STAGE OF LIFE       Share Your Story       Coupons       Education Resources
Sign Up Now!

Hitting the Pavement

Joined: 5/2/2009
Posts: 472
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?
Rate this:
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
Rate this:
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
Rate this:

About StageofLife.comAbout Us: is a free blogging and writing community for singles that allows those living on their own the opportunity to share their personal stories and essays in an online life journal via their free Stage of Life account.  Explore our blogging contests for singles, statistics about being single, quotes about being single, and other resources about the single life here on  Register to start your free writing profile, share an essay about your life, and help us change the world, one story at a time.  If you are a teacher - review our Creative Writing and Language Arts Resources.

Stage of Life Writing Contests

writing contests

Enter National Writing ContestWriting Contests

From 2010 to 2016, ran a monthly, multi-generational writing contest.  With over 3,000,000 visitors and tens of thousands of participating students, teachers, parents, and bloggers involved over half a decade, grew into the world's largest multi-generational writing community. writing contestsWhere is the Writing Contest Now?  As grew into a global writing destination, the coordination of managing an international writing contest became too time intensive for the website's owners.  So starting on Sept. 4, 2016, unfortunately had to end the writing contest portion of its services. 

However, we are now actively looking for new owners of who may want to carry on the mission of helping to change the world, one story at a time.  If you know someone who may be interested in taking to the next level, we can share details around the opportunity.  Please send an email to our owners if there's interest to acquire the website.

But in the meantime, there's still plenty to see and do here - just check out the various links and menus on the page.

Past Annual Writing Contest Results:  While the energy and time to carry on the writing contest has come to a close, you can see summary reports and the winners from the monthly contests on our Writing Contest Winners page.  Tens of thousands of people have submitted essays over the last six years.  Our editorial team has been extremely grateful for all of the wonderful essays shared over the years - words and stories that have helped us change the world, one story at a time.

Sincerely, owners Eric & Rebecca Thiegs and Joe & Lisa Thiegs

Bragging rights, international recognition, and gift card prizes were part of the fun for participants of the free writing contests on

Mentions for the Stage of Life teen writing contests, teen trend reports, etiquette Q&A, and teacher resources by...

Our writing contests mentioned by
Our Teen Trend Report mentioned by MarketWatch Our etiquette resources mentioned by FOX Business Educator tips mentioned by Mashable


Each month over half a decade, Stage of Life hosted and judged writing contests for both students and adults.  We thank the below brands - our educational sponsors - who supplied gift cards as prizes for the winning essays as we helped the change the world through blogging, storytelling, and our literacy-based initiatives...

 Writing contest sponsor  Writing contest sponsor on  Blogging contest prize sponsor Spa & Wellness gift cards by SpaWeek writing contestsWhat made our writing contests different?

  • Stage of Life writing contests were always free to enter
  • Essays from our blogging and writing contests have been picked up by the media, e.g., and used by teachers as mentor texts across the globe
  • We wanted to hear your personal, authentic thoughts on real world topics each month.  We picked writing prompts for which your answers and wisdom may help our readers
  • We awarded the winners with real prizes (cash and/or gift cards) from our site sponsors
  • By entering the Stage of Life writing contests each month, writers were supporting our free educational literacy initiatives and their words reached hundreds of thousands of viewers who visited

Find Us on Facebook      Follow Us on Twitter     Read our Founder's Blog was launched in 2009 as the premier destination for people of all ages to find information, coupons, and stories about one of ten key stage of life transitions:  high school, college, on my own, wedding, married without children, having a baby, home ownership, parenting, grand parenting, and empty nest/retirement.  Nearly 1 million visitors come to the site each year to find information about their stage of life.  Stage of Life users (teens, college students, Millennials, Gen Y, Gen X, and Baby Boomers) can also share and archive their life stories via their Stage of Life profile page.  Specialized content includes statistics, quotes, videos, financial tips, coupons, news, writing contests, and more tailored to each of the 10 life stages featured.  My Life Rewards® is the free discount program for all Stage of Life users, readers and writers dedicated to providing printable coupons and coupon codes tailored towards each stage of life.

Terms of Service and Privacy