Job search, finding work in tough times

By Alex Adcock and Aja Bradford

With today’s economy, it can be difficult for college students to find jobs.

Due to inconvenient work hours, many employers will not hire students, even though they may need extra income to pay for tuition.

Junior Ryan Boyd had a good job at a local grocery store last year.

He said flexible hours and decent pay made it a great college job. He returned to school after summer break, however, to find his job gone and no position available.

“I (had) put in at least a dozen applications at other places, and I (hadn’t) even gotten one interview,” Boyd said. “I (had) to find something soon.”

He said he was spending his savings to keep up with paying bills.

“Living is expensive these days, and my account is getting low.”

The small number of available jobs due to the bad economy seems to be the deciding factor behind students losing their jobs and failing to get new ones.

It really comes out to be a bit of a catch-22: students need jobs to help pay for tuition, but they have trouble getting work because their school hours make it hard to establish a steady schedule.

The student unemployment rate is about 25.5 percent. NYTimes.com says that it is the “highest level since the government began keeping track of such statistics in 1948.”

Students who need jobs in this troubled economy should start looking beyond conventional means to find part-time work.

The current market has forced many traditional job seekers into positions that college students would normally fill.

In the past, for example, waiting tables, working at the local grocery store or tutoring were all options a university student would look into for part-time employment.

However, people looking for jobs now have to think outside of the box.

Senior marketing major Angela Perez said, “I felt like I would never find a job that would work around my school schedule.”

Perez said she got an idea when a friend told her about Mystery Shopping.

“It’s a service that hires people to buy products at (restaurants) like McDonalds, Jack in the Box and Wendy’s to insure that the quality of the
food is consistent.

“I also report on the customer service I am given by the staff. I have a certain
amount of places I must visit in a week, and I can complete them whenever I have time before class, between classes, or even after a 9 p.m. class.”

Paying attention to the needs of people around them also allows students to find employment in ways they could not otherwise.

People often have odd jobs that need attention, and they are willing to pay friends and associates to do them.

Another student put his entrepreneurial way of thinking into action to bring in some added income.

Graduate counseling major Matt Litaker said, “I heard a professor talking about how she wished she had more time to walk her dog, but with the
demands of her job that was just not an option. That is when the light bulb came on in my head … I would be willing to walk her dog for a small fee.

“I gained more clients and the rest … is history.”

Crusaders are not only thinking outside of the box when it comes to the type of work they search for, but the ways they find out about the job openings are also unique. Social networking sites like Facebook, MySpace and Twitter have ideas and offer job advertisements.

Junior psychology major Amanda Clemmons said, “I found Facebook to be
extremely helpful in my quest in finding a job. I just posted on my status …. I got many responses from friends who knew of job openings.”

Author: The Bells Staff

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