I love my new town, but how do I find a job here?
January 23, 2013 1:04 PM Subscribe
I'm nineteen. Four months ago, I moved out of my parents' houses to a medium-sized Midwestern city. I'm more consistently happy here than I have ever been (even despite breaking up with my long-term SO) -- I'm making friends regularly, working on interesting projects, and devouring the library. My biggest problem is that I can't find a job.
My town is very much a college town, so hiring probably happens quickly and without my knowledge.
I don't technically have a high school diploma; I left my ordinary high school after two years and spent the remaining two years in a weird mixture of mostly-self-directed homeschooling.
I don't have a substantial amount of experience. Until I moved, I worked semi-regularly for my dad's business doing mostly odd jobs. I'm not sure listing my dad's business on a job application is very persuasive (and we have the same name, heh). The only other solid reference I have is my uncle -- before I moved, I babysat for his kids often.
The biggest issue, though, is that applying for jobs makes me very anxious. I've been dealing with this as best as I can -- having one prewritten resume and tailoring that to each job helps, for example -- but mostly I'm left feeling shitty and inadequate and on the verge of tears halfway through. I know objectively that I could do well at almost any job; it doesn't help.
I have some assets, though:
My town is a surprisingly cheap place to live. I spend very small amounts on food (I cook for myself almost exclusively) and anyone not from here is startled by how low my rent is. I've been living on savings and have enough for at least two more rent months.
In case it's relevant: I'm also interested in math and logic (and their weirder intersections -- type theory is a big one), the sciences, and cooking.
Here are my questions:
Where should I be looking for work? Filling out applications for your standard customer service gig hasn't been very productive (and I think my lack of qualifications is part of that). I've sent my technical resume to a company hiring for a remote web dev job (and did better on the phone interview than I ever thought I would -- ultimately, they said they wanted someone with more SQL experience) but I haven't had luck finding any others.
Do you know of anything creative I could do with my time that could lead to money? I've got a side project (a game) that could, but that will probably take more (unpaid) time than I have. Having a donation button on my projects' websites has led to exactly zero income. I'm already selling plasma.
Should I spring for a GED? I'm confident I would pass, but it's expensive ($50 here, roughly a month of food) and I'm not sure how much it would help. I'm also worried it would look worse from an employment standpoint -- I'd be seen as a dropout with a GED rather than a homeschooled kid.
Finally: how do I keep my joblessness from further exasperating my insecurities and anxieties?