What to do when stuck in a dead end job?

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by pokey07, Nov 17, 2011.

  1. pokey07

    pokey07 Senior member

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    I've been in the same position for 2 years, and I'm clearly not going anywhere. I have a degree in economics but my job uses 0% of it. I haven't really been able to develop any marketable skills besides getting better with access and excel. I'm just completely lost on where to go from here. Any advice?
     


  2. landshark

    landshark Senior member

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    A description of your job would help. But generally, you have a few options:

    1. Start your own business
    2. Look for a new job at another company
    3. Find out what it takes to get a promotion and do it
    4. Complacency
     


  3. landshark

    landshark Senior member

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    ...
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2011


  4. blackstone

    blackstone Well-Known Member

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    quit or come and work for me.
    i need an economist to help out with stress testing!
     


  5. pokey07

    pokey07 Senior member

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    Sorry, I'm hesitant about describing my job because it's such a niche position.

    I should have also mentioned I've been applying to jobs for about 4 months, and have not received a single interview. I've thought about going back to school, but the last thing I wanna do is dump more money into school just to end up right back here.

    As for promotions, the upward mobility here is extremely limited. Extremely.
     


  6. CYstyle

    CYstyle Senior member

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    Have you had people look at your resume? How are you finding and applying for jobs?
     


  7. otc

    otc Senior member

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    You can't describe your job but you don't do anything but get slightly better at excel and access?
    Seems to me anything that was super-niched to the point where you are afraid to talk about it on the internet would involve something more than [GENERIC OFFICE WORKER SKILLSET].

    Also most jobs use 0% of your undergraduate degree and excel is a super marketable skill (although everyone says it so it is hard to prove that you are better)
     


  8. pokey07

    pokey07 Senior member

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    I have had multiple people look at my resume, and almost got to the point of someone paying to fix it. I think it looks fine at this point though. I've been applying to jobs I find on careerbuilder, indeed, etc. I have been trying to use my network, and I actually got one phone interview but even I can admit I was extremely unqualified for the position. I still tried to do as much research as I could, but it didn't work out.


    It's more like I'm afraid to describe it because of an irrational fear that someone I work with is on here. Trust me, it's not impressive.
     


  9. Lord-Barrington

    Lord-Barrington Senior member

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    Do everything you can to find a job at a bigger company where you can actually move around and up. Mobility in a small company or small business unit is usually nonexistent or extremely slow due to lack of openings.
     


  10. CYstyle

    CYstyle Senior member

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    I made the mistake of over utilizing careerbuilder and indeed.com etc too. It's actually better to go straight to company websites and search jobs. It takes longer, but if you know several big companies in your area or are in your field it may be easier. The reason being, those job websites are full of spam bots, spamming fake jobs, plus shady job agencies flood it with their crap as well. But the other thing is those job sites usually have a bot that harvest's open positions are websites, and relists from other sites etc. So by the time it gets on Indeed.com or Careerbuilder it could be immediately, or a week after the company posted a position by the time which hundreds of people may have applied.

    the other thing too is it's just a tough job market currently.
     


  11. Lord-Barrington

    Lord-Barrington Senior member

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    That's for sure. It's tough for everyone out there right now. Searching for 4-5 months with no bites isn't really out of the norm, especially for someone with only a couple years of experience. Just keep looking and try to figure out what you want to do and where you want to live. That's another important point -- you maye get to the point where you say "Fuck it! I'll take anything, even if it's in Tulsa!" When you get to that point (unless you actually want to live in Tulsa) back away from the ledge. It's not worth it.
     


  12. Joffrey

    Joffrey Senior member

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    I was in this position 3-4 years ago. Working for a shitty government consultancy with a shitty government agency client on a shitty project. Underpaid and overqualified for the work. Took my two and a half years of looking to get my current job. This was during a not so bad economy (part of 2006, all of 2007 and 2008). Out of 50 applications during the period (I knew what I wanted), I got maybe 5 interviews. Finally I got this one which nearly doubled my salary, was very much in line with my interests, I was unqualified for but my boss wanted me to grow into it, definitely not dead end (at least until the hiring freezes), etc. There were definitely periods before I found this gig that I thought I'd die at my old job. In hindsight I learned a lot while there and made lasting friendships.

    Anyway OP, you need to define for yourself what you want. What industry, what kind of work? Then go after it. Do whatever you can at your current position to learn and hone new skills. Volunteer for random projects (this will give you things to note on your resume or web applications, build good will with potential referrals plus prevent you from losing energy). Start going to panel discussions, networking events related to your interests. Keep using your contacts from school. They may not have gigs of interest for you right now or at all but it will keep you engaged with other professionals and you never know what may open up down the line.

    Given the economy, imagine you will be at your current position for the next year for instance. What do you want your resume to say, or your experience to be by then? If you're pretty good at Access and Excel, any way to become advanced by then? Etc.
     


  13. thenanyu

    thenanyu Senior member

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    Learn python really well, and then work for BAML. They need python-equipped analysts and can't find any.
     


  14. Blackhood

    Blackhood Senior member

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    Create value in your own life.

    Start a new hobby. When I was stuck in a bad job I joined Toastmasters (Public speaking groups) 2 pub quiz teams, started writing my book, and took the chance to get healthy by running every morning. I was so busy outside of work, that the day job constituted just a tiny part of my life.

    If you have no commitment to your job they utilise the time and facilities. Start a blog, and write at least a post every day.

    Make a case for your company funding personal development - conferences, training, networking events. Sell it to them as a skill-set building program then just use it for your own means.

    Also, if you're not getting any results from your C.V application then try mixing it up. If you're really serious about getting a new job then just go batshit-crazy with your methods. Some ideas:

    Hire a billboard with your face on it saying "Can you hire this man?"
    Make "Wanted" posters, with a picture of you and something along the lines "Do you have a need for a create, determined [BLANK CAREER]?"
    Print out your CV and put it under the wind shield wiper of any luxury car you see.
    Create a video website a la Barney Stinson


    Basically, being stuck in a job is a choice. You could dedicate like $1,000 to yours search and have a new job in 6 weeks. If you don't have that money, then make your life more fun until you've saved it up.
     


  15. pokey07

    pokey07 Senior member

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    Yeah, that's exactly my problem right now. It's not a horrible company at all, but you see people being promoted after 8 years and it's just not worth it. My plan is to get into a bigger company, so hopefully that works out at some point...


    Yeah, I've been using direct job sites too. I'm pretty good at avoiding the fake and shady jobs, but I have gotten a call from a few. I have been able to find a couple of recruiters on careerbuilders though, so that's a plus.


    Haha, duly noted. I do keep forgetting that things are just shitty right now.


    Thanks. It's nice to hear about someone who was able to get where they wanted to be after a dead end position.

    And part of my issue is that I don't know what industry or what kind of work I want to do. I work in healthcare right now. I've been applying to pharma/healthcare jobs just because that's what I guess I'm most qualified for. While in school it was either finance or law school. I didn't/don't have the credentials to get a finance gig, so I was going to go to law school. And law wasn't the best investment at the time because... well we all know that story


    I've actually been trying to teach myself python after work. Currently using "Learn Python The Hard Way," and about halfway through it. Do you have any other recommendations for learning the language?


    Haha, lots of great ideas here! Thanks
     


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