Job Hunting for Millenials

I may be on the early side of that particular designation, but I'm pretty sure I qualify, right? Born in the late '80s, some college but no degree, blah de blah. Yep.

So here's the deal. I've spent the last 3 months looking for a new job. I've applied for quite a few, as a receptionist, at call centers, more than a few sales positions from Best Buy to Target... all in all, I've sent out probably 10 or 12 resumes/applications.

I've gotten a call back on all of 2, and an interview out of only 1.

The thing is, I really don't think I have unreasonable expectations. 32+ hours a week in a climate-controlled environment are really my only two requirements, and all of the work above is stuff I have experience in to a greater or lesser degree. So what's the problem, and why am I not good enough to get an answer back?

It's frustrating looking for a job. I can't imagine what it would be like to do what I'm trying to do even 15 years ago, looking for a job in another town without uprooting myself first. It's one of the great things about the modern day, the ease the internet grants us in looking for stuff like this. Unfortunately, that ease of access has a critical downside, and that's that such ease of spreading the availability of openings combined with the crap state of the economy combined with how awful retirement benefits are for most people means that all that experience I have means two things.

Diddly.

Squat.

I would posit that there is nothing -- NOTHING -- more disheartening than looking through want ads for entry-level or low-experience jobs and seeing that most employers are tacking on requirements like "5+ years experience necessary" or 2-3 years in multiple fields to something as simple as a stocking position. I don't blame them for wanting experience if possible, but since when does a front desk clerk position at a hotel require experience with MS Word/Excel/Powerpoint, 2 years of sales experience, and a degree in economics? Betcha can't guess what the only one of those is that's actually an exaggeration.

I'm 30 years old. I've spent 9 of the last 10 years employed, and every employer I've had -- EVERY ONE -- has told me all I'd have to do is ask and they'd let me back immediately. I've changed jobs twice in that time, and both times for the same reason: because what I was doing was a dead end that would never see me able to move up or onward. Heck, I've been living with family the past 5 years thanks to the fact that once the price of fuel and insurance are added into the equation I can't even make enough money to afford my own place in any of the jobs that will hire me.

So, here I am. I'm having to look as much as 2 hours' drive away from where I am just to find something that isn't fast food because the only option I have to improve my situation is to find something that pays enough to get me on my own feet. My state's minimum wage is up to 8.50 an hour now, but it still takes a minimum of 10 or so in a full-time position before you can survive on your own thanks to the costs of housing that isn't a meth lab and the rural nature of where I live.

None of this even touches on the fact I still haven't started transition, and the cost of that isn't something I even want to consider right now.

Sorry for the "woe is me" bit, it's just... it's frustrating, and demoralizing, and I know there are plenty of people who have it worse but that hardly makes me feel any better about my own position. I know people always tell you that life is pain, life is suffering, and all that, but really, what's the point of life if not to try and seek happiness? What's the point of living if everything in your existence is engineered toward seeing you fail?

I have a lot of flaws. I lack discipline, I have a hard time motivating myself on personal projects and I tend to procrastinate on things. I'm wishy-washy, and a bit of a loner. But that's all my personal life. I've proven myself a good employee time and again; I just wish it meant anything in this world of disposable lives we exist in.

Melanie E.

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