23 and never had a job

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mia in Bensenville, Illinois

91 months ago

Thanks for the responses. :) I was thinking about going to a temp agency, but someone told me they'd turn you away if you have no experience whatsoever... and that I should just work at McDonalds. The thing is, I graduate in just three more semesters, and I'd prefer something a little better to put on my (barren) resume.

I'd like to try an online work-at-home job, but I can't tell which program isn't a scam.

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Jeannie P in West Sacramento, California

91 months ago

Guide

I work at Westaff in Oklahoma City, and we work with people without any work history, but it definitely helps to have some kind of reference (it can be a from professor, or even a personal/family reference if necessary).

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Senior Citizen in Kingwood, Texas

91 months ago

mia in Bensenville, Illinois said: Thanks for the responses. :) I was thinking about going to a temp agency, but someone told me they'd turn you away if you have no experience whatsoever... ...I'd like to try an online work-at-home job, but I can't tell which program isn't a scam.

First off, ALL "Work at Home" job offers are bogus. Second, stop believing what other people tell you. Go find out for yourself. I remember being shy when I was young and I can tell you how I overcame it... The idea of the "baby steps" is the best advice. Put yourself in a simple situation where it does not matter what the outcome is. Whether it be trying to get a stranger to look at you and give you the time or just smiling at some person to see if you can get them to smile back (even a child). The key is to get some social experience on your barren psychological resume. Lastly, fear not. There are plenty of jobs in the world that are available to you simply because most people DON'T want to work alone. The first three years of my career, I worked from midnight to 8AM in a room full of nothing but computers. There are also a lot of jobs where you simply can't be disturbed so they require you to work quite alone. This last idea will blow you away but you know what the loneliest position one can be in is? Standing in front of a room full of people and giving a talk. You are completely alone and after a while, the audience becomes just a blur of faces. Try it sometimes. While standing at a bus stop or something, just start talking to the group of people there. Make it telling a joke or some speech where you are not asking for their input. Most people will just ignore you and the value is that you will have experienced the aloneness of the situation. The hard part is when you have to communicate one on one.

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Tykovcka in Chicago Ridge, Illinois

90 months ago

Ohhh! I'm the same way. You know, I bet it's the eye contact. It gets me everytime, seriously. I hate "eye contact." Also, you have to value yourself and tell yourself you're an asset to whatever company you're working for, even if you totally aren't. Try convincing your interviewer you're ace and keep your eye contact feeling natural and un-forced, and even shoot around a couple of ideas. Because if you're shy, you're probably thoughtful. I got a job at a Borders once ny telling them I thought books were too expensive and that their displays look like "commercial propaganda" or something dumb.

Also, depending on the job, it isn't necessary you try to look stiff. I think most employers value comfort (comfort is ergonomical, man!).

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charlie in Broomfield, Colorado

90 months ago

hi, this is my first time in this forun, you know I am from south america , PERU and my english is badly but I work for boulder county and sometimes I fell too shy becouse the english is not my first idioma but anyway I try to go on and dont give up is you fill shy just do your job and that it. good luck

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Susan in Centerview, Missouri

90 months ago

mia in Berkeley, Illinois said: I'm 23 years old, and I have no work experience. I'm not lazy; I'm just extremely shy and anxious around people. I find it very difficult to talk to new people, to the point where I haven't had the guts to try getting a job in years. My mind just goes blank on interviews when I'm supposed to tell employers about myself.

Mia,
I know what you mean. Not everyone has the skills needed to sell themselves to a new employer.
I have worked for temporary agencies for many years for this reason. They find the jobs for me. Many of the jobs I have had have been computer work/data entry.
Because I was a temp, people didn't expect me to join in the office activities and usually left me alone to work.
A temp agency is going to test your office skills, see if you look and act presentable and try to determine if they can count on you to show up and do the job.
When you go to interviews, whether with regular employers or temp agencies, tell them right up front that you are very shy. People can be pretty understanding.

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Mia in Hinsdale, Illinois

90 months ago

Thanks for the advice, guys. No luck yet. Even these waitressing jobs I want require some experience, and I'm not even sure I can keep one, anyway. I should try a temp agency.

I've made progress lately with improving my social skills -- talking to people in school and public speaking and such -- but the thought of a job interview and rejection still fills me with anxiety, because my situation is so unusual... What should I say if they ask me on an interview why I have spent so many years not working?

Susan- I've been told a lot not to use my shyness as an excuse, or talk about it at all, because it won't help sell myself. But I think I should be upfront and say I'm trying to push myself and improve; this job would be a good opportunity to do that. Or something like that.

Tykovcka- haha, that's cool that you got the job despite saying stuff that I would think they'd find insulting. I'd love to work at Borders too, but I couldn't get an interview.

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tykovcka in La Grange, Illinois

90 months ago

I really sympathize with you, man. (Woman?) I was the same way, mostly. I went seven years without a job! I still can't even drive! We're special people, you and I. We deserve subsidy!

We're irrational?

Never mind. But don't be anxious, you know?

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tykovcka in La Grange, Illinois

90 months ago

Also... real quick, I don't know why it just said I was from La Grange. Also, I forget to say good luck!

Good luck!

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Doug Plucker in Uniondale, New York

90 months ago

Mia,
Your school probably has programs for new and soon to be graduates that teach you about interviews,how to be relaxed, etc.
You should check with your school's career development center.

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Beth in Willisburg, Kentucky

90 months ago

mia in Berkeley, Illinois said: ... What are jobs besides food service that don't require any previous experience and not much people skills? thanks :)

Hello Friend,

Many jobs exist that don't require people skills. I suggest you visit your local library and look at the Occupational Handbook, which is published by the Federal Government. It describes numerous occupations and what they entail - including what types of personality would suit such jobs.

Also suggest reading "What color is your parachute?" - a book that can be found anywhere - ebay, used book stores or in local bookstores new. It helps you figure out what work you'd be best suited for.

Another resource would be the WIA program through your state employment office. They provide career counseling and assistance getting a job, in addition to helping you obtain funding to attend school - be it a tech college, college etc.

Accounting is hot - if you're into churning numbers and paperwork. Statistics and technical writing, anything where you'd be working at a desk and could be in an office and not have to deal and interact face-to-face with people all the time might be a good fit.

I enjoyed surveying (oil exploration) immensely - you're outdoors in wilderness with just a few people and a lot of time you're walking miles and not bothered by people - just an occasional mountain lion!

best wishes,

Beth

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Jennarobs in Conroe, Texas

90 months ago

You can also try going to your local employment office. A lot of them offer free counseling. Try looking for intern-type jobs -- most of them don't require ANY experience, are great on resumes (they show you want to better yourself and your skills), and will give you a look at the workforce.

Finally, believe in yourself a little!

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Melissa in Saint Cloud, Florida

90 months ago

As it was mentioned earlier, I would check out the Career Center in your college campus for interview tips and practice (mock interviews). They also help you with resumes and cover letters (which get you the interview). The career center may also help you find jobs and volunteer opportunities relevant to your major. I would advice you to start as soon as possible. It could be volunteer work in the community (church, nursing homes, shelters ect.). So if you have participated in the past in event or volunteered, include this experiences in your resume.

Many organization including hospitals and non for profit (ex. American red cross) are more than happy to provide you with volunteer work. The nice thing is that those you will be working with during your volunteer experience are very nice.

A great networking tool are your professors and classmates. Your instructors might know of opportunities available to you as a student and related to your career goals. You can also use them as references. Your classmates, acquaintances, family, or friends may presently be working for an employer you are might want to work for. They might be able to give you a few pointers with the employer. I had a classmate that did this for me and I always offer others if they were interested. Their is so many applicants for even the smallest jobs that this help a lot. Also try to talk directly to the person responsible for hiring when you hand deliver you application, resume, and cover letter. Before going now about the position and be prepared

I have been shy since the day I was born (or as far as I can remember). I am now way less shy that I use to be but I am still working on it. If someone don't talk to you be the first to talk.I just graduated and going through the interview process of find a job. Do to my shyness, communicating and selling my self does not come easy.

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Sunshine

90 months ago

I am 32 and have never had a job so there. But I am a girl and to me working is for a man...

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Holly in Janesville, Minnesota

90 months ago

Work at home. I have a work at home job with the Young America Corporation. My job is being outsourced to El Paso, TX so I'll have to find a new job really soon. I'm like you, I'm 23 years old and have only had three jobs in my entire life. Two of the jobs I got fired from because I didn't get along with my co-workers and this work-at-home job. I feel like crying because searching for a job is stressing me out so much. I just applied for a data entry job and the HR director just e-mailed me with a list of responsibilities which includes phone surveys, attending terriorist/emergancy seminars, visiting clients homes to conduct interviews, and so forth. None of that was mentioned in the job descritption they listed online. Also in the e-mail, he mentioned that the starting pay was $7.00/hr for the first year. In the online job description it said the pay was 7-10/hr. I can't live on $7.00/hr. What was I thinking applying for this job? I wish I could go into the woods and live on my own, gather my own food, not have to worry about bills and just being responsible for myself. Ugh!! Sorry for the rambling. Summary: Get a work-at-home job if you can (they are not all scams). Contact local companies and ask if they need any independent contractors to do some data-entry work.

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Sara in Louisville, Kentucky

89 months ago

I don't know what you're going to school for, but maybe you could consider looking for volunteer work just to have something to put on a resume. Also, you can meet people without the pressure of being someone's employee. If you volunteer at a local shelter or school or even a church event, you could work on the initial step of working with others, and it might not seem as scary since it won't be as formal as a job. Once you get more comfortable working with others (and doing a good deed along the way) you will have more confidence.

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Dorothy in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

89 months ago

mia in Berkeley, Illinois said: I'm 23 years old, and I have no work experience. I'm not lazy; I'm just extremely shy and anxious around people. I find it very difficult to talk to new people, to the point where I haven't had the guts to try getting a job in years. My mind just goes blank on interviews when I'm supposed to tell employers about myself.

I wasn't even worthy of working at Starbucks or the Gap last time I applied. I never heard back... I was 19 the last time I went on a job interview, at a smoothie place. I got the job, but was fired after just a few hours, because I was so nervous dealing with customers, I was screwing up orders left and right. So yeah, that was so brief and disastrous, I don't even count it as my work history.

Anyways, having no experience means I will be unemployable after I finish school. (I still have a couple of years left on my BS in bio)... What are jobs besides food service that don't require any previous experience and not much people skills?

thanks :)

I have the same problem being shy and anxious, and I have been waiting tables for 15 years off and on and also working for temp agencies, I think not knowing what to say at interviews keeps me from getting alot of jobs, but you cant give up and also since I dont want to wait tables the rest of my life that is why I am trying to go into the medical field because I love to help people and I want a career with some good benefits.

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Antonio in Singapore, Singapore

89 months ago

Hi Mia, you might want to do some research on a medical condition called "Social Anxiety."

Many are naturally more shy than others, but when the problem is so severe that it affects the quality of your life, you might be suffering from social anxiety.

You can try to read some articles on the internet regarding this condition. They provide symptoms that you can compare with your own. I hope you are alright but even if you suffer from it, like what mentioned by JLBarron above, it is curable. You just need to see a psychiatrist to begin with.

All the best.

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Jay in San Diego, California

89 months ago

I too am deathly shy. I have a master's degree and somehow I was able to fake being normal through an interview and got a really good job about a year ago. But it takes so much energy to act un-shy that I can't do it all the time. I feel so anxious every day at work, I've been thinking of getting a job at the post office working 11PM - 7AM sorting mail where I can just put on my earphones and not interact with anyone.
You are finishing your bachelor's in biology? It's no fun for people who are shy like us who end up working some crap job, when there are people who are completely stupid but can smooth-talk their way up to the top... Oh well.

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Michelle

89 months ago

I just randomly googled "23 never had a job" and came across this website.I'm the same age as you and have the same issue (among others.) I am also very anxious in unfamiliar situations and worried about screwing up massively which is what has held me back this whole time. I've wanted to work for a long time but waited because I thought I would "feel ready" once I got to be 18. I have been waiting to come to some great ephipany, but I have finally realized that's not going to happen. Its so hard to explain that to people b/c no one can comprehend why I am the way I am and I don't blame them one bit. It's at a point of where I know I *have* to work soon because its just getting worse the older I get and I'm sick of feeling like a worthless waste of space. My main issue is with the interview process. I dont know what to tell them when they ask why I've gone so long without a job. I'm getting embarrassed just thinking about it. I get really bad panic attacks when I'm in high pressure situations like that. I start shaking, my voice cracks, I feel nauseous, I get chest pains and my heart feels like its going to explode or jump out of my chest. The whole 9 yards. Almost all jobs require experience so I'm worried about the rejection because I can't imagine who would actually hire me. The anxiety has affected almost every area of my life and it's crippling and I'm sick of it. I just want to be normal and go about the same mundane crap every other person my age does. I think maybe our first step should be getting some therapy. I thought I would be able to figure this out on my own but it's become apparent to me over the years that its not going to happen without some help. I know this wasnt any help to you but I just wanted to let you know, you arent alone. I wish you a lot of luck. If you come up with a solution, let me know :)

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Tina in Chandler, Arizona

89 months ago

Hello,
I am shy as well. I am 19 years old and just recently got my first real job (besides babysitting years ago). I kinda forced myself to not be shy and just think of getting myself somewhere. Don't limit yourself. I know its hard, it just takes time and some self-healing :) I wish the best for you!

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LP in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

88 months ago

I'm 23 also. I am not big on working for the man, and have social anxiety. I feel lots of pressure in interviews. The whole process seems wrong! People like you with an impressive degree and me with an IQ of 150 but social problems are left in the cold, while slick-talking pampered nitwits get hooked up with the jobs because they have fancy clothes, bleached teeth and connections. I have these problems because I grew up in a house with no one except my mother who is legally insane and was addicted to crack cocaine and alcohol, but there's no way I will be able to tell an interviewer an excuse like that. I've found that I must LIE my butt off in interviews to be taken seriously. I say that I am writing a screenplay and needed to take time off, or that I was shooting a film, or that I am starting my own business. Giving excuses like these gets the interviewer thinking of you as a constructive rather than lazy person. I guess it's bad advice, but it has worked for me the few times I've needed a job.

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Tonb in Anna, Illinois

82 months ago

I am 21, just started college after a few years of what you described. I just finally got my drivers license (I drove a motorcycle only for emergency trips w/o any license <need drivers license to get motorcycle license> because I tend to panic in confined spaces and I am still not comfortable not having full view/being "big". I always felt comfortable with motorcycles,go karts, and atv's for the full range of sight and having an appropiate size (like an extension of myself where as a car is very unnatural and external for me)

I have never had a job myself either, college is my first step (and no clue as to what I want to do). I know anxiety is rough, you may want to apply as a dishwasher or some behind the scene job until you build some confidence. You could also consider working at a video game store where most employees and customers are our age and thus awkard (birds of a feather sort of thing)

One saying that I like is the dog can catch the rabbit if he will cease stopping to take sh*t breaks. Apparently a lot of us get offtrack and the only thing there is to do is wipe off and start to run again a little wiser and lighter :)

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F-Bomb in Los Angeles, California

80 months ago

That's not good advice for her Denise. Mia obviously has some issues to deal with and being couped at home is not going to help.

It may be right for some but not for a 23 year old who is getting ready to enter the workforce.

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hermie in Portland, Oregon

79 months ago

Mia,
A great place to start would be to check out your local library. Apply for a library page position or volunteer, I worked in a library and it's is incredibly easy. You just need to know the alphabet to shelve books. Also there's not too much interaction with the public, but enough to transition your comfort level and ease you into dealing with strangers a little better. A good thing to build your resume too. Working for a government institution is a respectable thing.

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LR in Battle Creek, Michigan

76 months ago

It's comforting to know there is other people in the same situation as me. I'm 19 and never had a job either. Social Anxiety, etc. It also doesn't help that Michigan has the WORST economy in the United States. When I was younger, I thought I could cruise through high school working at McDonald's and then graduate with some experience. I get mad because all my friends have fathers who own a business so they're guaranteed employment.

I just read Employment Group has offices in Illinois. It says you need 6 months work history but they CAN make exceptions sometimes. I think I will call them very soon and check that out. Like other people said try volunteering. I imagine that would look great on a resume. The last thing is don't be ashamed to tell people your situation. They may be in a position to help you.

Hope I could help. All the best!

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Just another number in Chicagoland, Indiana

76 months ago

OK, all you "extremely shy" folks out there who want a job/friends but are having trouble (especially if you are still in college) I IMPLORE YOU to find out who in your area is qualified to do Autism Spectrum Disorder testing and find out if you have Aspergers Syndrome.

A diagnosis won't *change* anything, but it can help you beyond measure in understanding where you are and how to compensate.

I'm 40 and have only recently been screend - but had I known 20 years ago what I know know, there are a TON of things I would have done differently and I most likely wouldn't be in the absurd underemployed position I am in today.

Please, do yourself a favor. Get Screend. Find out whether you are "just" an Introvert or actually have somthing more fundamental that you need to work around/with.

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rg in Spring, Texas

71 months ago

Hey girl, your'e not alone. My situation is worse than yours, I'm 19 and have never had a job, can't drive, and am in college with no major.

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Rf in Shelbyville, Indiana

70 months ago

I feel the same way as you. I'm 20 years old, don't have a license, and have never had a job, and yet, I am in college in my second year with a 3.6 GPA. My social anxiety is so crippling for me. I pretty much hide away in my house. I still live at home with my parents, and I am pretty much afraid to go anywhere. I'm afraid of rejection so bad. I really want to get a job, but I'm just afraid of being embarrassed because of having no references. I have volunteered at a shelter once and have done some community service work for an organization, but that is IT. This is so embarrassing. I just feel like a loser and I don't think anyone is going to hire me. For my program at college I have to get an internship for the summer and I am terrified. I don't know what to even say to them, and they are going to think I am a loser because I have never worked.

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Jocelyn in Fort Collins, Colorado

66 months ago

I'm in a very similar situation right now. I am 21 years old - turning 22 this November. I have never worked a day in my life. All my friends and family think I am lazy, but I am just bad with people. I don't have a "fake" personality, so it's hard for me to bullsh*t, you know? I get really nervous at job interviews and can never think of the right thing to say. I don't get calls back, really. And I'm not very pushy or aggressive. I am shy and passive. I don't want anything fancy, just a simple job where I can make a few bucks to help pay for things!!! My father still pays for my college education and I've already been in school for 4 years. My degree is at least 2 more years away (B.A. in Journalism). I have no sense of direction in my life and my parents are pressuring me to graduate and start my career, but I'll be unemployable when I finally get the damn degree. My husband and I want to start a family and I'm terrified that I will struggle with going back to school. But I don't want to keep going for 5 years only to flunk out of college with nothing. I started college thinking I was going to be a Wildlife Biologist but kept failing classes each semester. So I switched to a major centered around something I can do well: write. But unfortunately telling people you're good at writing will not get you a newspaper or magazine job. Knowing somebody might, but I don't know anybody. Too shy. My advice to you is baby steps, as several people above had said. Take it easy, try to get comfortable around people. Also, try to get connections and meet a lot of people at parties, events, etc. They say it's not what you know but who you know and I think there is a lot of truth to that. Employers would rather hire their friends and family than complete strangers.

My parents don't get off my back about getting a job, and I really don't know what to do about it. My husband works, so I feel secure enough for the time being. But I feel like a slacker. =(

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georgebuffet in London, United Kingdom

66 months ago

mia in Berkeley, Illinois said: I'm 23 years old, and I have no work experience. I'm not lazy; I'm just extremely shy and anxious around people. I find it very difficult to talk to new people, to the point where I haven't had the guts to try getting a job in years. My mind just goes blank on interviews when I'm supposed to tell employers about myself.

I wasn't even worthy of working at Starbucks or the Gap last time I applied. I never heard back... I was 19 the last time I went on a job interview, at a smoothie place. I got the job, but was fired after just a few hours, because I was so nervous dealing with customers, I was screwing up orders left and right. So yeah, that was so brief and disastrous, I don't even count it as my work history.

Anyways, having no experience means I will be unemployable after I finish school. (I still have a couple of years left on my BS in bio)... What are jobs besides food service that don't require any previous experience and not much people skills?

thanks :)

Hi There !!

Each employer will expect their employees should be bold enough for any type of job. So you much try to be bold. Or you can try going for any personality development classes, it will help you much.

Hope it helps :)

Regards,
George Buffet

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Setto in Japan

66 months ago

No matter how "effective job search" you have, no matter how great your "resume and cover letter" are, there are only M jobs there but N job-seekers, where M<<N. Therefore, (N-M) people will not find job, period.

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Software Janitor in New Brunswick, New Jersey

66 months ago

Sounds like you may have Avoidant Personality Disorder, look it up online and see if you identify with the symptoms. You can also do an online test or two to determine your Myers-Briggs personality type; they often list some professions that are good choices for each personality. Unfortunately most jobs require some minimal level of people skills but there are definitely better options than the customer-facing jobs you tried. Security guard seems a decent option, especially if you don't mind working graveyard shift.

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DanaJ

66 months ago

Oh my god, OP, you're me. I think this whole experience is changing me, however. Yesterday, I crashed a lawyer's office and requested an internship, when a few months ago, I was loathe to even return a dress at the customer service desk.

Are you good with numbers or technology? If so, there's many opportunities to do work in the type of environment that you -- and I -- desire. Perhaps you could work in a lab doing research after you get your degree, somewhere where new, strange people aren't coming up to you, asking questions and making demands all of the time. You're a biology major... have you thought of pursuing a graduate degree? Even more research opportunities would be available to you, and there would be more career mobility in the future.

Tycovka, you don't have to look into the eyes, you can look at another, somewhat close part of their face and it'll have a similar effect. I don't like eye contact, because it seems like I'm staring after a while, and it seems unnerving, so that's what works for me -- I also can't drive.

Charlie -- I know how you feel. I'm learning Spanish, and my introversion is intensified when speaking in a language that's not my own, because I'm used to being fairly good with words, and my thoughts flow more freely in my native language. It's almost like starting over. Also, I worry a lot about being possibly misunderstood or percieved as slow. You just have to keep in mind that you're widening your intellectual horizon, paving the way to better and more varied opportunities for yourself, and you can learn a lot from screwing up. Often, the thing I remember the most as years pass is the thing that was the hardest to learn... because I went over it and over it and over it, and kept screwing it up until I got it right.

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DanaJ

66 months ago

Also, don't be disheartened. If you look around at the other posts here, you'll see that not hearing back from employers is part of the game -- personally, I think it's better than the college rejection form letter thing, which is obviously a reciept for the application fee. What everyone wants -- a respectful, courteous dismissal and/or an honest, thorough explanation of what I/you/they were lacking as a candidate that made them choose someone else -- is almost impossible to deliver, due to the sheer volume of applicants that the average hiring manager has to deal with, the time constraints placed on them by their bosses, and confidentiality agreements that they have to sign. Maybe it happens that way with executive positions, but not in entry-level/mid-level world where the vast majority of people are, because... well, the vast majority of people are there. I know it's extremely difficult not to take it to heart, but it's best if you don't. They're not rejecting you as a person, because they don't really know you at the application/resume point.

Tykovka "I got a job at a Borders once ny telling them I thought books were too expensive and that their displays look like "commercial propaganda" or something dumb." Lol... that's great. I'm beginning to think that I'm like Nurse Jackie -- "Quiet and mean, those are my people."

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DanaJ

66 months ago

Oh, it's "Tykovcka". I mangled the hell out of that, in retrospect. Sorry.

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mia in IL in Chicago, Illinois

60 months ago

Hey guys, this is the OP... I really appreciate all the responses!! And I'm relieved that I'm not the only person who has this problem.

So yeah, I'm in a bind again and could use some advice... See, I've just turned 26, have had my degree for months, and I've still only had less than 5 months experience at any kind of employment (a retail job I got through a friend.) I'm unemployed again and currently afraid to even submit applications for jobs at retail and food service. My problem is not so much social anxiety anymore but embarrassment over my lack of experience. I don't think I could even get interviews.

Since my original post, I've made some strides against my social anxiety. I don't avoid socializing as much, and I've been doing volunteer work for different nonprofits, which has helped me be more comfortable around people in a work environment. However, none of what I did at these places will be relevant experience to the type of job I'm looking for, which is in retail (I know I have no chance at jobs in my field right now and have to start at the bottom).

Would most retail employers discriminate against someone my age with so little work experience? I'm assuming they'd prefer to hire a HS or college kid. It's frustrating to be ten years behind everyone else my age, most of whom are settled into a career already, but I have to get over that and move forward.
Also, would it be okay to use family members as references who can pretend they've employed me? I'm uncomfortable asking the people at the volunteer places because I haven't known them long enough, and my employers at my last job didn't like me because I was so shy. I'm not close enough to anyone else to ask them to lie for me.

Sorry for the novel.

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

60 months ago

How about you try substitute teaching. You don't have to worry about failure. You can choose a different job every day. It will help you build up your concept of working, managing time, making decisions.

Keep in mind, we are also in a recession. Getting a job today is like winning the lottery.

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Raph in Bristol, United Kingdom

59 months ago

To have a job is the social benchmark just like what car you drive or whatever, however our real status as successful or failure depends on the challenges we face.

Nobody else cares about whether we are successful or failures, all they care about is our socially percieved success, and this is because they are interested in what your social success can bring them.

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Carol in Madison, Wisconsin

59 months ago

mia in IL in Chicago, Illinois said:

Would most retail employers discriminate against someone my age with so little work experience? I'm assuming they'd prefer to hire a HS or college kid.

Good job on doing better with the social anxiety. I've had social anxiety up until a couple of years ago. It can be overcome!

I don't think retail employers would discriminate against little work experience. Nor would they prefer to hire a H.S. kid. If anything, I'd be more concerned if I was "overqualified" for a position.

Listen - in this economy everyone is trying to get by the best they can. If an interviewer asks anything about lack of experience, say you were a full time student. If you are concerned about working for only five months- the economy is in the crapper and employers know it!! I know of people that have been unemployed for over a year. They just can't find anything.

There is nothing wrong with having volunteer experience. Even if it's not relevant to the job. Employers want to see you are "contributing" to the community etc. And I wouldn't have friends "lie" about being an employer. That could backfire. Just force yourself to get out there and don't worry about rejection. I just graduated as a nurse and couldn't find a job in my home state and I applied to several places and had many interviews. I moved over 1,000 miles away and just got a job yesterday!

From your post, you seem overly worried about what others will think (part of social anxiety). If you need to, get on some medication - (I took Zoloft for a year - it was instrumental in helping me overcome my anxiety)

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Carol in Madison, Wisconsin

59 months ago

mia in IL in Chicago, Illinois said: I'm uncomfortable asking the people at the volunteer places because I haven't known them long enough, and my employers at my last job didn't like me because I was so shy. I'm not close enough to anyone else to ask them to lie for me.

To add- How long do you think you need to know people at the volunteer place before you ask them? I asked a place I was volunteering at if I could use them as a reference and I was still in training and hadn't even started volunteering for them yet. Even after the first week volunteering is fine to ask.

How do you know your previous employers didn't like you because you were shy? Did they tell you that?

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Mary inTampa in Tampa, Florida

59 months ago

I graduated from college in 1981. It was normal for a 23-year-old to have not worked - having either gone to college (Bachelor's), or personal "finding himself" before entering the workforce.

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wing in Wellington, New Zealand

56 months ago

im 27 and have never had a job before because i am exactly like you mia i have an 8 year old son and have been on a benefit since he was born i havent seriously thought about work because im so bad i have anxiety disorder and social phobia and it is crippling.

Im not on a sickness benefit but a solo parents benefit-ive always been too afraid to change my benefit and just this year a bill came out in parliament saying everyone on a benefit has to look for work starting this september/october-ever since it came out ive been worried sick every day what will happen to me-when they find out ive never worked before im scared theyll pick on me and just see as one of those useless satistics who sucks money off the state for doing 'nothing' which is not true at all in my case.

When the bill first came out it had so much support from the public because over here people who take the benefit are just seen as useless no hoper layabouts. which i am niether of those things and never was.
I just happen to have a serious mental illness.Which cannot be cured over night.
I hate to think what people would think of me if they knew i had never worked before.
23 is still young i still remember when i was 23 my son was small and i had bad post natal depression!

I know where youre coming from dont give up youre still young.
(I went to tech after i finished high school at 17,gratuated a year later met my partner and had a child and that was me up until now-it was all unplanned-but isnt that life:( )

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mike in Kingston, Ontario

55 months ago

mia in Berkeley, Illinois said: I'm 23 years old, and I have no work experience. I'm not lazy; I'm just extremely shy and anxious around people. I find it very difficult to talk to new people, to the point where I haven't had the guts to try getting a job in years. My mind just goes blank on interviews when I'm supposed to tell employers about myself.

I wasn't even worthy of working at Starbucks or the Gap last time I applied. I never heard back... I was 19 the last time I went on a job interview, at a smoothie place. I got the job, but was fired after just a few hours, because I was so nervous dealing with customers, I was screwing up orders left and right. So yeah, that was so brief and disastrous, I don't even count it as my work history.

Anyways, having no experience means I will be unemployable after I finish school. (I still have a couple of years left on my BS in bio)... What are jobs besides food service that don't require any previous experience and not much people skills?

thanks :)

i was like that too but the more u do u get over it just like dating girls park ties come perfect

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mike in Kingston, Ontario

55 months ago

the more u talk to people u will get good at it just like dating girls bud

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dillon in Sterling Heights, Michigan

52 months ago

act refined & listen to a lot of macy gray (those two are not inextricable). before you know it you will be as happy as a clam. i am one of the most socially hamstrung people i can think of. i may even have asperger's syndrome. but the job market does not frighten me, nosir. and do you know why? because i followed my 12-step program word for word and read dale carnegie's sexy "how to win friends & influence people."

all jokes aside there are a few basic techniques that you might find effective. manifest some enthusiasm. spare overlong anecdotes. try a little method acting. consider what types of questions will be asked. become a confident beast.

also do not attempt any kind of mental satisfaction. the point here is, a few of you may be taking yourselves (& other people) too seriously. it's not that big of a deal. shrug a little. you have a legacy to begin today, folks. today!

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Hundredand in Centerville, Utah

50 months ago

I know how you feel. I'm 19 and have only had one job at an Arby's. I worked in the back for three months mostly doing dishes, the grill, and closing at the end of the day. I did alright and got everything done on time, but once they moved me to drive-thru everything changed. I got so nervous and I kept messing up orders. I was fired after a week. I tried to get them to move me back to my former position, but they said they wanted their employees to be "well-rounded". Anyways, I'm going to college right now and I'm lucky enough to have parents that will support me until I can find another job. So yeah, you're not alone and I hope you can find a job that's right for you. Good luck.

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frustrated-phd in San Francisco, California

50 months ago

Become a recruiter!

From what I've experienced, most recruiters have neither people or technical skills.

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dancenanny in Cary, North Carolina

49 months ago

I'm 23. I live at home. I finished school and discovered that I am not meant to do what I studied AT ALL. I have been miserable for over a year doing part time jobs that involve working with kids and helping people and teaching some recreational classes. I have met a guy and have lied to him about my living and working conditions because I am ashamed. Now I can't really see past today. I take medication to sleep and if I don't take it I'm up for hours. I don't know what I am trying to contribute here. All I'm saying is that at least you have a degree that will enable you to continue to a field biology-nursing or biology-dental, whatever you want. I would kill to be able to be a nurse or a teacher or something good. You should not worry about being shy, it could just mean that you are kind in spirit and being out spoken is too overwhelming for your sweet nature. Just a thought. Anyway, I personally believe in God and he is all that keeps me waking up in the mornings. Best of Luck.

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hopeless in seattle in seattle

49 months ago

To Mia And LP,

I understand your situation, but capitalized on being young and improve your social skills.

It is true that "slick-talking pampered nitwits get hooked up with the jobs because they have fancy clothes, bleached teeth and connections" and beautiful people have great advantage over people who don't posses this vanity. I myself has burden to overcome. I am a retired US military with 24 years of service and working experience. Also with a college degree, completing another one and years of training. I thought my military service, experience and education will give me an edge in seeking employment. I just recently applied for a job that i have been doing for 24 years while I am in the service. I did not get the job. Again I thought my experience and education is my ticket... Well, the reality slapped me square in the face and woke me up. You see, the problem is, I am a minority with an accent, which I know is my disadvantage. Regardless of my accomplishments, it will not matter, If I can not present myself like a used car salesman. Thats life...like it or not, it will not change. I have to adapt or hope someday an employer can see past my color and accent, and value my skills and experience instead.

One of the many things I like about the military is it gives fair opportunity to everyone. The military will let you prove yourself first without prejudice. It is up to you to take the challenge. Maybe you can consider this career...goodluck!

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