How do I get a new job ASAP?
January 12, 2008 6:23 PM   Subscribe

So I just quit my job at the local cookie cutter super book store (think Barnes and Noble... except not). How do I get a new job pronto and make rent this month?

The job at the store was awful for a number of reasons so I walked out the other day. My rent is about $700 per month. I'm a recent college grad with a degree in film. I live in Los Angeles. I've been calling temp agencies but no one has been calling me back. Basically I need a new job ASAP, specifically a full time one and that will be enough to pay rent (and $80/month in student loans). This is stressing me out hardcore, anyone have any words of advice? If there's anything you want to send me over email hit me up at
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (15 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Waiter or pizza driver are quick ways to get cash since you get tips. I drove pizzas for most of the time that I was in college, it was crappy work but it kept me in beer money.
posted by octothorpe at 7:22 PM on January 12, 2008

Harass the temp agencies-don't be shy about calling them more often than once a week (especially the larger ones), and sign up with as many as possible (yes, I know you've tried a few-try a few more). If they aren't calling you for an interview, walk in to their office and ask for one.

Go down to a local university and check the billboards-people often advertise for small odd jobs-or medical research studies, which don't pay right away but might help down the line (not all of them require taking a pill or doing anything dangerous-I tested out a muscle soreness cream for extra cash this summer and made $16/hr to work out and sit around).

And well, ask anybody you know if they know of anything open. Go into stores, mention that you have previous experience, and ask if they're currently hiring, even if they don't have a help wanted sign on the door-the worst you're going to do is annoy someone for three seconds.

Other than that . . . I'm sorry. I know it's incredibly stressful and I wish you the best of luck.
posted by dinty_moore at 7:39 PM on January 12, 2008

Even if you started a new job tomorrow, would you get a paycheck before the end of the month? Maybe it's time to think about going on unemployment. I have no firsthand experience, but very actor I know has done it.
posted by roger ackroyd at 7:48 PM on January 12, 2008

Try window cleaning. A ladder, cotton diapers from a local agency, bucket to hold vinegar and water, some are set. I did this one Fall when I needed money and it was great. I created a flyer and printed a bunch of copies at Kinkos. Then plastered neighborhoods with the flyers. Maybe got one call back for every 100 houses. I would do a 2000 SF house for about $150 cash, it would take a day. The total cost to set the business up was no more than $30, so when I was finished after getting a "real" job, I had nothing to get rid of, and the diapers are great cleaners around the house.
posted by boulder20something at 7:49 PM on January 12, 2008 [1 favorite]

Open up the job section of your paper. Look at all those ads for jobs. And then throw it away without calling a single number. Why? Because everyone who looks for a job looks there and every ad will have had so many responses within the first few hours of being advertised that you have a very low chance of getting the job you want, statistically speaking.

The two best ways to find a job are networking and cold calling. You're a film grad, right? Ring up some TV stations, film studios or anything else related to your area to see if they have anything open. They may not, some may even tell you to piss off and stop wasting their time, but all you need is one yes, and hey presto! You make rent.

That said, as octothorpe said up thread, the crappy jobs are the easiest ones to get. Telemarketing, pizza delivery, cleaning, nightfill... all of these jobs are, in my experience, easy to get and will also help you make rent.

Good luck in your job hunt!
posted by Effigy2000 at 7:50 PM on January 12, 2008

I know from experience that temping in LA is a lot tougher than it is in other cities (including NYC and Seattle), especially when the economy isn't so hot.

You have to to bite the bullet and just get another shit job to tide you over. Otherwise, your situation is soon going to be even worse.
posted by bingo at 7:52 PM on January 12, 2008

If you walked out of a major chain because you JUST COULDN"T TAKE IT ANYMORE, nothing you get now will be better. In the future, secure rent and then quit...for now, find a shit jobs with tips, figure out where the day laborers hang out until they find a job. Even if it's not porn, stripping, or prostitution you will have to sell part of yourself to find rent in 3 weeks. good luck.
posted by nadawi at 7:58 PM on January 12, 2008 [3 favorites]

I temped in college and worked a lot, even got a couple permanent jobs out of it. When I was in between temp assignments, i called them every day to see if they had anything. Squeeky wheel and all that.
posted by clh at 8:16 PM on January 12, 2008

I'm in New York, but my business regularly hires people on short notice for projects from Craigslist.
Seems like a good place to start.
posted by extrabox at 9:20 PM on January 12, 2008

I'm not sure exactly how things work in LA, with the unions and all, but I did Production Assistant jobs for small production companies in college for a flat per-day rate that was good money at the time. It was a lot of fetching coffee/donuts, keeping the crew from murdering each other or the talent, dubbing tapes, etc. You're pretty qualified for one of those, I'd imagine, if you have good people skills in addition to your film background. (I was a Physics major and got hired based solely on people skills, so go figure.) Of course, in LA so may be everybody else, but it's worth a shot I guess, in what will be your more-than-ample spare time.

I'd go around to every film/video production house that you can find, the smaller the better, and basically drop in with your resume to give to them. Most of them, if they're like the place I worked, will have a list of people they call for day work. If you seem put-together, you might get a call the next time they need a warm body.

Also what others have said, including CL.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:04 AM on January 13, 2008

Maybe it's time to think about going on unemployment

No unemployment if you walk out.
posted by panamax at 12:10 AM on January 13, 2008

Medical studies and trolling Craigslist. This means you'll have to help balding middle aged dudes clean out their storage lockers filled with female wrestler porn, but it'll get you cash at the end of the day.
posted by soviet sleepover at 3:24 PM on January 13, 2008

If your loans are educational loans, call your lender and ask for a temporary suspension on payment due to hardship (they might have different terms). Most, if not all lenders have that option. The only catch is that the interest will be accruing but it will be better than late payments.
posted by KB.Boston_implant.By way of NY at 4:18 PM on January 13, 2008

Temp agencies are flooded with out of work actors because of the writer's strike. I have worked in a temp agency, and as a temp. Here are some tips:

Send them your resume via email, don't call. You're only speaking to the receptionist, anyway, and there is no way they can evaluate you over the phone, it's too hard to evaluate multiple candidates that way. On your resume, name drop all the software and basic office skills you can--Excel, Word, Windows, typing, phones, customer service, put it those words on your resume. They word-search the resumes to pick out candidates they want to interview. Have a polite cover letter but realize it probably won't get read.

Put California minimum wage ON YOUR RESUME, in bold, as your goal salary. They'll make more money off of you than the next temp and that might be enough for them to pick you over some other poor schlub.

While you're waiting for temp agencies to call you, work your personal connections as much as you can. Call your alumni office/career center, your old college friends, anyone. Don't tell them you walked out of your last job, it makes you look like a flake. Just tell them you're looking for work ASAP.

If you don't find something soon, take a deep breath and realize you might not make rent. If it's really that important to you (or you have a roommate you don't want to leave in the lurch), get a cash advance on a credit card and pay your rent with that. If you feel like it's the better option, just don't pay your rent.

Good luck, God Speed, and next time at least try to give notice so they'll give you a decent reference.
posted by sondrialiac at 5:43 PM on January 13, 2008

Oh yeah and please, please consider taking part-time work--it'll leave you free to find full time work and it's money in your pocket.
posted by sondrialiac at 5:45 PM on January 13, 2008

« Older Tascam USB box vs. Martin D-16   |   Use the Hivemind, Luke Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.