What to Do When Nobody Will Hire You

If you feel helpless, frustrated, and discouraged because you haven’t worked for months, read my tips on what to do when nobody will hire you. They’re inspired by a reader’s comment…

“I have been unemployed for two years and I have been on over 187 interviews both face to face and telephone,” says Sam on 10 Highest Paying Jobs for College Students. “I am discouraged and p**sed off. I am even more p**sed off when people tell me that things will get better. What world are you living in?”

If you’re as discouraged as Sam because you can’t find work, try What Color Is Your Parachute? A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers. It’s been a bestselling job seeker’s guide for over a decade, and it may be the best thing to do when it seems like nobody will ever hire you again.

Another great book is Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham. It’s currently outselling What Color Is Your Parachute? – I’ve read them both, and think that What Color Is Your Parachute? is better if you aren’t sure what work you should be doing. It’s more of a practical job hunter’s handbook for people who know what they want to do for work.

And here are a few tips for discouraged people who have been unemployed for too long…

What to Do When Nobody Will Hire You

“It will be 10 years before our economy starts to build,” says S. “What employers haven’t told you is that most of the jobs we are applying for are either already taken (temporary employee sitting in that position); or they don’t exist and they need more resumes.”

Which leads right into the first tip…

Ask your interviewers for the reasons they haven’t offered you a job

If you’ve had 187 interviews and not a single job offer, there may be a disconnect somewhere. Are you apply for jobs you aren’t suitable for? Is your hair styled into a rainbow mohawk, your face tattooed with the words “I sued my three last employers”, and or your attitude or demeanor so negative and miserable that nobody in their right minds would hire you?

One of the most enlightening – and difficult – things to do when nobody will hire you is to call potential employers after your interview. Thank them for their time, and ask them for honest feedback on their perception of you. You may find clues there, that will help you find the job that best suits you.

Sign on with a temporary staffing organization

One of my favorite jobs is working as a temporary office helper. Filing, answering phones, filling in for full and part-time employees doesn’t necessarily pay well and it may not lead to a long-term job, but it’ll help pay the bills while you look for someone who will hire you permanently.

Take unemployment workshops or classes

Two of my friends have been unemployed for months; one took an unemployment workshop, and the other didn’t. The first friend still hasn’t found a job, and the second has! So why am I suggesting unemployment programs? Because it can’t hurt. Because you’ll meet and get to know other people in the same boat. Because it’ll give you something different to focus on, other than the hopelessness and helplessness you feel after being out of work for so long.

If you’re not sure what job you should be working at, read Best Jobs for Introverts and People Who Like to Be Alone.

Volunteer in or out of your field

“Consider volunteering at a nonprofit organization, such as a museum, historical society, zoo, aquarium, or one of the associations working to save our forests, farmland, animals, and water,” writes Nancy Dunnan in Recession-Proof Your Financial Life. “Be sure to make it known that if a part or full-time position opens up, you wish to be considered. If you’re well-suited to the work, it’s very likely that you’ll be hired for a paying position. A known employee, if he is good, is always favored over an unknown one.”

Apply for seasonal jobs

While you’re searching for your dream job – and going on interviews and not getting hired – why not look for a seasonal job? For instance, many hotels, restaurants, and resorts need additional employees in the summer. Department stores and malls need help over the Christmas season. Catering companies are busier in party seasons – Thanksgiving, Fourth of July, Labor Day, New Year’s Eve.

Another great book for job seekers is How to Find a Job on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and Other Social Networks. It’s less about finding seasonal jobs than finding long-term, permanent work. Maybe what you should do when nobody will hire you after 187 interviews is use the internet to find the career you love.

Move to a different city, state, or country

If you can’t find a job because you’ve exhausted every single possibility in your town or city, then it may be time to relocate. This may not be the ideal or most popular thing to do when nobody will hire you – and it’s not the easiest – but it may the best long-term solution.

Get paid for doing what you love

What to Do When Nobody Will Hire You

What to Do When Nobody Will Hire You

“This is also known as turning your hobby into money,” writes Nancy Dunnan in Recession-Proof Your Financial Life. “If you are artistic, why not paint portraits of babies, children, pets, or even a flattering view of a beloved home? Do the same if photography is your love. Or, paint the inside and/or outside of houses if you are a skilled housepainter.”

Other hobbies that can turn into full-time jobs include selling home-baked goods, helping at birthday parties as a face painter, teaching music lessons, gardening, or even dog walking.

For more tips, read Turning Hobbies Into Careers – Stories From Entrepreneurs.

Find a whole new career in a high-demand job

I’ve been writing and blogging full-time for about three years, and am feeling a bit bored with my career. There’s no challenge anymore, so I’m trying to figure out if I should branch out in a whole new direction, go back to school, or just accept that every job and career has slumps and challenging aspects. It’s not just unemployed people who feel frustrated or helpless, believe me!

Being out of work can be a blessing, because it gives you the opportunity to step back from your life and figure out what you really want to do. Unemployment can actually help you achieve your career goals.

Explore tuition-free colleges

Several schools in Kentucky, New York, Colorado, and other states do not charge college tuition fees. In exchange, students agree to work on campus or serve in the military. If you can’t find work, what do you have to lose?

I wrote How to Find Your Dream Job – 5 Simple Steps to help myself through the drudgery of work – and it may help you cope with the drudgery of looking for work when it feels like nobody will ever offer you a job.

What do you think – what would you do if nobody hired you after 187 interviews?


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2 thoughts on “What to Do When Nobody Will Hire You”

  1. Thanks for your comment, Scott. Maybe it depends on the short-term temporary employers – maybe they care less about your education, background, and experience. Maybe all they want is to get a particular job done, and they’re willing to hire most anyone who is qualified.

    I’m speaking from my experience of working in temporary office jobs – the clients didn’t care one whit about who I was, my experience, my education, or what skills I had! All they cared about was the temporary agency’s assurance that I could do the job.

  2. I realize you are trying to help, but you are living in a fantasy land if you think applying for seasonal jobs and exploring temp agencies is going to help the long term unemployed. If regular employers don’t want you, guess what, neither do contracted ones.