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Job Skills Job advice needed please

  1. Mar 13, 2016 #1
    Unfortunately; none of my job positions start until AT LEAST the Fall 2016 semester at the community college I'm attending. I'm in an urgent need of a job (at least part-time) because;

    - I need to upgrade/purchase 2 new laptop computers; 1 of which will be a Macbook Pro. The second one has to be something like Origin PC or some high-end PC computer.
    - My remedial 5 hour class for driving is coming up within 2-3 weeks. I need my driver's liscense soon so I can legally get a car (when I get a job -- need one FAST)
    - college tuition/book/lab fees are only going to go up (common knowledge)
    - Money to MAINTAIN everything (both car & computers)

    I also require a job position ASAP because I might be taking my first engineering classes at the College I attend in this coming Fall 2016 semester. I require the software SolidWorks with the new computer(s). My parents (who are already paying for college for me), obviously can't afford the software program & my actual employment job offers don't start until the Fall (or whenever). In other words; by the time I have the financial things to be able to pay for everything myself, it's going to be too late, that's the problem.

    I went job hunting for pretty much half of the day yesterday. Either no one's hiring right now, or I have to apply online for it & has to go through corporate offices/HR which is a hassle.

    I've been getting nothing but "Nasty grams" from companies saying I'm not qualified for the jobs.

    I'm just looking for something "stupid", like Dunkin Donuts or SOME THING to get myself going.

    If I can't find something (paid) by the Summer -- I might be screwed/in deep trouble.

    Thanks to anyone who has any tips on how to work around this "catch 22".
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 13, 2016 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    A) Half a day spent looking for work does not seem very long to me.

    B) You should add up all the things you "need" (don't forget taxes!), and divide it by the number of hours you intend to work and get a minimum hourly wage. I suspect you will discover that part-time work at Dunkin Donuts doesn't cover it. You might think about how many "needs" are really "wants".
     
  4. Mar 13, 2016 #3
    Yea, but it should at least make a solid dent in the amount required to make the final purchase so when I start work-study, I will be able to cover everything (or the vast majorities) myself.
     
  5. Mar 13, 2016 #4
    Plus I'm doing part 2 of the job hunt today. I exhausted most businesses for picking up job apps yesterday. Dropping them off today.
     
  6. Mar 13, 2016 #5

    SteamKing

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    Looks like you've got some choices to make.

    Why do you need two computers? Aren't computers now capable of doing just about everything the budding student needs to do, like running cutting edge design software and storing recipes, tweeting, whatever?

    Remedial driving class, huh? Did you do something naughty with your previous car? Getting a car, assuming you pass your license/driving test is only the first expense. You'll need to budget for gas/maintenance and insurance, which may not be cheap, depending on where you live, the kind of car you drive, and your previous driving history. Your age will also drive the premiums up. If you can dispense with owning a car while in school, do it. Unless you deliver pizzas with it in your spare time, it will just be a money-suck.
     
  7. Mar 13, 2016 #6
    No. I've never owned a car before. I need 2 computers (Mac & PC) Mac for IT Program, PC for Electrical Engineering Minor
     
  8. Mar 13, 2016 #7

    SteamKing

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    Can't you get software which can run on either system? What S/W for an EE minor do you need that doesn't run under Mac and PC?
     
  9. Mar 13, 2016 #8
    I've heard of WineTricks. I can just run that on the Mac to emulate solidworks on the mac.
     
  10. Mar 13, 2016 #9
    I'm going to say something harsh, but I have to say it:

    Lack of planning is nobody's fault but yours.

    You have know where all the money is going to come from. That's a life skill. It is not a trivial thing.

    Consider looking for employment at a local utility. They always need meter readers and the like. They don't tend to advertise except on their own web sites.
    There may also be some paid internships still open. Many are available only to engineering students. The fact that you own and drive a car is a good start.

    Looking for half a day at a local doughnut shop may pay the bills for a little while, but it is not a good long term choice for employment.
     
  11. Mar 13, 2016 #10

    Choppy

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    You could consider some self-employment options. For example, you could try looking for odd jobs: spring cleaning, mowing lawns, painting fences, junk removal, dog-walking, babysitting, general house cleaning, etc. I know this doesn't come with the same kind of stability that a minimum wage job offers in terms of hours (which therefore allow you to plan out your budget), but the advantage is that you can often charge more than minimum wage because the jobs can be physically demanding, and you get to set your own hours. It also allows you to work in your own neighbourhood.

    You could also look at your current skill set to see if there is anything a little more marketable. For example if you're an IT student, you could set yourself up as a "Friendly Neighbourhood Computer Nerd" and offer services such as setting up or upgrading home computers.
     
  12. Mar 13, 2016 #11

    Vanadium 50

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    This. In fact, it's so important you should read this again.

    You are talking, with the car, a bare minimum of about $10,000. That's $12,000 after taxes. At $9.25 an hour, this is 1300 hours. If you work 20 hours during the school year (the maximum recommended), and 40 hours over the summer, this is one years' income, assuming zero other expenses.

    I am surprised that a Mac is required for an IT major. So surprised that if this is true, I would recommend going elsewhere for your degree. I would be more surprised if they require a brand new Macbook Pro and not an Air or a decent used system. Similarly, I am surprised that a EE minor requires a high-end gaming computer. Same level of surprise.
     
  13. Mar 13, 2016 #12
    So, in other words, I'm reading all this.... you're basically (most of you), are saying I'm basically screwed?
     
  14. Mar 13, 2016 #13

    SteamKing

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    Not necessarily. But you do have some tough choices to make. It doesn't look like you're going to be able to afford two dedicated computers where other students get by with one, or invest in a car without having either a job or some significant financial support from the 'rents or other family members.
     
  15. Mar 13, 2016 #14
    Should I be taking the Fall '16 semester off for work at school is what your opinion on the workaround is?
     
  16. Mar 13, 2016 #15
    Make a financial plan. Don't try to find work that pays well at the last minute. If you get lucky and find such work, congratulations, save the remainder for the inevitable "rainy day."

    You can change that plan at any time. But you have to know where your money will come from.
     
  17. Mar 13, 2016 #16

    Choppy

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    It would probably help to focus first on getting "a" job. One of the basic rules in life is that you need some kind of income. Once you have that, you can decide on a budget and figure out what you can get with what you're earning. And if what you have isn't going to get you what you want, you can upgrade to something better.

    The workaround for many students is to get a loan or a line of credit. Government based ones tend to be more specifically for tuition and living expenses, not so that you can buy a car and two laptops, but many banks will offer a student line of credit. You have to be careful with this however. It's banking on the idea that you'll end up with a high-paying job after university and ultimately it will make the things you want now cost more later.

    Once you figure all of this out, then you can make a decision on whether it's important enough for you to buy these things immediately that delaying your studies by a semester or a year is necessary.

    But you have over five months between now and September - that's not an unreasonable amount of time to save up some cash. Start out by getting "a" job. Be careful about commitments when you do this - you don't want to burn bridges. Once you have that, you're in a better position to look for "the" job.
     
  18. Mar 13, 2016 #17

    Student100

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    You don't need two computers, nor do you need high end computers to run software packages. Get a decent desktop PC, they're cheaper, allow emulation, and generally upgrade-able. Do your assignments at home in front of said computer.

    You also don't need to buy the retail version of SolidWorks. If it's required for classes your university probably has discounted student packages/maybe even free student licences to give out/or computers that have the software on them available to you.

    You also don't need a car, but you can probably find a cheap salvage title for pennies on the dollar if you look hard enough. My first car was a Pontiac Sunfire I picked up for 1200 dollars. I also adopted the motto "till the wheels fall off", which occurred around 200K miles.

    Where have you been applying to, and how are you applying that is causing companies to not only reject you, but reject you in a nasty way?

    Apply online then! That's the way almost everyone does it. If you consider submitting an online resume a hassle, then I'd hate to see how you actually work at a job.
     
  19. Mar 13, 2016 #18

    Student100

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  20. Mar 13, 2016 #19
    I live walking distance from a bunch of businesses: Including some of the following:

    - a computer repair shop I used to intern at (they're willing to hire/take me back)
    - Wegman's grocery store
    - a bunch of smaller restaurants
    - a stereo/TV/electronics shop
    - another electronics repair store walking distance away
    - wal-mart, a gym, and a bunch of other places (walking distance)

    - going to apply to the of the coffee shops at the college I'm going to. It's not considered "work study". It's a permanent job. Also the food company that contracts with my college: Sodexo. I'm more likely to get the job at the on-campus coffee shop that's NOT work study as a fallback/backup job. I won't be at the school tomorrow because my only class is cancelled for tomorrow. So I'm looking at Tuesday morning (this coming) to sit down & chat with the manager of the college's coffee shop. Hopefully he'll be able to fit me in even for an hour or 2 just to get me going.
     
  21. Mar 13, 2016 #20

    Student100

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    Ok?
     
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