Finding work? (Now with bonus brainweird!)

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by Acey, Feb 25, 2015.

  1. Acey

    Acey no foot tall against the wall

    Okay, so first off, a few things about me that are, I suppose, relevant.
    • I am 22 years old, and have been looking for an entry-level job since I was 19--three years.
    • I have never had a paying job before--I did some volunteer work in high school, but due to a lack of time, I was never able to look for work in high school.
    • I've only gotten a handful of interviews, none of which went anywhere.
    • I'm autistic and have a bunch of other brain weirdness going on (more on that later).
    • I really, really want a job.
    The thing is...I haven't been able to find one at all. I've found places that are hiring and filled out applications and sent in resumes and everything, and I have a resume that lists my volunteer work and skills, but no one has hired me, ever. I only even started getting interviews about two years into my search, and as I said, none of them have gotten me anywhere whatsoever.

    It's really not a matter of money for me, at least not currently--I live with my parents. It's a matter of my brain constantly holding me up to standards that I don't hold anyone else up to. Here's my brain's view of the thing:
    • Acey needs a job to be a worthwhile human being.
    • If Acey doesn't get a job now, she is never going to get one ever and will never be a worthwhile human being.
    • Acey is 22 and is therefore too old to have never worked. This is proof of her worthlessness.
    • Acey is the only person these rules apply to. If any of Acey's friends don't have jobs, that is fine--Acey is the only one who needs to have a job to have any sort of value as a human.
    I know consciously that my brain is being an ass and that none of that is actually true, but knowing that doesn't actually help me feel any better about it. It also doesn't help that I've had people be genuinely shocked that I've been looking for three years with no success, or that people get all incredulous when I say I'm 22 and have never worked. To me, that's just the world's way of telling me that my brain is right and that I actually am worthless.

    So I guess I need advice on both how to get (and keep) a job, and how to make the brainweird that's causing me to angst so much about it to go away?

    Thanks in advance.

    EDIT: Here's a screenshot of my resume, with personal info blacked out of course. Any advice there would be helpful as well.
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2015
  2. Starcrossedsky

    Starcrossedsky Burn and Refine

    I've actually had jobs but never longer than two months due to Circumstances, so quietly +1ing this.

    For income in the meantime, though, if you Do a Craft, try selling it online if you can. It's where most of my income over the last year has come from, honestly.
  3. Acey

    Acey no foot tall against the wall

    I've tried selling my artwork--prints, commissions, T-shirt designs, etc.--but I haven't had much success there, since I'm honestly not amazing as far as artists go. I'm not bad, but I'm also not really good enough to capture much attention.
  4. Starcrossedsky

    Starcrossedsky Burn and Refine

    Art isn't what I'm talking about, because that's a glutted market. Unless you're willing to draw furry porn, you probably can't make enough to survive on that, or even really supplement income substantially.

    Crafts are a different matter. There's not nearly as many people who do them, the market isn't murdered by having a massive amount of amateurs underpricing their work slash the mass production expectation of low price (exception: knitcrafts), so it's actually possible to move stuff.
  5. kmoss

    kmoss whoops

    One of the big things that I didn't realize when I was finding jobs is that if you go in and give a resume and do the interview, is that you have to call back within a few days and go "Hi, I'm ____, i came in to speak with you earlier about a job, I'm still interested in this position, thanks".

    Tossing that in there because it was a huge surprise to me when I learned about it, especially because it's actually a really big factor in if you're one of many applicants for a job.
  6. swirlingflight

    swirlingflight inane analysis and story spinning is my passion

    The maddening thing about the strategy of calling back to demonstrate Genuine Interest in the job, is that while many bosses look for it, a small number get really annoyed by it. My previous boss complained and complained about all the calls whenever applications were open. But my current boss, my dad and various family friends all seem to approve of applicants who do it. :mystery:
  7. Morven

    Morven In darkness be the sound and light

    Depends on the line of work, though. I've never ever had to do that and I've never ever had a problem finding work, but I'm in the computer field.
  8. Acey

    Acey no foot tall against the wall

    If it helps at all, I'm looking for super basic entry-level stuff--like, food service or retail.
  9. Morven

    Morven In darkness be the sound and light

    Unfortunately my experience going for that kind of work is like prehistoric, so ... can't be much help :(
  10. Chiomi

    Chiomi Master of Disaster

    I haven't really looked for jobs in the last couple years, because I freelance with a couple long-term clients, but between new clients and job interviews I've only had two ever that didn't lead to job offers and one of them he found someone to do his website for free + I indirectly called him and his wife (whom I am friends with on Facebook) criminally irresponsible child murderers (on Facebook) (repeatedly) (they're anti-vaxxers). So - I interview well, at least?

    For interviews, part of it is just seeing if the person you're interviewing is someone you'd be able to work alongside. And, like, since you're pretty desperate to work, that's probably not a huge concern, but they also want someone they can work with on a longer-term basis.

    Also, eye contact. I know that a lot of autistics aren't super into that, but it's been shown to be ridiculously brutally important beyond all reason to employers. So if eye contact isn't a thing, the interviewer's left ear or their face in general or the wall behind them is a better option than looking down.

    I would probably take the webcomic in development out of the resume: it can go back in when you've started it, but 'in development' is iffy. Some people will read it as you having ambition, others will see it as a pipe dream that indicates that you have unrealistic expectations. Also emphasizing that you are indeed an actualfax freelance artist makes you look cooler. Otherwise you have a solid and coherent resume that is better than all of the ones I've been reviewing this week for my work.

    Also you probably have a job services place in town, even if it's small. If it's decent sized, there is probably also a temp agency. They are worth going to, both because they'll have resources for stuff and job postings and because they will have people there who can help you find stuff locally.
  11. Acey

    Acey no foot tall against the wall

    Fair point. I wasn't really thinking in those terms but you're right, it could just come across as a bit pipe dream-y. Glad my resume is good otherwise, though! My mom helped with it, admittedly, but yeah. :P

    We do have a temp agency, but they only seem to work with one company...and since that company is pretty much all physical labor and I have some physical issues going on as well that would likely render it genuinely impossible for me, that's a no-go. We ARE working with the Department of Rehabilitation, though, so...maybe there's hope there?
  12. Aurora

    Aurora Very freckly member

    My brother the chef says that the way to get a dishwashing job is to start walking into restaurants and saying "I want to wash dishes. Will you pay me?" Repeat until someone says yes. Restaurants always need staff. If you have family support, you could try doing this in a ski town during the season. Another ski-field job: pressing the green and red buttons on the chair lift.

    Another option: sign up to temp for a temp agency doing admin work. Show up to temporary contracts, eg covering for a receptionist who is out sick. Cheerfully do whatever the staff there ask you to do if it's legal, and ethical (eg willingly do the filing, wash dishes, tackle filthy cleaning, make coffee, etc). It's quite likely that if you're competent and willing someone will offer you a job. This is also a way that I, and many other people, have used to get into a company and then transfer into a more highly-skilled job. I got offered a programming job this way because one of the managers noticed me coding. One of my cousins got a permanent receptionist job offer, and then transferred internally into a marketing role. Another cousin moved to IT support and then to currency trading. A friend got a permanent receptionist role at a translation office, then decided she would find translating dead boring and instead became an office manager there.
  13. Acey

    Acey no foot tall against the wall

    We don't have any that do admin work in my area, from what I've seen. Which sucks, because I'd probably be damn good at it.
  14. rigorist

    rigorist On the beach

    Do the temp agency anyway. You don't have to take any particular opening.
  15. Acey

    Acey no foot tall against the wall

    I went for an interview once and that was literally all they had to offer. :/
  16. rigorist

    rigorist On the beach

    Temp agencies get all sorts of weird postings.
  17. rigorist

    rigorist On the beach

    From the same place when I was temping I ended up picking parts for artificial limbs (who knew those things were so complicated?), filing freight bills for an industrial air conditioner maker, and running a die-cutter for a sheltered workshop.
  18. Aurora

    Aurora Very freckly member

    We don't have any that do admin work in my area, from what I've seen.​

    What do businesses in your area do when a receptionist calls in sick?
  19. Acey

    Acey no foot tall against the wall

    No idea. How would I go about finding that out?

    But seriously, the only temp agency here works with precisely one company, and it's entirely physical stuff. Believe me, I did try, and they outright told me that was the only company they worked with.
  20. budgie

    budgie not actually a bird

    do you know anyone in food service/retail in your area? i've gotten jobs because someone said "hey, i know budgie, he's reliable and works hard", and i've gotten friends interviews because i told my boss i thought they'd work well with us. sometimes deciding who gets an interview is kind of arbitrary, and having someone point you out to their boss can make a difference.
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