Help me find a new job.
July 29, 2007 7:21 PM   Subscribe

Help me find a new job.

I live in LA. I have a job where I work around 70 hours a week and get paid $10 an hour. I hate it. I can't take it anymore. I'm moving to Houston (where I grew up and have friends and family).

I have a Master's in Communication, a Bachelor's in Business Administration, and very little real world experience. I'm 25. I want to find a job that requires me to work no more than 45 hours a week, has a manageable amount of stress, has room for growth, decent benefits, pays $40+ grand a year and most of all allows me to be happy. I have an interest in marketing and HR. I hate sales. I'm a smart kid who is willing to work hard, but not so hard that I have no personal life at all.

If you were in this exact same situation, where would you start looking for jobs?

I'm finding that and are full of so much crap (spam and scams). Are there any other job search sites that I should know about?

Can a temporary staffing agency help me find a job?

Are there any headhunter-like services for entry level positions (I'm willing to pay)?

Are there any publications that would help?

Any other general advice?

I know this is a broad question, but I've never really looked for a job in the business world before and really have no idea where to start.
posted by JPowers to Work & Money (12 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Don't bother with job boards. Houston is a huge market, so the best thing would be more specifically define the type of job you want. You say you're interested in marketing. Do you want to do market research, print work, corporate communications? Since you don't have a lot of experience, you may want to try an entry-level marketing coordinator position, which means you'll need to apply with marketing/pr/ad agencies or a large corporation with in-house marketing. I'd start doing a little research into Houston-area marketing firms, take a look at the type of work they do and for whom. Once you've identified a few businesses you think you'd like to work for, apply with them directly (don't worry if they don't have a job posted). Try to get your resume to the hiring manager, and follow up by e-mail or phone.
posted by lunalaguna at 7:32 PM on July 29, 2007

I would look at the biggest university around. There are always a million job openings, generally good pay, lots of opportunity for movement and advancement, little overtime (generally), great benefits, etc. (I only have experience with public schools, so that's what this advise is based on).
posted by tristeza at 7:44 PM on July 29, 2007

lunalaguna's advice is solid -- expect to come in at degreed entry-level, look for companies you like who seem to be a good match. Cast a wide wide net, and see who bites. You'll have more opportunity to advance quickly and learn actively at a smaller firm who relies more heavily on you as a resource.

I think is slightly better than Monster -- but yes, both mostly suck. Considering your details, I'd probably not bother with a headhunter, who traditionally prefers to work with someone more established in an industry.

MediaBistro is a refined, content-rich site with job listings that sound like they'd fit your skill set. You'll find that the bulk of their offerings are for East or West Coast, and even most of the Texas listings will be Dallas... but you'll still get a good feel for what's out there nationally and regionally, and it will help you figure out what is happening in marcom and media recruiting right now. They also have a resume matching service (but I don't know much about it).

Additionally, MediaBistro has a premium service called AvantGuild you might look into, which I consider very affordable ($50/year) -- although admittedly have never got around to signing up for it. But if I were on the market, I'd do it for certain, as they have members-only networking events, advanced recruiting services, and the like.

I would also start exploring right away at the PRSA Houston chapter website, including their job listings. They've got workshops and seminars available to non-members... which will be led by Houston marketing and PR professionals... which will lead to networking and contacts. They've also got a young professionals sub-group specifically targeted to those new to the profession.

Best of luck! and welcome back to the Lone Star State...
posted by pineapple at 7:59 PM on July 29, 2007

I've had some success with Hotjobs, location-specific publications (such as the Houston Chronicle's listings) and sites like the AMA. I agree that Monster is usually complete crap.

Since you have friends and family there, start getting the word out that you're looking. Have them tell people they know too. That's probably your best bet.

Also, work with the career center of the universities that you got your degrees at. Even if they don't have contacts/listings for Houston, they'll at least have resume and interview advice that can help you get the job.
posted by ml98tu at 8:34 PM on July 29, 2007

Being successful at marketing will most likely require more than 45 hours a week, especially at entry level. HR is usually a pretty stable field, if that's important to you, and it can open the door to several other things as well.

If you already have contact information in Houston, start sending resumes to the bigger recruiting firms - they're more career-track oriented than a temp agency would be, and can generally find jobs that can lead to something.

Good luck!
posted by pdb at 8:59 PM on July 29, 2007

I work for an industry association, and I have the HR file. I help CEOs and HR managers from local tech companies find qualified staff. I also have a lot of people who phone me up looking to connect with people to find work.

Recruiting firms need a return on their investment, and the margins on $40K are not going to cut it - they won't work very hard to find you a job, and there's nothing they can do for you that you can't do on your own, except find you a temp job which pays around $10/hr.

Which isn't bad while you're looking. What you need to do is figure out where you want to work, and go out and get that job. Instead of Monster, etc., research the job boards and membership directories of local business associations. Network. If you do network, always make sure you try to offer something. Try to solve a problem, rather than using someone to solve your problem.

You say you like HR and marketing. But in what sector? You say you don't like to sell, but you like marketing. I would say every professional occupation out there is about selling. Selling is determining a requirement, and then helping meet that need. This is a valuable and socially useful skill. Mind you, the sales they do at the car dealership are not sophisticated, but that's why those people work at the car dealership.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:32 PM on July 29, 2007

You said you have friends and family in Houston - make sure they know you're in the job market. Network as much as possible. Entry level positions usually aren't widely advertised, and having a contact in the company will get you faster results than sending in your resume in with the hundreds of other applications.
posted by meowzilla at 9:37 PM on July 29, 2007

Wait, wait...aren't you the guy that got a job in the William Morris Agency trainee program?

I'd really consider sticking it out for something respectable--like 2 years, or, if there's a defined length to the training program, whatever that time period is.

I'm not very informed about the entertainment industry, but this sounds like the kind of dues-paying job that could pay huge dividends down the road if you can stick it out.

I had a similar job in the investment banking world. I stuck it out for 2 years of 80+ hour weeks and it fucking sucked. I was paid well, but it hardly seemed worth it at the time. But if I hadn't of done it, I wouldn't of anywhere near the number or quality of opportunities I have now.

Maybe you'll end up wanting to settle back into the 9-5 life after it's over, but it's nice to have options.

I apologize if I'm talking out of turn here. But if I'm right about your job, it appears to be the path to an elite career (similar to what investment banking is in the finance world) and I'd think long and hard about giving that up. I'm sure it was hard as hell to get your foot in the door. Try to put yourself in your shoes three years from now and think about how you'll feel.
posted by mullacc at 10:20 PM on July 29, 2007

To follow up on mullacc's point, if you're really interested in working in the entertainment industry, working for William Morris for practically free isn't the only game in town. You've only been out here a few months. If you're willing to work hard and make connections, you can make a fantastic living eventually.

I say this as someone out here who works in the entertainment industry himself.

It's cool if you want to go back to Texas, but I agree with mullacc that you really might want to give staying out here a second chance.

Work as a PA on independent films. Get a job as an assistant to an executive at a studio. Become a runner at a post house. All of these pay better with fewer hours than William Morris.

Good luck whatever you decide to do.
posted by MythMaker at 10:46 PM on July 29, 2007

If you do decide to look for a job at an academic institution (and they can definitely be good places to work in terms of pay, hours, and benefits), is a good site to find postings. You can check by geographical location--here is the page for Texas.

Good luck!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 11:46 PM on July 29, 2007

Houston's Craigslist!!!
posted by aacheson at 6:37 AM on July 30, 2007

Another national resource you might find helpful for research is the job listings page at Marketing Sherpa.
posted by pineapple at 11:29 AM on July 30, 2007

« Older Need vacation ideas.   |   Convertible Top Repair Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.