I just want a job
April 29, 2014 6:51 AM   Subscribe

Would getting an Administrative Assistant AAS degree actually help me get a job? Does anybody have experience with these programs, or hiring people who have them into positions that are long-term? Personal history and details inside.

I've basically been floating along on luck in my life. I have a fine arts degree from a respected liberal arts university that I've never put to professional use. Most of my work experience is in small retail, and that was years ago, and I was never promoted beyond keyholder, mostly because the next step would be co-owner of the shop. Right now I'm doing some strange freelance editing (I edit anime subtitles) that will never be enough work for me to really live on. I also hate the lack of structure, the way I'm responsible for all that minutiae that people with normal office jobs have HR people to help with, the absolute unreliability with the work, and of course how little my time is valued. Being paid for any of the art I create immediately devalues it for me, and every interaction with the art world makes me livid. Just creating a resume is a source of extreme anxiety for me, because I have so many unexplainable-to-employers gaps and no clear trajectory or goals.

I want a solid job with regular hours where my responsibilities are clear, and I have no ambition towards anything beyond a living wage and a respectful work environment. I'm not professionally ambitious, but I take pride in doing a good job at what I commit to. Every job out there seems to need years of relevant experience and multiple degrees, with an eye for promotion and short-term careers, and I know everybody with a PHD is applying to everything, too. That's the opposite, essentially, of what I'm looking for. I've been told I'm "overqualified" by liars so many times! Temp agencies look at my skill gaps and have no idea what to do with me. I don't drive.

Luckily, I have a little money still. (No student loans, no life, huge original savings.) And I currently have nothing but time, as my freelance work continuously dwindles. I haven't been back to school in eight years, and when I was there I was in a completely different kind of program that in no way prepared me for reality. However, I was usually an exemplary student. I have no doubt about my ability to get a certification in anything that doesn't have too much math and doesn't require me to be physical. I'm very detail-oriented and my editing work has always been good, but editing jobs are cutthroat and rarely pay a salary. I'm happier being creative on my own time.

The program I'm specifically looking at is the one at North Seattle College. The curriculum seems to include multiple instances of internship and job shadowing, and geared towards maximum workplace skills.

But if I show up at job interviews with a big fancy certification and no relevant experience, even with a bachelor's too, will people even consider me? Am I better off throwing myself at the wall over and over again with an empty resume and just hoping for a personality mesh to happen, instead of committing to thousands of dollars of school? Are certificates from programs like the one I linked to above something that everybody on the market has, or do they somewhat replace the need for entry-level experience? Do you think my wishes with regard to a job would be fulfilled by being an admin assistant, or am I completely misguided?

Thanks for reading my quarter-life crisis AskMe.
posted by Mizu to Work & Money (26 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Will the certificate as such help you get a job? Maybe, I suppose. A lot of these jobs get filled via employment agencies, and such agencies do tend to like credentials.

But you may find that the actual program helps you get a job more than the certificate does, as these sorts of community college programs can be pretty well connected with the local business community. People get jobs from their internship/shadowing experiences (and the aforementioned employment agencies) at least as much from blanketing the market with resumes.

Also, fix the "I don't drive" part, if you can. It will drastically expand your employment opportunities, not just because some employers want you to be able to do that, but you'll be able to take jobs at a lot of places that you would otherwise not be able to reach. Maybe use some of those savings to buy yourself a cheap used car.
posted by valkyryn at 6:56 AM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Don't want to threadsit but I might as well nip this one in the bud: I'm not going to be able to drive without a great deal of therapy and defensive driving courses due to childhood trauma. It's not something I'm able to reliably change about myself, ever, and the downsides for me vastly outweigh the benefits. It's not something I can flippantly decide to deal with. (But I can be driven and be on public transportation just fine.)
posted by Mizu at 6:59 AM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

For admin work, experience and skill trump all. If you can show that you are a master at Excel or PowerPoint or something in which your potential boss needs a lot of support, that will count more than a general degree in administration.

I would say go for entry-level positions (receptionist is generally the first step to administrative assistant, which is the next step to executive assistant) and get yourself in with a company. Once you prove your skills and you make it known that administration is where it's at for you, you'll be golden.
posted by xingcat at 7:04 AM on April 29, 2014 [11 favorites]

I have never hired a receptionist/Admin Asst. with a certificate and not that I would look down on them but it certainly wouldn't make me look at them harder. It sounds like one of those for-profit certificates that are advertised on late night TV so yeah now that I think about that I might look down on it a little bit.

If you are going to spend money then I suggest one-off classes on:
- Excel, Not having to teach a new Admin keyboard shortcuts, v-look up and charts is a godsend. Be an excel master and you will be invaluable to busy execs.
- HTML, being able to set up a wiki page, huge plus!
- Salesforce

Start with retail jobs if you just need something, ANY work experience plus excel skills is someone I would hire in a minute to be my receptionist and like xingcat said above, receptionist is how you get into an office and become an admin.
posted by magnetsphere at 7:19 AM on April 29, 2014 [13 favorites]

I currently have 3 FT admin support type people working for me. In rough order of importance, this is what I look for:

1. Ability to do the job - can they answer phones, greet parents, do clerical work, and deal with unexpected emergencies effectively and efficiently?
2. Reliability
3. Career trajectory - all things the same, I will take someone who wants a long-term, stable position over someone who is trying to climb the ladder.
4. Availability
5. Formal education

Like any hiring, a lot of it is also the gut check - what is my intuition telling me about this person? Do they feel "right" for the position? One question I ask myself is, "If I called in sick, could this person keep the building from burning down for a day or two?"

The program you linked might give you those things, but in my experience education only gets you interview - actual ability and skills gets (and keeps) you the job. If you feel you already have the skillset for what you are looking for, this may be the right thing to make you qualified on paper and keep you from getting screened out of the application process. If you need to learn actual skills, this may or may not be the right program; you'll have to suss that out yourself.

[On preview, magnetsphere's comments are also very spot on.]
posted by _DB_ at 7:21 AM on April 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

No, this is not worth it. You'd be better served by learning the Microsoft Office Suite of products, Word and Excel primarily. You probably have them on your computer now, and there are tutorials. Also, You Tube has tons of stuff to watch and learn from. Check out PowerPivot. It's the bomb-diggedy.

If you know Excel really, really well, you can earn more than a respectible wage.

Another thing to learn is Salesforce.com. Again, tutorials on line. DO get certified for this one.

That's it. No matter what, you'll never be 100% prepared for what they'll throw at you. Everyone's Salesforece.com is set up differently, so you'll still have to learn what THEY call their fields, and what they do within the confines, but that's no big deal.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 7:27 AM on April 29, 2014 [13 favorites]

Unless they have some sort of active placement program beyond shadowing/internships I can't see how spending thousands of dollars on an non-professional associate degree would be worth it. In fact, I've known a few employers who would see such a degree as a negative, much in the same way that a degree from the University of Phoenix gets a resume discarded immediately in many places.

("Non-professional" in this context meaning that an admin isn't a licensed profession requiring certification or a degree.)
posted by griphus at 7:36 AM on April 29, 2014 [3 favorites]

Temp agencies look at my skill gaps and have no idea what to do with me.

So, can you fill in those skill gaps so that they know what to do with you? I think an AAS can be good way to demonstrate that you can stick with a degree program for a couple of years, but you've already done that with your BFA (or whatever it is). I think if you can take some Lynda classes or otherwise hack up enough of these skills that you currently lack to get a temp gig, that will be at least as useful as an AAS. And much cheaper and faster.
posted by mskyle at 7:37 AM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

I also do not think it is worth it, except maybe as a shortcut to teaching you the skills these jobs would need--the credentials themselves don't mean much. Teach yourself Excel, Word, phone etiquette, business writing, professional dress and appearance, and you will have a good start. Graphic design and database management (Photoshop, Access, other specialized softwares) will get you an even better leg up. These are all things you can learn on your own for minimal cost.
posted by epanalepsis at 8:00 AM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

I am an administrative assistant with no job-specific training. I would not recommend formal admin assistant training to any college-educated person with decent computer skills. Most workplaces want you to learn their special local procedures anyway, so general knowledge about things like how to take minutes, filing systems, etc. could be sortof useful, but is ultimately very likely to be covered by on-the-job training as well. Personally, I fell into admin work after an English degree; I started with some patchy office intern experience and good computer skills.

I think the main things you need to get temp administrative assistant gigs are not really learned in school. In my experience, they are:
1. Excellent computer skills, MS Office in particular. Ace the temp agency tests and they will love you. If you're not there yet, try the above-mentioned Youtube tutorials, or look for a local class if you prefer that kind of learning. Don't forget to mention your typing speed on your resume--you'd be surprised how many people are out there typing 40wpm, and based on what you do now, I bet you can do better than that.
2. A resume that highlights the right points. For example, on your temp agency resume I would write that you edit subtitles, but would leave out details about where. Play up the proofreading and copyediting skills you've got, play down the anime. Don't forget to mention that you also do some HR tasks! (Also, sorry, but lots of admin assistants are responsible for the minutiae that HR folks would take care of in a bigger company.) Don't dismiss your retail experience, either--that's X many years of customer service, and you may notice that customer service is one of the topics the NSC course you're considering teaches.
3. Flexibility. Take the first job they offer, be available on short notice, and be willing to do any kind of office work.
4. An ineffable air of no-nonsense competence and unrufflability. Seriously. Don't show up in a temp agency looking nervous and diffident--show up with an "I can totally do this job, no problem, even if my work experience is sortof weird. I am reliable and calm." face. It makes a big difference. Learn to fake it.

Feel free to memail me if you want to know more about what these jobs are actually like. I would also be happy to help you with your resume.
posted by snorkmaiden at 8:08 AM on April 29, 2014 [13 favorites]

Have you looked at their Workforce Education stuff? That program might be able to help you acquire more marketable skills.

Maybe you're the kind of person who can teach yourself Excel and whatnot, or maybe you're not. Having a supportive classroom environment works better for some people. Only you know which kind of person you are.

I'm a reference librarian at a state college nowhere near you. this morning I've talked with two students who already have BAs but are here to change careers.

Go talk to someone in the workforce education program, do it in person, see what's available. You have fine arts skills and talents, maybe you should consider something like architectural drafting?
posted by mareli at 8:15 AM on April 29, 2014 [4 favorites]

Look into getting a qualification or certification in a field where (1) you need a piece of paper for employment and (2) the degree "funnels" graduates into places of employment. Admin Assistant degrees do neither.

I'm thinking something in the healthcare field, like a dental hygienist, nursing assistant, or hospital tech like a radiologist. Be careful here too, because many programs have sprung up in the medical field that are meaningless pieces of paper. They won't help you get hired because they're either like admin assistant jobs, where no hiring managers are looking for a degree; or they'll teach you the skills but not allow you to earn a necessary certification.

Or, with the work experience and skills you've outlined so for, what about a paralegal certification? A lot of those programs are only 6 months, and while you don't technically need a certification in order to be hired in most states, most law firms look for some sort of certification.
posted by lesli212 at 8:17 AM on April 29, 2014 [3 favorites]

Speaking as someone who has hired and placed many many admins: no, I would not spend resources on a program like this. It will not help and may actually hurt. Instead, get yourself truly proficient at the MS Office suite, especially Excel including pivot tables, and as someone mentioned above, Salesforce is a good idea too. HTML couldn't hurt, but Excel including the advanced features is really the biggie. You can find free training on this; but if not, it's worth paying for a class. Then, find a temp agency that tests those skills. Do the first gigs you get for them reliably and calmly. Once they've used you and see they can rely on you, you will be at the head of the line for the next good temp-to-hire gig they get.
posted by fingersandtoes at 8:47 AM on April 29, 2014 [3 favorites]

For admin, no, not worth it.

But, as griphus and lesli122 point out, it would be worth going back to train in a specific non-admin area like the ones lesli122 mentioned, or something like accounting. Especially if the college is serious about its placement programs - get hard numbers from them on this point, ask around in your area, and check out LinkedIn to see if their recent grads are working.

Years ago, I did benefit from taking a couple of continuing ed courses (in an applied but maybe not so practical field; not one that involves regulation or anything) at a college with great industry connections; I wound up placed at a good internship and did get a related job out of it. But that college is very highly regarded among employers for that program and well-known (in general) for its connections. Even with them, I wouldn't today take my chances with something as insecure as I picked. Healthcare fields, accounting, those types of things, yes.

To get a sense of what might be a safe bet, check out bls.gov, assuming you're in the US; o*net online is good too - you can filter results for level of education.
posted by cotton dress sock at 9:07 AM on April 29, 2014

This doesn't help you with your immediate need for a job, but can you volunteer somewhere that will help you learn some basic office skills? I've learned a lot of basic Quickbooks working as a finance volunteer at a small non-profit business; I learned the ropes from my fellow volunteers, who were also self-taught. I swear I got my current temp job, in part, by playing up not only the finance and data entry skills I've gotten from that work, but also my ability to learn new computer programs on the fly and volunteer to take on the tasks that no one else wants to do.
posted by ActionPopulated at 9:23 AM on April 29, 2014 [4 favorites]

For your own good, you need to take on some ambition. Someone with a fine arts bachelor degree and your eclectic experience will not be hired for a job where they want a competent time-server who desires no promotion opportunity. On the other hand, in places like my workplace, we only hire as admins people who promotable to higher level jobs (HR, marketing, admin assistant if being hired as a receptionist, etc.) then that starts to be potentially interesting assuming you check other boxes (like Excel, etc.)

Also, if you really don't see learning to drive in your future, consider moving to a place where there's a critical mass of the region's admin jobs in a transit-served central business district: New York, Chicago, DC, San Francisco. I'd probably focus on SF and NY of those four, as I think there's probably less of a "secretary class" culture there that you would have a hard time fitting into.
posted by MattD at 9:33 AM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

What @Ruthless Bunny said.

* Look professional and be well-spoken in an interview.
* Be able to write. (You've got this covered).
* Be organized (and give examples of how you have or would organize X).
* Be reliable.

Don't mention that you don't drive unless it comes up as a necessary part of the job. People will judge you and not hire you. A really well-written cover letter would help tremendously. Writing skills are not common, even among executives.

On preview:
* @ActionPopulated's volunteering idea is excellent.
* Please don't try to move to SF or NY on an Administrative Assistant's salary.
posted by cnc at 10:11 AM on April 29, 2014 [4 favorites]

Don't mention that you don't drive unless it comes up as a necessary part of the job. People will judge you and not hire you.

True. BTDT.
posted by jgirl at 10:12 AM on April 29, 2014 [3 favorites]

As far as the suggestion to move somewhere you don't need to drive, if you were to do that, I would suggest you look at the Twin Cities, Chicago, Atlanta - all places you can make do without a car, where you could also get a decent apartment on transit lines. The cost of living is also lower than in NYC or San Francisco. However, Seattle is not *too* bad. Not great. But not too bad. Portland has better transport but I would never suggest someone move there without a written job offer or independent wealth.

And no, you don't need an AAS, not unless you want to move into a trade like plumbing or HVAC, which have good pay and lots of vacancies around the country. It sounds to me like you want the confidence builder the degree would be, but you don't need it to be an AA. Use local job bank resources to teach yourself software. In Seattle, that's the Seattle Jobs Initiative

Sign up with temp agencies and look at temp pools at colleges or universities. Take one day jobs at the agencies. When you finish with a task onsite, offer to do something else. Use it to learn more. Volunteer locally and online.

Talk to local groups about being interested in arts management. Look at structured nonprofits that support artists. These would be a good place for you to work, if they are structured and not fluffy.

Redo your resume to focus on your skills rather than a chronological list of what you've done. You want a functional resume.

Understand also that you have to have the confidence to sell yourself, your skills, as a good fit for the organization. They are not doing you a favor - you're doing them a favor by offering them your labor!

Overall, you sound pretty down on yourself, and anxious. That makes it a lot harder to get a good position. Find something - anything - that you're proud of, that you can focus on and use to derive confidence from.
posted by mitschlag at 10:44 AM on April 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

You really don't need a defensive driving course, you just need the therapist and quite possibly a prescription for anti-anxiety medication for the driving part. Having my license has improved my employment prospects by an unspeakable amount, and once you are actually driving everywhere, the anxiety will melt off like snow in May. But to get there, you have to do what you have to do. And you have to do it as soon as possible. You can't keep telling yourself that maybe you'll get around to it someday, you can't keep avoiding the fact that the learning and licensing process is going to be uncomfortable.

I swear, I understand this. I had panic attacks that continued to the point that even once I passed my test, I had to have my mom drive me home from the testing station because I couldn't handle driving any more that day. But once I'd passed the test, I started with going around the block, and then a few blocks to the grocery store, and then to Walmart on the outskirts of town, and then to the movies a couple towns over, and then eventually I ended up taking the interstate to get to graduate school and it's like the anxiety was never there at all. But it was. Just because it was doesn't mean it always has to be. If you have time and resources now, and you care about your future career, I think this is the #1 thing you need to deal with.

I say this because I have since worked in fields where administrative office support is essential, and also that almost every office I've ever worked in would not hire someone without a driver's license for those positions because on top of the actual office stuff, the admins are also the ones who have to do stuff like running errands. Beyond that, it also opens up your application possibilities to everywhere within a certain radius and not just the places near transit. If you can just get to the point where you know Office reasonably well (and there are places to learn that online) then you will find somewhere that will be willing to take a chance on you for this sort of thing, if you can just apply enough places.
posted by Sequence at 11:16 AM on April 29, 2014

Don't do the program. Frankly, if I saw it on your resume I'd wonder why you took it.

I got into admin work via temping and it worked great for me. You can start off as a receptionist with basically no skills (as retail staff, you did a lot of greeting customers, so you're qualified). Consider embellishing a bit about your multi-line phone experience as every system is different anyhow and each place will have to train you. Some temp agencies even have online courses you can take to build Excel and Word skills. Many admins I worked with had absolutely dire computer skills, it shouldn't be hard to shine there. Be active about applying at a bunch of places and calling/going in to the agency office almost enough to irritate them. Temp jobs often turn into permanent jobs if someone doesn't come back from leave or if you impress someone you work with. Also, temp jobs almost certainly will forbid you from driving due to liability issues, ime.

This is also a good place to work your network. I've gotten friends short-term stints at places I worked doing data entry, etc. This will fill out your resume a bit. If it's a larger company, you'll want to be enrolled at the temp agency they use and have the supervisor ask for you. Tell folks you want to make a career change and see what you get.

If you're still not getting anything, nonprofits often need admin volunteers, call some places you like that seem well-run and ask. Ideally, they'll regularly get office interns and have a reliable contact who will be your reference. This is a lower priority than anything that will pay you, however.
posted by momus_window at 11:39 AM on April 29, 2014

No, I don't think a AA is a good investment for someone who already has a BA. Those programs are intended for people with only a high school / GED level education and remedial basic math and English skills.

If you want to prove your competence in necessary office skills, just pass all the Microsoft Office Specialist certification exams. Then buy and read through a good secretarial handbook and you should be competent for almost any entry- to mid-level admin job.

But is there a reason why you're gravitating towards admin work instead of IT? The latter pays a LOT better and you don't have to go back to school for a new degree, you can just get the certs at your own pace via self-studying for the exams.

Meanwhile, I've heard from my Seattle-area friends that Amazon is having a huge hiring boom right now (and insiders say that should continue for at least the next year or so as Amazon is expanding into several new lines of business), so maybe focus on qualifying for those newly created jobs? Everyone I know who works at Amazon takes public transit to work so not driving should not be any sort of hindrance there.
posted by Jacqueline at 1:23 PM on April 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Popping back in to say that I don't have a driver's license either, and I have successfully gotten admin jobs in a number of places, including even the transit-free wilds of Saskatchewan. There are occasionally admin jobs that do a require a license, but it's never been a problem for me: I just don't bother applying to those ones.

In the vast majority of cases, it never comes up. I don't think you need to worry about driving.
posted by snorkmaiden at 1:25 PM on April 29, 2014

I would totally skip the certificate program. I have never even darkened the doors of a trade school, much less college and I've worked my way up to well north of $50K/annual salary in a clerical career. It took me 20 years but in the end it's been worth it.

I'd start out first of all by keeping in touch with the temp agencies regardless. They are ALWAYS looking for reliable people for short-term stuff (fill in for a day answering phones, etc) and you don't have to have many, or any skills really to do this other than willingness to show up on time and follow directions. Once you've demonstrated reliability and competence they'll be more willing to hire you back for other, more meaningful stints. The fact that you're currently freelancing makes you PERFECT for transitioning into clerical work a step at a time like this.

And I hate to be blunt but I am an admin assistant who lives in an area that is in the top half of a percent of walkability / alternative transport / public transit in the nation, and I still have had people judge me and not hire me because I didn't have a car (I do now, but didn't for a significant length of time and it really limited me). One of the main themes of being part of an administrative team is the ability to drop everything and run go get [X] from the grocery store / Walgreens' / Target for one of your bosses and/or some company activity.

Even when I worked here and didn't have a car my boss often had me take his car to go run errands. I hate to break it to you but from my long time experience (20+ years in the corporate secretarial world) this would be, not a deal breaker, but certainly a reason to pass you over for more suitable candidates. And I also have the unusual benefit of being a strong, dedicated, capable bicycle rider / racer with a lot of specialized clothing and equipment, meaning commuting to work by bike in all weathers and not having to depend on public transit to be on time or run errands was never an issue for me even when I didn't have a car.

Go read my thread about learning to drive stick in my forties and how freaked out I was about that and ultimately triumphed over it, then consider trying to work towards making driving not an issue with regards to your employability. You don't have to accomplish this all at once, you can do this in small sips if you have friends / family willing to help, or barring that can get lessons from a professional driving school.
posted by lonefrontranger at 1:26 PM on April 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

As long as you live somewhere where you don't have to drive and don't get a job that requires driving, you can be fine on that score (even if yeah, it does limit your options for jobs). It took me a lot of years to get over my driving phobia, so that is not something that can be done quickly. But I was able to find jobs that didn't require a car, and oddly enough, I was able to do a job for 2 years where I really should have been driving. As long as your public transport is good. (But don't get one of the jobs that lonefrontranger was doing. Dropping everything to go shop for your boss isn't something that goes on where I live, maybe that's an area thing?)

I concur that finding some kind of clerical volunteer job would help a TON for having experience to put on your resume. But beyond that, I don't think you need more schooling to become an admin. It all boils down to "you can type and use Word, right?" and otherwise operate a computer. You probably don't need extra admin schooling unless you want a job that involves finance.* But you probably do need to work on getting some kind of experience in the field, sorry.

* I can't stand 'em myself, but they seem to be All The Rage where I live. Pretty much every clerical job wants you to do the finances/travel/payroll.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:15 PM on April 29, 2014

Wow, you are me! From the BFA (& frustration with the 'art world' -ugh), to the lack of professional ambition (but otherwise hard working, flexible, quick to learn, etc.). Even the lack of car/ability to drive.

I got where I am by temping - no AA necessary. I learned on the job; once you prove yourself as reliable, temp agencies will give you more and more placements and I've gotten more than one job offer out of temping. The other good thing about temping is you get comfortable in a lot of different environments, and learn lots of different ways of doing things, different software, etc. You've gotten lots of good advice; I recommend AskAManager website/blog for fixing up your resume so there aren't "gaps" (as well as general good advice and commiseration!). When I've temped, I apply to dozens of agencies - all of them remotely appropriate. It's a war of attrition.

Caveat: I only temped in the US before 2008. My husband is Australian, and my better temp jobs and current awesomely benign day job are in Sydney. During our time in the US, I was in a similar position to you - independent contractor doing proofreading/research for a website for $10/hr part time, and couldn't get a "real job" for the life of me. I had to move to Oz for that. The US job market is nothing to laugh at... it's not just you.

Most temp agencies I've worked with do some initial computer testing when you come in and "place" you ie. "Advanced Word, Intermediate Excel" or whatever - one gave me certificates which I re-used too.

"...will not be hired for a job where they want a competent time-server who desires no promotion opportunity" This varies massively from one company/role to the next. Part of the reason I got my current job is because I was honest about just wanting A JOB (and work-life balance) and actually not wanting anything else (glamour, management, etc). The department had had quite a bit of turnover, and wanted someone who didn't get bored easily and would stay in the job - happily - for *a while*.

I have never been sent to "run errands". It IS easier to get by without a car in large cities where lots of people don't have cars, or in small offices in small towns where you can walk/bike everywhere anyway. It's the suburbs that are tricky. I think it's also regional - the West coast is VERY car centric, and my lack of a car in San Francisco gave people pause. No one in Chicago cared. I don't mention it unless specifically asked. The main concern is usually reliability of transport, so have an answer for that. Otherwise, I've generally had jobs be very accommodating of my not having a car/reluctance to drive.

You might like this recent Ask too.
posted by jrobin276 at 8:30 PM on April 29, 2014

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