How to best help others find work?
May 26, 2016 5:39 PM   Subscribe

Over the last six months, I've been looking for a new job. It's been awful. Once I've got myself squared away, how can I most effectively help others find better work?

Some pertinent info about me: I'm a data analyst (data scientist if I'm negotiating salary). I think I'm a pretty good résumé and cover letter writer, and I'm good at setting up and refining searches on sites like I'm not very good at interviews.

I assume this would be volunteer work but I'm open to other ideas. Thanks!
posted by McBearclaw to Work & Money (6 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Looking for a job is maddening, even with a solid background in an in-demand field. I'm not sure that there are volunteer orgs for professionals seeking job placement. Recruiters and headhunting firms usually fill that spot on the food chain.

Low-income folks, however, definitely need help. A lot of jobs are impossible to apply for today without a computer. I'm talking things like fry cook at Burger King. Big chains often refer people applying in person to their website, which is usually some horrible CGI-bin nightmare that would be daunting for even the most computer-literate applicant. And a lot of lower-income people do not have computers at home or mobile data plans. Libraries increasingly are the resource that people depend on for applying for these sorts of job. A friend of mine was a "cyber navigator" for a few months at a local library branch, which basically entailed helping people who are not computer literate -- often poor elderly people or other invisible groups, like recently-released convicts -- use the web and email, usually to apply for jobs.
posted by deathpanels at 6:06 PM on May 26, 2016 [7 favorites]

Offering to teach classes at the library on how to find jobs online, how to write a resume, etc. would be a good avenue to pursue. Also, we have a group here at Mefi that offers to review resumes for free, so consider joining us!
posted by COD at 7:25 PM on May 26, 2016 [1 favorite]

A friend of mine co-founded a local charity that provides free (donated, I think) interview clothing and job hunt advice to people looking for work. You could look up something like that in your area (or if you're feeling really ambitious, start one yourself).

Other than specialized charity organizations like that, I suspect that places aimed at low-income people might also have some programs aimed at helping those people find work, so you could call some of them up online - if they don't have a program already, I'm sure they'd be happy to advertise your volunteer services.
posted by randomnity at 9:47 PM on May 26, 2016

Mentoring of recent immigrants (like, formerly incarcerated folks, etc.?
posted by c'mon sea legs at 10:38 PM on May 26, 2016

Look for local professional organizations that cover your area of work, and offer to be a mentor. (As I discovered recently, you don't need to be Mark Zuckerberg or Sheryl Sandberg to be a mentor - you can just be an ordinary person doing the job you're doing. Who knew?)

And/or look into local homelessness charities - most of them are crying out for people to help their clients write resumes and develop interview skills.

Congratulations in advance, and kudos for "paying it forward". You are one of life's beautiful people.
posted by finding.perdita at 12:16 AM on May 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

Look into local community centers that need help serving their ESL neighbors. For example, I recently volunteered at the Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, serving on a panel and conducting mock interviews for their advanced ESL students who were looking for jobs.
posted by peacheater at 8:07 AM on May 27, 2016

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