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Some thoughts on the post-grad job search

Aug 2, 2008 • Karen

I've sent out a ton of resumes and custom cover letters to all sorts of employers and heard nothing but crickets. I gave my resume to a staffing agency and interviewed with them, but so far no actual employment has come of it. I'm sort of despairing of finding a full-time job before my student loans come due.

I have, however, had good luck finding part-time jobs. As I mentioned previously, I'm doing contract webmonkey and video work for SPARC. I'm really enjoying working there and yesterday I got a raise! :)

I also started training to teach the LSAT for Kaplan on Thursday. Training's just one night a week (plus outside-of-class stuff) for the next three weeks or so, and after that I'll only have one or two classes on nights and/or weekends, at least in the beginning. My trainer and fellow teacher wannabes are pretty awesome folks, and learning to be a teacher is a general skill I want to have anyway, so I'm enjoying that, too.

That same day I got a gig fixing/redesigning the website for this guy's inflatables rental business (you know, bouncy castles and the like). Nothing too fancy, but it'll keep me busy and hopefully be something I can put in my portfolio later.

There's also a bunch of part-time/freelance web jobs in my bookmarks that I'm eminently qualified for, including a gig redoing the website for a law firm (bingo!). I should apply to those this weekend.

So I'm sort of revising my expectations. I mean, if I do get a legal assistant job from the staffing firm, and it's a good work environment with at least some benefits, I'd probably take it for security's sake. But the main reason I was extremely gung-ho on finding a full-time position was health insurance worries, and now it turns out I'm still covered by my parents. Other benefits are great, but I can open an IRA on my own. I can (hopefully?) figure out how taxes work for freelancers (oh god payroll taxes). If I can patch together around 40 hours a week of freelance work, I will be just fine financially. And contracting has its own advantages: 1.) you can do all sorts of different gigs rather than the same thing day in and out and 2.) you can generally choose where and when you want to work.

So the current state of things isn't necessarily bad. It's just up to me to make sure I have enough part-time jobs to equal a full-time one. And learn how to do withholdings.

In other news, I finally got my stimulus check. Finally! Clearly now the economy will turn around...it was just waiting for my $300 to get here. :p