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Unemployed, running out of money, becoming depressed. Suggestions?
October 1, 2006 12:02 PM   Subscribe

Unemployed, running out of money, becoming depressed. Suggestions?

Posting anonymously as I now realize the stupidity of the situation I created. A few months ago I quit a job that I absolutely hated and took a month off immediately afterwards, doing things that I have really wanted to do (such as take a 2 week bike trip).

Current problem now: I have been applying for jobs for the past month, doing everything from using a recruiter, revising resumes and dropping them off in monster (and even jobs on craigslist), and soon I will put up signs offering services to tutor or dogwalk. No calls yet. I live in NYC, signed a lease for a year and have enough saved up to live here for about 3 months max (I have a friend that will lend me money for a few months if needed, but I don't want to create more debt without a real plan). Also, I thought I would be more productive with my time (I wanted to use some of it to try to write/wanted to try freelance), but I have found that I am becoming depressed (very short tempered with friends) and very worked up about the lack of money and rarely focus.

So I was looking for suggestions for the following:
1) How to keep from feeling down and unfocused? A schedule?
2) Other suggestions to temporarily obtain money or even find a job?

I registered for numerous temp agencies and most rejected my application (they wanted 2 years experience as Admin assistants or executive assistants). I do have a college degree and even a graduate degree (both in biology). Lots of prior work experience in both teaching and research but I do not want to do that anymore, hence the attempt at a temp agency. Has anyone succeeded with temp agencies in NYC and a similar background?

Or how to get jobs outside my field? I am even applying for data entry jobs but I really suspect that a person will look at my resume and throw it out the window. I actually have made a version of a resume that I removed the graduate degree.

Or is there a skill I can learn very quickly without a full semester of classes to earn money?

Thanks
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (48 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
 
McDonalds is always hiring. It's money and that should be your most pressing need.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 12:08 PM on October 1, 2006


I can't help you with the money situation, but the one thing I found when I was job hunting was I absolutely had to treat the job hunt like a job itself (albeit one with shitty pay). That meant getting up, showering, getting dressed (ie all the things you do before going to work) and then spending 8 hours "working" on finding a job. Otherwise, I'd end up wasting the day puttering, lounging in my pjs, watching tv and spiriling into the same pit of depression you're going though. It wasn't pretty :(
posted by cgg at 12:13 PM on October 1, 2006 [2 favorites]


McDonald's (and fast food generally) should be what you consider after you fail at giving blowjobs to strangers. The managers will look for any excuse to not pay you, steal money from your paycheck, and fire you at a moment's notice when they decide to steal from your drawer and put the blame on you.

Of course, if you're one of those overqualified types... do you know any lawyers? Seems to me that fast food companies are just begging for employee lawsuits if any of their victims were legal citizens, not retarded, not felons, and over 18.
posted by dagnyscott at 12:15 PM on October 1, 2006 [2 favorites]


I ran into a similar situation... you may be too educated for the jobs you are applying for. The hiring agencies want people who aren't a flight risk, and someone with a graduate degree (a Master's?) is always a risk when it's not in their field.

Look into Food Services and Phone Centers if you need quick money... the phone centers near here all have 2-4 weeks of paid training, I know people who job surf between those positions, never putting in an actual day's work.

(I don't suggest it, in fact, I detest it, but it does go to show how easy it is to get hired)
posted by hatsix at 12:16 PM on October 1, 2006


If you've got a degree in wildlife or vegetation biology, do environmental planning and permitting work with an environmental engineering or scientific consulting firm. It's a rapidly growing industry and there are always jobs for people who are willing to go out into the field, guesstimate how many salamanders will be killed when they build that mall and then write an environmental assessment that the investors can show to the feds.

Unless your specialty is, say, microbiology or the like, you could walk in off the street and be working next week.
posted by solid-one-love at 12:17 PM on October 1, 2006


job search:
First answer is right, get a job to see you through. Consider something that requires a little more thought than McD's though maybe? Border's? Lab tech stuff? Princeton/Kaplan SAT review?

You do need to change the approach to how you're finding a job, though. Don't go through strangers and submit online to HR people; network through your former professors and colleagues and other alums from your university(/ies). This is also hiring season at universities, and alums are often welcome to career fairs and even on-campus interviews. If what you're at is the need for a career change, try to figure out what you want your destination to be, why, and how to sell it to the companies you're after.

focus:
You do need a schedule, even if it is a job-hunting schedule. X cover letters written, 10 to 4 job-hunting only, whatever works for you. Make sure to include outdoor time and social activity in your schedule, as well as days off. Setting aside specific times and places for specific types of work can help in setting schedules like this...

good luck...
posted by whatzit at 12:18 PM on October 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


I've been unemployed for long periods (8 and 21mo) before (mostly voluntarily) and the things that kept me from getting into weird mind states were establishing routines, and lots of exercise. The routines help you stop thinking "what am I going to do now?" every hour or so. Biking an hour every day and going to the gym three times a week made me feel good physically, and also gave me something to work on and make progress on.
posted by aneel at 12:35 PM on October 1, 2006


cgg's advice is absolutely correct.

I don't know about McDonalds, but make sure you always have at least 3 applications at retail stores at any time. If you do that, you can get an idea (once a weekish where I lived) of how often one will offer you a job. If one offers, and you aren't to the point yet where you have no choice, just say no and put 3 more applications in at other retail stores. When it gets to the point that you have no choice but retail work to make ends meet, remember to lie about your intentions! I hate doing it, but with the exception of the holiday season, telling retail that you are only looking for temporary work gets your application straight in the trash. You've got to look out for number 1.

As for the depression, the best thing I did was volunteer 3 days a week at a local soup kitchen. It helped split up the monotany of my week and made me feel like someone else was depending on me dragging my butt out of bed in the morning. Even though it doesn't pay, it's work and working made me feel better.
posted by bryak at 12:42 PM on October 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


McDonald's (and fast food generally) should be what you consider after you fail at giving blowjobs to strangers.

OTOH, the standards are so low it's easy to excel. Just showing up for work on time and on schedule will make you stand out.
posted by smackfu at 12:58 PM on October 1, 2006


I recommend Kinko's as something that keeps you thinking, even if just minimally, and won't make you reek by the end of a shift. It also has the added benefit of being somewhat active.

And the posters above who recommend a routine are spot on. I'm employed and work from home. If I don't shower each morning I wind up being out of focus most of the day. Additionally, I like to break things up and get out of the house when I really need to focus. I pack up the things I need and head to a local cafe with wi-fi and set up shop there. I can usually bang out a full days worth of work in about half the time it takes me from home where I get interrupted via IM and work email (which I can't access without being at my IP).

I might also suggest doing some volunteer work. Not a ton, but just enough to give you some sense of purpose and reason to get up and out of the house. And if it's in an interesting enough place you might be able to network while you're at it.

Good luck, keep your chin up.
posted by FlamingBore at 1:01 PM on October 1, 2006


whatzit beat me to my thought -- short term, look for employment agencies who place for lab/tech/science jobs. Be willing to consider science areas that aren't exactly in your graduate field of expertise -- they're usually initially looking for people who are going to be able to function well in a lab environment, more than anything else.

You don't say what you're thinking about in the long term, but I'll offer a thought: If you liked biology for long enough to have a graduate degree and a substantive teaching and research background, it may be that you should seek out a new role rather than a completely new field. I'm more familiar with chemists, but from what I've seen? When they want to move into IT or marketing or administration for a company in the field? They're welcomed and they flourish. I can't imagine biology is dramatically different.
posted by gnomeloaf at 1:08 PM on October 1, 2006


As for getting a job, at this point you are too educated to just get any old job. Trust me, been there done that. Your best bet is to decide what it is you want to do long term and go for it. In the meantime try waiting tables or substitute teaching or something that you can actually get hired for with minimal fuss and that you can make more than $5 and hour at. If necessary lie and say you are applying to Columbia for a PhD and anticipate being in the area for 5 to 7 years.
posted by fshgrl at 1:21 PM on October 1, 2006


If you put in an application right now at the post office they will probably hire you in a couple weeks for the Christmas rush. It will proabably last until about the first of january and will pay far better than McDonalds.
posted by I Foody at 1:41 PM on October 1, 2006


How about substitue teaching and/or tutoring at a tutoring center like Sylvan while actively searching a permanent position to your liking? You are probably well aware that substitute teaching is convenient, the hours are great, and the pay isn't that awful.

I would definitely maintain some sort of schedule. Go to bed at a decent hour, wake up, exercise, eat a nice breakfast. Don't lounge around the house. That will just make you feel worse. Go to your temporary job and make some cash. I am sure your confidence will rise and the blues will lift once you are earning money. Work is great for getting your mind off things.

Good luck with your job search.
posted by LoriFLA at 1:52 PM on October 1, 2006


If you put in an application right now at the post office they will probably hire

Wouldn't you have to take the civil service exam, first?
posted by ChasFile at 1:55 PM on October 1, 2006


yes, you would have to take a civil service exam at the post office and you'll be hired in as a temp/flex ... which means any time, any day, any amount of hours a week ... you can spend years like that before you actually get in

security guard jobs can be good, but they won't pay very well ... however it beats working at mcdonald's by a long shot

retail is another option, although getting full time is very hard

and then there's factories ... look, it can be hell and it's sure not fun, but temp agencies are always sending people to them ... and generally, these tend to be full time ... you won't like it, but that's why they call it "work"
posted by pyramid termite at 2:03 PM on October 1, 2006


Try Barnes and Noble, Starbucks, jobs in supemarkets (they are union). and waitering jobs - all of these can be decenlty paying retail work. I would also not go through web to get a job but identify an employer and contact them directly. Avoid going through HR when you can and try to talk to the hiring manager.

Good luck!
posted by zia at 2:12 PM on October 1, 2006


If you put in an application right now at the post office they will probably hire

Or Fedex/UPS then too, right?
posted by misterbrandt at 2:18 PM on October 1, 2006


Retail is a good bet now; they will be looking for extra help just for the time until Christmas.

Kaplan and Princeton Review are also good part-time options where your education will be an asset. You might also try contacting local schools to see if you can do after-school tutoring for students taking the AP bio exam, for example.

Whatever you do, get the hell out of the house by 10 AM. Make a routine of going to coffee shop, or gym, or meeting a friend at the library, or something -- give yourself a definite place to be at in the morning, a reason to get up and dressed, and a short pleasant interaction with people first thing in the morning, to remind yourself that you're part of the regular world. (You're not alone: having unlimited free time results in zero productivity for most people. Recognize this, and set limits on your schedule or arrange for external factors to set those limits -- eg by signing up for an exercise class or scheduling meetings with friends. The sure way to depression is to stay in the house alone.)
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:43 PM on October 1, 2006 [1 favorite]


This is slightly off-topic, but I don't understand why there's no demand for people with graduate degrees in biology. What the hell?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 2:52 PM on October 1, 2006


I would definitely put tutoring signs up NOW, and call up private tutoring agencies. Lots of high school students in NYC have tutors for AP exams, SAT II exams, etc. I know someone who privately tutored students studying for the MCAT. He charged about $100/hour.

Oddly, I find it's always easier to get a job when you have a job—so, in this wisdom, I advise you to apply at Starbucks. My friend couldn't find a job after getting her master's in Chemical Engineering. She ended up getting a job at Starbucks, because they offered health insurance.

In the meantime, just as everyone's said above, set up a schedule. Get up early every day, take a shower and get out of the house.
posted by hooray at 2:53 PM on October 1, 2006


Maybe this isn't what you want to hear, but have you considered getting out of NYC? You're living, with a rapidly decreasing amount of money, in one of the most expensive cities in the world. There are lots of less expensive cities with better job markets out there.

Also, you have the degrees in biology—that doesn't mean you need to teach or do research. How about something tangentially related, like being a whale-watching guide, or the National Park Service? In this case you'll be doing something different, getting paid, and yet it will be employment where your degrees will actually give you an edge in the hiring market.

Good luck.
posted by symphonik at 3:08 PM on October 1, 2006


A vote for Border's as a good source of part-time employment for someone in your situation. I just started at one (recent college grad, grad school applicant, full-time "real jobs" hard to come by), and I find most of the employees to be ridiculously over-educated. Everyone is pretty much in school currently or in transition between programs/careers. Plus, health benefits are available even for part-timers, if that's one of your concerns.

Working retail can suck sometimes, but it's infinitely better than going into debt until you figure things out. And being out in the world and around people will definitely improve your mood - while you're helping customers and chatting up your coworkers you won't have as much time to waste talking yourself down into a depression.
posted by CtrlAltDelete at 3:18 PM on October 1, 2006


A vote for Borders, no apostrophe. Damn it, even now that I work there I still fuck that up. It's like a tick, stupid rogue punctuation.
posted by CtrlAltDelete at 3:22 PM on October 1, 2006


I was about to echo the NYC comment... it sounds like a myopic job search looking for graduate work in (what I am reading to be) just one borough. What are the opportunities in upstate NY? On the east coast? Out west?
posted by chef_boyardee at 3:39 PM on October 1, 2006


I was about to echo the NYC comment... it sounds like a myopic job search looking for graduate work in (what I am reading to be) just one borough. What are the opportunities in upstate NY? On the east coast? Out west?

Read the question, the poster has signed a one-year lease.
posted by onalark at 4:05 PM on October 1, 2006


I'd recommend researching companies and organizations you'd like to work for and contacting them directly, regardless of whether they're hiring. And it's already been said, but work your contacts. On my last job search, I e-mailed just about everyone I knew, let them know what kind of work I was looking for, and asked for advice, contacts, or just suggestions of companies I should contact.

Lots of places don't even post their openings until they're desperate, so it's worthwhile to try to make contact before that point.
posted by lunalaguna at 4:24 PM on October 1, 2006


Have you considered the advice offered in this thread? It's about a high school biology teacher who is interested in a career change...might be some good ideas in there for you.
posted by Not in my backyard at 4:32 PM on October 1, 2006


Read the question, the poster has signed a one-year lease.

Often, taking the penalty on leaving your lease early in favor of moving somewhere much cheaper is worth the tradeoff, especially when living somewhere expensive. For example, I'm paying $1100 in the Bay Area. I could move back to Colorado and pay $500. If I had nine months left on my lease:

- If I stick it out here (that does not include the higher living expenses of being in the Bay Area!), I would pay $9900 ($1100 x 9mos) by the end of that nine-month period.
- If I get the hell out and go back to Colorado, I would pay $5600 ($500 x 9mos + $1100 early termination penalty) by the end of that nine-month period.

I still save $4300, plus my cost of living goes way down.
posted by symphonik at 4:34 PM on October 1, 2006


I worked for marketing promotions company while i was 'unemployed', and actually earned more money than when I had a full time job. They pay under the table (usually), and all you have to do is stand on street corners handing out flyers, or go to events handing out samples, that type of thing. They don't care entirely if you're a flight risk, because while they want fairly stable lists of employees, they hire job-to-job.

Informational interviews work well; also I often find that smaller organisations are more willing to make decisions based on a personality fit, and so aren't quite as strict about the exact qualifications.
posted by Kololo at 4:44 PM on October 1, 2006


I think you're off to a good start and love the suggestions of working at book stores. I think you'll find yourself less depressed at those or retail rather than fast food ... maybe try waiting tables? And believe it or not, book stores is a way to break into industries such as event planning or publishing, retail stores can get a foot-in-the-door for fashion or being a buyer if you're so inclined. Particularly in the big stores in NYC... now that I think about it, they must all be hiring now for the oncoming holiday rush. Try Macy's at 34th too.

Have you tried networking through your friends and acquaintances here in NYC at their companies? The last three jobs I've received in my industries were found and helped via friends.

How about going directly to company websites that you are personally interested in? When I was working a miserable job, I actually geared and sent my resume to a company that was totally out of my field and quite wacky but personally had a childhood love of - wrote that in my cover letter and got an interview. It wasn't the job I ended up with, but getting a foot in the door is the big step.

Admin assistant is definitely a way to break your way into a new industry, and I applaud anyone who is willing to work their way into an industry. If the recruiters want '2 years experience' can you downplay your research or teaching experience items to honestly contain bullets such as 'maintained staff schedules' or 'maintained schedules,' note-taking, data tracking, coordinated mailings, etc? Even add the 'assistant' on to your research title? Smart admin assistants are always in need and often quickly promoted, it's just sometimes talking your way through the recruiter (and I recall having my fair share of clueless recruiters who don't really understand what certain jobs are, they're just checking off bullet points...) however, if you can talk and list the relevant bullets for them, they will consider you for these positions.

Also, I assume you're looking well-groomed for your recruiters. Clean classic black suits are always the New York uniform. I've seen candidates wander through recruiting offices and if they don't look good enough - just conservative and well-put together enough, they sure got an earfull.

Good luck!
posted by eatdonuts at 4:49 PM on October 1, 2006


First -- don't panic, and don't paralyze yourself with regret. You may be feeling like a jackass for quitting your job without something else in hand but if you were a truly irremediable loser jackass, you'd be posting this in April 2007 from your friend's couch and saying you don't want a job that's really, like, soul-sucking and shit, y'know?

As cgg, whatzit, and others have said, you have to set a schedule and impose deadlines on yourself. The stupid, superficial things -- like being up, showered, and dressed by 9 am -- count hugely. And consider flamingbore's somewhat counterintuitive recommendation of volunteer work, which is the best thing to avoid a depressive blackhole.

I'd avoid posting-a-flyer tutoring. Sounds like you're burnt out on teaching already, and the scheduling and scrambling around would be even more of a drain. Again, as others have suggested, try Kaplan or Princeton.

If you'd rather have a job that leaves you with more mental energy to use searching for something long-term, retail is definitely the way to go. Try Trader Joe's on 14th Street. I know a couple of people who work there and they like it. Decent pay, flexible scheduling, fairly easy to get cheap health insurance, and 10% off (really good!) groceries. They always have postings for cashier/stock jobs.

Since we're coming up on the holiday season, you should be able to pick up a temp job, at least, at just about any retail store.

Longer term — I don't know what your bio specialty is but if it's anything related to horticulture, forestry, urban ecosystems, or anything you could plausibly sell to the Central Park Conservancy, give it a whirl. Unlike many non-profits, they've got scads of money because they're financed by the rich people who live within view of the park. CPS spends serious cash on educational programs, especially; they're organizing a charter high school now.

I love gnomeloaf's suggestion for a kind of slantwise career move. A friend who's a nurse recently started working as a legal consultant, evaluating documents in her medical specialty.

Also, as others have said -- don't limit your possibilities to NYC.

Good luck and please keep us posted.
posted by vetiver at 4:53 PM on October 1, 2006


Pharmceutical sales reps seem to make some money.
posted by DenOfSizer at 4:59 PM on October 1, 2006


This is slightly off-topic, but I don't understand why there's no demand for people with graduate degrees in biology. What the hell?

There is actually plenty of work for people with graduate degrees in biology, in fact it's quite hard to find qualified applicants for positions in my field.

Having said that getting a full time job with the National Park Service that would support a NYC apartment is probably slightly harder than getting a job as an astronaut. It's ever worse out west where the parks are cooler. Especially right now as they have zero money to hire anyone.
posted by fshgrl at 5:09 PM on October 1, 2006


Christmas is coming. Everybody in retail will be hiring. Get something/anything to bring in some dough and keep your head above water. Borders, Barnes & Noble, department stores. Yeah, I like the bookstore idea too. But then I've always liked books.

Not McDonald's. That's a shithole best reserved for teens.

Also, what about fed-ex or ups? I think that they pay decently and usually take on extra help at xmas. They might even want to keep you on after the holidays.

Interested in being a cop or firefighter? Take the exam. That would be quite a change of pace for you.

Given you've taught, done research, have good analytical skills and communications skills, I think that you'd make a fine health care policy analyst (or some other kind of policy analyst). I long ago made the switch from academia to government. So can you. Bill yourself as a policy analyst and emphasize the skills that I just mentioned.

Are any of the city agencies, council members etc. hiring someone as a policy analyst where science skills would come in handy? Are there jobs at NYC's many fine hospitals that where your skills would be a benefit. Are there any advocacy groups (i.e., lobbyists) who need an analyst. They all have somebody to run the numbers and provide some analysis.

If by chance you are willing to relocate to Albany, now is the time to apply for policy analyst postions with the state legislature. Folks will be hiring for the legislative session that starts in January. Jump on it now if interested.

Don't beat up on yourself. If you really hated the job then it's best to be done with it. It took balls to dump that job. Hang in there. Something else will turn up. You're not doomed. Take care and keep your chin up.
posted by bim at 5:18 PM on October 1, 2006


I worked at Sears for a while when my employment situation was bad , now the pay was spittle but just enough to keep me out of trouble.

That said, I had lots of cute and very nice female co-workers; was given quite a few freebies (a polo shirt, a couple of restaraunt meals). I also had access to an employee discount, knew when there were good sales (like very cheap shoes and DVD players) and was even offerred a promotion (which I wasn't around to take).

I also worked in telemarketing for a few months.

I have a BA and a Business Diploma, and that education comes with all kinds of messages that the lives of the working class are dull and bleak (well there were times). Overall though, I had good times and met interesting people.
posted by Deep Dish at 7:36 PM on October 1, 2006


(self-link) This can help you organize your job search. It's free, useful, and I'd love to get a job seeker's feedback on it.
posted by Kickstart70 at 8:05 PM on October 1, 2006


I can relate. I'm gainfully employed now but it took me about three months between jobs to get where I am now. Those three months were stressful because I didn't have much money to begin with. I wanted a job but I also wanted a job I liked, if I could get it.

All I can say is keep your chin up, keep applying for jobs everywhere you can and if it comes down to it, take that job that sucks because I did and it got me to a job I love.

And, of course, don't forget about jobs.metafilter.
posted by Effigy2000 at 8:35 PM on October 1, 2006


When I first came to NYC, I signed up with a temp service called Atrium. If they like you, they let you show up at their office every morning, whether you have a job or not, and if they don't send you to work by 11am, they pay you for the three hours that you sat there and waited. And if they do send you somewhere, it usually isn't shit. In fact, I eventually landed a job at the company where I still work (in a different capacity) as a result of Atrium sending me there.

It was comforting to know that I was at least going to get paid for a few hours every day, no matter what. They do have to like you, though. But if you dress reasonably well and pass their retarded Word and Excel tests and have a degree, they'll like you.
posted by bingo at 9:21 PM on October 1, 2006


I worked for over a year at a Kinko's after college. Depending on the branch, it can be a pretty busy and crazy place, and I'd guess in NYC most branches are. If you're not experienced with the machines, you'd start out doing counter/order taking/cashier stuff and at the same time you'll gradually learn how to run the machines. Go for a key operator (key-op) position and you'll be running the show behind the counter. You stay busy, and use your brain creatively as well as learn some good computer/design skills.

Don't stay too long, though. At the end of the day it's a service industry job and the customers will eventually drive you up the wall. I'm glad I worked there, though.
posted by zardoz at 11:10 PM on October 1, 2006



1) Go to the website of every college & university you can find in all five boroughs, and find the person to whom you should submit your resume for consideration to teach one or more courses as adjunct faculty. I taught as an adjunct for four semesters and it was a real help in an otherwise starving-freelancer lifestyle. With a master's, you are definitely an acceptable candidate at many schools!

2) Tutoring is a great idea. There's real money to be made there. Focus on neighborhoods with concentrations of well-off families (Battery Park City, Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights, the Upper East Side, mid- and southern Staten Island, Riverdale...).
posted by allterrainbrain at 11:59 PM on October 1, 2006


If you're female* and don't mind kids, consider babysitting while you're working on finding a day job. Benefits:
-really flexible hours
-one of the highest hourly wages out there ($12-15)
-paid in cash, so it can be tax-free

Rich people in New York are *always* looking for sitters. Sittercity.com is a good place to start.


*Sorry, people hiring sitters seem to prefer women. It doesn't make large amounts of sense to me, but that's the way it is.
posted by chickletworks at 1:50 AM on October 2, 2006


Bike messenger. Whenever I quit a job I dislike and take some time off, I always go back to being a bike messenger for a short time. Being outside and active all day helps the motivation problems you mentioned, and it's a great way to meet people in all types of jobs. I make a list of the companies that seem interesting and I research them after work. Hours are flexible based on your financial needs.

I know it doesn't pay much, but it has some advantages. You seem to enjoy cycling and you live in New York, which eliminates two of the major barriers to the job.
posted by monkeystronghold at 9:45 AM on October 2, 2006


Just showing up for work on time and on schedule will make you stand out.

As an easy mark to be ripped off, maybe. Or a narc for all the other people who they're ripping off. Not a good plan.
posted by dagnyscott at 3:40 PM on October 2, 2006


re-examine why you want to work outside your field.

when I quit my last job, i never wanted to do IT/dev work ever again.

long after the unemployment ran out, i still didn't have a cogent idea of what i wanted to do -- just "not computers".

well, naturally, i was over and underqualified for every job that wasn't computers (under-, just because I'm not super at bullshitting or networking, over-, because all the retail jobs I looked at took one peek at my former salary and lack of retail experience and basically said "forget it").

i ended up taking an "intern" computer job at a small company that did website dev, figuring I'd just work long enough to pay off some debts and then go travel/try my luck in NYC.

two years later I'm still with them and more interested in this field as a career than ever. Turned out that it wasn't the "computers" that I hated, just the attitudes of the last company I worked for.

you might not have hated your last job because it was in biology, but because it fuckin' sucked. take a chance and try working in the field again, if only briefly. You might find that given the right environment and management, you love your field.
posted by fishfucker at 4:33 PM on October 2, 2006


I use Career Group. I've been temping forever (because I haven't been able to find a job in the arts, museums, international humanitarian groups, or academic assisting here in nyc. Yea a wide range and no one will hire me). If you email me I'll give you my supervisor's name so you can interview with her.
posted by scazza at 1:33 PM on October 3, 2006


A lot of these suggestions that I just skimmed over I have tried and are harder just b/c you're in nyc:

bike messenger: insane, deadly traffic here, anti-bike culture (I was a messenger in Chicago).
babysitting: intense background checks, lots of experience needed, very competitive.
food service: need serious experience, and often a willingness to work 12 hour shifts.

Not to be discouraging, but just to say that I relate to the poster; everything is more competitive just b/c you're in nyc. Being an intern or working for free or temping are the only options I have found. But if you can tutor damn, I would do that.
posted by scazza at 1:45 PM on October 3, 2006


This is just a partial answer to your issue. Can you get a roommate to help with the montly living expenses? Post on craigslist or see if your friend knows anybody looking for a place.
posted by mynameismandab at 8:24 PM on October 31, 2006


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