Perhaps I'm Doing Something Wrong...

Comments

1
Well, the first thing you need to do... is... you know...

Wait, what was the question again?

Sorry, i just got a text from this girl I met at MFNW who wants to go hiking.

Wait, what were we talking about again?
2
qualifications and a work ethic. Good luck :)
3
Attitude, charisma, and personal grooming are more important deal-makers/breakers now than ever.
4
You need to go get an OMMP card and throw some plants in your closet.

Save up the proceeds from that and invest in refurbishing an old run down rickshaw into a mobile vegan sandwich wrap delivery cart. You can serve Falafel Waffles and call your cart "Chickpeaness".

Let me know when you get this sorted out because I need free fa-waffles for life for my expert business consulting.
5
A degree in Sociology or Anthropology will not get you a job. Nor will Literature, English, or Women's Studies. You need to learn a real skill, something that brings value to someone. You need to get over the "I'm college educated so I'm entitled to a job" attitude. Bring value to the table and you'll get a job. Bring a degree and a smile, and a bunch of horse-shit talk, you can clean the shit out of the toilets for $14.99/ hour. Just because you're white, college educated, and a spoiled brat doesn't give you automatic dibs on a real job. Get Real!
6
Grease up that mangina and post an ad on the portland backpage. Or can/bottles on recycle night in your hood. Bitch.
7
If you must know, I started my career in a bigger city with more opportunities. So many young people have moved here to retire, to live in a a tiny house the size of a kid's playhouse, to have a unicycle instead of a reliable sedan.
In fact, you are refreshing, IA because you actually want to
get somewhere.

I would consider looking outside of Portland. Not telling you to leave Oregon, but understand there is an over-supply of recent college grads in the groovy areas, all trying to do the same thing.

Or, look at Austin. Jobs galore there. Cheaper rent.
8
I applied for jobs in Oregon, Washington, California, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Florida. Lucky for me, I was able to find a job in Oregon. After moving 2,000 miles across the country to the beautiful NW, I found a great starter place that I can afford with my current budget. I now commute from Portland down to Woodburn 5 days a week for the job I love.

Basically what I'm saying is that if you are serious about wanting a job that you went to college for, you must be ready to relocate and commute. Good luck!
9
All I can tell you is that you should enter HUMP! for a chance at a sizable cash prize. (Sorry, I get a free pudding pop every time I mention HUMP! here.)
10
One final thing, IA. You are doing something terribly wrong and that is (drum roll please)
pursuing a job that pays fifteen dollars an hour.

Buck up and pursue a salaried position with benefits. 30k is chump change.
11
Too many college educated people have moved here without looking into the job market first.

The most direct answer is that the "good paying jobs" are not here in numbers which match the people looking for them. Portland's economy is not that robust.
12
I'd say "go union," but it's kind of hard to say that since you didn't bother to point out what field we're talking about here. You don't need to keep your profession anonymous, you know.
13
Well, there used to be manufacturing plants in Portland for one thing. Also, there used to be a lot of timber industry and export related industry. Agriculture used to be big, too, until we started importing grapes from Chile and apples from New Zealand. Tourism is the current big hope of politicians, but the fact is, Portland has only about six weeks of good weather each year, and most tourists would rather go to San Francisco, New York, or Hawaii, anyway. Get your ass out of here before the long over due, 9.2 hits. Portland State University sits right on top of the West Hills Fault, and downtown Portland is going to be nothing more than a big pile of rubble, instantaneously.
14
Sounds like your degrees must be in some sort of Liberal Arts, such as Conflict Resolution or Sociology. Business degrees don't do much good, either, if there isn't any business. The only fields where a graduate might find gainful employment are in science and engineering; biotech and software for instance, where there is potential for innovation and growth.

If you can subsist for two consecutive years on less than about six grand annually, and you aren't in default on any student loans, and you haven't already exhausted all your awards, then you probably qualify for the maximum of about $20K+ per year in guaranteed student loans and grants. Go back to school and get a useful degree from a decent university. The more selective the school, the better contacts you will make there. It's not just what you know, but who you know. You aren't going to meet anyone who's dad owns a prosperous business at Portland State University, for instance. You might meet a handsome Saudi prince there who's got a rich uncle, but that isn't going to get either you or him a good job.
15
Have 10 years experience in IT and don't work for Rogue or a non profit. Problem solved.
16
You have two degrees, but do you have any actual working experience? Cause if not, don't expect more than $9/hour to start. Some of the most useless people my company has hired are new Reed graduates who have never had a job. They think they're real smart and that they worked so hard to get through school that real work must be a piece of cake, right? Well yeah, it's easy, but only if your head isn't so far up your own ass that you're incapable of finishing the most menial of tasks. Want satisfying work? Prove that you're able and willing to do work.
17
A degree from Reed College is only good in a town where there are jobs. For instance, Reed has it's very own nuclear power plant, and a degree in nuclear physics can be most useful, but you need to move to someplace where they build nuclear powered Spacecraft, such as Seattle; another Earthquake/tsunami/volcano zone.
18
Why would someone pay you 15 an hour when they can find someone who will work just as hard for 12 or even 10 an hour? The dream of the 90s may be alive, but those fatty 90s paychecks are dead unless you bring something that warrants higher pay to the table.
19
Be wise as Dina, sue somebody in the Dina perspective, and get rich. Pursue a career as a DIY lawyer.
20
Two degrees? Just two?? Most of us around here have at least 5 or 6
21
I clean houses for $20 or $25/hr. Or paint for even more than that. Seems people always need help cleaning and painting, and I enjoy doing both. I have a little portable speaker I take with me and listen to music while I work. Yeah, I know, no benefits, but it's better than working for $12.50 an hour with no benefits.
22
Start at the bottom and work your way up! Even with degrees, sometimes you have to take the shit jobs for a while to show an employer what you've got. Once you work hard and show them your skills and work ethic it works out, but it takes a couple years. I got a certificate in transcription and took the first job that was offered to me which was a tech aid job paying just above minimum wage. Within a year I had moved up twice and was making 15+. You just have to make sure you chose a company that has room for advancement. If you can make your boss look good, that's good. If you can make your boss's boss look good, that's GREAT
23
Grad school + networking, luck, working for a public agency.
24
How's your resume? Is it free of errors and douchiness? Pay somebody to spend half an hour going over it for you. Also: cover letters. Make sure you specifically address the employer's needs (as detailed in the job posting). A cover letter isn't about you and your fancy degrees--it's about you pitching a solution to all the employer's problems. Be specific and brief. The position calls for high-energy multitasking and dealing with the public? Your job waiting tables has given you EXCELLENT experience with this. They need somebody versed in Excel? You (will) have taken online tutorials to be the greatest Excel master of all time.

This strategy won't get you a job, but it will sure as hell get you an interview. Then you're on your own.
25
Unfortunately for you, IA, all the snarky comments are true. Too many young people have moved here (and keep moving here) in the last ten years and there's just not enough gravy for everyone. You can't even find a good place to rent anymore because landlords can charge $1,300 for a 1BD apartment around Hawthorne.

The best shot is having an actual skill, whether it's SQL or welding. Simply having a degree doesn't mean shit anymore. If I was being completely honest, I would say that you should go back to school and pursue vocational certification in either nursing/phlebotomy/etc or a computer skill (GIS, Python, SQL, etc). Healthcare and IT are two sectors that will always be growing and hiring.

Good luck! But do be honest with what you're bringing to the table, and understand that relocating is an option.
26
I got a job in Seaside for a Portland-based organization and commuted every day for a year, then transferred to Portland when I could.
27
Work for $11/hr for 2 years in a place with upward mobility. My answer is: Get Experience.
28
This town is all about people. With food, you are what you eat. With industry, you are (or can be) who you keep in your (present) company.

The quest to break the $15/hour threshold begins with 2 questions:
1.) What do you want to do?
2.) How have you qualified yourself for #1?

Based on #1, you can search the local area for special interest groups oriented toward the subject matter. This is where to begin your networking crusade.

Based on #2, this is what you have to bring to the table when you are at the event/lecture/happy hour selected via #1.

If #2 is lacking, you have more questions than answers (opinions). Use this. Be the reed that bends in the wind. Though Portland is by and large a friendly town, you may encounter scrutiny regarding your lack of expertise/experience/etc. With a little conversational judo, you can turn scrutiny into a learning experience that leaves the scrutinizer with a positive impression of you (a la your willingness to learn) and a positive feeling about themselves (a la the opportunity you created for them to demonstrate their level of expertise).

Worst case scenario, be interesting (which should read as synonymous with "not a douché" and intelligent). Imagine sitting next someone who is dull, for years. How would you pass the time? How would such a situation make the time you were at work feel? It is for these reasons that places you probably want to work don't hire dull folks. In fact, places you want to work probably have a system by which they allow current employees to recommend candidates for a short list before they open up to accepting resumes (if they do at all). So, the more folks you know that are currently employed doing what you want to do, the better your chances are for finding a position of the same nature.

Full Disclosure:
I am 31.
I am a professional designer (specifics: REDACTED).
I am a very active member of several professional organizations.
I have two degrees.
I am comfortable yet frugal at times.
29
Get a government job. It's the only game in town besides bartending.
30
Man, now I feel bad... I have an associates degree and make more than $15/hr.
I've been working since I was 14, in many different fields (the obvious first time jobs; server, retail, etc), but I think one of the reasons I got this position was because I nailed the interview.
Research the company/department motto, goals, etc. Go in with a great attitude, have questions for the interviewer ready. Dress the part and make a connection. The applicant cap for my gig was 80. That's 80 people that first got phone interviews, then a third of them got one on one interviews, then five of us got the panel interview.
I don't have to assume, I know there were people in that group that had more experience and higher education than me, but I got the gig.
Sorry about your luck, IAnon. I was unemployed in this great city for five months. Try, try and try again.
31
Brag. I wonder if I'm the only one who regularly comments here who makes 6 figures annually. I read posts like these and forget what it's like to worry about money. All it comes down to in life is luck. I'm not exceptionally talented or motivated, I just lucked out. It's not fair, but it's life.
32
And yes to the above comments about networking (the word itself sounds lame, but it's true) and working your way up. Every job I've stayed at longer than six months were basically dropped into my lap from a friend or person who knew what my skill set was. The job I have right now, I started at a lower wage; I worked my way up into a manager position and am doing okay, with some budgeting.

Also, having a partner with even some part-time income can make a world of difference, financially.
33
Learn to live cheap. I sleep on dogshit in the park, eat at the mission, and snipe hunt for cigarette butts. I save about $3,650.00 per year on cigarettes, $7,200.00 per year on food, and at least $9,600.00 per year on a flea bag room in some shit hole somewhere. I take my food stamps and spend them all on Coca Cola, then return the empties for cash so I can go to the movies, you fucking crybaby.
34
I am making 3 times more money working with my trade school license rather than my university degree. I am also passionate about my skill, have a great work ethic, and a friendly demeanor. Best of luck to you.
35
I learned a trade that was in demand. Try it sometime.
36
Do something that sets yourself apart from others; I have a teaching degree and I speak Spanish fluently. I'll always have job security.
37
I broke the $15 by going to nursing school. Best choice I could have made, career wise.
38
You start by going to where a job is (i.e., not Portland), and finding things in that place to enjoy. You work hard, excel in your field, and make a name for yourself. Then you figure out where in the world you want to live (maybe Portland) and convince the people that you work for that you can work from there or find someone there to employ you. Jobs are easier to get and usually pay more in places that people are less likely to want to live.
39
Blow jobs.
40
Haley and Cat and beard have good advice anon. Sadly Blabby is correct as well, too many people moving here and not enough low to medium paying jobs. I went on at least three interviews this year where there was at least one other applicant who had "just moved here". The jobs are out there, try thinking outside the box. good luck
41
Any idea how much money I save by not owning a car? What is it for a Beamer, nowadays? $399.00 per month lease, plus gas, insurance, detailing, parking? How much time do you spend, fucking around with your car? You don't want to get a bike, though, because you can't afford the medical bills and time off from work for hospital stays.
43
The link does not make sense Dina...
44
Looks like fun and profit to me, Leaky 2.0 oz.
45
You ain't from around here is ya?
46
To answer your question, Anon, I got mine from a temp agency. Randstad Work Solutions downtown, specifically, and I chose them because they were the staffing company that was listing the highest-paying jobs. You said you're registered with several; go in and talk with them about what you really want and how you can get it. Those people get paid to find you jobs, and they get all kinds: one day, short-term temp, long-term temp (my longest was a year and a half), full-time, part-time (that year and a half one was 20 hrs/wk which I did while I was in college), temp-to-hire, direct-hire, and different types of work. The more they know what you are specifically qualified for and looking for, the better they can help you. And keep in touch with them, it keeps you on their radar. Call them every week or two to see if they've got anything that might work for you. It tells them you're serious and proactive and ready to work. And honestly it doesn't hurt to sign up with ALL of them. And bake them cookies or something.