Dear Career Doctor:
I have been all over the place looking for a job. I have even called a good portion of the places back and it seems like nobody has a job for me. So far out of about 20 places I applied, I have gone to only 2 interviews. I have looked online, I have done walk ins, I have dressed up every time I am doing everything I know to look good, because I’m in high school, so can only get a part time job, but it seems like nobody is hiring. What should I do??
You didn’t tell me the kind of work you are looking for, the skills you have to offer, and whether you are doing this to earn money or get career experience. But I will assume you want to earn money after school, on weekends and during summer vacation. So, here’s what I suggest:
Make a list of all the things that you can do to earn money. Start the list with the things you would like to do most, but make the list as long as you can. For example, I assume most high school students can file office papers, help retail customers, mow lawns, weed, shop, dog walk, baby sit and cook. Include everything you can think of, because this might give you more ideas about where to look and what to look for. The reason I included skills like shopping and cooking is that many elderly people and working parents need this kind of help.
You have probably asked all your parent’s friends and your friends’ parents if they know anyone who is hiring. If not, show them the list of all the things you can do and ask their advice. Here are other people who might know about job opportunities:
Your local chamber of commerce
Your school youth employment office (If your school doesn’t have one, ask your principal which places often hire students.)
You are clearly doing something right: in this job market, two interviews out of twenty applications is good, believe it or not! So don’t get discouraged, and keep looking everywhere until a good job turns up.