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Any Advice: Frustrating Job Search

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poptart

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Hello all,

Well, graduation is looming around the corner so the search is on for a job. The good news is I''m graduating with a good student record, member of an honor society, and know exactly what type of work I want to do. The bad news is there are very, VERY few opportunities in my area. I am currently tied to this area because DH is in the military, so moving isn''t an option for us until late December of next year (unless his medical discharge goes through this summer). I am doing an internship right now with the city government to get some more experience, but am really having trouble finding things in my area. Have any of you ever had this problem, and if so, how did you remedy it? Are their any suggestions for what else I could do? I have posted my resume on different environmental career sites, I have talked with my advisor, the career services coordinater, as well as my supervisor at work. They''ve all pretty much told me to keep looking, which I''m definitely doing. I''m just wondering if there is another resource that I may not have tapped into yet, or another way to go about this. Thanks for reading through this, and for any comments or suggestions. I appreciate it!

*M*
 

Madam Bijoux

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Until you find something you really want, would you consider working for the federal gov''t? You can see all the federal job vacancies at http://www.usajobs.opm.gov/
 

crown1

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i am sorry i don''t know what your degree is in but you have mentioned environmental work. i do know that fossil fueled power plants and plants in general need environmental technicians to handle their government contacts and to provide data and to run tests. i am not sure where you live but i would try manufacturing plants. a year or two ago my area was needing persons with these types of skills. congrats on the upcoming graduation!
 

Gypsy

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http://www.amazon.com/Guerrilla-Tactics-Getting-Legal-Dreams/dp/0159003172/ref=sr_1_1/104-0695304-2524754?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1176152218&sr=8-1 Had some great advice I thought would apply to many different fields. I found that some of the unconvental and down to earth advice offered was very useful.

From my own job search I can recommend networking. Is there a professional association or club that you can join? Or anyone that you work with outside of your place of employment that has seen you work and been impressed? For myself, the best reference I had was people who had worked with me (or on the other side) and could vouch for the fact that I did my job and did it well. That went a long way in getting me noticed and set aside from the pack.
 

Molly1024

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Poptart, I''m in your situation- I''ve been out of college for almost a year, graduated with great grades, and DH is an officer in the military. We live in a podunk little town and I have had the hardest time getting a job. Since there''s not much demand for college/non-profit admin, I have had to take whatever I can get, which isn''t much. Hopefully our next duty station next year will be in a real city and I can finally put my degree to work.
 

Independent Gal

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Poptart! Hang in there! Being out of work (or not yet in work) can be so frustrating. Apparently, it''s common for it to take 6 months or so to get steady work in your chosen field if you come out of college with a humanities degree. Can''t remember where I read that, though.

In the meantime, I can only second what Gypsy (?) said. Every job I''ve ever got was at least partly through networking. Join an organization where you''re likely to meet people in your area of interest? Or one thing that''s worked for me: make your own interviews. Contact people who work in your area and ask to meet with them to discuss what it''s like in their position, then basically send a follow-up e-mail with a CV and let them know to keep you in mind if something comes up... I''m having deja vu on that one though... Did I post that before? ?? Maybe when you started thinking about jobs?

The key thing is really just to hang in there! Keep trying! With your great qualifications and your obviously great brain (and wisdom beyond your years!), something will come through sooner or later.
 

poptart

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Thank you all so much for your responses so far. I just filled out a job application a little bit ago, so we''ll see how that goes. For anyone wondering, my degree is in English, I have a background in communications and PR, and I am trying to get into the environmental field.

Madame Bijoux: I bookmarked this site you gave me, and I will be looking at it more extensively this week. Thank you!

Crown: The idea about the power plants is one I hadn''t even considered, although we live in a beachy town and there are no power plant companies in the area that I know of, although I think I should check into that. There is quite a bit of construction in this area, so maybe construction companies with an emphasis on "green building" could be helfpul, too. Just thinking (or rather typing) out loud.

Gypsy: Yes, networking is SO important and I am doing my best to use it to my advantage. My advisor used to work in some top environmental organization in DC, so she has been a tremendous resource of information. She is just as busy as I am though, so it''s hard to schedule any meeting with her. I just have to take snippets of advice I get in passing, haha. She has also been my poetry teacher and knows about my concentration in environmental studies in my writing as well. My supervisor is also well known throughout the city, as is her husband, and he loves my passion for the environment so maybe I could use him as a reference as well? Would that be too presumptuous??

Molly: I am so sorry to hear that you are in the same position I am. Maybe you will find something helpful on this thread, too! I do hope that your next duty station will have something for you. Our area has quite a bit of demand for college admin., which of course doesn''t help me at all, haha! Luckily the next time we move it will most likely be for my job rather than his. Has your DH put in a request list for areas he wants to live in?

Independent Gal: You did indeed mention the create your own interview on my internship thread. The problem is actually finding the organizations in the first place. We have the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, and I just now remembered I KNOW a member of the staff because of the commission I am on. Wow! You reminded me of something without even knowing it, haha. So I will definitely be talking to her next week. She would make a great reference, too, and she''s also seen the work I''ve done and complimented me several times... I didn''t even think of her! Thank you for inadvertently reminding me of something, as well as your nice compliments at the end of your post. I really appreciate it. I''d like to think I have qualifications to do something in an entry level position, but everyone wants X number of years of experience. Don''t you just love the irony?

*M*
 

crown1

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poptart, i don''t know how much the construction companies would use a person with talents such as yours. i suspect that may be contracted by the job but don''t have any real insight. manufacturing almost always has by products that have to be dealt with. whether landfills, ponds or haul away is used documentation and government reporting is mandantory. what is made in your area? there may be many things made in the outskirts of town. paper mills are one thing that comes to mind as having to monitor environmental impact.

there used to be a guy named perry who posted on here. you may or may not remember him. he has posted about his job in a nuclear power plant and might have some tips. good luck!
 

strmrdr

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1: contact EPA
2: ask the base.
 

poptart

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Thanks again!

Crown 1: Thanks for your insight. I haven''t really ever considered what is made here, and honestly don''t know, so I''ll have to look into it. I''d never even thought of that.

Strm: Thanks for your advice! I have looked through all the vacancies with EPA and there aren''t any in my area. The closest is Alexandria... which is about four hours away. As for asking the base, I would really like to avoid military or working on the base if at all possible. Even though DH is in the military, we both really dislike it and are happy to be getting out of this lifestyle as soon as possible. But I guess you meant ask the base for local organizations, rather than job openings?

*M*
 

crown1

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i see you mentioned chesapeake bay. there is a nuclear plant listed in the chesapeake bay area. i think maryland, calvert county. if it is va you are in just google va power plants. i believe there are nine. i am not sure how you are in environmental with the english major. is it work experience or is my old brain not making the connection? no need to answer if it is none of my business. i am sure you are quite capable of doing this on your own.
 

poptart

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Date: 4/9/2007 7:09:10 PM
Author: crown1
i see you mentioned chesapeake bay. there is a nuclear plant listed in the chesapeake bay area. i think maryland, calvert county. if it is va you are in just google va power plants. i believe there are nine. i am not sure how you are in environmental with the english major. is it work experience or is my old brain not making the connection? no need to answer if it is none of my business. i am sure you are quite capable of doing this on your own.
Well, I don''t want to do environmental science. I want to do PR and writing for environmental organizations. Believe it or not, there is a demand for it, but the problem is that these organizations aren''t in my area. I figure I should combine what I have a passion for with what I''m also good at doing. My internship has successfully combined both of these things, and I would work for them if given the opportunity, but they don''t have an opening because they are revamping the whole department by this June.

*M*
 

Gypsy

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Are you located in the DC metro area? If so there are many resources I''m sure we can steer you toward. What school are you/did you attend.

As for too presumptuous. NO. Job hunting is serious business and not for the faint of heart. Broach the subject with him and let him know that as you respect him, and know that he is well regarding, it is your hope that you can use him for a reference. Flatter him, then ask. It will work fine.
 

poptart

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Date: 4/9/2007 7:24:33 PM
Author: Gypsy
Are you located in the DC metro area? If so there are many resources I''m sure we can steer you toward. What school are you/did you attend.


As for too presumptuous. NO. Job hunting is serious business and not for the faint of heart. Broach the subject with him and let him know that as you respect him, and know that he is well regarding, it is your hope that you can use him for a reference. Flatter him, then ask. It will work fine.
The problem is that I''m not located in the DC metro area. I would love love love to work for the Nature Conservancy, but of course, their regional offices are only in DC and Richmond. Go figure. I will see if he would be willing to be a reference, although I''m sure he''d be more than happy. You are so right that this isn''t for the faint of heart. I was so excited to get my internship a couple months ago, and was glad that I''d had great interview... well, that excitement was thoroughly squashed as soon as I realized I would just need to do it ALL over again! Hopefully something will come through. All of your suggestions have been so helpful, as have the suggestions of all the other posters. I can''t wait to see some more!

*M*
 

crown1

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thanks! i think i understand better now. i can understand the need for knowledgable pr people with writing skills to report procedures, projects and daily progress of environmentally sensitive manufacturers.
 

Gypsy

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Have you been published hon? That''s also a big help. Right after lawschool I had an article published (not in a legal journal either) and that was a nice addition to my resume (I was an English Major too)... actually I had several opportunities in undergrad to get published, as my professors were constantly after me to do so, but I was short-sighted and lazy and didn''t do it. I grabbed the chance to do so after lawschool.

Also if you have been published you can do some networking within the organization you''ve been published in... usually the industry publications have a good idea of what''s going on where and can help you get an idea where to focus your efforts.
 

poptart

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Date: 4/9/2007 7:51:15 PM
Author: Gypsy
Have you been published hon? That''s also a big help. Right after lawschool I had an article published (not in a legal journal either) and that was a nice addition to my resume (I was an English Major too)... actually I had several opportunities in undergrad to get published, as my professors were constantly after me to do so, but I was short-sighted and lazy and didn''t do it. I grabbed the chance to do so after lawschool.


Also if you have been published you can do some networking within the organization you''ve been published in... usually the industry publications have a good idea of what''s going on where and can help you get an idea where to focus your efforts.
I''ve only been published in those campus writing journals, but not in anything "real," haha. My advisor/ teacher has often suggested I try to get myself published and has actually given me all the information I need to do so. I guess I should get on that. I honestly didn''t even think it would help. I mean, I write so much just because I like to that I never really thought it could help me get a job, haha.

*M*
 

Molly1024

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Poptart: My DH is a pilot finishing up training and will get to select his aircraft and then his locale in the beginning of May but we''re hoping for something on the east coast, like North Carolina or San Diego on the west coast. We shall see- good luck!
 

qtiekiki

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Since you are by the beach, there should be some environmental organizations active in your area. I work in the Environmental Monitoring Division in L.A. (I do the lab work), and our division manager keeps close contact with the local environmental organizations. You can probably find the website of your local governmental sanitation bureau, and look under their wastewater and/or solid resources programs to see if they provide links to some of the local environmental organizations. Then you can go from there. I did a google search with Chesapeake Bay Program and there were some environmental related sites that came up. Also you can try to see if your state or local governments haves dept of fish & gaming, dept of park & recreations, and dept of environmental affairs. You may get some leads there.

Hopefully there''s something that you haven''t tried that can help you broaden your search. In any case, best of luck with your job search and if it makes you feel better, I took me 4 years after I graduated to get a job in my field.
 

poptart

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Molly: Well, here''s to hoping that you get stationed somewhere much better! Congrats to your DH on finishing up his training!

Qtiekiki: You would think that since I am by the beach there would be a plethora of choices. There are only a few good organizations around here, if you can believe it. I am going to go look on the city government website though, and see if anything comes up. On another note, it took four years to find a job in your field?! Oh dear. The odds do not look in my favor then, lol.

Random newbie question: If they don''t say where the job is located I am meant to assume that it''s in the main office, right? I just looked at one job opening that didn''t say the location of the job, so I just figured that''s where it must be.

I think I will start calling places this week. Sigh. That''s what I did all last week and all of this week for my internship, haha.

*M*
 

Gypsy

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Date: 4/9/2007 7:54:52 PM
Author: poptart
Date: 4/9/2007 7:51:15 PM

Author: Gypsy

Have you been published hon? That''s also a big help. Right after lawschool I had an article published (not in a legal journal either) and that was a nice addition to my resume (I was an English Major too)... actually I had several opportunities in undergrad to get published, as my professors were constantly after me to do so, but I was short-sighted and lazy and didn''t do it. I grabbed the chance to do so after lawschool.



Also if you have been published you can do some networking within the organization you''ve been published in... usually the industry publications have a good idea of what''s going on where and can help you get an idea where to focus your efforts.
I''ve only been published in those campus writing journals, but not in anything ''real,'' haha. My advisor/ teacher has often suggested I try to get myself published and has actually given me all the information I need to do so. I guess I should get on that. I honestly didn''t even think it would help. I mean, I write so much just because I like to that I never really thought it could help me get a job, haha.


*M*


Do not pass up the opportunity to get published!! Trust me I did it and have regretted it since. It DOES help. ALOT. The silliest things do, I swear... and anything to set you apart from the pack... especially an external validation of your worth as a writer like getting published is a BIG DEAL.

GET PUBLISHED LADY!

Plus it''s a great process to go through... the editing and refining are all great practice... getting criticism and defending your viewpoint, all bonus''s ''trial by fire'' from an employers''s POV. AND you can use it as a writing sample, and it''s already been edited to death so you have no worries about it!

GET PUBLISHED!!
 

gailrmv

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My brother is graduating this spring too and has also been having a hard time. In his case, his grades are great but his major is common and he doesn''t have a lot of work experience (summers). He is also very shy which is tough for networking and for interviews. Some of the advice I have given him:

It is easier to get a job if you have a job, so if graduation comes and you don''t have your "real" job lined up, take a backup type position - i.e. retail, etc. while you keep looking.

Network every chance you get. Get business cards printed up and give them to people you meet who might be able to help you connect with opportunities.

Consider seeking a "summer internship" at a place you''d like to work, even though you will have already graduated. It is a foot in the door and when a full time position opens up, they already know you and like you.

Congratulations on your upcoming graduation and marriage!
 

neatfreak

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Hi Poptart,

I don''t know if this will help or not, but my father belongs to an organization called Riverkeepers. They also have a subsidiary called Baykeepers I think. Anyway, it''s run by Bobby Kennedy out of Tarrytown, NY and I know they are big into teaching up and coming environmentalists. If you contact them there is a chance they might know of organizations in your area. Bobby does a lot of teaching at Pace and likes to help young people get involved. I assume Chesapeake Bay would have a Baykeeper/Riverkeeper chapter nearby.

Also worth noting that many organizations don''t advertise when they hire, they just hire from word of mouth. I have had luck in the past calling an organization I am interested in and getting internships/jobs that weren''t advertised that way.

Worth a shot...
 

poptart

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Gypsy: By published you just mean anything in general right? My poetry teacher has been wanting me to try and publish some of my poetry and seems to be very interested in helping me as she thinks, "That I have a lot to say," hahaha. I feel extremely comfortable with poetry, and I''m at the point now where I can constructively edit my pieces a few times even before getting feedback, so it''s something that I feel confident that SOMEONE might be willing to publish. Well. Maybe. I hope? (notice the floundering confidence *here*
)

Gail: Congrats for your brother! Work experience is wanted by everyone, which is so annoying because where are you supposed to get the required experience in the first place? You would have to do endless internships for years! The thought of doing another internship has definitely crossed my mind, it just makes me nervous because it''s temporary, you know? There are a few that have caught my eye that I may just apply for anyway and see where it goes. I am also considering getting an internship with the SCA if I have to because they are pretty widespread and well known. I''m sorry your brother is having trouble with networking and interviews because he''s shy. DH is quite shy, too, and often gets extremely embarrassed talking to people because he is deaf in one ear and sometimes can''t hear what they''re saying. Maybe he could have some friends do some "mock interviews" with him to build up his confidence? The career services center at his campus would probably offer some help for that, too. Mine helped me a lot with my internship... but I''m kind of coming up dry with this whole job search. Thank you for your advice!

Neatfreak: I have actually heard of Riverkeepers! I didn''t know it was headed by Bobby Kennedy though! Don''t tell my mom, she''ll try to get me to set up some type of meeting with him, lol. I will look into the Baykeepers like you said, because I hadn''t heard of them. Riverkeepers was just something I heard of in passing, although now it seems I should have paid closer attention. Thanks for your advice about calling up the organizations and asking if they have things open. I had forgotten about that important aspect of it. It seems weird to me that organizations wouldn''t post or publicize their job openings.

*M*
 

gailrmv

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Date: 4/9/2007 11:27:26 PM
Author: poptart
Gypsy: By published you just mean anything in general right? My poetry teacher has been wanting me to try and publish some of my poetry and seems to be very interested in helping me as she thinks, ''That I have a lot to say,'' hahaha. I feel extremely comfortable with poetry, and I''m at the point now where I can constructively edit my pieces a few times even before getting feedback, so it''s something that I feel confident that SOMEONE might be willing to publish. Well. Maybe. I hope? (notice the floundering confidence *here*
)

Gail: Congrats for your brother! Work experience is wanted by everyone, which is so annoying because where are you supposed to get the required experience in the first place? You would have to do endless internships for years! The thought of doing another internship has definitely crossed my mind, it just makes me nervous because it''s temporary, you know? There are a few that have caught my eye that I may just apply for anyway and see where it goes. I am also considering getting an internship with the SCA if I have to because they are pretty widespread and well known. I''m sorry your brother is having trouble with networking and interviews because he''s shy. DH is quite shy, too, and often gets extremely embarrassed talking to people because he is deaf in one ear and sometimes can''t hear what they''re saying. Maybe he could have some friends do some ''mock interviews'' with him to build up his confidence? The career services center at his campus would probably offer some help for that, too. Mine helped me a lot with my internship... but I''m kind of coming up dry with this whole job search. Thank you for your advice!

Neatfreak: I have actually heard of Riverkeepers! I didn''t know it was headed by Bobby Kennedy though! Don''t tell my mom, she''ll try to get me to set up some type of meeting with him, lol. I will look into the Baykeepers like you said, because I hadn''t heard of them. Riverkeepers was just something I heard of in passing, although now it seems I should have paid closer attention. Thanks for your advice about calling up the organizations and asking if they have things open. I had forgotten about that important aspect of it. It seems weird to me that organizations wouldn''t post or publicize their job openings.

*M*
Thanks Poptart! I did suggest some mock interviews and he said he did 2 and they were helpful. He had his first real interview this week and he said it didn''t go well at all and was over within 20 min
I agree with you that it is very hard to get very much experience while you are a student! In fact, I remember looking for my first job ever, a summer job at age 16. Everyone wanted experience and of course, I had none. How do you get experience if nobody will hire you? I probably applied 50 places all for very menial, entry level things and it was SO frustrating. Obviously you are in a much better situation as a college grad - I am just reminiscing!

It sounds like you are well on your way to getting a great job!
 

poptart

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Gail: I just had another thought for your brother. Have him write down all the things that he would have said, or plans on saying in future interviews so that he has something as a kind of security. I used to do this with presentations, and even though I never used the paper, just knowing I had it made me feel better... same thing with singing. I think it works just by building up your confidence. I mean, if he''s able to write it down, then it''s just one more step to say it in an interview! I''m sorry his interview didn''t go very well, but the more he does the more comfortable he''ll feel. Is it ok to ask how many people will be at the interview? I know that I have been surprised by walking into an interview and having a conference room full of people, which was initially terrifying.

*M*
 

gailrmv

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Date: 4/9/2007 11:51:54 PM
Author: poptart
Gail: I just had another thought for your brother. Have him write down all the things that he would have said, or plans on saying in future interviews so that he has something as a kind of security. I used to do this with presentations, and even though I never used the paper, just knowing I had it made me feel better... same thing with singing. I think it works just by building up your confidence. I mean, if he''s able to write it down, then it''s just one more step to say it in an interview! I''m sorry his interview didn''t go very well, but the more he does the more comfortable he''ll feel. Is it ok to ask how many people will be at the interview? I know that I have been surprised by walking into an interview and having a conference room full of people, which was initially terrifying.

*M*
That is a great idea, I will pass that along to him. Thank you!
Conference room full of people? Yikes! That does sound scary!
 

KristyDarling

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Hi PT! I''m sorry your job search has been so difficult. Bless your DH''s heart for serving. These are the kinds of lifestyle sacrifices that military families make and we are so very grateful for all that you do.

Have you tried checking out companies/agencies that will allow some sort of work-by-remote arrangement?
 

poptart

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Date: 4/10/2007 12:03:11 AM
Author: KristyDarling
Hi PT! I''m sorry your job search has been so difficult. Bless your DH''s heart for serving. These are the kinds of lifestyle sacrifices that military families make and we are so very grateful for all that you do.


Have you tried checking out companies/agencies that will allow some sort of work-by-remote arrangement?
Thanks for your well wishes. His deployment is over really soon, so that''s something to look forward to in the coming month, even if a job is looking slim, haha. I''m sorry, I''ve never heard about a work-by-remote arrangement. Could you please explain it to me?

*M*
 

monarch64

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Poptart, I just wanted to chime in here and say congrats on your upcoming graduation, and also wish you the best of luck in your job search! Also, have you thought about taking a job in sales, either inside or outside, to tide you over until you and DH are able to move someplace where jobs in your field are more plentiful? Especially in your case, I would think that if you had some of the flexibility as far as working hours a sales job usually entails you might havealso have more free time to do serious job-hunting and interviewing as well...just a thought.
 
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