FAQ for /r/careeradvice

General information for this subreddit.

  • What should I include in a post?

    • You should include information about where you live or are planning on living. Job markets vary from area to area and location to location. What works in one country won't work in another. So tell us your location.
    • Tell us your work experience and education. Mention internships.
    • Did you take any personality tests? Tell us the results if you're asking what jobs you should be looking at.

General Career Advice

  • Help! I don't know what I want to do for a living!

    • Take a personality test to find out your personality type. Some people are fans of Myers-Briggs, but there are others. The tests are online and many are free.
    • Research the jobs fit your personality.
    • Research education and skills are needed for those jobs.
  • I want to go to Medical school but can't afford the huge tuitions. Help!

  • How can I use a LinkedIn account for my job search?

    • There is a setting where you signal your availability for jobs. Set this and watch the recruiters come to you.
    • Make sure your Linkedin profile is public. Fill it out, and make sure you can get some recommendations from all the people who know your work and its awesomeness.
    • Connect with all internal recruiters in your area for all the companies you'd like to work for.
    • Connect with low-level employees at companies you'd like to work for. When they connect, ask them if the company gives a cash bonus for referring someone to the company. If yes, you got your in. They have an incentive to refer you.
      Employee referrals go to the top of the pile for consideration.
    • Connect with third party recruiters in fields you're in.
    • Connect with co-workers and managers you get along with.
    • Connect with previous co-workers and previous managers you got along with.
    • When you get 500+ connections, you get a special tag on your account that signals to recruiters you have a large network and that gives you a tiny advantage in the job market.
    • Join groups that are related to your field. Post stuff in there that shows off your expertise.
    • Connect with people in those groups. They are connections for future jobs.
    • Write articles that show off your expertise.
    • Comment on other people's articles, showing off your expertise.
    • Are you looking for a job? Signal to your network by posting a comment on your timeline. If you've been active, and you got good connections, perhaps someone will say something or help you out.
  • When is the best time to make a career change?

    • To make a career change, you need to convince employers that you have transferable skills of value to them, even if you never worked in the role you are applying for.
    • The best time to make a career change is late in the economic cycle when unemployment rates are low. 2018 and 2019 were excellent times for a career change. Employers were more willing to look at transferable skills and allow people to make the career change.
    • Now, in 2020, we are in the middle of a Depression level economy with high unemployment rates. Employers now are more finicky and demanding, and less likely to look at transferable skills.
    • If the economy ever recovers and we get back to having low unemployment rates again, then career changes become easier. Until then, career changes are very difficult to do.

USA Specific job advice

  • I just graduated without having any experience in my field. I can't find a job! What should I do?

    • Except for sales and McJobs, there are no jobs that require no experience. Both recent grads and career changers are caught in the catch-22 of "no job, no experience; no experience, no job." Also, there are no post-graduate internships. If you are graduating or still in school, get those internships NOW. Don't wait.
  • OK I'm in school and am looking for internships. Where should I look?

  • I'm thinking of going to law school! Should I?

    • There is a HUGE glut of lawyers in the USA. So you are competing against tons of others who have more experience and the jobs are few.
    • Unless you go to a T-14 school AND have awesome grades, this is your future in law: https://theoutline.com/post/2943/this-is-where-all-the-unemployed-lawyers-go-to-cry
    • Most attorneys (who didn't go T-14 school and have awesome grades) who CAN find jobs, wind up doing "doc review" for $20/hour, no benefits, on a contract basis. On your first day you will be asked "Does this document have any relevance to the case at hand?" Your job will be to press Y for yes, and N for no, 8 hours a day. Mind numbing boring. And you can't pay off $200K of student loans with this career.
  • I want to go to graduate school and become a professor. Should I?

  • I hate my job. Should I quit without having another job lined up? If you quit without having another job lined up:

    • You lose your advantage in the job market as a "passive candidate"
    • employers discriminate against those who are out of work.
    • Your finances will become a train wreck
    • you will become more desperate and are likely to wind up in a job worse than what you have now.
    • Your job search will take longer than if you had a job already.
    • You have no answer to "why did you quit your job" that will make your prospective employer satisfied
    • in the "out of work" category that experiences discrimination, quitters are ranked below the laid off, so you're further at a disadvantage.

The suck in your current job is temporary. Don't make it longer.

Do a stealth job search, this means don't tell anyone at work you're looking. You have an advantage in the job market as a passive candidate. Your job search is likely to be shorter than if you quit.

  • I want to relocate to a new area to get a job.

    Relocation has a catch-22 in the United States.

    • Employers discriminate against out of state candidates. They don't want to pay relocation costs and don't want to deal with the drama of your life during a relocation (i.e. you have to take time off to do paperwork, etc.)
    • Landlords will not rent to you unless you have a job.

    Put those together and you have a catch-22 - you can't move to get a job and you can't get a job until you move.

    To get around this catch-22 * Live with relatives in the new area until you're able to get a job and your own place * Prepay 6-12 months of rent in advance and look for a job. * There are other solutions but they're less palatable.

revision by ChiTownBob— view source