Though I’d been to Dallas one other time prior to making the big move to Texas in May, Dallas was a foreign place, and even now it just doesn’t quite feel like home. I’d left behind my friends, family and familiar places in hopes that I could come to Texas and be lucky enough to find a decent paying job, a cheap apartment, and to basically escape the ever worsening economy that my home state was facing. I didn’t expect life to be perfect, but I was sure hoping that it’d be better…
Fast forward to today, and I can quite honestly tell you, while Dallas’ economy is a lot better than most it has by no means been unaffected. My first interview, which I was extremely excited to land in the first place, was for a customer service position at the AAA office in Las Colinas. I felt that I’d be a shoe in for the job, as most people are confident that they are; I had graduated from college with a degree in English, I’d worked as a receptionist, I’d done retail, I’d been a hostess for an upscale restaurant…. I could type 40+ wpm, had excellent written and oral communications skills—but I hadn’t had any experience in the insurance field and didn’t realize until I sat next to a row of other candidates who’d been laid off of jobs where they worked for a company for fifteen years, had been unemployed for six months or more and were on the verge of working at McDonald’s to make ends meet, masters degrees and a plethora of experience that far surpassed my own, that I knew that this market was just as tough, and just as competitive as some of the harder hit cities and states.
Several, and I do mean several, interviews later, my confidence was shot. Time after time I’d gotten the horrible news that they’d found someone more qualified, and its definitely a difficult reality to face. Eventually I ended up landing a retail job where decent commission makes up for the crappy pay. What’s funny is that of the eight people that I do work with, three have college degrees, and three others are a semester away from graduating. So, while it makes me feel a tad bit better that others have experienced some of the trouble I’ve had with being just another degree in the mass of degrees, there are some things that you, a recent grad or new comer to the Dallas/Fort Worth area can do to assist you on your job hunt.
1. Learn to speak Spanish! Spanish speakers are every where and it gives you a much greater competitive edge since most employers are indeed looking for candidates that are bilingual.
2. Expect rejection. Although you may feel that you are the best qualified, chances are that you may not be, and its best to prepare for that chance that you won’t get a call back.
3. Big huge companies like Southwest Airlines get hundreds of resumes for each of their job listings, so don’t be surprised if you don’t hear back from them for months after you’ve applied.
4. Don’t be afraid to apply for jobs that are not up to par with what you think is a good job. It’s good idea to get in where ever you can, and continue pursuing that dream career. A “for now job” is definitely better than no job at all!
5. Temp agencies are your friend! Since there are plenty to choose from— go to a temp agency, and they can usually get you a job within a couple of days.
6. There are jobs in Dallas, they may not all offer the highest pay or the best benefits, but they are here, and that’s a lot better than having no job prospects at all.
Want more tips and stories about life in Dallas? Check out my other articles!