a springboard to something else. An education ain't nothing without experience.


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Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: GUEST,Pepper
Date: 26 Apr 01 - 08:32 AM

To put it in mathematical terms:

College education ¹ CEO of Microsoft overnight


Subject: RE: BS: Job search woes
From: Midchuck
Date: 26 Apr 01 - 09:04 AM

The engineering major asks: "How does it work?"

The hard science major asks: "Why does it work?"

The accounting/business major asks: "How much will it cost?"

The humanities/social sciences major asks: "And would you like fries with that?"

Peter


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This Thread Is Closed.


Mudcat time: 30 May 2:53 AM EDT

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