Author Topic: Need to earn more money but have no useful job history  (Read 5663 times)

Napoleon

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Need to earn more money but have no useful job history
« on: January 07, 2015, 03:47:30 PM »
Long time lurker, first time poster, from the UK.

I'm starting to get serious about this FIRE thing. I am very good at saving money but suck at earning it. If I am ever going to make it, I need to earn more than a couple of hundred here and there. The problem is, no one would hire me.

I got straight A grades at school then a 2.i from a top university. However, I knew then that the corporate life was not for me, so I did an arty postgrad which took two years and most of my savings while living at home with my parents. I graduated last July and promptly got married. I moved with my husband to a mid-sized town where he is studying on pretty much a full scholarship (tuition and mostly maintenance) for his dream job. I worked OK through summer and autumn in arty-related jobs and saved almost all I earned but now, in a new city, am struggling to find work.

I think I have made a huge mistake with the arty thing. I love doing it myself, but doing it for other people SUCKS BEYOND BELIEF. I am not sure why I didn't realise this before, but oh boy do I know it now. I am also a very anxious person and taking on ill-defined responsibility terrifies me. I don't know if I'm doing it right or wrong, and the entire arty world depends on networking and dealing with narcissistic personalities. I have also come to a too-late realisation that I am A HUGE INTROVERT. I want out.

The problem is, I can't find a job doing anything else. My dream job at the moment would be part time, nearby and not too stressful (admin would be ideal, or retail if it's more like a clothes shop than a supermarket). Unfortunately, I am overqualified and underexperienced for retail and for admin. I cannot find ANY jobs that do not require any experience.

I just don't know where to turn. I have a good degree, but am too far out of university for any graduate/trainee schemes (and do not have the drive for them anyway) and have no marketable experience. I'm not going to end up on the street because we can squeeze a living out of my husband's scholarship but it is very bare bones and leaves nothing for saving - I want to plan for a future where I do not have to worry about these things. I feel like it may be a self-esteem/anxiety problem, but I honestly cannot see how I can market myself to any employer - but I do think I would be an excellent employee (polite, reliable, organised - but how does one prove these things in advance?)

Lia-Aimee

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Re: Need to earn more money but have no useful job history
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2015, 05:49:20 PM »
You probably have way more marketable experience than you think :)

What about your "summer and autumn arty-related jobs" could translate into retail or junior admin? Read some job descriptions for retail and junior admin, and think what you've done that might have been similar.  Apart from those jobs, have you ever done the McDonalds grind as a teenager or a data entry gig on weekends or in the summer during uni? If not, what skills did you gain from volunteering, extracurriculars, art camps, church, etc etc etc... all of this can be applicable to entry-level roles.

Since you're introverted and anxious, I would highly recommend something like data entry or document control/records management.  A very typical entry-level "admin" job is a receptionist in a spa or hair salon, but that does require the person to be "bubbly" and talk to a lot of clients, dealing with nasty ones.  I'd also recommend a grocery store over a clothing store; in the former, depending on your role you can do stock, inventory, cleaning etc.  Many clothing ones, save for some major department stores, require salespeople to be aggressively extroverted.  (If you find one where that isn't the case, don't worry about experience, dress for the image of the store and you're in.  This is particularly the case for higher-end stores.) 

Perhaps your husband could also see if there are any roles open to you on his campus.  One job I had as a student was proctoring exams - so easy!

Feel free to PM me if you have additional questions/ have customized resume advice, I see hundreds of resumes every month.

mozar

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Re: Need to earn more money but have no useful job history
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2015, 05:55:57 PM »
So you have a college degree and a masters degree? It's good that you won't be out on the street if you don't work, because you have the luxury of time to think about your career. There are some good career related books out there like "what color is your parachute." Are there any temp agencies where you are? Are there any art related non profits you could work for or could you teach art to private students? I would stay away from retail and admin because people perceive them as easy and therefore there is a lot of competition for them. They are actually very hard jobs.

Hey It's Me

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Re: Need to earn more money but have no useful job history
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2015, 06:18:51 PM »
Okay Napoleon, get ready for some facepunches (they're for your own good, I promise.)

You have a bachelor's and a master's and "cannot find any work?" Please. You said yourself retail would be an ideal job for you. Do you know what it takes to get a job working at a store in a mall? One good hand to point customers in the right direction and a heartbeat. (You could probably even get by without the former, if you learn how to roll your eyes really well - my ex was an expert at this!) If you fear you won't get a job because you're overqualified, simply leave out the fact that you have a masters/bachelors in your resume. It's not lying, it's omission. (Coincidentally, this is the founding principal of the fifth amendment - here in the "states," that is. #Murica.)

Or you could tell them the truth: that you haven't really worked for a while and you want to supplement your family's income.

Even if you start with minimum wage at the bottom of the retail food chain, that is... minimum wage more than you're making right now - you can't lose! Plus, being in front of customers will help you with that shyness problem of yours.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2015, 06:21:53 PM by moe_rants »

TerriM

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Re: Need to earn more money but have no useful job history
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2015, 06:29:47 PM »
Put out job applications.  One hundred of them.  You can't get anything if you don't try.  Let them decide if you're overqualified/underexperienced, just put yourself out there.

Northerly

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Re: Need to earn more money but have no useful job history
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2015, 06:31:45 PM »
You are in a fabulous situation: you're young, smart, and you know what you need. Consider looking at the upcoming 8 or so years as a trade for the following 50. Pretty good ratio there, about 6:1. If you can sacrifice these next 8 years on the altar of wage-earning, you can do wtf you want with the following 50.

(Local) insurance companies and banks usually have low barriers to entry, decent salaries, and room for advancement (salary raises). If you can gut it out for the next 8 years, pursuing your passion in the evenings and on weekends, you'll be free in less than a decade. Best wishes!

Goldielocks

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Re: Need to earn more money but have no useful job history
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2015, 06:42:05 PM »
My Arty friend who also hates working for corporations, and for other people while being "arty", went with these types of jobs, that are finally working well for her:

1.  She now coordinates fundraisers and donations  / outreach programs for the Opera.
2.  Writing government grant applications for money for art programs  (she did not have experience in the UK with this, so she was creative with her resume wording, got the job, and learned how to write them in 2 weeks while telling her employer that the seminar training she needed was just to become familiar with the UK wording.... a bit too close to an outright lie in my opinion, but it worked.)
3. Admin to the above persons to get experience.
4. Admin at a parks and recreation, helping to coordinate arts programs for kids (her teaching degree helped here, but she gave up teaching within 5 years - too much politics and structure)

Just try.,  Keep to industry that you have worked in, but with a different role (e.g. admin or Public Relations)

southern granny

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Re: Need to earn more money but have no useful job history
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2015, 08:08:36 PM »
Have you considered doing art therapy?  I think it would be fascinating.  Apparently, it is showing to be helpful with several segments of population including Alzheimers patients and autistic children.    It might require returning to school for bit.  I don't know what is required, but I read an article about it recently.

Spondulix

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Re: Need to earn more money but have no useful job history
« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2015, 02:05:53 AM »
If you just need A JOB, the solution might be to take your Post Grad off the resume.

I can relate to your position - I have a Masters Degree in an arts-related field. The field I was going into expects everyone to take an entry level job and work your way up. I went into an interview once and someone said, "I don't have friends with Masters Degrees, so why would I hire someone with one?"

I had a couple different versions of my resume, and just experimented with which one would get me interviews. One had just my first degree, and one didn't have any education. If anyone asked, I would talk about it, but more often than not, in an entry-level job, they wanted to know more about work ethic, personality, and skills than educational background.






Astatine

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Re: Need to earn more money but have no useful job history
« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2015, 02:20:08 AM »
I highly recommend Ask A Manager blog for advice on applying for jobs, resumes etc. her advice is most specific to office work in the US (including admin roles) and less so for retail. But you should be able to find advice that's relevant to you. Good luck!

NewbieFrugalUK

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Re: Need to earn more money but have no useful job history
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2015, 02:57:20 AM »
Here's what you do. Put on a smart outfit, take a copy of your CV and qualifications, and go round to all the temping agencies in your 'mid sized town'. There will be plenty of administration roles going, the sort that take Uni students on their holidays, and they will be delighted to have someone presentable, with a brain, that isn't only available for 3 weeks here and there. It is then their responsibility to fix up your CV and get you a job. Takes all the paralysis of 'but the job advert doesn't say 'suitable for arty type with no experience' out of it.
Once you are registered with several agencies, call them every two days to remind them you are still available, and someone will get you placed just to stop you phoning them. And then, voilą, you are earning and gaining experience.
Do it today. :)

NewbieFrugalUK

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Re: Need to earn more money but have no useful job history
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2015, 02:58:40 AM »
Ps - based in the UK, and used to work in recruitment. Trust me on this.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Need to earn more money but have no useful job history
« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2015, 05:11:21 AM »
Was about to suggest temping agencies as well, but didn't know if they were the standard in the UK. After we moved across the US, I had a job but my wife didn't, and temping agencies got her several jobs. They weren't great, but had we just been eking out a living, they would have been very valuable. She did eventually find a real, permanent job on Craigslist, so don't count that out.

Shot in the dark here, but make sure you aren't acting, to yourself or to potential employees, like these jobs are beneath you. One of those temp jobs my wife got was reporting to a whole chain of people who were resentful of their clerical positions against their fancy graduate degrees (the receptionist had a business master's from Columbia) and it was unpleasant for everybody.

Phil_Moore

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Re: Need to earn more money but have no useful job history
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2015, 05:44:47 AM »
Here's what you do. Put on a smart outfit, take a copy of your CV and qualifications, and go round to all the temping agencies in your 'mid sized town'. There will be plenty of administration roles going, the sort that take Uni students on their holidays, and they will be delighted to have someone presentable, with a brain, that isn't only available for 3 weeks here and there. It is then their responsibility to fix up your CV and get you a job. Takes all the paralysis of 'but the job advert doesn't say 'suitable for arty type with no experience' out of it.
Once you are registered with several agencies, call them every two days to remind them you are still available, and someone will get you placed just to stop you phoning them. And then, voilą, you are earning and gaining experience.
Do it today. :)

+1
« Last Edit: August 23, 2017, 03:41:19 PM by fungalist »

poorboyrichman

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Re: Need to earn more money but have no useful job history
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2015, 05:51:48 AM »
If you have a can-do attitude and are creative (and I hope you are if you worked in arty industries) you can spin your skills and experience for any job.

Take up hobbies, skills and hobbies outside of work, say for instance, being the treasurer for your local sewing club (yeah right, but you get the idea!!!) would go very well on your CV/interviews.

Positive I can do attitude is all you need. Nothing wrong with starting at the bottom and working your way up. Take any temp work you can.

Nickyd£g

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Re: Need to earn more money but have no useful job history
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2015, 06:22:25 AM »
Here's what you do. Put on a smart outfit, take a copy of your CV and qualifications, and go round to all the temping agencies in your 'mid sized town'. There will be plenty of administration roles going, the sort that take Uni students on their holidays, and they will be delighted to have someone presentable, with a brain, that isn't only available for 3 weeks here and there. It is then their responsibility to fix up your CV and get you a job. Takes all the paralysis of 'but the job advert doesn't say 'suitable for arty type with no experience' out of it.
Once you are registered with several agencies, call them every two days to remind them you are still available, and someone will get you placed just to stop you phoning them. And then, voilą, you are earning and gaining experience.
Do it today. :)

As a previous recruiter for an agency and as a temp I completely agree with this advice.  I have an absolutely useless "good" degree from a top Scottish university and like you, quickly realised I A)didn't want to practice my degree and B)had no experience other than waitressing.  I got an entry level job, worked in various admin/call centre roles then had a major meltdown and went travelling.  When I came back I put on a suit, brushed up my CV and went round agencies.  I had two temp offers within two days and continued to temp in various HR/admin/PA roles for two years - some awful, some amazing! 

Temping gives you the freedom to leave with very little notice if required but is also good for gaining skills in dealing with different people and tasks.  I am pretty extrovert though, so that may be more difficult for you...Honestly, all agencies really WANT someone polite, who turns up, turns up on time, looks smart and smiles.  General entry level admin is not difficult to learn.  But you will need to push yourself a bit.

Good luck!

Kaivalagi

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Re: Need to earn more money but have no useful job history
« Reply #16 on: January 08, 2015, 06:30:35 AM »
Yes to agencies!! When I think back on all my job searches my only regret is that I didn't register with agencies earlier. You just never know what opportunities may arise whilst also searching for adverts and applying yourself.

Also it is a really good exercise to think through your skills. Just google 'work skills' or 'skills for administrative work' and start incorporating relevant key words and phrases into your CV. Let us know how you get on!


I'm a red panda

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Re: Need to earn more money but have no useful job history
« Reply #17 on: January 08, 2015, 07:35:28 AM »
I would choose depending on where you are applying whether or not to include your Master's degrees.

Some places will not hire people with advanced degrees for entry level work because they think they will leave if a better offer comes up.  But other places are filled with people with advanced degrees trying to get a foot in the door- you need to do some research to figure out which kind of place it is (my last job, it was not uncommon for people as Secretary I to have a PhD. Half this freaking city has a PhD.)


But mostly, you just need to put out a ton of applications. 
I agree with people who suggest temping, especially if you can find a temp to hire situation.

Napoleon

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Re: Need to earn more money but have no useful job history
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2015, 04:17:09 AM »
Thank you, everyone, for the helpful replies - and for the facepunches. The best thing about this forum is when you all tell it like it is.

Truth be told, I had not considered temping. I have re-written my CV, am currently working on a covering letter, and have submitted an application to one job and one temp agency already. I find it hard, though, to articulate why I want XYZ job. "Because monies and self-esteem" is not a good reason, but it's hard to think why anyone would passionately want an admin job.

It's going to be a struggle, but I have made a start. I think it helps that my husband's term has just started, so I feel even more useless when I'm alone at home all day, and it gives me plenty of time to work on applications (which are like squeezing blood out of a stone). I still feel like I've done everything wrong in life so far, but I'm starting to feel like it's not the end of the world and I can change it.

NewbieFrugalUK

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Re: Need to earn more money but have no useful job history
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2015, 04:49:25 AM »
Good for you- getting started is the hardest bit. And also, the joy of temping agencies is everyone is doing it for the money - no need to dress anything up as a 'passion for administration' ;)
Keep us posted as to how you get on!

CU Tiger

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Re: Need to earn more money but have no useful job history
« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2015, 05:19:47 AM »
I am an admin.

Here are some reasons you might enjoy it:

I like being part of a team and helping the team achieve their goals.

I enjoy setting up processes and helping people work more efficiently.

I am detail oriented and can manage the office so that my employer can spend her time selling, negotiating, etc.

Napoleon

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Re: Need to earn more money but have no useful job history
« Reply #21 on: January 19, 2015, 11:11:07 AM »
Thank you everyone for the facepunches which finally got me to DO something which led to two interviews last week which led to a provisional job offer to start three days a week and a twenty minute bike ride away at the end of the month! It is temporary, but the bets thing of all is that the agency has three pays bands. I thought for sure I would be in the bottom one but the interviewer described me as a 'high middle' which means I get paid nearly £1.50 an hour more than the lowest band!

CestMoi

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Re: Need to earn more money but have no useful job history
« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2015, 12:02:18 PM »
I think I have made a huge mistake with the arty thing. I love doing it myself, but doing it for other people SUCKS BEYOND BELIEF. I am not sure why I didn't realise this before, but oh boy do I know it now. I am also a very anxious person and taking on ill-defined responsibility terrifies me. I don't know if I'm doing it right or wrong, and the entire arty world depends on networking and dealing with narcissistic personalities. I have also come to a too-late realisation that I am A HUGE INTROVERT. I want out.

-You've already gotten some excellent ideas to find work on this thread. I just wanted to let you know I relate to what you've written above; you're definitely not alone there.

The temping thing is a good approach for getting arty type jobs. Freelancing is widespread in arty fields, and it can be tiresome to do some arty jobs on a permanent basis at one corporation.