Dear Laurie, I’ve been out of work for a year. I need a job. I’ll do anything.
I get 10-20 emails like this, every week, and I do the best I can to offer comfort and constructive feedback.
But do you know what I would do if I needed a job and couldn’t pay my bills? I’d get off the computer and walk into a local staffing agency.
Kelly Services. Snelling. Aerotek. KForce. Adecco. Randstad. There are staffing companies for engineers. There are staffing companies for movers. There are temporary agencies that place people to work at mall kiosks. There are staffing firms that focus on customer service jobs.
I would spend a week hitting every single staffing agency in my area. I would be sober and showered. I would take typing tests. I would do math problems. I would sit for personality assessments. And I would meet with each branch manager, shake her hand and let her know that I am both reliable and dependable.
I would leave a positive impression. I wouldn’t talk about sustained unemployment or how I would do anything for a job. I would say YES to everything and smile.
No drama. No story. No attempt to find meaning through my work.
And when the staffing agency calls at 8:45 AM and asks if I can be at an artificial flower factory by 10:00 AM to work as a receptionist for the day at the rate of $7.75/hour, I would say yes.
That’s what I would do.
I know this because I’ve done it. This is how I worked my way through college during the summers. I worked in mail rooms, as a receptionist and as a phone operator. I had all kinds of crazy temporary assignments. And yes I worked in a fake flower factory in St. Louis.
I did that for a week and it paid my rent for the month.
If I can do it, you can do it.