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Spacewolf
May 19, 2014


OK, so. Maybe this is my depression talking, but I'll lay out my situation.

In real life, I'm 30. I have a cocktail of disabilities, being blind in one eye (and unable to drive because the other eye is in a weird limbo between not legally blind and yet not truly functional) is only the most notable. (Also includes stuff like cerebral palsy, etc).

When I did my undergraduate degree from 2002-2007, well...As the timeline might indicate, I screwed it up. I graduated, got a BS in Political Science, but with a GPA of 2.3. Reasons are legion, but they boil down to "Depression sucks, not being able to drive sucks, combine that with Northeastern PA and being away from home for the first time and you get an avalanche of suck" - there were weeks I literally did not leave my dorm room, despite trying very hard to.

The one job I've had since getting said undergrad degree was from October 2007 to July 2008, a job which saw me updating and moderating a blog, plus random clerical work, for a market research firm...Hours were initially 40 hours a week...Then, by February 2008, they were cut to 20. Then they were cut in April 2008 to 8 hours all worked from home. Then in July 2008 my contract (which was initially 3 months, then at the end of that extended for another 6 months...) wasn't renewed. A 1099, so no unemployment insurance for me.

Because I was disabled at birth (pretty much), I draw both SSI and social security disability...And since I live with my parents, I guess if I were willing to forego dignity and self-respect I could give up on the idea of working. When the recession was really on, from 2008 through 2009, I basically did that. I then shoved myself to go for a paralegal AAS degree from my local community college, started in 2010 and finished in May 2014 (because the school basically couldn't make its mind up for the better part of a year as to whether they'd take a CLEP test I took instead of freshman comp, which I'd tested out of during undergrad, among other insanities). Finished that with a GPA of 3.7, something that made me feel like a decent, functional human with possibilties for once.

And since then, I've been looking for work. Forget not getting an interview, I've never once had anyone (except the feds, via form letters) reply when I send my resume.

At this point, I look at getting up each day and looking for jobs with dread. There is a voice in my head loudly saying "You'll never get a job, so why bother?", and that voice gets harder and harder to ignore.

I still do it, though. Every day, I'm crawling Monster, Indeed, USAJobs, etc. and applying for any job I *might* qualify for, with no real feedback on whether I *do* qualify. To say it makes me more depressed the longer it goes on is an understatement.

Thus the question: At what point am I essentially unemployable on a permanent basis, regardless of my efforts?

At what point does it not make sense to keep looking?

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EugeneJ
Feb 5, 2012


Spacewolf posted:

I draw both SSI and social security disability...And since I live with my parents

How much is this per month, roughly?

Could you get a place on your own if you wanted to, or do you need someone assisting you because of your disability?

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web

What skills do you have? What kinds of jobs are you qualified for? Could you do work-from-home stuff or would that just make you more depressed?

Slow Motion
Jul 19, 2004

My favorite things in life are sex, drugs, feeling like a baller, and being $30,000 in debt.


Lie on your resume. Make up a work history. Your lack of work is a HUGE red flag that hiring managers are interpreting to mean you're unemployable (which is bullshit. But that's how they see it). Then when you go in to interview let them know what you did and why. Not right away. Make a good impression first. Then halfway through the interview let them know. Ask how it makes them feel. If they say they can't hire you having learned that information ask them what they would do in your position. Basically let that interviewer train you for the next. Rinse. Repeat.

You have nothing to lose. Start acting like it.

Spacewolf
May 19, 2014


EugeneJ posted:

How much is this per month, roughly?

Could you get a place on your own if you wanted to, or do you need someone assisting you because of your disability?

About $700 per month (that's the number I fix in my head for discussion purposes, it's within $10 of that).

Could I get a place on my own...? drat good question. We've been pondering it for years.

Because of where I live (hesitant to reveal that, except to say that the median price for a 1-BR apartment means you need to earn about $40k a year for it to be affordable), as a practical matter, no, without a job (that paid really well for an entry level job) I couldn't live on my own.

I don't need a home health aide or anything like that, but the plan always was "Spacewolf gets a job, keeps the job long enough to know he's likely to have it in 6 months to a year, and *then* moves to own place (after a good bit of preparation)". It's hard to see how any plan would be sustainable without me having a job, anyway.

moana posted:

What skills do you have? What kinds of jobs are you qualified for? Could you do work-from-home stuff or would that just make you more depressed?

I'm a fully-trained paralegal. I can do jobs in most facets of a law office (or really any other office environment), that means. Work from home is something I consider, but only reluctantly - it does fill my parents and my shrink with horror when I do, because you are exactly right, it would be terrible for me psychologically. I wouldn't even know where to look and how not to get scammed in terms of a work-from-home thing, anyway.

Slow Motion posted:

Lie on your resume. Make up a work history. Your lack of work is a HUGE red flag that hiring managers are interpreting to mean you're unemployable (which is bullshit. But that's how they see it). Then when you go in to interview let them know what you did and why. Not right away. Make a good impression first. Then halfway through the interview let them know. Ask how it makes them feel. If they say they can't hire you having learned that information ask them what they would do in your position. Basically let that interviewer train you for the next. Rinse. Repeat.

You have nothing to lose. Start acting like it.

I have considered this, but (because paralegals are held by the courts in my state to be held to basically the same ethics rules as lawyers (following the same rules of professional conduct anyway) and lawyers can get disbarred if they hire someone who blatantly lies like that and something happens later, even inadvertently) always rejected it as not likely to help me and to basically be shooting myself in the foot, or possibly the head.

I'd be curious to see how others regard that idea, though.

Slow Motion
Jul 19, 2004

My favorite things in life are sex, drugs, feeling like a baller, and being $30,000 in debt.


Which foot would that be? The unemployed one or the other unemployed one?

Edit. In case it's not clear: I'm saying you don't have anything worth protecting with your ethical vigilance. And having worked as a paralegal before I can tell you no bar association gives a poo poo about you or anything you do unless you try to give protected legal advice.

Slow Motion fucked around with this message at Aug 7, 2014 around 21:12

slap me silly
Nov 1, 2009


Don't lie on your resume, slow motion is an idiot. Did you make a typo, or did you actually just get your paralegal cert 3 months ago? If so it is way to soon to be freaking out about not having a job yet. Monster and all that is a really low-return type of job hunting effort though. You need to get in actual touch with actual people. Faculty you clicked with, the career office at your school; anybody you know in the field who can give you some suggestions on career paths (do NOT ask them for a job, look up informational interviews).

Spacewolf
May 19, 2014


I did not make a typo. Granted, I may be freaking out too soon, but...Yeah. Gap of Doom is staring back at me from my resume.

KYOON GRIFFEY JR
Apr 12, 2010



Spacewolf posted:

I did not make a typo. Granted, I may be freaking out too soon, but...Yeah. Gap of Doom is staring back at me from my resume.

Is there any opportunity in your area to do some sort of pro-bono para legal work? That would be a good way to build your resume, avoid a gap, and make some contacts.

kidhash
Jan 10, 2007


How's your resume/cover letter? Perhaps that's what causing the issue? There's a Goon in SAMart who offers a service specialising in improving your resume - might be worth looking into.

litany of gulps
Jun 11, 2001



Spacewolf posted:

I did not make a typo. Granted, I may be freaking out too soon, but...Yeah. Gap of Doom is staring back at me from my resume.

When I was a fresh grad with a worthless seeming degree, I never got any callbacks either. Just throwing paper into a void. For a young person, a gap is easy to explain and you wouldn't likely be asked too much about it in an interview if you have obvious disabilities. No practical experience is probably what's stopping you from getting callbacks, but a lot of entry level office work really only requires some basic organization, prioritization, and technology skills. If you can convey that you have these abilities through your resume, plus emphasize the education, you can probably get an interview. Once you start getting interviews, you start getting better at interviews. Eventually you get good enough at them or you get lucky and you find a job!

Definitely don't give up though. Read these things.

http://cew.georgetown.edu/unemployment2013/
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/04/b...?pagewanted=all
http://www.slate.com/blogs/moneybox...ew_college.html

Recent college graduates across the board have high unemployment rates. Higher than your average high-school-diploma-only worker. Many recent graduates have to get lovely retail jobs or work in unrelated fields to support themselves until they get the hang of the whole job hunt thing, which is a skill of its own. You can potentially even skip this with the SSI income, although a lot of those customer service type jobs provide you with situations you can talk about in interviews and use to get jobs.

I ended up working at Wal-Mart during college, and continued working there for some years after college until I could use that experience to get a job as a teacher. Yes, years. This is the long game now, man. It's not do a 4 (or 6, like me) year stint and collect an achievement, but more start looking at the whole range of options available to you and deciding where to focus. Look at where you want to be in 10-15 years. How can you get there? Work at home (see Legitimate Online Moneymaking thread in this very forum) for a while just to get a real income going. Once you have money of your own that you earned, you may find your depression lifts, even if you're still lacking social interaction.

Spacewolf
May 19, 2014


KYOON GRIFFEY JR posted:

Is there any opportunity in your area to do some sort of pro-bono para legal work? That would be a good way to build your resume, avoid a gap, and make some contacts.

That's something I'm looking into, but unfortunately, where I am (New Jersey is *as specific as I'm gonna get*), the legal arena is very "who you know" and I got no real contacts.

kidhash posted:

How's your resume/cover letter? Perhaps that's what causing the issue? There's a Goon in SAMart who offers a service specialising in improving your resume - might be worth looking into.

I have considered that very service. Sort of hard to get the money for it though - Social Security mandates I pay a large *something* to my parents in rent (or else they cut my check fairly significantly), and that something works out to $634 out of my check. I have about $60 to spend every month (fortunately, the "rent" is allowed to be way below market rate, which it is, and the parents help out with all my other bills), so building up the $200+ for a proper review and stuff is...Going to take a while.

litany of gulps posted:

Definitely don't give up though. Read these things.

I shall. Once the NYTimes paywall falls (since I don't read it enough to pay for a subscription, but do read 10 articles a month...).

Thanks for what I've seen so far, from most of you anyway. The ideas are helpful.

For right now, because it's August, I'm still taking 2 weeks to just go "No job searching today unless something seriously time limited pops up in the Federal employee thread on SA", because the daily routine of "search for job, find nothing, make no progress" has not helped *at all*. But once those 2 weeks are up, you bet I'll be reviewing this thread.

il serpente cosmico
May 15, 2003

Best five bucks I've ever spend.

Out of curiosity, have you applied for a position at the your local Public Defender(s)? Or any other non-profit legal advocacy group, for that matter? You're qualified, and most PD offices don't bat an eye at hiring non-traditional employees. I think if you were to demonstrate in your interview and cover letter that you understand what it's like living with disabilities and how you're uniquely qualified to relate to a lot of their client-base, you would really impress them. Lack of work history is a result of wanting to make a career switch and getting a handle on your issues--you have a lot going for you. If you want to work, there's no reason to give up.

Pay is poo poo but at least you get SSI and SSD to help make up for it.

Spacewolf
May 19, 2014


It's New Jersey. They're under a continual hiring freeze from what I understand. I'd do it (even though it'd probably make them suspend my SSI payments, so it'd be a net loss financially), because it'd be awesome work, but the problem is finding a job.

Never mind that NJ's civil service hiring website is a shitshow beyond belief....Uggggh.

Adar
Jul 27, 2001

William "J." Fillmaff in training

Spacewolf posted:

I shall. Once the NYTimes paywall falls (since I don't read it enough to pay for a subscription, but do read 10 articles a month...).

If you Google the title of the article you can bypass the paywall.

Spacewolf posted:

OK, so. Maybe this is my depression talking, but I'll lay out my situation.

In real life, I'm 30. I have a cocktail of disabilities, being blind in one eye (and unable to drive because the other eye is in a weird limbo between not legally blind and yet not truly functional) is only the most notable. (Also includes stuff like cerebral palsy, etc).

Does your resume in any way allude to your being disabled or can someone figure it out from looking at it?

Spacewolf
May 19, 2014


Adar posted:

Does your resume in any way allude to your being disabled or can someone figure it out from looking at it?

No. I was never one for the disability organizations, and I would have been terrified of losing shots because people figure out I'm disabled.

I do, however, mention it in my cover letter, every time - only after my shrink prodded me to include it, though. I'm still wondering if that was a good idea.

Sign
Jul 18, 2003


What about some volunteer work. It's a reason to do something, a chance to learn some skills, and fill in your resume with more than nothing. Especially since you don't need the income desperately for rent or food.

Hugbot
Mar 10, 2006


Sign posted:

What about some volunteer work. It's a reason to do something, a chance to learn some skills, and fill in your resume with more than nothing. Especially since you don't need the income desperately for rent or food.

This is great advice. I am also a paralegal and I got started through an internship offered by my program, which then gave me real experience and got me my first real job. Get in touch with your school and see if they can set you up. Your GPA was pretty good so it shouldn't be too hard to get placed. Lawyers love (unpaid) interns.

Adar
Jul 27, 2001

William "J." Fillmaff in training

Spacewolf posted:

No. I was never one for the disability organizations, and I would have been terrified of losing shots because people figure out I'm disabled.

I do, however, mention it in my cover letter, every time - only after my shrink prodded me to include it, though. I'm still wondering if that was a good idea.

Unless you are applying for a special snowflake nonprofit or civil service job, it's an awful idea and you might even want to find another therapist because yours does not know what he's talking about. You can talk your way past your disabilities once you get to an interview, especially at a nonprofit, but no private lawyer is ever interviewing a paralegal who says they're disabled in a cover letter. What happens if they don't have ADA accommodations or just treat you harshly and you sue them? It's a minefield that they're not going to touch. Don't do this.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web

Agreed, take that poo poo out. Including it makes it seem like it's something you feel strongly about; they might think you expect special accomodations. Show up and rock the poo poo out of the interviews without mentioning a drat thing.

One of my best hires was a woman who showed up to the interview very pregnant. She was qualified, and we hired her no questions asked, and she continued to work her rear end off up until she delivered and soon after came back to work; she's one of our best tutors. If she had put that front and center on her cover letter, I would have thought twice about calling in her in, simply because it strikes me that the kind of person to say that in a cover letter would also be possibly someone who would sue if we interviewed and didn't hire them, or who would expect lots of special accomodation.

slap me silly
Nov 1, 2009


I agree. Best strategy is to act like it doesn't even exist, as in it doesn't affect your work, as in anybody would be stupid to worry about it. When I'm hiring I don't give a poo poo if you flomp around on crutches or scoot around in a chair, just engage with me at the level of what we need and I will actively ignore other poo poo. Not everyone works that way, but it is the right way, so assume they will and act accordingly.

slap me silly fucked around with this message at Aug 9, 2014 around 03:17

PassTheRemote
Mar 15, 2007

Climb
Climb
Climb to the top of the world
And as you stand tall
You will see...
That when you fall...
You will fall from a height
Most men will never reach!

Slow Motion posted:

Lie on your resume. Make up a work history. Your lack of work is a HUGE red flag that hiring managers are interpreting to mean you're unemployable (which is bullshit. But that's how they see it). Then when you go in to interview let them know what you did and why. Not right away. Make a good impression first. Then halfway through the interview let them know. Ask how it makes them feel. If they say they can't hire you having learned that information ask them what they would do in your position. Basically let that interviewer train you for the next. Rinse. Repeat.

You have nothing to lose. Start acting like it.

That's a terrible idea that will bite the OP in the rear end if and when the employer finds out. Most employers do verify employment, and lying will just create a bad reputation, and or a termination that will have to be explained.

Spacewolf
May 19, 2014


slap me silly posted:

I agree. Best strategy is to act like it doesn't even exist, as in it doesn't affect your work, as in anybody would be stupid to worry about it. When I'm hiring I don't give a poo poo if you flomp around on crutches or scoot around in a chair, just engage with me at the level of what we need and I will actively ignore other poo poo. Not everyone works that way, but it is the right way, so assume they will and act accordingly.

The problem:

It *does* impact things. Where I live, because we're a suburban-ish area, paralegals are *usually* expected to do courier runs (eg to the courthouse, etc). It's never written down anywhere but usually is expected, I'm told by lawyers and teachers.

Being too blind to drive, I cannot do those (as a practical matter; the paratransit system requires you to book rides 24 hours in advance, and taxis are *hugely* expensive); transportation wise, I get paratransit to and from a worksite, and then go on foot during the day.

I get what you're saying, let me be clear. In a perfect world, it shouldn't matter a drat and what's on the job ad should be the job.

In a non-perfect world, the job ad is just the beginning.

So I'm...stuck.

Spacewolf
May 19, 2014


Hugbot posted:

This is great advice. I am also a paralegal and I got started through an internship offered by my program, which then gave me real experience and got me my first real job. Get in touch with your school and see if they can set you up. Your GPA was pretty good so it shouldn't be too hard to get placed. Lawyers love (unpaid) interns.

I love my school, but the career services folks...Part of the reason it took me 4 years to do a 2 year program is on them. Because I listened to them when they said "don't look for an internship on your own, we'll do the search and set up"...Until finally, after a year of getting the run-around from them, and finding out on my own that nobody wanted academic-credit interns in a legal market as crappy as that in the NJ/NY area (there's barely enough work to support paid employees, let alone interns), I just did a final course instead of an internship so I could finish the drat program.

When September hits and everybody's back, I might call them again, but I don't have hopes on it producing much.

Spacewolf
May 19, 2014


Sign posted:

What about some volunteer work. It's a reason to do something, a chance to learn some skills, and fill in your resume with more than nothing. Especially since you don't need the income desperately for rent or food.

If I could find links to my local pro bono outlets, I would do this, but they're awfully hard to find current info on.

I already volunteer with the local Red Cross chapter as a disaster services volunteer (don't actually get called out much, but that's a function of "Wow, it's been light for major disasters", since I can't work fire calls (due to not driving), but can work shelter situations), but I'd be happy to volunteer for stuff more relevant, yes.

at the date
Oct 4, 2013



"Lie on your resume." -good advice that will get you the job

Propaniac
Nov 28, 2000

SUSHI ROULETTO!


Spacewolf posted:

The problem:

It *does* impact things. Where I live, because we're a suburban-ish area, paralegals are *usually* expected to do courier runs (eg to the courthouse, etc). It's never written down anywhere but usually is expected, I'm told by lawyers and teachers.

Being too blind to drive, I cannot do those (as a practical matter; the paratransit system requires you to book rides 24 hours in advance, and taxis are *hugely* expensive); transportation wise, I get paratransit to and from a worksite, and then go on foot during the day.

I get what you're saying, let me be clear. In a perfect world, it shouldn't matter a drat and what's on the job ad should be the job.

In a non-perfect world, the job ad is just the beginning.

So I'm...stuck.

What do you lose by not bringing it up before the interview?

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web

Spacewolf posted:

It *does* impact things. Where I live, because we're a suburban-ish area, paralegals are *usually* expected to do courier runs (eg to the courthouse, etc). It's never written down anywhere but usually is expected, I'm told by lawyers and teachers.
Solution: be so drat good at the other work that they don't mind getting someone else to deliver their stupid packages for them.

Right now you are not getting interviews.
Start worrying about these problems once you have gotten interviews.

Adar
Jul 27, 2001

William "J." Fillmaff in training

moana posted:

Solution: be so drat good at the other work that they don't mind getting someone else to deliver their stupid packages for them.

Right now you are not getting interviews.
Start worrying about these problems once you have gotten interviews.

This. The day you're hired is the day you can go up to your boss and tell him that you can't drive so somebody else should do courthouse runs (but don't worry, you're a very fast typer and can compensate). The day before you're hired is the day to shut up and not bring it up.

Aristotle Animes
Feb 11, 2006

...

Adar posted:

This. The day you're hired is the day you can go up to your boss and tell him that you can't drive so somebody else should do courthouse runs (but don't worry, you're a very fast typer and can compensate). The day before you're hired is the day to shut up and not bring it up.

I don't quite agree on this but I suppose that's because at this point I'm in a position of not taking any job i can find and instead wanting a job that fits. I would feel like poo poo working in a place where I wasn't qualified or capable of performing one of the basic expectations of the position. If you just need a job, and I have been there, then I suppose I could tolerate it but I would be looking for an exit asap.

Adar
Jul 27, 2001

William "J." Fillmaff in training

Aristotle Animes posted:

I don't quite agree on this but I suppose that's because at this point I'm in a position of not taking any job i can find and instead wanting a job that fits. I would feel like poo poo working in a place where I wasn't qualified or capable of performing one of the basic expectations of the position. If you just need a job, and I have been there, then I suppose I could tolerate it but I would be looking for an exit asap.

He's never going to be the only paralegal there (if he is he wouldn't get hired anyway, because tbh solos won't take a risk) so having somebody else do couriers in exchange for doing something else he's good at is not the end of the world. You're not wrong but this type of stuff isn't really that black and white. More importantly, bringing up "btw I am disabled/cannot do X" -before even getting in the door- is a good way of never getting a job for fifty years even if it's true.

Aristotle Animes
Feb 11, 2006

...

Oh, no, it's not black and white for sure. If you gotta have a job then you get in there any way you can. Long term satisfaction is definitely something i would be thinking about.

I do agree, get it off the cover letter. If your therapist thinks you need to work on your own self esteem or somesuch, do it by getting a job and doing well for yourself by gaining some independence. Your therapist is kinda being dumb here.

bam thwok
Sep 20, 2005
I sure hope I don't get banned

Although I'm certainly not qualified to comment on how your clinical depression is playing into this, what I can tell you is that, when it comes to throwing resumes into the online void and hoping something sticks, you're not alone. Recruiters really don't even bother reading those. A thousand people - qualified and not - can submit to any and every posting that crops up on careerbuilder/monster/whatever. You'd think that this type of open access would create a perfect meritocracy, but it's the exact opposite. It has never been harder to actually get noticed, considered, and contacted for jobs than it is today.

So if right now your job search only entails a few click submissions per day, followed by zero feedback or positive reinforcement, then you're bound to get dejected, frustrated, and passive. You need a different strategy, both for your mental well-being and for your odds of success here. What I haven't heard you talk about yet, is what you're doing about networking.

You've graduated from two colleges. Go to their websites, look for an alumni database, and start reaching out to them. You're also a member of a minority disabled population. Are there foundations or other organizations of people you could reach out to who are there specifically to help people in your circumstances? What does the National Association of Blind Lawyers have to offer you?

The point is, you need to get in touch with these people. Look for people who work in the field you want to, or work in the area. Send polite emails introucing yourself as an alumni and an aspiring career builder, who wants to learn about their experiences. 50% will never get back to you. 30% will tell you that they don't have time to speak with you. 15% will speak with you but won't really be interested in helping. But the last 5%? Those are the people who for whatever reason (school pride, general inclination towards help and supportiveness, whatever) will pull for you. They'll put your resume in front of the right person, and get you on the phone with the right person. Some of these conversations will result in interviews. And as soon as one interview results in a job, you win.

You're just not playing the right game yet. Of course it feels like you're losing.

bam thwok fucked around with this message at Aug 9, 2014 around 19:12

Spacewolf
May 19, 2014


Networking is a weird thing, both because of me and because of the field I'm in.

Law is very "who you know". I know this.

However: 1. I'm an extreme introvert, for a whole bunch of reasons; 2. I have no contacts really that could help me with a job search, even by referring me to people. Sure, I know a few lawyers via parents, who on a personal level have known me since I was born, but they're all retired or close to retirement - I've asked them for help, and while every one of them sympathizes with me, none of them is in a position where they even know all that well lawyers who are young and practicing and would need paralegals, let alone newbie paralegals. (The older the lawyer, the less they want a paralegal, and honestly the less they know how to even *use* a paralegal.) Basically, they're decent references when applying, but can't help beyond that.

Moving on...National Association of Blind Lawyers - OK, I've looked them up via Google. NFB association...I've dealt with the NFB locally, didn't like their approach to blindness (they're the guys who send blind folks to climb Everest, for example, and believe in what I not-so-fondly call the "superblind" model of blindness, whereas I acknowledge it as a disability and seek ways to deal with the practical problems it presents), but what the heck. The problem (and the showstopper) is that the website they direct you to, http://www.blindlawyer.org comes up as a 404. Which makes me wonder if they're active, even. So I can't even tell if they're intended for paralegals or would have anything for me.

Alumni stuff - the university I got my undergrad degree from, sadly, mostly has alumni near the university...Something I wish I'd known when I was looking at schools 12 years ago. Even their career services folks said they aren't of much help beyond the immediate area, as of three weeks ago. The community college where I got my paralegal degree from, I've been using their alumni job postings to complement my use of Monster and Indeed.

Point is, bam thwok, I get what you're saying. I'm trying to network. There's only so much one can do when you're entry level, though.

Spacewolf
May 19, 2014


OK, so, reviewing this thread so far, suggestions from the community...I am intentionally excluding stuff like "lie on your resume", because really. I'm going into a regulated-as-all-gently caress industry (paralegals in NJ are not licensed or state-certified, but that's been proposed repeatedly over the last 20 years to the State supreme court, which regulates lawyers and everybody else involved with the legal system), so that's just beyond "not smart" and verges on "insanely dumb".

Let me know if I'm leaving anything out from previous posts, but here's what I see people have suggested, and some brief responses and updates on those.

1. Get all mention of disability off the cover letter and resume - Done. Resume was disability-free, but cover letter was not. That has now changed. It'll cast my long gaps in a harsher light, but so be it.

2. Volunteering and internships - Was hunting for these before I decided "gently caress it, need to take 2 weeks to regroup and recharge and basically not hunt for jobs every day". Most internships want you still in school, and I'm graduated, but that's a minor issue (I'd hope).

3. Resume and cover letter service from Goon - Looking at this. His prices are *very* steep when you pay all but $60 of a $700 monthly check into bills. I'd need the complete package, and that runs, what, $400? I'd love to do this, but not sure how I'd get the money (aside from begging parents, who are guaranteed to say "Why do you need to spend $400 on a resume and cover letter, do it yourself and listen to your therapist")

4. Public Defender's office and such - Looked them up. They basically do not have a web presence, but will call them once my 2 week sanity break is up, and see what they say.

5. Networking - Addressed in immediately previous post.

Anything I'm missing? If not, I invite the conversation to continue. In fact, I beg for it to continue - you've all been pretty helpful, and it's done wonders to have other brains on this topic than just mine.

Aristotle Animes
Feb 11, 2006

...

Spacewolf posted:

Point is, bam thwok, I get what you're saying. I'm trying to network. There's only so much one can do when you're entry level, though.
Volunteering will get you moving in the field and put you in a network. Show some honest to goodness thorough work and people will notice you. Don't expect anything to happen your first month or three months except that you will get to use your trade and start learning. This will look good on your resume and nip the gap you are panicking about. Although, that brings me to...

6. Take it easy on yourself. You are good to be motivated to do something now but it's only been 3 months.

moana
Jun 18, 2005

one of the more intellectual satire communities on the web

Spacewolf posted:

3. Resume and cover letter service from Goon - Looking at this. His prices are *very* steep when you pay all but $60 of a $700 monthly check into bills. I'd need the complete package, and that runs, what, $400? I'd love to do this, but not sure how I'd get the money (aside from begging parents, who are guaranteed to say "Why do you need to spend $400 on a resume and cover letter, do it yourself and listen to your therapist")
So just go post in the resume thread or post them up here for us to help.

Leroy Diplowski
Aug 25, 2005

The Candyman Can

Visit My Candy Shop

And SA Mart Thread

OP, your story sounds almost exactly like my old roomate's. I thought you might be literally the same person until a few details tipped me off.

It's a tough situation and I don't think there's a one-size fits all solution, but you might get some insight from Lenny's story. He eventually ended up getting a job at local community college in some sort of administration role. It took him 2 years of looking on and off along with a couple of false starts to get a job that actually fit, so I definitely recommend to keep trucking and don't give up.

During the time we lived together he was really involved in amnesty international (that's how we met). It led to him making a lot of long term friendships and helped him to grapple with his depression.

slap me silly
Nov 1, 2009


Spacewolf posted:

3. Resume and cover letter service from Goon - Looking at this. His prices are *very* steep when you pay all but $60 of a $700 monthly check into bills. I'd need the complete package, and that runs, what, $400? I'd love to do this, but not sure how I'd get the money (aside from begging parents, who are guaranteed to say "Why do you need to spend $400 on a resume and cover letter, do it yourself and listen to your therapist")

Before you spend money on this, you might ask Goon what similar situations he's worked with and how things turned out. Otherwise, there is free advice to be had, as Moana pointed out.

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melon cat
Jan 21, 2010



Slow Motion posted:

Lie on your resume. Make up a work history. Your lack of work is a HUGE red flag that hiring managers are interpreting to mean you're unemployable (which is bullshit. But that's how they see it). Then when you go in to interview let them know what you did and why. Not right away. Make a good impression first. Then halfway through the interview let them know. Ask how it makes them feel. If they say they can't hire you having learned that information ask them what they would do in your position. Basically let that interviewer train you for the next. Rinse. Repeat.

You have nothing to lose. Start acting like it.
No. Don't do this.

Most reputable, half-decent employers will call up your old employers to confirm your dates of employment. And if they can't reach said employer, they'll request a paystub or Record of Employment. If you can't provide any of these they'll terminate you. I've seen people get walked out of the office for this. It's a walk of shame that's 100% preventable.

My suggestion- indicate that you were doing some sort of self-study/online courses while you were unemployed. But, holy crap for all that is sacred, if you're applying for anything that's better than a Carl's Greasy Spoon do not lie about your work history.

melon cat fucked around with this message at Aug 10, 2014 around 22:15

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