Finding a job can be hard work

Jobs in the service sector tend to be easiest to find.

By Aric Davis

“I check Monster every day, but nothing yet,” says Cathy McGuirk, a soon-to-be-unemployed working professional. This is the job situation that many people face each and every day, and there aren’t many signs of things changing anytime soon. “I’m one of the lucky ones,” says Bryan Palumbo, “my unemployment just got renewed again.” Palumbo was a carpenter and project manager before the company he worked for closed their doors.

This is the harsh reality of today’s economy: Good people, hard-working people, look for jobs but can’t find them.

With the national unemployment rate hovering around 10 percent, it’s a tough time to be graduating from college. Those who receive their Fitchburg State College diplomas next month will be venturing out into the real world, looking for jobs to pay off the bills from their student loans. What are they likely to find?

A recent local job search showed that there are jobs out there. Job-search website Monster.com listed more than 5,000 jobs in the Boston area, while Craigslist yielded a similar number. However, among the first 100 Monster.com listings, more than 70 percent asked for two or more years of experience. Only 16 percent were entry-level positions, and most of these didn’t even require a bachelor’s degree. Thirteen percent of the jobs listed were temporary positions, lasting anywhere from three months to a year.

Bleak as it may seem, there are jobs out there.

One recent graduate of Fitchburg State College, who wishes to remain nameless, is paying her bills now the same way as she did while attending school – she’s bartending and waiting tables. This wasn’t her idea of a dream job, but at least she had something to fall back on.

Looking for a job in the retail or service industry is a simple game of numbers: The more applications you fill out, the more likely you are to get an interview.

A current FSC student recently filled out 47 applications at local establishments, and ended up with two interviews. The good news was that both interviews resulted in job offers.

Perhaps the proverb “It is always darkest before the dawn” can give comfort to those who are unemployed or soon to be seeking work. As for now, if you’re fortunate enough to have a job, make sure you do everything to keep it.

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