I need support

tgreyztgreyz Posts: 1,627Registered Users
I'm feeling very much at a loss right now and have no idea what steps I should take next. I was laid off 4 days before Christmas. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad that they laid me off, the job sucked and was obviously going nowhere. And I am happy that I left dead end job #1 for dead end job #2, because if I hadn't I would still be miserable and working at dead end job #1.

However I am finding it difficult to get a job offer. I have sent out resumes within and outside of my field and have only had two interviews. I received a thanks but NO thanks letter for both positions. I have also received thanks but NO thanks letters for positions that have not even invited me in for an interview. I had an informational interview at a design firm and met with a career counselor. I've been rejected for training programs that only require you to be a college graduate. I can collect unemployment until June and then I will have to go out and get a minimum wage position. And then I will seriously be wondering why I spent time and money going to college. I'm sure some of you will say I should be networking, but my network is quite small and unable to provide me with any help.

I'm just really at a crossroads and have no idea what to do with my life. I used to want to be a designer but now I'm not so sure. And if I'm not going to be a designer then I have no clue what other jobs to go after/apply to. I don't really feel like I have any valuable work experience for any career. And I can't handle taking another low paying, dead end job. Just ranting and wallowing in my own self pity. Carry on.
3b or 3c curls | My Fotki
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Comments

  • shellibeanshellibean Posts: 4,500Registered Users
    No advice but I'm sorry your upset.
    A closed mind is a wonderful thing to lose.

    "...you could have a turd on your head and no one would notice."~Subbrock

    "I had an imaginary puppy, but my grandpa ate him."~Bailey
  • PartyHairPartyHair Posts: 7,713Registered Users
    First, that sucks. I know your pain...believe me, I know your pain.

    Secondly, to whom are you sending your resumes? Jobs on Monster? Jobs in the paper?

    Thirdly, are there any face-to-face career fairs in your area?

    Fourthly, have you had someone (like the career counselor) look at your resume?

    And finally, are you sending a well-written cover letter with your resumes?
    *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    Rock on with your bad self.

    *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    Be excellent to each other. ~ Abraham Lincoln

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  • SnarlsSnarls Posts: 2,537Registered Users
    I'm sorry you're going through this.

    My brother got his degree in graphic design, lives in a big city, and is an excellent networker and people person. He struggled with employment issues for over a decade and finally gave up on graphic design. I think he's had the worst luck with jobs of anyone I know! He is his own boss now (not doing graphic design) and is happy and making ends meet but it was a long haul for him to get to his point.

    What kind of companies are in your area? A few things vaguely related to graphic design that I know of are doing testing for software companies...testing if the software does what it is supposed to, and if it's user friendly. You're not designing anything, but you are testing someone else's design.

    Then more and more schools are offering online programs, and they need people who can work with instructors to design the online courses. Usually you're working with a software package and working with an instructor to make sure that the course content is communicated effectively. That can be really interesting.

    Another area that can pay well is being a buyer for a factory or a store. I have no idea how to get that kind of job, but you meet with reps and go to product shows and help select the product lines your employer will be carrying. That requires a good sense of the market and product appeal.

    Most non-profit organizations have at least one position for grant-writing and/or membership and/or fundraising.

    Anyway, I don't have answers, but I hope things get better.
    formerly Castella
    (my dogs aren't snarly, my hair is)
  • Who Me?Who Me? Posts: 3,181Registered Users
    tgreyz wrote:
    I have sent out resumes within and outside of my field and have only had two interviews. I received a thanks but NO thanks letter for both positions. I have also received thanks but NO thanks letters for positions that have not even invited me in for an interview. I had an informational interview at a design firm and met with a career counselor. I've been rejected for training programs that only require you to be a college graduate.

    First of all, you said you got laid off at Christmas, so that means you've only been looking for 2 months, right? Having two interiews, and other people responding with letters, is pretty good.....even if you didn't get the jobs. Just keep trying. Keep reworking your cover letters and resumes. Practice your interviewing (like, literally, practice it: out loud, in front of a mirror, and with friends and family).

    I've heard that on average it takes 3 months to get a job....and that's taking into account the people who are in careers with a lot more openings than yours.

    And don't buy into the hype that you're supposed to know exactly what you want to do with your life and be loving every minute of your job. Figuring out what you don't want to do is just as important as doing what you do want to do. Everything takes time.

    As long as you are actively searching and being intelligent about your resume and cover letters, and where to apply, and what jobs, and are putting in LOTS of effort every day, then don't worry.....you will find a good job eventually.
    "I don't know! I don't know why I did it, I don't know why I enjoyed it, and I don't know why I'll do it again!" -BART SIMPSON
  • slinky1slinky1 Banned Posts: 1,612Banned Users
    Don't give up.

    The other thing is maybe you might want to consider other fields...just as a backup. AND, don't be afraid of another "bridge" type job where you can gain some valuable experience to get you to a better job. I know what it is like to think that you should be beyond those jobs, but whatever can help you get where you want to go should be considered, right?

    Maybe a low-stress unrelated part time job for nights or weekends can help with money now and when you find other employment.

    I know what it is like to be frustrated about career issues, but now, I'm not even sure what I would like to do or what would suit me, so that really complicates things more. At least you know that you want to go in a direction, and that you would enjoy it.
    ;)
  • tgreyztgreyz Posts: 1,627Registered Users
    Castella wrote:
    I'm sorry you're going through this.

    My brother got his degree in graphic design, lives in a big city, and is an excellent networker and people person. He struggled with employment issues for over a decade and finally gave up on graphic design. I think he's had the worst luck with jobs of anyone I know! He is his own boss now (not doing graphic design) and is happy and making ends meet but it was a long haul for him to get to his point.

    What kind of companies are in your area? A few things vaguely related to graphic design that I know of are doing testing for software companies...testing if the software does what it is supposed to, and if it's user friendly. You're not designing anything, but you are testing someone else's design.

    Then more and more schools are offering online programs, and they need people who can work with instructors to design the online courses. Usually you're working with a software package and working with an instructor to make sure that the course content is communicated effectively. That can be really interesting.

    Another area that can pay well is being a buyer for a factory or a store. I have no idea how to get that kind of job, but you meet with reps and go to product shows and help select the product lines your employer will be carrying. That requires a good sense of the market and product appeal.

    Most non-profit organizations have at least one position for grant-writing and/or membership and/or fundraising.

    Anyway, I don't have answers, but I hope things get better.

    It seems to be really hard to land a decent design job no matter where you live. Obviously in a city there are more opportunities but also a lot more competition. My past two jobs have been "design related" but didn't really provide me with any valuable experience. If in order to stay in design I had to take another job like that I would rather move out of the field completely. I can't take another job like that.

    I have looked into being a buyer and it sounds like a fairly interesting career. People with degrees in business or fashion merchandising usually get those jobs. The TJ Maxx Headquarters is about 1 hr 15 minutes away from me and they have a corporate merchandise training program that I applied to. Basically they train you how to be a buyer and you move through various positions until you eventually become a buyer. Well they rejected me for that program.

    I did have the career counselor look over my resume and she said it was well written. I assume that employers for positions outside of my field see that all I have is graphic design experience and employers within my field see that I worked at a newspaper and laugh.

    I'm sort of afraid to give up design but at the same time I really feel I need to be making moves in some type of career path. I can't take being in the same place that I am now, in 5 years.

    I have basically been applying to jobs that I find online. Careerbuilder, monster etc... I'm not exactly sure what I should be looking for though and a lot of jobs want 5-7 years of experience.

    I have reviewed my resume many times and always send cover letters and thank you letters in the event that I get an interview. And I need to look over my resume again.

    At this point taking a PT job would be pointless because it would reduce my unemployment amount. And if I worked FT making minimum I'd bring home about the same as my unemployment check.

    I know I've only been looking for a couple months and I'm in no hurry to get back to work. But this uncertainty takes a toll on me after awhile.
    3b or 3c curls | My Fotki
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  • PartyHairPartyHair Posts: 7,713Registered Users
    I did have the career counselor look over my resume and she said it was well written. I assume that employers for positions outside of my field see that all I have is graphic design experience and employers within my field see that I worked at a newspaper and laugh.

    If I were you I'd have two resumes - one for design jobs and one for "other".

    Have you thought about going through an employment agency/headhunter, just to find something to get you started? You can always keep looking for something else while you work, if you aren't crazy about the job.

    If you do decide to go that route, please don't go to anyone you would have to pay - the employer should pick up the tab for that service.
    *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    Rock on with your bad self.

    *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

    Be excellent to each other. ~ Abraham Lincoln

    *~*~*~*~*~*~*~*
  • gggg Posts: 1,865Registered Users
    All of us have been there at some point so you're not alone. Have you looked into doing some freelance on the side. Maybe even doing some temp work while your looking. Temping may not be the best but it can tide you over in the mean time. It's flexible so you don't have to take assignments when you have interviews. Have you also checked out Craigslist? The last 3 jobs I've had I found through them. Don't worry this won't last forever.
    You don't have to blow out my flame to make yours burn brighter.

    When you judge another, you do not define them, you define yourself.

    How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.
  • slinky1slinky1 Banned Posts: 1,612Banned Users
    tgreyz wrote:

    It seems to be really hard to land a decent design job no matter where you live. Obviously in a city there are more opportunities but also a lot more competition. My past two jobs have been "design related" but didn't really provide me with any valuable experience. If in order to stay in design I had to take another job like that I would rather move out of the field completely. I can't take another job like that.

    I did have the career counselor look over my resume and she said it was well written. I assume that employers for positions outside of my field see that all I have is graphic design experience and employers within my field see that I worked at a newspaper and laugh.

    I'm sort of afraid to give up design but at the same time I really feel I need to be making moves in some type of career path. I can't take being in the same place that I am now, in 5 years.

    I have basically been applying to jobs that I find online. Careerbuilder, monster etc... I'm not exactly sure what I should be looking for though and a lot of jobs want 5-7 years of experience.

    I have reviewed my resume many times and always send cover letters and thank you letters in the event that I get an interview. And I need to look over my resume again.

    I feel you on all of this...but not with design.
    ;)
  • nextmovenextmove Posts: 686Registered Users
    You are definitely not alone. I've been there and it did get better. Congratulations on getting responses to your letters though. That's really a rare occurrence these days.

    Here are a few things you can try:

    * Cold call/write some places that may have a design department, see if they need some help. There are places you may not think about that have design/graphic departments. Hospitals, banks, etc.

    * Are there any advertising agencies in your area? Call them up.

    * You must know more than one kind of software; offer to teach some one-one-one classes to people. Or is there a place around town that needs design teachers?

    * Contact your college career and/or alumni center and see what leads they have.

    * Look outside of CT. I've read a few of your posts and the change might do you some good.

    * Have someone review your design portfolio (you have a portfolio, right?). Do you really have good skills? Are you able to come up with fresh ideas?

    * Look at "What Color is Your Parachute" or something similar for other employment options.

    * Get one of those getting a job in design for dummies books. There must be one like that out there.

    * Check out paladinstaff.com and other creative placement agencies for more job options.

    * Enter a design contest, it will give you something to do as well as give you some practice.

    * Stop by your local Kinkos (or similar shop). They have people that design simple things for others and this could be a good short term job until something else comes along.

    * Do an internet search on changing careers for more ideas.

    I know it’s easier said than done but try not to feel sorry for yourself. Keep your head up and get busy. You can do it.

    Good luck.
  • EilonwyEilonwy Posts: 12,391Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    I'm not sure what I could really do to help, but feel free to PM me if you need someone to talk to.
  • CurliLocksCurliLocks Posts: 10,573Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    You've gotten some good advice here. I can't offer anything more than sending good thoughts and support your way. :) Best of luck in your job hunt. DH recently went thru this. He finally got a good job after almost 8 months. Hang in there. :)
    SF Bay Area, CA * "The Angel-Goddess-Guru of Haircoloring" :D
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  • mrspoppersmrspoppers Posts: 7,223Registered Users Curl Novice
    I feel your pain.

    I've been in the marketing field for more years than I can count and my experience is that successful designers freelance. It's really hard to get a job in design working for a company; even if you did get one, it wouldn't pay. If you got one and the salary was okay, you'd be bored because the work wouldn't be design, but desktop publishing. Yes, there are exceptions, but not a big percentage.

    I work for a large bank now, and we have hardly any designers on staff. The couple we have do copy edits and prepress work. They do not design anything from scratch.

    Have you considered freelancing? There's an agency called The Creative Group that hooks up freelancers with companies. You set your own salary and can work jobs for a day or for six months. It depends on what you want to do. You also get benefits after you work a certain number of jobs.

    Another option might be prepress or print management for a company. Our print ops people don't design, but they are very involved with the creative process.
    When are women going to face the fact that they don’t know their own bodies as well as men who have heard things?

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  • ZinniaZinnia Posts: 7,339Registered Users
    tgreyz wrote:
    I have looked into being a buyer and it sounds like a fairly interesting career. People with degrees in business or fashion merchandising usually get those jobs. The TJ Maxx Headquarters is about 1 hr 15 minutes away from me and they have a corporate merchandise training program that I applied to. Basically they train you how to be a buyer and you move through various positions until you eventually become a buyer. Well they rejected me for that program.

    did they give you any feedback on why you were rejected for that program? does a person need to work at TJ Maxx first?

    any other programs out there such as that one for which you can apply?

    don't give up.
    Life shrinks or expands according to one's courage. Anais Nin
  • violetsviolets Posts: 1,689Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I was looking for a job last summer after 5 years of staying home with my son. I had very few calls and no luck so I took an unrelated job at a bank. Its not bad because I am getting paid something. That kind of takes the pressure off a bit because I have some money coming in.

    I started again looking in January, and so far only 1 interview and 1 call from a recruiter. Hang in there, its not easy. Make sure you are writing good cover letter and that you sound CONFiDENT in them. If you still have unemployment, don't worry about it. Keep sending out resumes/cover letters. I know how you feel. Good luck.

    Good luck.
  • SnarlsSnarls Posts: 2,537Registered Users
    Well, everything else aside, I think TJ Maxx is dumb :evil: . You would be a great buyer. If that's something you would really like to do, don't let anyone tell you that you can't. Get pissed off and show them that you can! (OK, no, I don't know how to do that, and also, I myself didn't learn that I don't have to take "no" for an answer until I was around 35).

    Ideally you should be buyer for, like, Target and maybe you could improve their selection of CG friendly hair products!
    formerly Castella
    (my dogs aren't snarly, my hair is)
  • tgreyztgreyz Posts: 1,627Registered Users
    wntrbloom wrote:
    tgreyz wrote:
    I have looked into being a buyer and it sounds like a fairly interesting career. People with degrees in business or fashion merchandising usually get those jobs. The TJ Maxx Headquarters is about 1 hr 15 minutes away from me and they have a corporate merchandise training program that I applied to. Basically they train you how to be a buyer and you move through various positions until you eventually become a buyer. Well they rejected me for that program.

    did they give you any feedback on why you were rejected for that program? does a person need to work at TJ Maxx first?

    any other programs out there such as that one for which you can apply?

    don't give up.

    Nope, no feedback on why I was rejected. They just had more qualified applicants I guess. I'm sure I could apply again but I definitely need to apply with a completely different resume. I'm sure they prefer business majors.

    A few insurance companies in my area will train you to be an underwriter. Which doesn't really sound like fun but probably pays well. Another company will train you in Human Resources. I have submitted my resume but never heard anything back.

    Castella wrote:
    Well, everything else aside, I think TJ Maxx is dumb Evil or Very Mad . You would be a great buyer. If that's something you would really like to do, don't let anyone tell you that you can't. Get pissed off and show them that you can! (OK, no, I don't know how to do that, and also, I myself didn't learn that I don't have to take "no" for an answer until I was around 35).

    Ideally you should be buyer for, like, Target and maybe you could improve their selection of CG friendly hair products!

    Thanks for the support. Buying sounds like fun but I also think it involves a lot of math which is definitely not my strong suit. I think the Target headquarters are in Minneapolis and it is very hard to get a job there.
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