Needing Some Advice- Job Hunting Frustration

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Dec 27, 2012 2:27 AM GMT
    After graduating in urban planning (not the most wise major in this economy looking back now) I'm on my third post-graduation internship, even though I'm interning in a related field I'm feeling like I'm getting a bit too old to be an intern. The living costs in New York make my low monthly “stipend” difficult to get by. Somehow I have miraculously made it after working a series of low paying jobs for the past year or so. I am very lucky to have found an affordable living situation in the city, otherwise I would have to lean heavily on my parents or take a second job...

    I feeling a little stuck and don't think I'll be hired full time in the organization for which I've working there for almost a year. They seem to prefer hiring cheap interns who work full time, doing the least desirable tasks, with no benefits...simply rotating them out every few months. Some of which are foreign and come from countries with nationalized healthcare so they don't have to provide them with any benefits (is that even legal btw?)

    Others who are job hunting or switching jobs will see that for every entry level job posting online, there are sometimes like 5 internships for every real job post, some of which are asking for candidates to have masters and even Phd's.

    I'm lucky to have a paid job that isn't too stressful and grateful to have been able to live in NYC (mostly) without the help from my parents, but each time I send out dozens of resumes for full time jobs only to never hear back or get interview requests from low paying positions that aren't much better than the internship I'm working in now; and I thought I had a halfway decent resume.

    I am passionate about NYC and there's nowhere else I'd live but sometimes I think it would be easier (and cheaper) to just opt out competing against thousands of job applicants, take what little savings I have, sell my stuff and become a freelance travel writer and travel the world. A bit cliché but it's something I've been thinking about.... though that would have to be something I'd have to talk about with my BF if I was to seriously consider it; he's just graduated with his master's degree and is interning at a hospital also job hunting in his field.

    Any advice? Even if it's not what I want to hear.
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    Dec 27, 2012 2:32 AM GMT
    Hang in there. All the advice I can give. I'm in (was?) in the same boat...
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    Dec 27, 2012 4:46 AM GMT
    Hang in there.
    Job hunting is always pain in the ass most of the time.
    If you really passionate about NYC and want to stay here longer but you are worried about you can't get a full time job after this internship.
    You should start thinking about how to save up more money to buy you more time to find a full time job in the city.

    I can't really give you advices about job hunting. But the worst scenario, you didn't get a full time job in that organization. You still have to find a job to support yourself. Like work in a retail store or even fast food industry. It's very low paid. But it can still buy you more time to figure out what to do next. Maybe find another paid internship. You are never too old for an internship.

    I am saying you were already worried about may lose this job which you are doing now. So start saving up more money, just in case you have to get-by on your own saving money.
    Maybe live in Queens or Brooklyn instead of in the city, it can save you chunks of money on rent. And cook for/by yourself instead of dining out often.

    Save up more money to buy you more time.

    Hope the organization will offer you a full time job.
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    Dec 27, 2012 4:47 AM GMT
    Well a career in theft seems to be popular in this day and age. With the economy and all.
  • MidwesternKid

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    Dec 27, 2012 4:48 AM GMT
    Im right there with you. I have been with my company for near three years and I am still waiting to have my degree be put to any use. The leads get stronger as time passes. Just don't give up and don't settle.
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    Dec 27, 2012 4:50 AM GMT
    If you enjoy what you're doing, paying your own bills, and it's relatively low stress, why would you want to change?

    My advice is to keep what you've got until you get a better offer. If you're good with your profession, you'll have plenty offers to choose from.

    And that's why I'm perpetually broke. Sometimes the pay is awesome and sometimes it sucks, but overall I'd rather have this job than any other.
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    Dec 27, 2012 4:53 AM GMT
    Become a nurse!icon_smile.gif
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    Dec 27, 2012 10:28 AM GMT
    Will your travel writing job add value/experience to your urban planning career in future? if yes, then choosing that option might not be a bad option, think about this this will be something you would cherish all your life, and opportunity cost is lowest ( assume if you take this break when you making six figures)
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    Dec 27, 2012 10:31 AM GMT


    Why stay in NYC?

    Perhaps there are opportunities elsewhere in the US.

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    Dec 27, 2012 2:23 PM GMT
    hang in there, mybe you could teach,
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    Dec 27, 2012 3:14 PM GMT
    I've been a recruiter for 15 years. Here are my personal tips...
    If NYC is where you want to stay for sure and you really, really like your company:
    I would continue to stick it out with your company but go well beyond expectations in your work and build relationships within the company. In other words, create you're own internship by asking to shadow other people or asking if you can "research any current challenges" that are important to the company. This builds your knowledge and visibility which. Look for an internal role in your company that might overlap with your skills/interest and try to rub elbows with that manager. Connections are what give people the upper edge in landing those hard to find roles.

    Go to the company's job board and register in their database (this does very little but it will keep your name in the system in case the miraculous happens). Depending on what they're powered by, some will allow you to set up job agents that will ping you when jobs that match your query are available within that company. You can also set these "job agents/searches" through other boards...

    If NYC is where you want to stay, but you're open to other companies (which you should be):
    Use LinkedIn and other networks to start connecting to peers, current students and alum and build relationships through community groups. Linkedin makes this way easier than before and does some of the work for you. Those connections are all likely working and interning at other companies in your vicinity or have connections who are. Don't build faux-lationships either. People can tell when you're just looking for and end. Do some mutual backscratching and be of use to others, helping them learn about openings in your company or giving feedback on what companies are hiring. This is a win-win for you.

    Don't be afraid of consulting/contracting/headhunters. I worked in this field for 7 years...there is a difference between those three groups but each can help connect you to openings and they specialize in it. Just remember, they aren't looking to place YOU in a role, they are looking to FILL A NEED where you might be a fit. So the dog and pony show, multiple interviews, constant changing of your resumes and phone calls are meant to figure out how much of a mix you are. You may not get some of the perks that you would with full time roles, but the work experience is invaluable.

    Post your resume, EVERYWHERE, and search EVERYWHERE. Jobboards, e-anything. Tons of companies have connections to NYC. Anything you read online, any place you search on, go to the bottom of the screen and find the "about us" link and then look for a jobs board ("join us", "careers", "opportunities with...."). Including Apple, Twitter, Google.

    Finally, you mentioned getting a 2nd job. If you are in NYC, why not bartend? More relationships are built over food and drinks than at the golf course. It is a GREAT way to network and can build up your confidence, and boost your communications skills while exposing you to people of all types. A company I used to work for used to hire bartenders because of their experience. The good ones are great at what they do and meet friends doing it.

    LAST RESORT: Consider a location change or career change. Urban planning is a versatile enough degree that you can easily parlay that into a ton of roles from project management to communications to government. You are in NYC with a terrific degree man. Lift that head of yours up some be excited about the opportunities you have that others in different areas don't have.

    Anyways, I wish I had more NYC specific connections but I hope some of this helps. Feel free to email me if you have any other questions. Good luck!
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    Dec 27, 2012 3:21 PM GMT
    I was recently *as on xmas eve* let go from my job. It wasn't my career job but it still sucks. I live in downtown core and I have to search for a job that can support me living there. I have amazing support from my friends and family, so hopefully by the coming months I'll be in a job that full fills the company and my needs as well.