Q&A: Is Finding a Job as a Secretary Hard to Get?


Q:  I read an article saying it is difficult for students/people to find a job these days even for college grads .People are looking for jobs but no one is calling back even getting a job at McDonalds is said to be difficult because of the economy. I am really worried I will never find a job. 

So I know secretary jobs are entry level does that mean it will be easier to get? Who will hire me with no experience you always need experience but no one lets you have the experience because every job requires experience it does not make sense.. 

Would it be better to get an associates degree to become a secretary to make my chances better?  I’m worried I will never have a job! please help?

-ღAlessandra Isabell
A:  Henry Ford once said “Whether you think you can or you think you can’t — you’re right,”  and I agree with him.  So dismiss the notion that you’ll never find a job.  You will.  The first step to landing the job you want is to believe that you can, that “difficult” doesn’t have to mean “impossible,” and that there are resources out there to help make this a reality.
What makes finding a job so challenging, besides the fact that there are many others out there to compete with for limited positions, is that it requires concentrated effort.  What you can be sure of is that it is more difficult to have a job “fall into your lap,” than it is to land one the one you set out to get and for which you were qualified.  
So what do you want to do?  What do you enjoy doing?  What skills and abilities have you begun to develop, although you have no formal work experience?  These are some very important questions to ask yourself.  Perhaps you have volunteered with a church or hospital or some other sort of organization.  Volunteer activities help build very valuable skills.  Have you baby sat or were/are you involved in any extracurricular activities in school that you are especially good at?  Maybe you enjoy walking dogs, cooking, sewing, art, organizing and categorizing things.  These are some of the first places to look for skills, interests, and abilities to transfer into your long-term career.  Unless being a secretary is what you want to do, I would suggest not setting your sights there.  It may not be what you are looking to do at all.  In addition, the secretary spot may not be entry-level at all.  In some companies, that may be intern, receptionist, mail room clerk, file clerk, etc.?
If you haven’t begun skill building yet, there is no greater time than the present.  A site like Volunteers of America (http://www.voa.org/Get-Involved/Volunteer) or Idealist.org may be a great place to start.  You can choose what type of population you would like to help and what role you’d like to play and even decide the level of commitment you are interested in.
Once you are certain what path you would like to follow, the next thing to do is to search for relevant positions.  Sites like indeed.com and monster.com (to name a couple), allow you to use keywords like “entry-level” in your search string.  This will help you identify what is truly “entry level” at the organizations that interest you.  In addition, talk to you friends and family about any opportunities that they may be aware of and can refer you to.  Check sites like Linked in, that connect job seekers using their network.  Network personally with people in your community who can help mentor you in the path you’ve chosen.  Search for career fairs in your area and show up, professionally dressed, with a well-written resume and a winning attitude.  Who knows, a volunteer activity may even lead to permanent, paid employment.
As you apply for jobs, remember to collect the contact information of the people you apply and interview with so that you may follow up with them.  Employers see a multitude of people on a daily basis as they search for employees and reaching out to them all just might not be feasible.  Your tenacity in following up may be just what they need to see to drive you higher in the pile they are considering.
Best wishes on your search!

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