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.