Tips on breaking into the professional job industry?

  • nefficles

    Posts: 511

    Jan 28, 2012 8:59 PM GMT
    So here is some background information on me. I moved up to minnesota from arizona in august of last year. Currently, I am employed at a grocery store just to pay the bills. However hours are getting cut from my part time shedule(even though I asked for full time), I get paid crap, I take so much crap, and my self respect seems to be going out the door. I don't think that a great kid who is personable, outgoing, has two associates degrees, and has had three other jobs should be left to "settle". However, with the job market being as bad as it is, I find myself getting led on by emloyers only to have the trail go cold soon after. Seeing as how you guys are an awesome well-rounded group of people, I thought I would ask for advice from the guys. What are some tips or suggestions that would help someone break into a professional job environment? Also, if you are an employer what would you look for when hiring right now? I doubt I can be the only one going through this. Hope this helps others too!
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    Jan 28, 2012 9:04 PM GMT
    Networking. Personally knowing someone already working for a company you'd like to work for increases your chances exponentially than walking off the street somewhere.
  • commoncoll

    Posts: 1222

    Jan 28, 2012 10:11 PM GMT
    Who you gets you farther than what you know. It's getting to know the right people that is the problem. What is it that you are interested in?

    You will probably have to get at least a Bachelor's if not higher.
  • Import

    Posts: 7193

    Jan 28, 2012 10:23 PM GMT
    dude, u should have a bachelor's degree at a minimum to break into the professional world.
    associate degrees are good and all, but its not gonna get u where u wanna be.


    Most "professional" jobs require at least a bachelor's degree.
  • tobyb

    Posts: 111

    Jan 28, 2012 10:30 PM GMT
    Call me old fashioned, but I think you need knowledge or a skill. I don't know enough about Associates degrees but I do know that most employers I know look for a bachelors degree, but the main point is what can you do well? These days there are a ton of online learning tools, free software for everything from spreadsheets to 3D design to mapmaking to marketing businesses.

    This may sound like it's coming from left field, but I also know many people who have become certified as teachers of English as a Second Language, and then either teach foreigners here, or find jobs doing that abroad, sometimes in exotic places.

    It's become trendy now to think that who you know is important, and I guess it is, but they'll never hire you to do anything unless you can show them that what you know is useful.

    Toby
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    Jan 28, 2012 10:45 PM GMT
    You either need a bachelor's degree or you need to get the fuck out of Minneapolis. Or both. I know they're hiring in the small towns like St. Cloud and Mankato, meanwhile places like Hennepin County in general is basically so built up that unless you're in high school or among the baby boomers, it's hard to get a job.
  • tobyb

    Posts: 111

    Jan 28, 2012 11:15 PM GMT
    Bullwinklemoos saidYou either need a bachelor's degree or you need to get the fuck out of Minneapolis. Or both. I know they're hiring in the small towns like St. Cloud and Mankato, meanwhile places like Hennepin County in general is basically so built up that unless you're in high school or among the baby boomers, it's hard to get a job.


    I don't know MN at all, but +1. You have lots of time, do something exciting with your life and your abilities.
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    Jan 29, 2012 12:02 AM GMT
    What sort of "professional" job are you looking for? What Associates Degrees do you have? And what industry are you looking to get into?
  • BIG_N_TALL

    Posts: 2190

    Jan 29, 2012 12:27 AM GMT
    Let's face it, in this economy, it's HARD to find a job that is worth a damn. Networking is a big part of the equation, but not the 'end all, be all.' You can network your ass off, but if firms don't have an opening or don't want to hire, networking won't get you overly far. Luck and brown-nosing are just as much apart of the equation as is education, experience, and networking.

    In this economy, jobs are rare because corporations, business firms, universities, etc. have gotten accustomed to working their employees harder for less pay... while keeping profit earnings up. Alas, look at the quarterly profits for most corporations over the past few months. Why hire someone to fill position-A when I can get employee-B to do the work load of position-A (in conjunction to position-B), and not have to pay him more?

    It's happening more than you think --- thus the constant references in the media to a "jobless recovery" which probably only fuels movements like "Occupy Wall Street." With governments cutting positions or forcing employees to retire won't make your search for a job any easier. My best advice is to focus on areas of the economy that have long term growth potential like IT or nursing. Those are the areas where you'll find practical opportunities for employment and advancement. Those are also the areas where you can find 'professional' level work with just an Associates degree.
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    Jan 29, 2012 1:05 AM GMT
    Just stand out on a corner and you are a professional.

    Yes, it's just that easy.
  • blueandgold

    Posts: 396

    Jan 29, 2012 1:24 AM GMT
    jerradwolf saidSo here is some background information on me. I moved up to minnesota from arizona in august of last year. Currently, I am employed at a grocery store just to pay the bills. However hours are getting cut from my part time shedule(even though I asked for full time), I get paid crap, I take so much crap, and my self respect seems to be going out the door. I don't think that a great kid who is personable, outgoing, has two associates degrees, and has had three other jobs should be left to "settle". However, with the job market being as bad as it is, I find myself getting led on by emloyers only to have the trail go cold soon after. Seeing as how you guys are an awesome well-rounded group of people, I thought I would ask for advice from the guys. What are some tips or suggestions that would help someone break into a professional job environment? Also, if you are an employer what would you look for when hiring right now? I doubt I can be the only one going through this. Hope this helps others too!


    This is gonna sound crazy:

    Finish bachelors degree. Then, Join a military officer program, like the marines or army's. You should be able to sell any organizational or leadership experience you gain there.
  • nefficles

    Posts: 511

    Jan 29, 2012 2:05 AM GMT
    i guess i should've been a bit more clear when saying "professional". more information about me:

    i moved to Minnesota to go to school but am waiting a year to get in-state tuition so it will be cheaper than living here but paying out of state tuition.

    my idea of a "professional" job is: not retail, full time, respectable, and with benefits. it doesn't mean something i want to do for the rest of my life at this point. so lawyer and biochemical engineer are out of the question for now

    ALSO! my associates degrees are in Arts and General Studies. hah i know.

    thank you guys so much for all of your kind responses so far! very very helpful and constructive!!
  • nefficles

    Posts: 511

    Jan 29, 2012 2:06 AM GMT
    blueandgold said

    This is gonna sound crazy:

    Finish bachelors degree. Then, Join a military officer program, like the marines or army's. You should be able to sell any organizational or leadership experience you gain there.


    OK! i've actually thought about that icon_smile.gif i can see that giving anyone an edge on the competition. thank you!
  • Import

    Posts: 7193

    Jan 29, 2012 2:10 AM GMT
    jerradwolf saidi guess i should've been a bit more clear when saying "professional". more information about me:

    i moved to Minnesota to go to school but am waiting a year to get in-state tuition so it will be cheaper than living here but paying out of state tuition.

    my idea of a "professional" job is: not retail, full time, respectable, and with benefits. it doesn't mean something i want to do for the rest of my life at this point. so lawyer and biochemical engineer are out of the question for now icon_razz.gif

    thank you guys so much for all of your kind responses so far! very very helpful and constructive!!

    I know exactly what u mean. U want maybe an office job 5 days a week from 9 to 5...u want weekends and holidays off....u want health and dental benefits, and u wanna make an impact or at least make a small difference with your work....u wanna be proud to say "I work for company xyz"

    dude, i hate to sound like a broken record, but get a bachelor's degree dude. Then maybe work at the university u actually graduated from in their admissions office or something...... cool, professional setting, office, benefits, etc.
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    Jan 29, 2012 2:14 AM GMT
    gotta echo import - bachelor's degree is the new high school diploma, unfortunately.

    that or...be the beneficiary of nepotism.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 29, 2012 2:17 AM GMT
    It's who you know.

    My office is undergoing a hiring round and at present I get about 30 minutes or so with potential interview candidates several times a day. This is mostly due the my fact my direct supervisor is handling all interviews so he uses us for the shadowing.

    Every single person I show around already knows someone else in the office. That's just how it is, we give priority to recommended candidates. I can also say when I was job hunting 2 years ago I always got at least an initial interview if I had an angle by knowing an employee.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jan 29, 2012 2:33 AM GMT
    jerradwolf said[...]
    my idea of a "professional" job is: not retail, full time, respectable, and with benefits. [...]


    If you do it well (professionally) it is respectable.
    I have the same respect for the sanitation men who responsibly clean my street as I do for excellent physicians I've encountered.
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    Jan 29, 2012 2:55 AM GMT
    thanks for explaining your reasons for moving to MN . . .your pursuit of education (real education, not meaningless AA degrees that innocent people are conned into getting) will surely prove to be beneficial in the long run . . .

    . . . I have worked in HR and i have lots of experience in the for profit and non-profit worlds . . . employers are much more wary than before about hiring anyone . . . employment law is, increasingly, a nightmare thanks to the omni-incompetent and authoritarian US government, and employers need to be sure that they don't make any frivolous or potentially litigious hires . . .

    . . . the best advice i can give is this - be a subtle Machiavellian in the workplace; after all, a grocery store is very unlikely to be filled with stellar staff, so there will be opportunities for advancement if you perform at or above a standard level . . . it really is just a matter of time . . . persevere and shine in the workplace, and the rewards will eventually come . . .
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    Jan 29, 2012 3:16 AM GMT
    What do you mean by the "professional" environment? The jobs you are talking about probably require a Bachelor's degree for the most part. But you should probably focus more on finding a job that you enjoy and is worthwhile to you personally, and less on trying to be a "professional".
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    Jan 29, 2012 3:51 AM GMT
    Job opportunities differ from industry to industry. Getting a Bachelor degree will improve your chances but is no guarantee for a job. So, you have to decide what you want to study and then be willing to move where the jobs are. I would also consider things such as tution fees etc before enrollling into school. I don't know if there is a formula to landing at your dream job. I just consider myself lucky to be at a job I want. Some of my very bright and talented classmates are unemployed so sometimes it is matter of being at the right place, at the right time, meeting the right person.
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    Jan 29, 2012 4:39 AM GMT
    Great comments already - also have you tried temp agency work - I did this during when I was in college as well as after. It helped to define what industry I liked or disliked. I learned the benefits of corporations, working in the environment. I remember working as an insurance clerk, sales rep, etc. My assignments could range for 3 months, 6 months, etc. Sometimes, I would not renew the contract with the temp agency/employer since I disliked the corporations or co-workers and wanted a new assignment, which was the flexibility that offered. In some instances, I remember they wanted me to go full-time, but I was still in school. If your committed in your work always willing to do what they asked and even more, they will notice. Sometimes is just a foot on the door. Additionally, some of the benefits might include paying for your college courses, etc., even if its close related to the industry. Also, take the Myers-Briggs Test it will help define what industry -professional career you are interested. It will give you insight to what are your strengthens and your weaknesses and what careers you are inclined.

    In Minnesota, I see the following agencies - go an apply-

    * Aerotek Staffing Agency
    * Kelly Services
    * Manpower
    * Dolphin Staffing
    * Office Team

    The more instances you apply the better, they will have your information. If a temp job comes around that fits the skills the employer is speaking, they will give you a call. The pay is usually much better than working in a grocery store. Also, they will test your skills- Word processing, etc.
  • LJay

    Posts: 11612

    Jan 29, 2012 4:51 AM GMT
    Taking it that you are going to have to work while you are in school it is not going to be easy in this economy. Do all the stuff your mom would tell you: dress neatly, behave and speak well, shine your shoes and scrub your fingernails. Hospitals and food and beverage outlets are labor intensive. You might try to get a job as a barback and keep your eyes open from there. If you can avoid the seamy side of it the restaurant business may be able to deal with your student hours.

    Hospitals also tend to need help. Somebody has to push the gurneys around. Not great pay, but if you are steady, it will probably be also.

    NETWORK and if you don't know how, learn. Be flexible. You can probably do most anything.

    It is no damned fun being at the bottom of the stack. Keep your chin up.



  • nefficles

    Posts: 511

    Jan 29, 2012 4:51 AM GMT
    Import said
    I know exactly what u mean. U want maybe an office job 5 days a week from 9 to 5...u want weekends and holidays off....u want health and dental benefits, and u wanna make an impact or at least make a small difference with your work....u wanna be proud to say "I work for company xyz"

    dude, i hate to sound like a broken record, but get a bachelor's degree dude. Then maybe work at the university u actually graduated from in their admissions office or something...... cool, professional setting, office, benefits, etc.


    you got exactly what i was going for sir. thank you! i plan on getting a bachelor's degree in something...sometime hah just unsure of what. I just want a job that i can say "i love my job" at.
  • nefficles

    Posts: 511

    Jan 29, 2012 4:55 AM GMT
    thanks guys...you're so awesome for all this help!!
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    Jan 29, 2012 5:13 AM GMT
    jerradwolf saidi guess i should've been a bit more clear when saying "professional". more information about me:

    i moved to Minnesota to go to school but am waiting a year to get in-state tuition so it will be cheaper than living here but paying out of state tuition.

    my idea of a "professional" job is: not retail, full time, respectable, and with benefits. it doesn't mean something i want to do for the rest of my life at this point. so lawyer and biochemical engineer are out of the question for now

    ALSO! my associates degrees are in Arts and General Studies. hah i know.

    thank you guys so much for all of your kind responses so far! very very helpful and constructive!!


    Fair assumption, but what exactly do you want to go to school for, anyway?