I've essentially spent about 6 years failing to find work.  During this time, I have managed to hold two actual jobs.  The first lasted a span of 2 months: I didn't apply there (must have been forwarded through a student job board), started literally within half an hour of the call, got no training, and then got placed on call and never called again.

The second was in a call centre where I'm fairly sure they would have hired a spambot if the application were done online.

During this time, starting from mid-highschool, I obviously graduated high school (83% average, Principle's Award for honours every year), then graduated college in web application development (GPA 3.4) in April of 2008.  I've gone through half a dozen resume formats, gone through a job search course in college, gone through a government job search program.  I've gotten nowhere.

From that time, I haven't had a single interview in the field.  I am presently at University for Computer Science, not really out of any specific aspiration, but with the sense of having nowhere else to go.

My whole life I've managed to be a realist.  I can't say I've ever really believed in anything ridiculous along the lines of Santa, Tooth Fairy, God.  Despite loving baseball, I never had the aspiration to be professional as many children allegedly do, as there was no way that was a reasonable expectation or practical career path.

The same can be said for pretty much all the favourites.  I've been preparing myself for one, rather specific dream: To live alone in a small city apartment, with a lower-middle class position and wage pertaining to the field of computers.  There's no concern to be rich or even just relatively highly salaried; no expectations or drive to fame; no delusions of ever finding love.

I've set the bar as low as I can, and I've failed miserably.
Posted by Ellyoda Wed, 27 Jan 2010 05:14:15 (comments: 16)
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Wed, 27 Jan 2010 05:28:16
Hey you are good at chess.

Come on man don't do that to yourself. I am not exactly lighting the world on fire, I am now studing for boards to be a licensed sonographer, I have no clue if I will even find a job and if I dont I will keep studing and get more licenses. It might lead to nothing but at least I am doing something. I have no girlfriend and have no prospects. I still live with my parents and wont move out until I have my career started. You are not alone, many people are in a position like yours but that is no reason to feel like you failed.  Living a middle class life and having your own place is not that bad, there is worse. If you find love, which is something we should all attempt to find or it may just happen, whatever, all of a sudden that becomes a home with someone you love. Get married, combine salaries, buy a home, have kids, live happily ever after. If love doesn't happen make sure you at least enjoy life, do something you like.
Wed, 27 Jan 2010 06:32:14

Here are two bits of advice I can offer that I have seen work in the past.  You are in a new town, use that as an excuse to be more social (so you can find out about jobs through your personal network).  Being new in a town puts you in the best possible social scenario.

Does the Com Sci lab have any job openings?  Usually they need new people for help desk type chores each year.  This is a good way to get to know com sci faculty, who in turn can refer you to work in the private sector (or best case) a research position at the uni.  As a previous employer I always reached out to com sci faculty to find out who they could vouch for, and every single person I hired at some point worked in help desk at the uni.

And you are way to young to give up yet.  I'm too private to give you info. here about where I was at the age of 24 and what I had done and failed at by that age, but trust me, you're doing fine.

Wed, 27 Jan 2010 10:56:06

I'm kinda going through the same thing myself. I really want a full time job. I really want a girlfriend. At the moment nothing is happening with my life, which infuriates me, because I need to do something. 

But really, if you're happy, isn't that all that matters?

Wed, 27 Jan 2010 13:45:47

Vader are you me?

Yoda, at least take solace that there are people as bad if not in a worse position than you.

My life is total shit and if I didn't keep laughing I would have ended it by now. Keep your spirits up, its all you got at the end. My advice it to get the most hilarious thing you know on DVD and watch it whenever you are down. Do the same for the music you love.

Don't fret too much.

Wed, 27 Jan 2010 14:00:07

I don't know where you're living, but location is always key to finding a job.  Right now I'm living in Orlando, FL and if I needed a job I'd be completely screwed.  I'm a 10+ year online marketing executive who is good at his job, but there's just nothing in this city for me, even back when the economy wasn't god awful.  Fortunately I'm able to telecommute, but that's another story.

My point is this, if finding the job you want is frustrating you may just need to get out of the town/city you're in.  I've had to pack up and move across the country before to find work.  Once you get that degree you're going after and you don't have any other responsibilities you'll actually be able to take your destiny in your own hands and rest assured you will find something that you like.  

And if all else fails you can be the tech guy for my new company (which may end up being called Power Leveling Mktg. at this point).

Wed, 27 Jan 2010 15:08:52
It's going to be very hard for me to respond to this without sounding preachy, but I hope you read this anyway on the odd chance of at least one or two things I say here actually sticking in the back of your head.

Human beings are funny creatures. They are capable of great things, but they can be very shallow at times too. Until someone gets to know you pretty well, a person's first intention is ALWAYS going to be: What can knowing this person do for ME? If you are walking around looking for work, wanting a job, looking for love, seeking happiness, you are going to appear to be a person who is WANTING in something. People will always be attracted to someone who has something to offer, not someone who needs something from them. Without even realizing it, THAT is going to be the impression that you give to people whether intending to, or not.

To get all those things you want, the first thing you have to do is stop looking so hard for them. Instead, you have to be the kind of person who looks as if they have something to give. Happiness is that ONE thing that is sooo elusive. The ONE thing that everyone wants. It is the most contagious affliction on the planet. Just simply BE happy and all the things you desire will eventually come to you.

It's not that hard either. Especially for a guy that is as smart as you. You have to train your brain to appreciate the little things that you DO have MORE than the innumerable things you DON'T have. Are you good at Chess? GREAT! Be happy! Did they announce a new Shin Megami Tensei game? AWESOME! Do you have the love, admiration and respect of a bunch of guys from all around the world for crafting a site they can all feel at home in? YES! YOU DO! Remember even just THAT when all seems gray in the world! We are here for you, even in your darkest hour; we will be here and we will listen to you. You've pretty much got all the time zones across the world covered, so you can take that as literally as you want!

*If all else fails, picture Steel and I frolicking in our man-thongs and that should bring a smile to your face! (Or, disgust you enough to make you forget your troubles... but I digress!)*

There's always going to be new things you want. There's always going to be people who have more. There's always going to be someone who's better at something than you. There's always going to be that job that seems to be just out of reach. A person who WANTS to be unhappy has a lifetime supply of excuses to be just that. The smarter man who wants to be happy will look at the world in a different way.

Now do that. Look at the world differently. You are at a University. Nowhere else in the world will you find a conglomeration of new ideas, people who are willing to learn and to teach. Your brain will be challenged. Your knowledge will be put to the test every day. You will be constantly surrounded by people who have TONS of things IN COMMON with you! Use it to your advantage! Appreciate what you have there... every. single. day... find the little things that make you happy. Use them to attract the people around you TO YOU. It will take some time to learn new habits, but I have the utmost confidence in you Yoda!

One more piece of advice: Stop being a REALIST. I have found more often than not that word is used by people to claim that they know all there is to know about life; People who believe there's nothing new under the sun. If you think that you know it all, you'll never allow yourself to enjoy life's little surprises; you will always find yourself bothered by the unpredictability of human emotions like joy and mischief. THAT'S GOT TO STOP! You can't know everything 'cause you never know how a human being is going to act! Surround yourself with some good natured people (like us) and just LET YOURSELF GO! HAVE FUN ! ! ! It's OK to be smart, but even the smartest person knows: sometimes you just have to kick back and relax! If you find you can't do that, and you find yourself totally unexcited by anything life has to offer (like most realists do)... seriously talk to someone about it. You may be simply, clinically depressed and not even realize it... but even THAT can be fixed!

Practice some new habits and hopefully soon they will become natural to you. Start small; at your university with a small group of people... Like Aspro said, treat it as a fresh start. One you feel comfortable there, realize this: things on a small level work on a grand scale too. Companies are like individual people; they become a living, evolving entity all their own. Companies seek out people who have something to offer too! If you act confident in your knowledge, you will be seen as an asset. If you appear to be wanting in any way an interviewer is going to think: Someone who we'll need to spend money to train. Someone who may not fit into the corporate culture... Yeah companies think like that too: If you are a human resources person, who is going to seem more attractive: The person who appears to be happy that has a little less knowledge --or-- the person who knows their stuff, but may be a loner, or bring his/her co-workers down...? Shallow? Yes. Does it happen this way? ABSOLUTELY!

As I said before, I have complete and utter confidence in you, Yoda. You have lovingly crafted some place we can all call a digital home, here. Someone who can claim to have done THAT for a group of people as different as all of US must have SOME kind of unique skills! You may not know all of us by face or name but the emotion, energy and intentions we ALL put out there for you is REAL. If energy cannot be destroyed, if it is truly dispersed instead, no matter the source or the distance between all of us, our good intentions are out there for you! Keep them close to your heart... and if at times there's absolutely nothing else... AT LEAST THERE'S THAT! Use it to get you through the hard times!

Again, if you only remember THAT, that's fine. I hope the other things I said ring true for you too! One way or another, I've said what I've wanted to say!

Wed, 27 Jan 2010 17:26:09
aspro probably has the best idea, I'd go to the helpdesk in the computer lab and tell them what program you are in, and ask if there are any openings where you could offer people assistance. It'd be good experience even if it is volunteer, I'm not sure if they are actually paid as IT people or not.

I'm having trouble finding anything related to business/accounting at the moment either. Right now I am pretty much applying to be a store manager at dollar stores and that sort of thing, because there is nothing related to my program available. My qualifications now seem to be a weird mix of being too good for minimum wage service jobs, but not good enough / no experience for management. And nobody is looking for entry level accountants or bookkeepers.

At first I found job hunting easy... it took maybe 5 applications before I got my first job in high school, I got set up with a pretty sweet summer job for 2 summers related to my program, and then got the only co-op I ever applied for. Now everything has kind of died. What was that one online job bank website for our city?

Don't take this as anything more than constructive criticism from a friend, but your weak point is definitely social skills. Once you start getting calls on your resumes, I think you will still have a lot of trouble with interviews. I'm not sure what to advise... there aren't really courses on speaking clearly, loudly, and in a positive manner. It's something you could practice, but it would probably come off feeling like an act. Take note next time you talk to someone, compared to how much more clear and confident you sound in the VGPress podcast. You might even want to try recording yourself talking to your parents when you get home to compare. You need to start talking to people in your podcast voice, as if they really were an audience, or just stupid and deaf.

I know first-hand that although everyone is saying "new school, new town" blah blah, that doesn't make it any easier. It gives you maybe 1 or 2 new opportunities right at the start, like the first day of class to meet new people, and after that you're just left in the same boat. By now you would have already taken advantage of, or blown, whatever opportunities being new at university has to offer.

And now that I'm back home from my trip, I am still open to the idea of creating that website/online game... I'd have to keep job searching while I'm doing it, but it seems that for you and me both, our best chance at getting a job is creating our own, if you have enough free time at the moment with school and stuff. Seems to meet the requirements of your dream, if we could even get a modest revenue stream in 3-5 years.

Wed, 27 Jan 2010 18:17:59
Leo that is beautiful, damn you should be a writer of motivational uplifting cards or something.
Wed, 27 Jan 2010 18:20:07
this may sound cheesy but it may be the only useful (if not very original) thing i have to say.  it's not easy being happy, it's not even being satisfied and somehow filling the void of one's existence.  there's a thousand things or more each day to bring you down.  you have to phase them out as best you can.

work is a huge issue.  not having work is a huge blow to one's self-esteem and it is a downward spiral which can drag you down as far as you will let it.  i went through that for almost five years, doing part-time jobs wherever i would find them and applying for "better" things all the time which invariably resulted in rejection, disappointment and depression.  HR people are by and large scum who will not employ you, ever, if you are unwilling to play their little games.  like Leo said, you can't even admit to being there because you need a job, you go there to let them know they need to employ you.  anyway it's a load of crap that i was never able to pull off.  i sincerely hope you can, but i suspect you may be like me in this respect.

i have had to settle for a job which was is lot less than ideal.  in fact, i get so angry and so upset teaching day in and day out that i'm sure it's putting me into the high risk group for heart attack or stroke even though i try to live healthily otherwise.  but getting paid at the end of the month, every month, helps an awful lot.  even if it's a bit like a  carrot on a stick, or like the myth of sysyphus, at least getting paid at the end of the month give you enough strength to start pushing the boulder back up the hill again.  i would concentrate there.  tried and get any job to begin with.  start by a part-time job during term time.  seek out summer internships ... they're not easy to get but could be crucial in you finding full-time employment later.

in your personal time, do things you enjoy.  listen to music you love, enjoy some great books and go out as much as you can.  also spend time with friends.  and don't forget, online friends are friends no less.  hang in there bro.  there is this line in Demon's Souls which Stockpile Thomas an NPC keeps repeating to you every time you speak to him, which i found strangely moving and affecting ... "You have a heart of gold.  Don't let them take it from you."
Wed, 27 Jan 2010 18:39:32
i'll quote some lines from a book i like a lot by an English guy called Tom Hodgkinson:

Death to the Supermarket
Bake Bread
Play the Ukulele
Open the Village Hall
Action is Futile
Quit Moaning
Make Music
Stop Consuming
Start Producing
Back to the Land
Smash Usury
Embrace Beauty
Embrace Poverty
Hail the Chisel
Ignore the State
Reform is Futile
Anarchy in the UK
Hail the Spade
Hail the Horse
Hail the Quill
Love Thy Neighbour
Be Creative
Free Your Spirit
Dig the Earth
Make Compost
Life is Absurd
We Are Free
Be Merry

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