Finding a job in NYC is difficult. :(

Alright, I’m going to rant a little bit here about how challenging it has been for me to find a summer job. I have been applying for small retail jobs since I was sixteen. Four years and a ton of work/volunteer experience later, no one is still willing to hire me. I was recently promised a position as a waitress at my local pizzeria by the assistant manager after a brief interview. I called back today, hoping to schedule training, and they tell me that the position is no longer open.

At this point, I’m desperate. I’m beyond wanting a Health Science-related internship anymore. The majority of them don’t pay you anyway. I’m fully aware that I need to face “the real world” really soon, and my first priority is paying off all my student loans before the debt starts to accumulate.

Yes, I understand that working as a Resident Assistant provides me with free housing – which I am truly grateful for, since it’s already saving me thousands. I also receive financial benefits every semester, which is why I don’t want to sound greedy. :( I’ve been hopping on every chance to make a little extra money, though, be it working extra hours in my quad office or writing sponsored advertisements on this blog for $15/post. The $5-7 per hour  that I make on ChaCha really isn’t cutting it anymore, though.

I’ve also come to realize that “who you know” weighs much more than “what you know”. Nearly all of my friends who manage to find a job in New York only get hired because they have “connections” through family or friends. I like to think of myself as a responsible, educated, hard-working individual – my resume speaks for itself. So why doesn’t anyone want me?

I’ve come to a few good conclusions based on my personal observations…

1) Positions such as grocery store cashiers or restaurant waitresses in my area are already taken by uneducated, middle-aged women. I admit that they need the job more than I do, especially since they’ve been working there for over 20 consecutive years and are probably single mothers. I don’t feel too bad about this, though, since I’ll have a degree in exactly one year from now and be able to apply for entry-level positions that they aren’t qualified for. </bitchiness>

2) On every single application I’ve ever filled out, they ask whether I’m of “Hispanic or Latino” descent. I have usually left it blank, but this was the first year that I checked the box. I mean, somewhere down the line of my Filipino heritage there must be some Spanish in me, right? And it’s no coincidence that I’ve received the most callbacks this year. Companies are required to have a certain quota of Hispanic employees, I believe, since the population is so large in New York and they want to keep the workplace diverse. Still, that’s no excuse to ignore a perfectly competent applicant who can actually speak English. ):<

3) The places that do hire young people are completely superficial. I wouldn’t get hired at a clothing store at my local mall solely because “I don’t fit their image”. What this actually means is that I’m not tall, skinny, blonde, or “attractive” by their standards. Many retailers hire solely on looks, and aren’t afraid to admit it. So I guess that option is out for me. Same thing goes for many hostess/bartending positions in the city. Before you can even get an interview, they need you to send them a full-body photo. Even then, you’re required to dress suggestively at work – the uniform typically consisting of form-fitting tanktops, skimpy shorts, mini skirts, belly shirts, or even a bikini top.

I had a couple more, but I would just sound bitter. So nevermind.
What are you guys doing over the summer?


20 responses to “Finding a job in NYC is difficult. :(

  1. well up until about a week ago, i was working at the Old Navy on hillside avenue, the one inside the complex with the Stop and Shop. I only quit cuz i have to go to bootcamp in like a month, otherwise i would’ve stayed there, it was a really good job. they recently hired like 2 or 3 new people, but they’re always looking for more people, so you could always try applying there

  2. Ah. I know how you feel. It’s so difficult to find a job. *sigh.

    So, that’s why I decided to work on campus soon since I’m good terms with the Filipino representative who knows my parents and with my Fine Arts teacher since I’ve taken his Art Studio class this spring semester.

    But, I do want another job outside of school. It’s hard. :\

    • I know, just hang in there. Once you’re a nurse, you won’t ever have the same problem again. Hospitals will be wanting to hire you left and right! :D And see? It’s all about connections. :P Good luck with that. Miss you! <3

  3. Is there a Sally Beauty Supply store around you? They hire anyone who is cute and young and knows even a little about hair! I think theyd hire you ASAP

  4. If you like kids, what about being a summer camp counselor? I know Queens College hires young people from the ages of 17,18- late 20s :O

    • I’ll definitely look into that. : ) My friend once linked me to a summer camp that was hiring, but they required previous experience with children. I guess I’m not looking hard enough, though. Thanks!

  5. I’m doing my father’s archery range to make ends meet. As much as the man and I don’t get along, this is a decent arrangement, as I don’t have to see him often, I get spending cash, and I manage to rob him blind while I work. Still, I’d sorta like a job with health benefits and a wage that’d let me move out.
    Truthfully, the job market’s pretty discouraging. I only put my resume in one place ever, since I’ve seen how hard it is for other people to get anywhere. I’m not asking for miracles, I’d be really happy even cleaning up elsewhere for now. All I can say is hang in there, really, and look around St. Mark’s, since there’s lots of wanted signs.

    • I’m sorry to hear. I do believe that there are better things out there for the both of us. It would be so convenient if I could find somewhere to work inside of Queens, since our neighborhood is pretty far from Manhattan. I’ll definitely check out St. Mark’s, though, if I really can’t find anything else.

  6. improperintegirl

    I’m working at a movie theater selling tickets.. you need to be over 18 to work there because the managers don’t want to deal with child labor laws because they’re open late.

    I pretty much got the job because my mom’s friend had a connection with one of the managers.

    • Lucky. :P My town is pretty small, and only has small restaurants and stores. Anything further would require a really long bus ride. This is one of those moments where I wish I’d passed my road test and saved up for a used car. D;

  7. Well I’ll be continuing my internship at the public school near me till June 30th, after that it’s summer class from July 15th – August 15th…then most likely continuing the same internship for another year. I would say don’t give up looking for those through your school…I still receive emails of random jobs that are hiring and internships relating to CS from QC’s internship office.

    But yeah it is hard and I’m sure you’re sick of everyone saying you just need to try hard to get one, because sometimes it just doesn’t work. Though that’s still no reason to lose hope!

    • The thing is, being an RA means I can’t have another job at the same time – it’s a legal issue. That’s why I need a summer job, as opposed to a school semester one. I’ll keep trying, though. :'( And good luck with your current internship!

  8. You already know what I’m doing this summer. Luckily for me, I’m in a major that has some use before I’m done with it. And I has mad connections.

    However, before I had connections/computer skillz, I got my jobs by being as direct as possible. Like I told you earlier, you should just find some places where they could use cashiers, fill out apps, and just be like “I can start now and work for you all summer” to the manager. Can’t promise you’ll get something, but it’s better than being laid back and waiting for them to call you.

    I hope you do find something. You could benefit from spending more time out.

    • I know, phone calls aren’t enough. I’ll spend a whole weekend walking around my neighborhood with a folder full of my resume and try to find something. :( As I had mentioned before, many of the businesses in my town are small and family-owned. Delis, catering, sari boutiques, etc. >.<;

  9. Find a job in the summer in any city really sucks. It’s a part of my curriculum to find internships, but its next to impossible due to competition in the university city students population (there’s at least 5 college in my area). It sucks even more for me because I’m in the summer rotation I need to compete with kids who have normal summer vacation; it’s really frustrating & I feel your pain.

    On the upside I was a lucky ducky and have an internship @ a biopharm. I do half lab work and half office work, so I get to dress up in blasting heat haha. It’s not glamorous work sometimes, and I’m practically dead tired from work/commute every day, but I’ve really come to like the job & the people I work with as well as sit in interesting corp meetings.

  10. wow, i just saw that u commented back on my comment, lol. and im going to Navy bootcamp, cuz i joined the navy. i actually leave on June 20th!

  11. Just try and your friends will help you

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