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Hitting the Pavement



Joined: 5/2/2009
Posts: 472
mcoly618
After returning from a five-week study abroad program in June, I officially moved into my first apartment and began living … jobless.

In the weeks before my trip I applied at multiple restaurants and local shops and for university positions so I would be prepared when I returned to the area. However, those attempts proved to be in vain; I never received any calls back and spent the last month enduring what seems like an endless job search.

"Hiring." It's the word that makes you swerve off the road because you just saw a sign on a business. It's a word that gives a feeling of some hope; too bad every place that is "hiring" won't call you back.

After applying to at least three to four jobs a day for a month, I can't decide if it's discrimination because I'm a student or that I'm just truly not "qualified" for any position anywhere. The frustration continues when you begin searching different sources like Craigslist, local papers, etc., for help wanted ads.

The funny thing about searching for a job is most ads are impossible to fill. Half the times it feels like the ads read, "Wanted: A 25 year old, with 10 years experience who has three degrees and is willing to be paid minimum wage." How are students and new graduates expected to find any positions when all the jobs require years of experience and unfathomable requirements?

Sometimes you get lucky and stumble on a prospective opportunity on Craigslist. The interesting thing is that most "need someone now" and don't list any important details, and no one ever responds to your phone calls or e-mails. Don't get me wrong, Craigslist and newspapers are great for finding an employment opportunity. Getting someone to respond is the tricky part.

So after a month of Craigslist searching, driving around and filling out applications on location and on the Internet with no luck, it led me to do some research. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in June the U.S. unemployment rate was 9.6 percent overall and Pennsylvania's was 9.2 percent.

The funny thing is that the state website says, "According to the World Bank, Pennsylvania has the 17th largest economy in the world with $450 billion in gross domestic product. The commonwealth is home to vibrant, mature industries and has cultivated a business climate that helps innovative, entrepreneurial business thrive." So, where are all the jobs?
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Comment by LauraJayne


Joined: 4/16/2009
Posts: 63
Searching for a job is always frustrating, but with the high unemployment rates right now, it can be incredibly discouraging. Your perspective, as a job seeker, is incredibly important right now - so keep us updated on your search!

Good luck!
Posted: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 5:56:06 PM
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Comment by christinalouise


Joined: 4/17/2009
Posts: 16
When I was in high school, my parents wouldn't let me have a car until I got a job. I applied everywhere - Wendy's, Hardee's, Burger King, Wal-Mart, the local grocery store on the same day 5 kids quit.

No one called me back. Not even Wal-Mart. (And Wal-Mart hires the mentally handicapped, for crying out loud!)

I remember being 17, sitting on the steps to the second floor of my parents' house and crying because I couldn't find a job. What was wrong with me?

Then, one day in my accounting class, the teacher announced that a local bank was looking for a part-time teller. I had no experience whatsoever, but I applied anyway. I figured I didn't have anything to lose.

I got the job.

(I was chosen over another girl from my high school who had already taken a year of accounting.)

As far as first jobs go, you couldn't beat it. Nights and weekends off (because banks are closed). Holidays off. My birthday off. Better pay than you get flippin' burgers.

I worked at the bank for five years. I came back on holiday and summer breaks from college. I loved it. And I only left it when I got my first journalism job.

So... the moral of the story is...

Don't give up.

If you're in college or you just graduated, pop into your university's career services or alumni office. It might have some listings of local businesses that are looking for help. Or the staff there might be able to help you do some networking that could lead to a job.

Apply anywhere and everywhere. Fast food joints. Coffee shops. Restaurants. Grocery stores. Mall stores. Banks.

(The surest way to not get a job is to think you're too good for one.)

Keep applying for jobs you find on-line or through newspapers. Whenever you submit an application in person, make sure you're dressed like you would for an interview. (You never know if the person you're handing the application to is the person doing the hiring.) Follow up when you submit an application somewhere.

The job market is extremely competitive right now, but there are always jobs for people who are really willing to work.
Posted: Saturday, November 6, 2010 5:07:40 AM
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