Unemployed & new here

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-17-2003
Unemployed & new here
Thu, 08-09-2012 - 3:24pm

I'm Sarah. Unemployed, college degree (BA Liberal Arts), and I have not had many jobs because I was in school so long working on my degree. 

I'd like to find something besides retail. I've done that and worked in a restaurant for minimum wage...My lack of jobs is probably holding me back plus I don't have a graduate degree yet. I would like to get my master's in psychology.

Is there somewhere I can take the Myers-Briggs (or something like this) for free?  Would the library have this?  I took it back in college as I remember.

I need to make more than $8/hr. I am married and we have a dog. I have been looking on craigslist, but when an ad wants a cover letter along with your resume, who do I address it to?

I would like to try my hand at reception/front office in some kind of medical office because I enjoy helping people, and I understand medical things and like being in that environment. Lots of nurses in my family so I am used to being around hospitals and what not.

I don't mind doing internships; just anything to get in the door. Psychology was one of my minors, along with Journalism and English.  I don't know how to do excel. I am more than willing to learn any needed skills; I could use an update in that respect.


Community Leader
Registered: 03-18-1999
Thu, 08-09-2012 - 6:16pm

Hello Sarah (seattlegrl21). 

Don't get down.  Finding a job is difficult in these times.  If you have a job, even if it is just minimum wage, use that to help you get the one you want.  Most of the time I have found that it is easier to get a job when I have a job.  It is also been found that with the economy, many people are having to take minimum wage jobs as those are the only ones available.

I was unemployed for over 2 years.  I had a 25 year career in healthcare and management.  I have a degree as a Medical Laboratory Technologist and a BS in healthcare management.  So personally I don't think not having a graduate degree is stopping you from anything.  I currently drive a school bus and the pay is LOTS less than what I used to make and less than what I need to make to pay my bills - yet I have found that I love the job and would not trade it to go back to making more money and all the stress that came with my prior career (long hours, weekends, holidays, odd shifts, traffic, long commutes).

There are many other places to look for jobs besides craigslist.  I hope you are using other ways to job search.  Cover letters can always be addressed "To Whom It May Concern" or to the hiring manager or human resources - you don't have to have a specific name.  

Here are 2 websites I found for you to take a free Myers-Briggs similar test.  Personally - I like the one at human metrics - I did that one about a year ago.



If you want to learn how to use excel, check out the following free tutorial on about.com (I also found a Microsoft Excel Free Tutorial if you want another one).



If you need anything else - feel free to send me a PM or just ask. 

I wish you all the best in whatever you decide to do.



Community Leader - Women At Work Board
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2008
Thu, 08-09-2012 - 6:17pm

Hi, I replied to your other post in family finances before I saw this one.

I know it doesn't sound too glamorous, but have you tried bar tending?  With tips, you could easily make more than $8 an hour, and while it doesn't seem obvious, the good bar tenders are also good shrinks!   Being able to relate to people and being a good listener will ensure lots of repeat customers and good tips.

It will also give you a lot of free time during the day to look for other work.

Craigslist is a good place to look.  Better yet, hop in your car and check out your neighborhood bars, find the kind you think you could handle, and pop your head in and ask.  You cannot be bashful, but the hiring process is also faster than most office jobs.

As far as Myers-Briggs, google "Emily Griffin Technical College".  They are in downtown Denver and have some kind of career guidance, apprenticeship programs, and other stuff.  Not sure about Myers-Briggs, but probably worth a try. 



Avatar for CMEvelyn
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-29-2012
Fri, 08-10-2012 - 11:42pm
Hi Sarah,

If you're not already on LinkedIn, it's a good place to find jobs. Join groups related to the fields you're interested in or qualified for. They often post jobs, and you can search jobs there too. You can also search Twitter. I've found jobs using both of those. Indeed and Simply Hired are good sources too and you can set up email alerts with them.

Good luck and let us know what you find!
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2009
Tue, 08-14-2012 - 1:37pm
Everyone has made great suggestions, but one thing to add as far as learning excel....microsoft's website has a zillion tutorials for all of their programs that are free. I have been in admin services for over a decade and any time I couldn't figure something out their website was great.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-17-2003
Mon, 08-20-2012 - 1:23pm

I just thought of this, and it might turn into possible confusion:

I just got married three months ago and took my husband's last name. My jobs know me by my maiden name; what if a past manager doesn't know my new last name and says "I don't know a person by that name"...Do I include my maiden name on my resume??

I'd hate for it to look like I forged jobs on my resume..What's the etiquette or explanation for this situation?

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-03-2009
Wed, 08-29-2012 - 1:00pm
Oh my this is a tricky thing. On the one hand you want to inform potential employers of your changed name, but at the same time your marital status is absolutely none of their business.

If the job you're applying for requires you to fill out an application there is sometimes a question that says: previous names used? Here you would list your maiden name. You don't actually have to state that is your maiden name however.

If you're just submitting a resume and cover letter I think the only place to address this is in your cover letter. A brief statement saying something like "please note that my employment records may be under my former name *insert maiden name here*" Most likely they'll assume the name change is due to marriage, but it could also be due to divorce so hopefully they don't have the gall to ask lol.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-27-2012
Sat, 10-27-2012 - 11:26pm
Hi Sarah! First, you're not alone and second this is an old post and I hope you've secure employment by now. If not, I have a few suggestions and the first one is to get back to school now if you haven't already enrolled and of course, if you're in a place where you can make that work financially. Also, I read the suggestion to tend bar, this also works great if you're taking classes as the hours are at night and often on the weekend…if you're really good at it. But as a former bartender I can tell you that it is a competitive field - tending bar. Its much more realistic to cocktail waitress (also good tips!) and even waitressing has its financial and other perks. I always recommend fine dining to young people, there is great money to be made. But again, competitive. If you're looking for an entry-level "office" job, I highly recommend banking. Retail banking - as in being a teller. These are often great starting points for young professionals who aren't sure what they're going to do just yet. They lay the groundwork for a long professional life and many options. There is also the prospect of development in banking jobs. Often, a bank manager started out as a teller…20 years ago. If psychology is your thing, the first thing you need to do is begin to network. You must attend seminars and conferences and get to know the providers in your area, surely one of them will have a front end opening at some point. Good luck in your search and know that you'll probably have several jobs if not dozens in your lifetime, make each one count and learn all you can. Each one is often a stepping stone to the next and my best advice is this: if you're able to - be deliberate. Don't just get a job for the sake of having a job, be selective and remember that when you're interviewing, you're interviewing the company and the job as well…its not just THEM seeing if you're a fit.