IAMA ________
May 2, 2011 9:01 AM   Subscribe

Where are some places I can go career wise? I feel limited by my experience and believe that my resume is very blah. I need suggestions for job titles to apply for (usually sending my resume to companies I want to work for that don't necessarily have openings posted).

Currently I work in customer service / light sales duties. I like my job in general, but the commute is getting too expensive and my income has stagnated below 35k annually. I live in Phila, so I figure I can find a job somewhere in the city and cut down on commute expenses.

My problem lies in that I haven't really had jobs with specialized skills. Before this position, which I've been in for 3 years, I worked in restaraunts (server), retail stores, daycares (as a teenager for minimum wage), telemarketing, and babysitting. I feel like I have no more skills on paper than the average high school senior. I started working when I was 14, so I've seen a variety of different work cultures, but not really much variety in skills needed to do the jobs.

But I am very smart and can learn anything (though I don't have money to go back to school right now). I just finished trade school for welding and so was thinking I could get a sales job for a welding supply company (which would combine the trade school knowledge with job experience that I currently have). I also have a BA in English from a "public ivy."

Outside of sales, what are some other administrative positions I could cold-send resumes for? The aspects of work that I most enjoy are being active / busy, interacting with people face to face if possible, working on new things fairly often (as opposed to being assigned to year long projects). I am very organized with information, but a bit of a clutter bug physically. In a new position I would need to make at least the amount I make now and I would also need benefits (I get sick fairly often, but only miss work about 1 - 2 days a year). What are some positions / titles / desired job descriptions I should aim for?
posted by WeekendJen to Work & Money (7 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Have you ever managed people? Would you like to do that again?

Also, are you dedicated to cold-sending resumes? What's the in-person networking scene like when it comes to your desired industries in your area?
posted by brainwane at 10:17 AM on May 2, 2011

Response by poster: I have never managed people, but would be interested in a position that is entry level for management (since, that seems to be one way to "move up"). I have volunteered on committees at work for things like "Take you child to work day" where I have leadership over a small group, but I do not have professional leadership experience.

I do apply to posted positions if they seem applicable to slightly above my skillset, but if the only position posted for a company is something like "Director of Procurement" where I know it's way above my experience level, I'll cold send a resume for a secretarial / administrative / support position.

I'm not sure what the in-person networking scene is like for my desired industry, likely because I don't really have a desired industry, which could be part of my problem. I'm basically interested in applying to any company that is accessible via public transit and that will provide the (meager, really) pay that I need to float by plus benefits. My current industry is office supplies, the last industry I worked in where I gained specific knowledge of product was hardware / fasteners / controls and switches / electrical components for manufacturing and I found both interesting enough to learn about.
posted by WeekendJen at 10:37 AM on May 2, 2011

Office manager. Administrative assistant.
posted by Zophi at 11:23 AM on May 2, 2011

Yeah, you might want to try being an office manager. Also, on your resume, you can list volunteer positions under Experience if they were somewhat substantial, and perhaps yours were!

If you choose three industries to research (meetup.com, salary.com, etc.) and find the in-person networking scenes and do informational interviews, you'll probably be more successful than with a scattershot cold-send approach, IMO.
posted by brainwane at 6:54 PM on May 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

You might look at reception positions. Your description of what you like (active, interacting face-to-face, working short projects, organized with information) is a good fit for an active receptionist/AA position. These are usually the least senior admin positions, but it can be a good way to get your foot in the door and demonstrate some abilities.

If you are interested in admin positions, make sure you can really type and that your computer skills are up to par. A BA in English means you can probably express yourself well in writing, which is a valuable skill. And working in customer service and as a server shows you know how to interact effectively with others in a professional manner (also a good skill).

With the light sales background, look for titles like sales assistant.

This is a little out of left field, but you might also consider looking a unit secretary or unit clerk positions in hospitals. It is usually fast-paced, lots of in-person interaction. Positions in admissions (titles typically sound like "patient access representative" or "admission services associate") might also be a good fit. Working in a hospital isn't for everyone, but they are usually located close to public transportation and always offer benefits.
posted by jeoc at 8:04 PM on May 2, 2011

Why don't you want to weld?
posted by blargerz at 8:41 PM on May 2, 2011

Claims adjuster
posted by blargerz at 8:42 PM on May 2, 2011

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