"When the world is running down, you make the best of what's still around"

Loser with a capital "L"

By Shanathalas
(Warning: Self-pitying rant ahead).

So, what's wrong with me? I know that sounds pathetic, but after five months of looking I still cannot find myself a real job. Though I have managed to get a bit of temp work here and there, I cannot find myself permanent work. I have applied for over forty jobs and have only been interviewed for two. Its getting to the point where I am just desperate. Though I embellish a little, and don't believe in outright lies on your resume. But now I'm thinking I'm going to have to. In the past I have attended many a job searching courses and have honed my resumes and cover letters to what I and many people tell me is very good quality. I have helped many of my friends get jobs by advising them on resume writing. People have now started to suggest I leave my university degrees off my resume, as they may be hurting my applications for the less senior positions I now have to go for. I suppose it might help but it seems ridiculous that I spent six years and $30000 to get degrees that hurt my employment chances. I have removed all my archaeology experience from my resume now, unless I apply for an archaeology-related job. The only really promising lead, the contractor researcher job, is held up by my security clearance. Four months later I'm still waiting as they wait for info from the Australian government.

I could understand it if all my experience was in "x" and I only applied for "y" jobs. But I have a diverse experience and I am applying for a diverse range of jobs. IT, admin, archaeology, travel; I've tried them all. How is it that the stench of loser has tainted me? Am I too old? (I don't put my age on my cv, but they can work it out). Too fat? (I don't have a photo on my applications, so no).

We are now facing a pretty bleak Christmas with my measly income. Income that is about to cease. Instead of inviting the temps to the Christmas party, EA's giving us a big "your gone" just before Christmas. I also never imaged how much of my personal confidence comes from working. Confidence that is now gone.

Sorry for the self-pity and loathing. I'm sure no one wants to hear it but its better out than in.

7 comments so far.

  1. Beppie 11:50 PM
    That really sucks. It took Dave months to find a job late last year/early this year-- he was applying for jobs that he was WAY over-qualified for, and losing out on them because the other people who were applying for them-- entry level jobs-- were even more qualifed than he, with more experience etc.

    I will probably be exactly where you are now in 18 months when my PhD is done. You aren't a loser, and it's okay for you to feel a bit sorry for yourself right now, because you SHOULD, by all rights, have a job.
  2. chelle 12:42 PM
    unfortunately, places do seem to have trouble giving jobs to people who are over qualified. maybe there's a fear that they won't be stimulated and they'll leave again in a hurry, or that they'll rock the boat trying to get promotions.

    i don't have any advice for you unfortunately. the only thing i'm good at is admin and my current line of work. and getting admin temp work in sydney was easy as pie for me.


    good luck babe.
  3. Kass 5:34 PM
    Hey Shan,

    Don't feel too bad about this, after all, its just a job. I know one needs money, but try to stay positive and be grateful for the things you do have, like Jaime for instance. I'm sure you guys will make this Christmas a good one, regardless of how much money you do or don't have.

    Cheer up, you'll get a break soon :)

  4. Alex 12:56 PM
    Hi Shannon,

    I don't have too much advice either, but maybe you can act pre-emptively? i.e. Call a company or 2 that you would like to work for and ask if they have any positions open. Even if they don't, ask if they would be able to give you some advice. Maybe someone in their HR department will be nice enough to talk to you and give you a few pointers. Even if that company can't take you at the time, they may remember you in the future and you'll have a better idea what to do for other companies.

    Also, go to as many recruitment and temping agencies as possible. They should find you something and even if it isn't an ideal job, it might be a foot in the door to a cool company...

    Other than that, keep trying and you'll definitely find something sooner or later. Don't get too down on yourself, it's a dog eat dog world and everyone goes through these rough patches. Good luck!
  5. evelyn 2:12 PM
    I join the chorus of - don't give up, its not you.

    Once you get out of entry level jobs - its harder to get look in and there are less jobs in the first place. But yes, those offerring entry level positions are unfortunately wary about giving them to people who are over-qualified.

    That doesn't mean you won't get a job you like. Don't give yp.
  6. Tancred 6:06 AM
    Hey Shan :)

    Translating job skills between countries can be a right pain. IN the UK, 10,000 students is a very large Uni. When I mention 55,000 students and staff they really cannot get their heads around it. Also in the UK, certification is a lot more important for IT work then in Australia. I'm not sure what it's like in Canada.

    My suggestions:

    1) Keep after that dream job (Archaeology, research etc) - Mine BTW is the Australian Manager but that's probably never going to happen.

    2) Think of a fallback career. Something you would be happy doing and enjoy doing well.

    3) THink of what you are not going to want to do (metalwork, drive a train etc). The difference between 2 & 3 are jobs you should apply for if you can bear doing them. (Have I spelt bear right? humm)

    Anyway, now you need 3 CV's. One for your dream job, one for your fallback career and another for the rest.
    The Dream job CV should be easy to write. The others are harder. I would always include your degree, but perhaps just put BA, Hon (Usyd) Not BA, Hon (Usyd) Archeology. The other work is a challenge. If your going for IT work, the labs can be IT. IF your going for non-IT work the labs can be customer server, admin etc.

    I would also say that being creative is ok, if you can do the role. Make a job up, several years ago and give that position the skills required for the job you are going for. Make the position a 12 month job, say it was a contract and the department is now no more. If they want more details make sure you mention it was spunoff from the Uni, then they ran out of grant money so it closed. If you could link it to a department that has closed or merged, they is almost no way to check.

    Though of course once you start "expaning" your CV, you need to remember who you sent it to (So keep notes)

    Good Luck :)
  7. Sally 5:11 PM
    I completely empathise with your situation Shannon. Just before joining unistaff last year, I was bracing myself for the 'loser feeling'. I was so paranoid before I even needed to be, that I was never going to get another job.

    My advice (like you don't have enough already). Is to try and retain the confident mindset you had when working at the uni. You were confident of your diverse talents and abilities, respoceted by peers, given loads of responsibility and understood that the workforce around you was not as compentant as yourself in a lot of cases.
    The hardest part is getting that damn foot in. I still belive this world is about who you know, not what you know.

    I like Tancred's advise about creating your CV's and thinking about what you just won't do. Next interview - project yourself back into Syd Uni work mode. Believe in yourself like you did then.

    Also, Is there any way (through sources you know - think laterally - websites you frequent, etc) that you may be able to provide some contract work for? Site development, etc. Just a thought.

    Stay strong!

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