Mid-30s & No Career. What to do? - Page 3 - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #41 of 254 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 09:34 AM
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Well blokt, I think I'm going to challenge you for your crown.

I am well on my way to being a bum. I desperately need and want to have a salaried career, but I am simply stuck in this dead end customer service job.

This SA is a b****! It doesn't help that I look like I'm still in highschool; as you can imagine, this does not help when I go to interviews.......that is IF I get one. Most jobs require "excellent communication skills" which I surely do not possess.

When I was younger, my passion was for art which I was highly discouraged from doing during high school and college. I gave the art thing a shot in college, but I sucked big time!!! It was way too competitive for me and I gave up on myself.

Honestly, I would be happy with a data entry job but can't find any at all. I have no aspirations to work with people in my face all day long, doing presentations, blah blah blah. I do so much better working by myself.
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post #42 of 254 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 09:42 AM
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Actually, I think I top you, though your record is indeed impressive even by SAS standards.

I have done nothing in terms of work nor school since college graduation in May 1995, so 14.5 years of nothing. I'm not aware of any current SAS members who exceed my own record of failure. Very few here are old enough to have over 14 wasted years.

I've never even had a real job. My work experience amounts to being a paper boy from 1985-86 and working with my late brother for a few years as a teen mowing lawns & removing snow. And the last time I worked with him would have been the winter of 1990-91, so I haven't earned a cent from work in the last 19 years.

It's hard to feel like a real man when at age 36 I'm not even qualified to flip burgers at McDonald's, a job frequently held by those who were born while I was in high school.
So how do you spend your time? I have had 22jobs in 20yrs
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post #43 of 254 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 02:13 PM
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Actually, I think I top you, though your record is indeed impressive even by SAS standards.

I have done nothing in terms of work nor school since college graduation in May 1995, so 14.5 years of nothing. I'm not aware of any current SAS members who exceed my own record of failure. Very few here are old enough to have over 14 wasted years.

I've never even had a real job. My work experience amounts to being a paper boy from 1985-86 and working with my late brother for a few years as a teen mowing lawns & removing snow. And the last time I worked with him would have been the winter of 1990-91, so I haven't earned a cent from work in the last 19 years.

It's hard to feel like a real man when at age 36 I'm not even qualified to flip burgers at McDonald's, a job frequently held by those who were born while I was in high school.
I don't know, man... you've been able to live off what you have for 19 years. I think that is pretty impressive if you started with anything less than Gates or Buffett money. Maybe you could look into being a financial planner.

If I recall, you have a degree in finance, right?
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post #44 of 254 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 02:45 PM
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Actually, I think I top you, though your record is indeed impressive even by SAS standards.

I have done nothing in terms of work nor school since college graduation in May 1995, so 14.5 years of nothing. I'm not aware of any current SAS members who exceed my own record of failure. Very few here are old enough to have over 14 wasted years.

I've never even had a real job. My work experience amounts to being a paper boy from 1985-86 and working with my late brother for a few years as a teen mowing lawns & removing snow. And the last time I worked with him would have been the winter of 1990-91, so I haven't earned a cent from work in the last 19 years.

It's hard to feel like a real man when at age 36 I'm not even qualified to flip burgers at McDonald's, a job frequently held by those who were born while I was in high school.
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You're new around here, so you may not know my stunning record of failure. I graduated college in May 1995 and guess how many jobs I've had since then? Hint: it's a very round number. I've done absolutely zero work nor school in the last 12 1/2 years. (I had no jobs during college either.) I haven't even made any attempt to seek work ever. I'm not sure if I'm SAS's record holder, but I have to be very near the top on this measure of failure.

Even applications for crappy fast food jobs give room for your last 4 jobs or so. Am I supposed to put down the paper route I had from ages 12-13? I've got nothing to fill the space.
I'm trying to decide which one is the better answer, lol. I guess the most recent one since you're probably the record holder now.
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post #45 of 254 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 03:00 PM
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Wow. UltraShy: how do you get money if you haven't worked in 14.5 years? Do you come from a rich family? Or are you homeless and go into Mac stores to post on SAS?
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post #46 of 254 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 04:39 PM
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OP, I was in a similar situation, I'm 31 and had a very patchy resume due to SA. But I have now gone back to uni to become a veterinary surgeon. University is full of people going back to school, not just kids out of high school, maybe uni is something you could do, boost your qualifications?

The other thing I've found handy in interviews- I'm an artist also (painter) and when people ask why I was unemployed in that time I just say I took a few years off to focus on painting. No-one's ever had a problem with that answer, I think because it seemed purposeful, rather than if I'd told the truth which was closer to, "I did a bit of drawing but most of the time I sat in front of the tv quietly hating myself."

Remember- everyone, SA and non-SA, exagerrates and omits in interviews and on resumes. It's ok to paint yourself in a flattering way.

Another thing, sometimes it's ok to be a bit honest, if the interviewer seems understanding- I've openly said that my resume wasn't impressive because I'd had some health issues. You don't have to go into specifics and some interviewers actually want to give someone a chance if they think they've had a rough time. I've never been made to feel inferior because of it and the thing to remember is that they're human too. They will have experienced hardship or illness in their lives too and most won't think less of you for it.

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post #47 of 254 (permalink) Old 11-10-2009, 06:41 PM
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Some of the earlier posters in this thread said that they were in their 30s and had lost hope of getting any job because they had never worked and even fast food applications ask you for work references. I can identify with that, because I had the same little problem a few years ago. The solution is simple: lie. Or at least strech the truth a lot.

I was over 30 and never had a job other than a little work on my uncle's hobby farm. (ha ha) When I got my first job, (fast food) I pretty much completely made up the previous employment and references. The only thing that you really need to have is a few phone numbers that you know will never be answered (for your fake references and ex employers). For these low level jobs they probably won't bother to check and even if they do, when no one answers they aren't going to pursue things any farther. They're just "looking for a couple of warm bodies to fill the ranks" as one of my managers said.

Since I got my SA somewhat under control (at 30+) I have been living out my long deferred dream of traveling and doing seasonal work at resorts. For the first couple of jobs I had to be less than truthful to get hired, but it always went off without a hitch. Now I don't need to because I've built up a work history.

Oh, and another thing that had me worried was that employers might balk because of my age, but that wasn't a problem. They never ask your age, and all but one of the applications I have seen (and I've seen a lot) don't ask you to put down your age or any date (eg. high school graduation) that could be used to reveal your age. I'm guessing age discrimination is illegal and their lawyers have told them to stay away from the topic. Looking younger than you are can help here too.

Buisnesses are hiring for the holiday season now, and for anyone who feels up to it this would be a great time to go apply for a few jobs. There will be lots of students, retirees and people in between jobs looking for temp work, so it will be easy to blend in with the crowd. Even if you don't actually end up working, just submitting a few apps and maybe doing some interviews is a great way to test your SA limits and hopefully break through them.
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post #48 of 254 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 08:59 PM
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So how do you spend your time? I have had 22jobs in 20yrs
I have the most stunning ability to waste time. I doubt anyone could manage to do as little as I do in a day. I make a sloth look active by comparison.
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post #49 of 254 (permalink) Old 11-11-2009, 09:03 PM
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I don't know, man... you've been able to live off what you have for 19 years. I think that is pretty impressive if you started with anything less than Gates or Buffett money. Maybe you could look into being a financial planner.

If I recall, you have a degree in finance, right?
Yes, I have a degree in finance and given my education & interests being a financial planner would be an ideal position for me if not prevented by SA.
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post #50 of 254 (permalink) Old 11-16-2009, 02:45 PM
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Holiday season employment is the key


I've also only had a handful of jobs here and there. I have many gaps in my employment history and I'm talking years, not months. But I am getting back into the workforce this Christmas season. I think that's an ideal time to get back in the game for those of us who have SA. I used to work in retail and in a hotel, and let me tell you, they'll take anyone during the holidays.

This is what I did to get my last job a couple of years ago. I applied when they were hiring for the holidays. All they want is a warm body to do the work and they don't give a damn about qualifications and they really don't check them, because they want those warm bodies working as soon as possible so that they can survive the holiday rush. If you're a good worker, nine times out of ten, they will keep you on as a permanent employee. I highly recommend this for SA folks out there with little to no work history.

If you're applying for a job and you can't bring yourself to lie about your work history, do not hesitate to lie about why you haven't been working. The fact is, we won't ever catch a break for having SA so you have to do what you have to do. At my last job, when the person interviewing me asked me about a 4 year gap in my work history, I looked her dead in the eye and told her I was in an abusive relationship and was just now getting on my feet. She called me the next day and I got the job, with a falsified work history and a made up story of abuse.

The majority of people don't know what SA is and if you told them, they would not care or they would take you for a lazy liar. They don't get what we go through and they can't even wrap their minds around it. They don't understand how someone can be so anxious about social interaction that it could keep them from working. But you know what reasons they do understand that could keep one from working? Being in an abusive relationship. Or having to take care of an elderly parent or sick child. Or taking years off to go to school. Tell them what they want to hear and you'll get the job.

But IMO, the key to getting a job if you have a sparse work history, is to go to them at their most vulnerable and desperate, and that is, without question, holiday season.
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post #51 of 254 (permalink) Old 11-16-2009, 06:49 PM
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I have crap work history, dont have any degree and I am also almost 30. I Never liked to go back to school after school so I never did, highschool seemed bad enough. I also have very similiar views as one poster about the slaveshness of it, I dont feel so inclined to take part. So I guess I look really bad but I think its never too late if you want to do something, the key word is want.

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post #52 of 254 (permalink) Old 11-16-2009, 11:35 PM
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I've also only had a handful of jobs here and there. I have many gaps in my employment history and I'm talking years, not months. But I am getting back into the workforce this Christmas season. I think that's an ideal time to get back in the game for those of us who have SA. I used to work in retail and in a hotel, and let me tell you, they'll take anyone during the holidays.

This is what I did to get my last job a couple of years ago. I applied when they were hiring for the holidays. All they want is a warm body to do the work and they don't give a damn about qualifications and they really don't check them, because they want those warm bodies working as soon as possible so that they can survive the holiday rush. If you're a good worker, nine times out of ten, they will keep you on as a permanent employee. I highly recommend this for SA folks out there with little to no work history.

If you're applying for a job and you can't bring yourself to lie about your work history, do not hesitate to lie about why you haven't been working. The fact is, we won't ever catch a break for having SA so you have to do what you have to do. At my last job, when the person interviewing me asked me about a 4 year gap in my work history, I looked her dead in the eye and told her I was in an abusive relationship and was just now getting on my feet. She called me the next day and I got the job, with a falsified work history and a made up story of abuse.

The majority of people don't know what SA is and if you told them, they would not care or they would take you for a lazy liar. They don't get what we go through and they can't even wrap their minds around it. They don't understand how someone can be so anxious about social interaction that it could keep them from working. But you know what reasons they do understand that could keep one from working? Being in an abusive relationship. Or having to take care of an elderly parent or sick child. Or taking years off to go to school. Tell them what they want to hear and you'll get the job.

But IMO, the key to getting a job if you have a sparse work history, is to go to them at their most vulnerable and desperate, and that is, without question, holiday season.
I have applied for some holiday stuff and not heard anything. I saw a story on my local news that most places are on the tail end of their hiring and the average retail store will hire a total of 3 workers. With 10% unemployment, I think S.A. is a great hindrance to even competing for such low level and temporary positions.

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post #53 of 254 (permalink) Old 11-16-2009, 11:39 PM
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Some of the earlier posters in this thread said that they were in their 30s and had lost hope of getting any job because they had never worked and even fast food applications ask you for work references. I can identify with that, because I had the same little problem a few years ago. The solution is simple: lie. Or at least strech the truth a lot.
I see a very simple solution to this and it should be obvious to all of us. We are here for support. So let's support each other with a sort of informal non-profit co-op that serves as a resume booster. We could at least all be self-employed/freelancers and we have a ready pool of talent as well as clients.

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post #54 of 254 (permalink) Old 11-17-2009, 09:27 AM
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I had my first job as a tutor age 17, then in retail age 19 and then banking age 23. At age 24 I left my banking job, literally upped and left, from severe depression. It's been almost 3 years and I haven't even applied for a job in anything.

As the months and years tick by I have no idea what to say to prospective employers.

I also entered uni in 2000, was disheartened by the lack of direction in what I wanted to do ( i basically copied the degree majors of my close friend). I was taken aback by the culture of uni life and it brought my SA and vulnerability to depression out in the open. I have only passed 5 subjects of a potential 26 in a standard 3 year commerce degree. Kept on failing and forfeiting subjects, was suspended for 1 year and then excluded for 2.

All of it was due to simply taking subjects and then literally just forfeiting whole semesters. I have a debt of $15,000 for basically 5 passed subjects (and countless failed non attempts at others), you'd think it was an MBA I was studying seen as though those 5 subjects total $3,000 each in relative cost!

I am now sh1t scared to go back and give uni another shot. I am considering doing off campus/distance study but feel there will be limitations on subject to do and the quality of universities. The uni I went to is top 5 in Australia.

I'm not stupid btw, my IQ is over 140 and I scored in the top 2% out of 70,000 final year high school students in the 1999 exams. I really don't know what I want to do in my life. I'm interested in numbers, finance/money side of things. But I feel as though I have missed the boat.

Most of my old friends are managers, engineers and analysts on 120k+ and all settled down in careers and r'ships.

I'm pretty erratic, I don't really have a set goal or passion in a field. I'm too negative. I prob need to see a career counsellor or just a counsellor in general. I don't like to blame it on anything but I know it's due to Sa and depression and my negative personality. Why else would I not have the motivation to not get up for work (when I was employed), or continually forfeit $800 per subject university courses?

Am I just retarded or is there a reason why I have no drive? I'm meant to go and get my blood test results from the doctor and organise a psychologist as well as go to the optometrist to find some glasses but it's been over 2 weeks now. Why am I procrastinating and saying tommorrow all the time?

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post #55 of 254 (permalink) Old 11-17-2009, 02:54 PM
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I just posted this in the Crickets section because it specifically has to do with my "up there" age, but I figure I might as well put it here too since it's also about frustration and life sucking and all. So, here you go:

Hey, everybody. So I seriously think I may have set an all-time record for lack of participation in the work-force, unless you count career criminals, the mentally retarded and people committed to institutions. I'm in my mid-30s and have no work experience other than a handful of part-time jobs during my college days and one full-time gig seven years ago that lasted just short of a year. I've pretty much given up on having any sort of normal career path by now, not that I was ever very keen on the idea in the first place. I have very little ambition in that regard. The only "productive" thing I'm interested in is art and I've been hopelessly blocked and and stifled in that area for years. Luckily, I have no family to support, so I've been able to just get by monetarily by being extremely frugal and slowly chipping away at a reasonable sum of money I have saved up in a high interest-bearing account. I'm sure I could live like this for at least another decade, but I'm finding it harder and harder to fight off the nagging feeling that I'm wasting my life.

Up to now, I've always relied on a lazy-man's nihilistic attitude about work. I don't put all that much stock in careers as a form of self-fulfillment. I think most people have them just to make money (which is an obvious necessity) and to busy themselves until they can finally retire and die. I fear I might have finally outgrown this particular defense mechanism, however, and perhaps that's a good thing. Hiding from the normal goings-on of society for so many years has really done a number on my psyche. I feel like I can't relate to 99% of humanity anymore and that it would be next to impossible for me to plunge back into the rat race.

Seriously, what would an employer think of someone my age who can barely talk to other people and has a work record with more massive gaps than Canyonlands National Park? So what if I have a B.A., they'll still think I'm a loser/weirdo/psycho because no "normal" person would live they way I have for the past decade-and-a-half. I'd have to struggle painfully to explain myself and that would just be ridiculous. I can barely even talk to people as it is. I know they have special "back-to-work" programs for people recently released from prison and those re-integrating into society after spending time at the state mental facility. Why don't they have such a thing for sensitive people like me who just want to give normal life another shot in as gentle and painless a way as possible? Sadly, I think the only way someone in my position could ever find a job would be to have an "in" somewhere through a friend of family member. Well, I have no friends and my family is incapable of understanding anything about me, so it looks like I'm out of luck.

Anyway, that said, is there anyone else out there who can challenge me for the title of King of the Insanely Avoidant Weirdos? I'd hate to think that I'm really the supreme champion I imagine myself to be. There's gotta be someone else out there at least this *****ed up. Anyone? And any advice? Please help!
What normal anyway bro. I have worked mostly in retail and security and I am 27. I just lost my job 2 months ago I have a hard time finding a job right now I feel out application all week long from monday through thursday. I went to a nursing home today and applied and they told me I need a cna license. I told the manager I am in the process of doing this as I am on a waiting list at the school I applied at. I wish they would have told me that before I filled the whole thing out.
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post #56 of 254 (permalink) Old 11-17-2009, 08:51 PM
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I had my first job as a tutor age 17, then in retail age 19 and then banking age 23. At age 24 I left my banking job, literally upped and left, from severe depression. It's been almost 3 years and I haven't even applied for a job in anything.

As the months and years tick by I have no idea what to say to prospective employers.

I also entered uni in 2000, was disheartened by the lack of direction in what I wanted to do ( i basically copied the degree majors of my close friend). I was taken aback by the culture of uni life and it brought my SA and vulnerability to depression out in the open. I have only passed 5 subjects of a potential 26 in a standard 3 year commerce degree. Kept on failing and forfeiting subjects, was suspended for 1 year and then excluded for 2.

All of it was due to simply taking subjects and then literally just forfeiting whole semesters. I have a debt of $15,000 for basically 5 passed subjects (and countless failed non attempts at others), you'd think it was an MBA I was studying seen as though those 5 subjects total $3,000 each in relative cost!

I am now sh1t scared to go back and give uni another shot. I am considering doing off campus/distance study but feel there will be limitations on subject to do and the quality of universities. The uni I went to is top 5 in Australia.

I'm not stupid btw, my IQ is over 140 and I scored in the top 2% out of 70,000 final year high school students in the 1999 exams. I really don't know what I want to do in my life. I'm interested in numbers, finance/money side of things. But I feel as though I have missed the boat.

Most of my old friends are managers, engineers and analysts on 120k+ and all settled down in careers and r'ships.

I'm pretty erratic, I don't really have a set goal or passion in a field. I'm too negative. I prob need to see a career counsellor or just a counsellor in general. I don't like to blame it on anything but I know it's due to Sa and depression and my negative personality. Why else would I not have the motivation to not get up for work (when I was employed), or continually forfeit $800 per subject university courses?

Am I just retarded or is there a reason why I have no drive? I'm meant to go and get my blood test results from the doctor and organise a psychologist as well as go to the optometrist to find some glasses but it's been over 2 weeks now. Why am I procrastinating and saying tommorrow all the time?

We have a lot of similarities. I had the highest SAT in my high school class. Had some bad grades directly related to SA but otherwise had the highest possible grade. Academic awards, scholarships, only AP exam taker in some subjects, etc. Don't know my actual IQ but I do meet the MENSA requirements for some equivalent tests- like when I took the LSAT as a freshman.

In 12 years of college I have one useless 2 year degree. Been asked to leave or dropped out of multiples schools, maxed out student loans, several leaves of absence,etc.

People I knew in school who had average intelligence and middling grades all seem to have "real" careers and lives. They go on vacations all the time and all that stuff. I am being passed over for minimum wage jobs and just looking to survive.

It's SA, and then the depression caused by SA. At least I think that's the motivation zapper for me.

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post #57 of 254 (permalink) Old 11-21-2009, 12:38 AM
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I'm in a similar position. 27, going on 28. I graduated in Dec 2004 with a useless degree in sociology. It's a long story, but I've basically had no job since then, other than a brief stint delivering pizzas and another working at a sub shop.

The last few years I've been eking out an existence with an internet-based business, hoping to pursue more meaningful artistic endeavors which have never materialized.

After a bad episode with some antidepressant drugs, the business is gone, and I've just had to move back in with my parents, all the way across the country. I have no friends, no connections, and no clue as to what to do. I've tried applying for a couple of jobs, but they tend to look at my "self-employment" as "unemployment."

A previous poster mentioned teaching english as a second language abroad. That actually has some appeal to me, but I have no idea as to how to get started. I imagine you have to have some kind of certification? Anyone know anything about this?
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post #58 of 254 (permalink) Old 11-21-2009, 08:13 PM
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I'm in a similar position. 27, going on 28. I graduated in Dec 2004 with a useless degree in sociology. It's a long story, but I've basically had no job since then, other than a brief stint delivering pizzas and another working at a sub shop.

The last few years I've been eking out an existence with an internet-based business, hoping to pursue more meaningful artistic endeavors which have never materialized.

After a bad episode with some antidepressant drugs, the business is gone, and I've just had to move back in with my parents, all the way across the country. I have no friends, no connections, and no clue as to what to do. I've tried applying for a couple of jobs, but they tend to look at my "self-employment" as "unemployment."

A previous poster mentioned teaching english as a second language abroad. That actually has some appeal to me, but I have no idea as to how to get started. I imagine you have to have some kind of certification? Anyone know anything about this?
Same boat here. I have tried multiple businesses and managed to eek out a living. Some bad choices and depression have pretty much destroyed what little business I had. I also experience the self employment as unemployment perception. Yet I have spent years working more hours than most people with "real jobs."

I also have a lack of connections in the area. The bad thing for me is I now I have a family- that I started while self-employment was OK and I had savings. This included moving away from any little connections I did have.

If you are interested maybe we could discuss our internet businesses? Is yours still going to any extent or is it completely done?

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post #59 of 254 (permalink) Old 11-21-2009, 08:30 PM
 
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go to job and career fairs , network with old friends and keep a look out in the classified section of your newspaper for job advertisements
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post #60 of 254 (permalink) Old 11-21-2009, 10:50 PM
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go to job and career fairs , network with old friends and keep a look out in the classified section of your newspaper for job advertisements
My local local papers have not had a job ad in months, probably. They might have 1 every once in awhile but very specific with very specific qualifications ( must have 5-7 years experience doing x,y,z and work for no money,etc). The bigger city newspaper used to have a huge section for jobs. it is now 3 pages and mostly in a couple categories.

These days, it's knowing people or finding unconventional ways to make money. And even the couple people I kinda know- well I won't even get started on that and won't say publicly.

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