Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Hacking employment, improving work, professional development
Jean
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Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:49 am
Location: Switzterland

Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by Jean » Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:25 am

@Brute, Julius
I had a few interview after college (fivish), then, in 2012, I started a Phd (mostly because I couldn't find a job). It sucked, but I saved enough money to buy a house, and I quited in 2014. Since then, I sent hundreds of application, but got no interview, except a military thing that included a 3 week assesment. I've been concerned about this for a long time, but I haven't found an answer yet, and i never asked here this way.

thrifty++
Posts: 869
Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 3:46 pm

Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by thrifty++ » Wed Apr 11, 2018 4:50 am

Maybe it is that you are not thinking about what employers want and stacking your CV with things they will want to see. Sometimes a degree with good grades is not enough. I dont know much about your field and what these things would be but maybe they would want to see for example you having written articles for trade/industry magazines, having done volunteer work in your field, having designed and built certain things of your own accord, even sometimes employers who have staff working in teams want to see involvement in team sports or activities etc etc> its really about stacking your CV. Stack your CV with what they want and you will get the job. Simply constantly resubmitting your CV without stacking it with relevant items is not likely to progress, its more focused on luck than design.

Papers of Indenture
Posts: 162
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 11:40 am
Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by Papers of Indenture » Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:17 am

Jean wrote:
Mon Apr 09, 2018 1:10 pm

The person I would like my life to look like his situation the most is probably Varg Vikernes.
Varg Vikernes? I'm sure you realize this but i'll say it just in case.... Varg Vikernes isn't someone you should ever mention to potential employers.

JamesR
Posts: 914
Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2013 9:08 pm

Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by JamesR » Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:59 am

Go where the demand is. Relocate if you have to. Or do internship. Do SOMETHING. Do anything at all that will move you in the direction of gaining work experience in your chosen industry/field.

Perhaps do a materials project on a shoestring at home.

Once you have some work experience on paper, then you'll find it a lot easier to get hired.

Or give up.

Go where the demand is, pick something high demand that you have skills & interest in. You already have a degree and half. Just get into the work force, try other engineering type jobs or other jobs that rely on similar skill sets. Your training is around physics, chemistry, science, and problem solving. Engineering is what, applied science. Go where applied science is useful. Perhaps go into the financial industry and become a quant.

7Wannabe5
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Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Wed Apr 11, 2018 10:14 am

Maybe you are too lacking in the slave mentality gene? Maybe somehow even your resume conveys something like "I would rather be engaged in primitive technology in the wilderness?" Do you own a cardigan?

ZAFCorrection
Posts: 201
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:49 pm

Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by ZAFCorrection » Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:44 pm

Speaking as someone with an undergraduate degree in MSE, it's a pretty weird degree for getting a job. Hiring managers often don't see the point, so you have to explain it to them. By extension, a lot of jobs that could be done by MSE people are not necessarily labeled as such, so typing "give me an MSE job" on google doesn't always get the job done. It helps to pump your network for that information. Corrosion/coatings is also another good field. For instance, underground missile silos tend to get water in them, which makes the missiles unhappy after awhile. Or the cadmium makes the water unhappy. So much work to be done making the world safe for democracy.

Though, you said you had like 5 interviews (at like the worst time during the recession) and you didn't get anything. It's still hard to say, but that sounds like a personality issue. If employers had no idea what to do with you, you wouldn't have gotten that many interviews. Maybe you sound like a dick. Maybe you don't seem "professional" enough.

BeyondtheWrap
Posts: 564
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Location: NYC

Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by BeyondtheWrap » Wed Apr 11, 2018 1:56 pm

Put your degree on your resume but just leave off the graduation year.

Bam, resume gap gone.

Maybe.

Papers of Indenture
Posts: 162
Joined: Sun Sep 01, 2013 11:40 am
Location: Baltimore, Maryland

Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by Papers of Indenture » Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:50 pm

Jean,
After reading some of your posts on other topics and learning of your affinity for Mr. Vikernes i'm pretty sure you are giving off a vibe to employers and are an easy read for them. I have the same problem....I am frank and my body language is easy to read. This makes corporate types very uncomfortable around me.

I think you probably come off as feral...undomesticated, unpolished. Coming across as someone who doesn't really *want* to work in a hyper domesticated professional setting. Basically what 7w5 said earlier. I get the feeling that you would likely describe yourself this way. How did you dress for those interviews some time back? Did the interviews ever become "chatty" and if so what topics did you talk about? What did you reveal about your personal interests?

James_0011
Posts: 393
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Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by James_0011 » Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:11 am

Jean,

One thing I noticed from reading your posts on here is that you’re very genuine and aren’t afraid to speak your mind.

This is not a personality trait that is going to get you a job. Employers don’t want anyone who may be a trouble maker. It’s too high risk.

From an employers perspective: non-conformist / contrarian = risk

They want someone who is going to show up to work, be friendly and do what they are told. Not a free thinker.

Hence it’s important to lie/hide your true opinions when interacting with employers.

Also, I should note that relocating solved my employment issues personally. Figure out where most of the job are and move, it’s mostly a number game in a lot of ways.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by EdithKeeler » Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:39 pm

I sent hundreds of application, but got no interview
Most jobs are obtained through personal connections, not sending in anonymous applications to faceless people or websites. The best way to get a job is to connect with people—maybe join an organization for your field, get to know some names and faces so you can target your search. That way you’re not blindly applying, but can get to the right person: “Dear Mr. Smith—I really enjoyed our discussion last week at the materials engineer dinner(I don’t know what you guys do!) and the work you’re doing on X is very interesting. I’d love to be a part of it, and I’ve attached my resume for your review. As you can see, I did a good bit of work on X when I was in my PhD program, but I’m much more interested in the real world applications...”

Every job I’ve ever gotten except one was because of some personal “in” I had with the company.

Work your network, expand your network, go to talks and meetings and whatever to connect with people.

Another great way is do some volunteer work. You meet people while you’re doing it and you can put some stuff on your resume—helps paper over those times you weren’t working.

And—there’s always “consulting.” I work for an insurance company—we often need experts to review reports, etc. (we once needed a materials engineer on a case and I called a guy we used in the past, and I was told “oh, he’s on the space station right now and won’t be back for a month”—I had no idea he was an astronaut!). Lawyers always need consultants—good way to meet people, pad your resume and earn cash.

Jean
Posts: 1067
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Location: Switzterland

Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by Jean » Mon Apr 16, 2018 8:52 am

I flirted with a lawyer on friday, does it count as networking?
I already live in a dark blue area on this map (unemployment here is now bellow 3%)
http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics ... C_2016.jpg

I kinda now I'm a risk, when I had my job, when I left, my boss told me he knew it was risky to hire me.
I'm not going to change or hide it. I would like to find a context where I won't be a risk, but a very valuable asset.
I had to google what a cardigan was, I don't own one.

I'm working on my local networking.

Jean
Posts: 1067
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:49 am
Location: Switzterland

Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by Jean » Mon Apr 23, 2018 6:20 pm

I stumbled on this film we made a few years ago for a friends' weeding, and it made me laugh. I'll let you guess which character I'm playing. It might explain.
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHUG4acNPJE[/youtube]
Fous le camp, tu vas crever, t'es mort!

Colibri
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Location: Northern Canada

Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by Colibri » Mon Apr 23, 2018 10:38 pm

OMG... le vidéo est trop drôle, but also quite gore at the end. And flirting doesn't count as networking, unless you later deepened the relationship.

NPV
Posts: 186
Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:41 am

Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by NPV » Sun Apr 29, 2018 12:07 am

Seems quite evident that the major reasons for your unemployability have been:
1. You having neither a strong desire to do any particular kind of work (mission), nor having a (com)pliant enough personality / strong enough work ethic to do work and maintain appearance of conventional professionalism just for the sake of doing it / to earn a paycheck / to fit in society (vocation)
2. Employers screening quite strongly for both of these qualities - motivation to work for them, and appearance of conventional professionalism
3. Over time, the gap on your CV

Image

Therefore, the solution could involve finding your mission, working on your motivation and signaling, pursuing employers with different screening criteria, or some combination thereof.

Here is a recent post which might be of interest in thinking the mission aspect of this through: https://waitbutwhy.com/2018/04/picking-career.html

Have you looked into any "deep tech" startups trying to solve cool materials-related problems? That might solve for a bunch of these variables: a mission you could find worthy, much less formal work environment, and if early stage enough, probably willingness to get any help they can get including overlooking gaps on your CV - especially if you don't need (much) pay to work anyway.

Jean
Posts: 1067
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:49 am
Location: Switzterland

Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by Jean » Mon Apr 30, 2018 8:52 am

Thank you!
How do you find start-ups?
I thought about sitting at a fablab most working days to write a novel, and help people with the problem they have doing stuffs. Would it be a good start?

Jean
Posts: 1067
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2013 8:49 am
Location: Switzterland

Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by Jean » Mon Apr 30, 2018 3:13 pm

The wait but Why post was really insightfull.

LarryW
Posts: 29
Joined: Sat Apr 28, 2012 9:33 pm

Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by LarryW » Mon Apr 30, 2018 4:45 pm

How do you find start-ups?
I thought about sitting at a fablab most working days to write a novel, and help people with the problem they have doing stuffs. Would it be a good start?
I can't speak for Europe, but in the US a lot of startups related to the physical sciences (including materials!) are University spin-outs. You might want to ask former professors, old classmates, and so on about startup opportunities--or maybe attend local academic-y events to network. I've worked for two startups myself, and the corporate culture tends to be a bit laxer than at larger companies.

In case you're curious, both startups I worked for were University spin-outs. The first one came from a grad school classmate's referral (he introduced me to a friend from his country who was doing a startup). While I was at that startup, I worked with someone at a larger company who later left and referred me to a job at the second startup when the first startup was starting to go under.

NPV
Posts: 186
Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:41 am

Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by NPV » Tue May 01, 2018 4:48 am

Also not very sure how it works in Europe, but here are some ideas in addition to universities (which I think is a very valid one as well):
1. https://angel.co/jobs - US focused but perhaps look at "Remote OK" bucket
2. Startup incubators / accelerators. E.g., YC has their own job board: https://news.ycombinator.com/jobs In Europe there should be quite a lot of accelerators and incubators in Berlin, London, Paris.
3. Startup events / meet ups - again, I am sure you can google a lot of these in Berlin / your closest university town.

NPV
Posts: 186
Joined: Fri Dec 06, 2013 9:41 am

Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by NPV » Tue May 01, 2018 4:51 am

Product Hunt seems to have a more global startup jobs list: https://www.producthunt.com/jobs

OrganicRain
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2014 6:20 pm

Re: Help me find out what makes me unemployable, please.

Post by OrganicRain » Sun Jul 15, 2018 5:18 pm

Lost cause with 8 years out of school. Retrain in something else, work you ass off in school, get great grades AND work at the same time even if its pouring coffee. Volunteer for committees while at school - all to show on your resume.

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