What do I do in this situation?

Get new comments by email
You can cancel email alerts at anytime.
Comments (13)

J. in Calgary, Alberta

18 months ago

I'm trying to get back in the workforce after quite a long absence (almost 7 years, due to medical and legal reasons), but I'm having some trouble with this. I want to work, but due to several factors this is really hard.

1. I only have outdated and minimal work experience. I have only had 2 jobs before, and worked both of them when I was in highschool. One was a seasonal volunteer position, the other was a temporary work experience program run through my school. Neither was a paid job.

2. I have a criminal record, and I can't get a pardon for it for another 4.5 years. This is sort of related to why I was out of work, but not directly. Long story short: I was court ordered go see a psychiatrist who ended up overmedicating me and putting me in a coma for a few years.

3. I am not a people person. I can count the number of friends I've had in my life on one hand. I cannot work a job where I'm constantly dealing with people (eg. Customer Service); I have tried this in the past, and it didn't last even half a week at either job (Tim Hortons and some telemarketing company). Because of this I am pretty bad at interviews.

4. No references. I have tried getting in contact with my old references, but they are impossible to get a hold of. After 7+ years, all of them have moved on in one way or another. On top of that, I don't really have anyone to use as a personal reference (again, I am not a people person).

I have been trying to find work over half a year now, and been completely unsuccessful. I've gotten a few interviews, but none of them have been very successful for various reasons. I've asked a few job counselors, but the most serious answer I have ever gotten is "create your own job" or "just keep trying".

So, what should I do?
Freelance online work?
Create my own job/business?
Just keep trying?

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Bluetea in Texas

18 months ago

Start your own business. Seven years without a job, regardless of the story, makes you pretty much unemployable.

Sorry for the tough love.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No (2) Reply - Report abuse

J. in Calgary, Alberta

18 months ago

Bluetea in Texas said: Start your own business. Seven years without a job, regardless of the story, makes you pretty much unemployable.

Sorry for the tough love.

Yeah, I figured as much.

If you were to start your own (first time) business, would you say that it's better to start an online business, or a small local business?

Tough love is better than no love!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

Bluetea in Texas

18 months ago

J. in Calgary, Alberta said: Yeah, I figured as much.

If you were to start your own (first time) business, would you say that it's better to start an online business, or a small local business?

Tough love is better than no love!

Online. Cheaper but more competitive. Its not my specialty but online you compete on 1. uniqueness or 2. pricing.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois

18 months ago

I hate to say it, but networking is your best bet. Tell everyone you know you need a job. Any job. Tell them to tell others you need a job. You have to take ANYTHING you can get with the history you volunteered. Many of us here without your history have had difficulty getting jobs. Also, sign up at temp agencies. It's BS but it could lead to something. You have to start somewhere.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

18 months ago

J. in Calgary, Alberta said: I've asked a few job counselors, but the most serious answer I have ever gotten is "create your own job" or "just keep trying".
Job counselors are worthless. You'll hear the same platitudes from every one of them.

Starting your own business might be your best bet in time. In the meantime, take anything. You have no choice. Also see if you can have your court record sealed or at least minimized.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

J. in Calgary, Alberta

18 months ago

Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado said: Job counselors are worthless. You'll hear the same platitudes from every one of them.

Starting your own business might be your best bet in time. In the meantime, take anything. You have no choice.


Thanks.

Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado said: Also see if you can have your court record sealed or at least minimized.

I tried, and can't. I need to wait another 4.5 years.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Coaching Matrix in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

18 months ago

It is many individuals dream to have their own business, however...you need to follow YOUR dreams. It sounds like you have been away for a while so I am sure you have goals in mind. The question is - what are they? Don't make the mistake of letting others tell you what to do for a job, that would be like telling someone whom to marry. What are you good at? What are things that always sparked interest in you? What do you picture yourself being in 2 years? There are many questions you can ask yourself and only you will know the answer to, the potential is there you just need to unlock it. Remember - your potential is measured by your attitude!

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (4) / No (3) Reply - Report abuse

Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

18 months ago

What I wrote, above, about job counselors and their platitudes.

The OP is in a real predicament. He/she needs REAL advice....something tangible that he/she can implement immediately. Not the above vague nonsense.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

J. in Calgary, Alberta

18 months ago

He.

Honestly, I kind of feel like scrapping the whole job search for now. Even temp agencies are getting quite strict with some of their policies, especially in regards to criminal records. I'm kind of wary of doing that because of the fact that I know very little about starting my own business, whether it's online or local. While having my own business would be extremely ideal, I don't know if it's practical right now; though the development of technology certainly makes for some interesting possibilities.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes / No Reply - Report abuse

Unemployed Paralegal in Denver, Colorado

18 months ago

One thing you certainly should do is finish your education. Jobseekers have few circumstances they can control; education is one of them. In that case, maybe your PO or similar person can help.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No Reply - Report abuse

Parafreegal in Chicago, Illinois

18 months ago

I find the "start your own business" answer to not be worth much. It's easy to say but not so easy to do. Otherwise everyone would do it.

You won't like the answers here, OP. It's hard for all of us. And we don't have criminal records. But many of us are treated as if we are criminals.

I'll neg vote my post first. :D

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (1) / No (1) Reply - Report abuse

Riot in Ware, Massachusetts

18 months ago

Just to throw out an idea:

Summer is just around the corner. Depending how close to the suburbs you are, if you can come by a used lawnmower, a rake, and a large barrel, you could probably hustle up enough for day to day expenses by doing lawn care. This could buy you some more time until you find a more permanent solution.

- Was this comment helpful? Yes (2) / No Reply - Report abuse

» Sign in or create an account to comment on this topic.