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MOTM Feb 2012
ISTJ 9w1
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Discussion Starter #1
Well, this is going to be steam-of-consciousness style because I don't really know what I'm looking for, maybe just to rant, or maybe just to figure out if there's something wrong with me.

Yes, it's been 8 months since I graduated from an Ivy League school with my Master's degree in Biomedical Engineering. I've submitted over 50 applications and networked with over 20 people in the field. I even attended a career fair in the city where I'd like to relocate. I've worked with recruiters in my field and gotten employee referrals. I've read several books and articles on resumes, cover letters, and interviews. So far, I've gotten 7 interviews, but nothing has come through.

I try to remember the common stock phrases everyone keeps telling me: "Well, it IS a bad economy right now." "Something will come through sooner or later." "Don't give up!" But I don't know how much longer I can take this.

I've applied to jobs that require a Bachelor's degree with no experience - I was told that I was overqualified and would be "bored". I've applied to jobs that require a Bachelor's degree with ~3 years of experience, hoping my Master's degree can compensate - I was "warned" that there were several other candidates with more experience. I've applied to jobs that require a Master's degree with no experience - no word from those. I think my Master's degree might actually be hurting and not helping.

What am I doing wrong? Is there something wrong with me? I feel myself sliding further and further into depression each day. My 9 side wants to think on the positive side and be optimistic, but my 1 side is telling me how pathetic I am and my 3 side is suffering from the feeling of inadequacy. Not to mention my Self-Preservation side which is screaming and crying in protest.

If anyone has any insights, I would love to hear them. Thanks for reading.
 

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How much monies did you waste, out of curiosity?

Sorry you gut sucked into the fold.

You know how much monies the subprime debacle was up for as it burst?

1.3T

You know how much monies student loan debt is currently valued?

~1T and rising ~50billion each month

Glad I figured out the ponzi-scheme a decade ago and decided to simply live my 20's as a 21st century community bum, trading various skills for the bare essentials.

What should you do? Continue, else move on. I'd try to land whatever you can for the time being, but still pursue your field of study for a while yet.
 

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MOTM Feb 2012
ISTJ 9w1
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7,167 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
How much monies did you waste, out of curiosity?
Around $45,000. And there are no grants or scholarships for grad school. :/

Sorry you gut sucked into the fold.

You know how much monies the subprime debacle was up for as it burst?

1.3T

You know how much monies student loan debt is currently valued?

~1T and rising ~50billion each month

Glad I figured out the ponzi-scheme a decade ago and decided to simply live my 20's as a 21st century community bum, trading various skills for the bare essentials.

What should you do? Continue, else move on. I'd try to land whatever you can for the time being, but still pursue your field of study for a while yet.
I'm glad you've found a way around this. I'm unsure how I would do even in your situation being a self-preservation dom... money + housing + health means the world to me. But you're right, I think I just need to get started in something, even if it's only vaguely related to my field of study.

Thanks for your input! :happy:
 

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I am really surprised it's that hard to find a biomedical engineering job. Have you considered moving to a city where most of the biomedical engineering work is (not sure where that is, Boston?) Or have you considered just searching for other types of engineering fields, if biomedical has very few job openings.

Did you get offered those Bachelor's positions? Or did the employers turn you down without giving you the option to be bored? How about the Master's with experience positions, are there available options there? I think if you think you can enjoy a position, and there is room to grow over time, there is no wrong choices at this moment. Just give it a try for a year or two. I personally have never been given any tasks that I actually know how to do at the start; I have always had to work my butt off on every single new assignment because I always have to learn new things. So I guess I am saying don't pay too much attention to all the warnings and stuff. Only you know what you can handle, and you won't know until you try. Also, once you have a job, it will be easier to find the next one.
 

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Maid of Time
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I'm kind of at a loss... and I'm so sorry you're struggling with finding work. I've been out of work a few times, and job-hunting for me is a tedious business, and kind of scary if one is unemployed at the time. I also empathize with the futility one can feel sometimes of just never being "quite right" for the position they're hiring for, and there is no good way to tailor yourself.

My only two suggestions right this moment is (1) make a list of other cities you are willing to consider and then search there as well. Right now, you don't have contacts or job experience. you might have to postpone getting a job in your #1 spot and just try a number of locations, then maybe transferring back to the location you really would like to be in.

The other of course is (2) continued networking. It honestly is about who you know, many positions are internal ones or filled by networking. You do have a decent number of networked partners right now, but you just might as well keep making connections and building the list of people you know. There's no real way around it, unfortunately.
 

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PerC's 6w6
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I'm sorry, MBTI Enthusiast...

Don't know - maybe like, if you tried somewhere else, like some of the posters in here have mentioned? Like, maybe in somewhere obscure (the places you wouldn't think to look at, for example, Barrow, AK) there may be a job? If you could get something there maybe you could make things work out?

Other than that do you have any communities you're a part of? Like an alumni association, a yoga class, a pottery making class, or anything? Maybe having to know people from different walks of life (ie not necessarily within the field) would help you to come up with places you could work in by way of tips / referrals?

What other similar things can you do with that degree? Like, maybe there's work in the government sector for Biomedical Engineering and you could try that way?

Either way I hope you manage to find something soon...
 

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Grumpy old bastard
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so, ENTP who did a stint as an outplacement consultant once upon a time........

Number one. Network.

You have only talked to 7 people in the field? Not many.
Have you talked to your fellow students? Stated you are looking for the right position? Ask students you went to school wtih.

7 interviews, no job means you are saying something in the interview throwing them off.

the "easy" way to find jobs is network. You will have a friend or acquaintenace who will hear of a job before it is posted. They will ask you for a resume.

Before you send them a resume, dig out of them what the job is about. Ask them as much specifics as you can.

HR people are generally not real good at technical, so in your cover letter (email) to your friend, with your resume attached, say something like this:
Make it so the friend can forward the email along with no personal comments in it, so it is EASY for your friend to forward.

Hey Jenn,

Thanks for the information about the possible job opening. I know you can't talk about it, but you did mention the company name. I did some research on the company, and I think my skills in the following areas might be applicable.

(short bullet items to catch the HR person's eye so they forward it on)

Thank you for forwarding this on - I really appreciate it.

-Name


Resumes are to get phone interviews.
Phone interviews are to get personal interviews.
Personal interviews are to get job offers.
job offers are to get jobs.

Sell yourself!
 

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Mastodon Hunter
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The best thing I can suggest is that you forget about the city you wanted. Look everywhere you would consider living. More places, more opportunities. Also, being unemployed looks bad. This may make no sense, but employers want to hire people who already have jobs, not people who have been unemployed for more then a few weeks.

Get a job. Any job, but always keep searching. Not only will working keep your depression from getting any worse, but it will also help with searching. They will see you are employed, that you actually work. It's tough, I know, but nothing is impossible. I know you will get the job you desire. :)
 

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MBTI Enthusiast said:
Yes, it's been 8 months since I graduated from an Ivy League school with my Master's degree in Biomedical Engineering. I've submitted over 50 applications and networked with over 20 people in the field.
It's not you. I saw a Mike Huckabee show about recent college grads and jobs last year and one guy had sent out 200 resumes and only heard back from 2 employers; he didn't even get an interview.

You are aware that Obamacare imposed a tax on medical devices and several of these medical device companies like Medtronic in California decided to layoff 500 workers in 2012 and another 500 workers in 2013. This means you are competing with many thousands of laid-off, experienced workers for jobs that aren't there right now. Good luck.

You should probably try to find work in another field and even think of moving to a business friendly state like Texas or North Dakota. Better yet, think of starting your own business; maybe catering or photography or match-making.
 

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MOTM Feb 2012
ISTJ 9w1
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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Thank you everyone for your helpful replies. I am taking this all to heart and hoping that I can enact a change in this department!

That's crazy... It might be the area you're living in? Some places desire a certain employee more so than others.
Maybe, right now I'm looking for jobs anywhere in CA. That's actually one of the problems I thought of... maybe the companies on the west coast give preference to west-coast-educated applicants? That's actually why I had a hard time making use of my school's career resources... so many of them were focused on east coast companies, and I really wanted to be back on the west coast.

I am really surprised it's that hard to find a biomedical engineering job. Have you considered moving to a city where most of the biomedical engineering work is (not sure where that is, Boston?) Or have you considered just searching for other types of engineering fields, if biomedical has very few job openings.
Yes, I've considered that, but I'm unsure of how important that is for hiring. If it's important for companies to hire locally, then maybe I should relocate and THEN look for a nearby job. Biomedical Engineering in general has plenty of job openings, but also plenty of applicants. I guess I wasn't the only one who saw that Biomedical Engineering jobs were projected to rise when I was a freshman in college deciding my major. One of the problems with BME is that it's not specific enough. Many of the jobs I apply for are looking for mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, or biology "or equivalent". I learned about all of those subjects during my college years, but none of them in a lot of depth.

Did you get offered those Bachelor's positions? Or did the employers turn you down without giving you the option to be bored? How about the Master's with experience positions, are there available options there? I think if you think you can enjoy a position, and there is room to grow over time, there is no wrong choices at this moment. Just give it a try for a year or two. I personally have never been given any tasks that I actually know how to do at the start; I have always had to work my butt off on every single new assignment because I always have to learn new things. So I guess I am saying don't pay too much attention to all the warnings and stuff. Only you know what you can handle, and you won't know until you try. Also, once you have a job, it will be easier to find the next one.
I wasn't offered the Bachelor's positions. I tried to persuade them that I would be open to the job without sounding desperate, but he had none of it. I have only been half-offered one job, but it was probably with a law firm collecting information to sue medical device companies. I say probably because the recruiter wouldn't give me much information about it. Needless to say, I think that kind of job would be a hindrance on my career development with medical devices. :p

There are a few jobs with Masters and some experience, but not many. There are very few jobs that ask for a Master's in general. The large majority of them seem to be Bachelor's or Ph.D..

Right, I'm definitely open to learning new things. I know I will have to work my butt off, as you say. I just want to be given a chance.

I'm kind of at a loss... and I'm so sorry you're struggling with finding work. I've been out of work a few times, and job-hunting for me is a tedious business, and kind of scary if one is unemployed at the time. I also empathize with the futility one can feel sometimes of just never being "quite right" for the position they're hiring for, and there is no good way to tailor yourself.
Right. I think I just keep getting beat out by that slightly more perfect candidate, but I'm unsure of how to ensure that I AM that candidate.

My only two suggestions right this moment is (1) make a list of other cities you are willing to consider and then search there as well. Right now, you don't have contacts or job experience. you might have to postpone getting a job in your #1 spot and just try a number of locations, then maybe transferring back to the location you really would like to be in.

The other of course is (2) continued networking. It honestly is about who you know, many positions are internal ones or filled by networking. You do have a decent number of networked partners right now, but you just might as well keep making connections and building the list of people you know. There's no real way around it, unfortunately.
True, maybe I should expand my search and try to find jobs more suited to the little experience I do have. I was hoping to break into the pharmaceutical or medical device industries, but maybe now isn't the time.

Maybe I should do what they say to do with LinkedIn, like looking for people in your desired field from your college and asking to just speak with them for 5 minutes, and then building a better network. Right now the people I've spoken with are mostly people in my general field who have offered to help by random chance. Having something in common, like alumni, could possibly help more.

I'm sorry, MBTI Enthusiast...

Don't know - maybe like, if you tried somewhere else, like some of the posters in here have mentioned? Like, maybe in somewhere obscure (the places you wouldn't think to look at, for example, Barrow, AK) there may be a job? If you could get something there maybe you could make things work out?
This is true. I heard North Dakota is really hurting for most types of employees. :tongue:

Other than that do you have any communities you're a part of? Like an alumni association, a yoga class, a pottery making class, or anything? Maybe having to know people from different walks of life (ie not necessarily within the field) would help you to come up with places you could work in by way of tips / referrals?
I don't. Only PerC. :laughing: Maybe I should see if there is an alumni association around here or a women engineer group or something. Again, it's not like there is a shortage of places to work/job postings. It's just the apparent inability for me to actually get a job. :tongue:

What other similar things can you do with that degree? Like, maybe there's work in the government sector for Biomedical Engineering and you could try that way?
Yes, there is work in the gov't sector, but my family strongly warns me against that.

Either way I hope you manage to find something soon...
Thanks for your kind thoughts. :happy:

so, ENTP who did a stint as an outplacement consultant once upon a time........

Number one. Network.

You have only talked to 7 people in the field? Not many.
Have you talked to your fellow students? Stated you are looking for the right position? Ask students you went to school wtih.

7 interviews, no job means you are saying something in the interview throwing them off.

the "easy" way to find jobs is network. You will have a friend or acquaintenace who will hear of a job before it is posted. They will ask you for a resume.

Before you send them a resume, dig out of them what the job is about. Ask them as much specifics as you can.

HR people are generally not real good at technical, so in your cover letter (email) to your friend, with your resume attached, say something like this:
Make it so the friend can forward the email along with no personal comments in it, so it is EASY for your friend to forward.

Hey Jenn,

Thanks for the information about the possible job opening. I know you can't talk about it, but you did mention the company name. I did some research on the company, and I think my skills in the following areas might be applicable.

(short bullet items to catch the HR person's eye so they forward it on)

Thank you for forwarding this on - I really appreciate it.

-Name


Resumes are to get phone interviews.
Phone interviews are to get personal interviews.
Personal interviews are to get job offers.
job offers are to get jobs.

Sell yourself!
Thank you for this advice. I should say that I've only gotten one in-person interview, the rest were phone interviews. I thought it was mostly because companies don't want to fly you anywhere these days, but you're right. I could be doing something wrong in my phone interviews.

I've written e-mails like that, but I might want to include the bullets of skills in the e-mail as you mentioned, instead of just my passion for the field/company/job.

And thanks for reminding me about my peers who graduated with me - I have an unhelpful habit of wanting to stay in the shadows of my peer social network until I can say I have a job in my field, but they very well might be able to help. I just have to suck up my shame and ask for it.

The best thing I can suggest is that you forget about the city you wanted. Look everywhere you would consider living. More places, more opportunities. Also, being unemployed looks bad. This may make no sense, but employers want to hire people who already have jobs, not people who have been unemployed for more then a few weeks.

Get a job. Any job, but always keep searching. Not only will working keep your depression from getting any worse, but it will also help with searching. They will see you are employed, that you actually work. It's tough, I know, but nothing is impossible. I know you will get the job you desire. :)
Yeah, I know it looks bad. That's worrying me, too. I've actually applied to a few jobs with a resume listing my moderator position here on personalitycafe just to counteract that suspicion. But honestly, is it going to look better with a job in food service, retail, or filing papers? I feel like putting that on all of my applications will look bad, too... But I see what you are saying, it shows that I am somehow "employable". And it might help counteract the depression. I just feel like the day I take a minimum wage job is the day I will actually feel like a failure. (Makes little sense, I know.)
 

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List 10 things you need to work on to take it to the next level, right now.

If you don't want to do it on here (though this would be good) then you can do it hard copy and carry it in your back pocket.
 

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There are really two ways to get what you want here. One is to go the "soft contact" route. This is really best if you use your network from school, or another network you belong to, to develop a "relationship" of interest over time. Obviously this works most naturally with people you already know, or "second" connections (even third, and on in some cases)/connections of your friends - but you can also do it with random people from a network you're part of, using that connection as common ground. You call them for informational interviews (brief ones - no more than 30 minutes) and re-affirm the connection basis, ask them to describe what they do, as well as a few other questions that show interest in the industry. I'm not sure if this is "protocol," but if things go well I actually make it clear that I'm looking for a job, and ask at the end, referencing a posting I've already seen. I also did calls for people in the network whose firms didn't necessarily have postings.


The other method would be to get in touch with random hiring managers, and tons of them. This is a lot harder to do IMO because there's literally no human element to the exchange before you experience it. Another drawback is that it doesn't work as well if you want a really specific company, job, or salary.

Have you tried these yet? OMG use LinkedIn. I know a lot of this sounds business-ey, but even other sorts of jobs are being filled this way. Looking at postings is mostly useless nowadays since hiring is beginning to be done internally - that is, at the very least, from people within a network, and better yet by referrals from people who already work there. I got my job as a management consulting analyst by contacting someone totally random from my university network - they happened to be looking for someone at that very time, so it can be done. Not sure how Biomedical Engineering would play out differently, but it's at least worth a try. Since you went to an Ivy, you should have a number of people who I'm sure would be good contacts on Linkedin.
 

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I don't know if it's been mentioned before, but have you tried getting an account on LinkedIn? It will blow you mind how many people you actually know, who they know and how somebody within that network is probably capable of pointing you in the right direction for a job. You can also make connections through professional groups, alumni groups and your hobbies and interests. If you haven't already done so, I recommend you give it a shot!
 

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Well, this is going to be steam-of-consciousness style because I don't really know what I'm looking for, maybe just to rant, or maybe just to figure out if there's something wrong with me.

Yes, it's been 8 months since I graduated from an Ivy League school with my Master's degree in Biomedical Engineering. I've submitted over 50 applications and networked with over 20 people in the field. I even attended a career fair in the city where I'd like to relocate. I've worked with recruiters in my field and gotten employee referrals. I've read several books and articles on resumes, cover letters, and interviews. So far, I've gotten 7 interviews, but nothing has come through.

I try to remember the common stock phrases everyone keeps telling me: "Well, it IS a bad economy right now." "Something will come through sooner or later." "Don't give up!" But I don't know how much longer I can take this.

I've applied to jobs that require a Bachelor's degree with no experience - I was told that I was overqualified and would be "bored". I've applied to jobs that require a Bachelor's degree with ~3 years of experience, hoping my Master's degree can compensate - I was "warned" that there were several other candidates with more experience. I've applied to jobs that require a Master's degree with no experience - no word from those. I think my Master's degree might actually be hurting and not helping.

What am I doing wrong? Is there something wrong with me? I feel myself sliding further and further into depression each day. My 9 side wants to think on the positive side and be optimistic, but my 1 side is telling me how pathetic I am and my 3 side is suffering from the feeling of inadequacy. Not to mention my Self-Preservation side which is screaming and crying in protest.

If anyone has any insights, I would love to hear them. Thanks for reading.

You've accomplished way more than most & that is worthy in itself, in my humble opinion. I got a late start (had kids really young) and just recently completed a two year degree, then a 900 hour Medical course. It's gotten me - no job. I also put myself through cosmetology school which equaled - no job. Laughing outrageously loud now. I am currently interviewing (2nd round today) for a pet groomer position. Heh, heh, heh - gotta love it. Maybe the damn cosmetology training will pay off with less troublesome critters, they only bite you physically.

Anyways.... I'm feeling your pain as mine has been similar (7 mos. now w/o employment). I went to a job fair and saw so many people who seemed just awesome in the same boat. Talked to a few and it was not surprising that they all were awesome. So, it isn't us. We have to hold on to our self-esteem, and what we have accomplished, against so many odds. Surprisingly, the woman who interviewed me yesterday said as much (she'll never know what that meant to me).

I admire all you've accomplished. It's amazing. You're amazing. I've been bewildered, too. Even to the point of a crisis of faith, until I realized that bewilderment is part of the trip. I think I may be onto something with the pet groomer thing, though. Seriously, and it is funny as hell, considering I've spent my life in offices, striving for a modicum of respect. However, offices Suck, and maybe this new gig will shake some of those evil minion corporate types away from my dog shaving arse.
 

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Here's another idea: Try contacting employers for whom you'd like to work - but don't approach it from an "I need a job" standpoint. Write and MAIL a letter to a specific person (research each company to find out who the manager is, etc). In that letter, mention that you are CONSIDERING employment in their field, and ask about their company...what they look for in employees, etc.

Also, maybe try offering to volunteer for a company in your field (or a related field). Or...try a temp agency. Or - a headhunter. For someone with an advanced degree like you, hiring a headhunter might be the answer.

Ask The Headhunter®: The Basics

https://www.theladders.com/
 

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Also, you might already be doing this, but be sure to always show the employer what YOU can do for them - how are YOU going to improve their profit, productivity, etc? Sell them on everything YOU have to offer to help THEM.
 
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What am I doing wrong?
You got your masters degree before you had experience. Colleges sell students on this, but if you talk to people who hire and in business, a good bit of advice I always heard was that you should wait a few years to get your master's. Experience first, then a master's degree.

No one wants to hire someone who spent 6 years at a college but has no job experience.

For entry level positions, the employer is assuming they'll have to pay you more because you have a master's. They want someone who they can train and pay less, and then up their pay after they're trained and integrated. If they have to pay you more to begin with (their perception) but still train you just the same as anyone, it's not that appealing to hire you.

You're not qualified for the positions that want experience because you don't have any. So you wont be hired for these.

What you might do is under-emphasize your master's degree if at all possible. If you attained a bachelor's and then a masters, you can leave off the fact that you have a master's degree. There's nothing dishonest about this. They're not going to notice until they check your credentials with the college, but even then, it depends what they look at.

This is personally what I would do. Either that or forget the field, and apply for jobs you're not trained for.

Once you have a few years under your belt, a master's will help a LOT, but until then it's a detriment in most fields. The idea was that it would make you more qualified than entry level people who just have a BA, but that I believe was a lie fabricated by colleges to get more money... as you're probably finding out. You have to view everything from the lens of who will employee you and always be suspicious of what a class adviser suggests, their aim is to increase college revenues by signing up students for things they don't need.
 

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Just keep at it. Keep looking, keep networking, sign up for linkedin and the various biomedical engineering groups etc that interest you on the site, post a profile describing what your skills are (I have had headhunters who were just searching through linkedin contact me randomly). Find headhunters like other posters suggested.

I disagree that getting a master's degree in engineering is a waste of money. There are jobs out there where real knowledge matters. Even if you don't land a great job right away because of the bad economy, your degree will pay off over the long run. You will always have more options because of the knowledge you possess, and you will likely adapt better in the long run to this ever changing economic landscape, because it's not just about now, all of us will have to keep changing and keep adapting if we want to stay employed for 45 years. You are just at the difficult "chicken and egg" phase; have faith that you will pass through this phase just like everyone else. Have faith that the more real skills you have, the more options you really will have over the long run. And just keep at it.
 
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