Tough job search becomes routine

June 6, 2008 7:09:58 PM PDT
As you might know, this economic situation is a vicious circle. Paying these high gas prices is daunting even with a job, but for those without work, the economy is like an ever tightening vice. Just looking for work can be an intense and time consuming job in itself.

Greta Billinger has been looking for a job for three months. It's a lot like fishing. You cast a long line, and wait.

"A couple of little nibbles, unfortunately mostly part-time work," said Ballinger, a job seeker who wants a position in marketing.

"I try to spend 30 to 40 hours a week and that's spread over seven days. I try to sit and take it serious like a job, sort of 9 to 5," said Billinger.

"This is Jennifer calling from Art Links Staffing in response to the resume you sent us," said Light, owner of Art Links Staffing.

Art Links Staffing in Berkeley is a temporary employment agency. Light says, despite the increase in jobless rates, she is making more full-time placements in bio-tech and emerging industries.

"Telecommunications is obviously a very big industry, all that type of mobile technology and mobile applications for the web, that's where I see some additional growth," said Light.

Getting a job is tough enough for professionals, but what's it like for recent graduates or students just entering the job market?

"It's definitely something we think about it a lot. It puts a lot of extra stress on our shoulders when we're thinking internships, jobs and basically it's like applying for college again," said Paul Formaker, a U.C. Berkeley senior.

Campus career centers like the one at U.C. Berkeley provide advisors and job listings.

"Yeah, it's sort of scary because you really don't know. I went to college and right after college, I came stright to grad school so I was never really in the real world," said Jiyeon Ku, a U.C. Berkeley graduate student.

"Students know that their first job isn't the one they're going to have for 10 or 15 years, they might have it for two to three years and then move on. They may need to make a sacrifice in terms of their initial salary, while they continue to gain skills and experience," said Jim Sullivan, the California Berkeley Career Center associate director.

Billinger is now getting help from a career counselor and feels hopeful.

"It's hard not to feel rejected. You just have to know that's part of the process," said Billinger.


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