Help a reader: Looking for work in SoCal
October 22, 2008
A reader emailed me asking about the job market in the LA area. Now, LA is awfully big, and my personal experience is pretty limited, but I know I’ve got fellow bloggers and perhaps some readers in the LA area as well.
I’m including some excerpts of our correspondence below, lightly edited to preserve the reader’s anonymity:
I’ve been looking for a job in the LA market for an embarrassingly long amount of time at this point (close to a year) and am at my wit’s end as to what to do. I’ve submitted numerous copies of resumes, cover letters, networked, randomly dropped in . . . and nothing. What is your personal assessment of the market?
Part of the problem is that I’m currently in Arizona and have been doing long-distance looking and applying (using a friend’s CA address).
I had a few follow-up questions:
1. What kind of job are you looking for?
2. What experience do you have in your field?
3. Are you looking to go for the traditional full time position, or a part-time, or a freelance/contractor situation?
4. Why are you looking at the LA job market in particular?
1. I graduated from college in 2006 (with a degree in psychology, and a minor in music performance – talk about marketable!) and have experience in the social services (but ultimately knew I needed to make more money) and the financial services (which, being in this industry, I count myself lucky to still have a job at this point). Unfortunately, I’m feeling highly underutilized in my current position and after further thought, have determined several industries/capacities that I could see myself working in. Obviously the financial world would be the easiest transition, but in a smaller organization would be ideal to be able to take on more responsibilities. Additionally, there is the field of higher education (which flies in the face of my need for more pay, however! the pay is still better than the social services and the environment is unparalleled in what I’ve heard regarding an appreciation of intelligence and the ability to maintain constant stimulus). Additionally, there’s also human resources (which would be a natural extension of my education in psychology), market research (again, natural extension), or working in either capacity (HR or research analysis) within an entertainment organization. As I said, a truly wide swath!
2. I spent approximately a year within the social services, and have been with my current employer now for 1 year and 4 months.
3. Right now, there are some additional health concerns (again, possibly another manifestation of the paranoia) that ultimately leads me to want a traditional full time position. I’d be open to several part time positions if need be, but it’s not ideal.
4. I’m looking in the LA job market for the need for change and sense of adventure, which sounds truly cliche I know, but here me out! I’ve lived in the state of Arizona for 10 years now, and while it’s treated me nicely (a full ride to a state university and graduating Cum Laude aren’t anything to necessarily talk down on I think), I just don’t get the feeling that there’s anything more here. I’m growing stagnant. And having visited LA on numerous, numerous occasions – several of them being recently – I’ve slowly fallen in like with the area. I hesitate to say love, but my comfort level as increased 100-fold and every time I get back on I-10 at this point, I feel like I’m driving the wrong way. Also, I’ve always had a passion and interest in the entertainment industry and, given the interests, would love to possibly have the opportunity to work in a leading entertainment organization in some capacity, cliche as that may sound as well. If not that, then still, who can argue with the number of world-class universities in the area regardless?
It’s been about four years since I last stalked the job market in this area, so I’m pretty out of touch with the feel of the market. It seems to me, though, that the jobs being offered are not in plenty, and with many people running scared from the softening economy, it’s going to get even tighter than it’s already been.
I wonder if you’ve tried finding a job with a company that has branches in the LA area with an eye to transferring at a later date? If you haven’t had any bites thus far, perhaps you should try closer to home as another way in.
Alternatively, could more training or education be in order to move to a different level of employment?
Readers, can any of you offer any suggestions or advice?