First Month in LA: Finding Jobs and Staying Alive

“The walls of your comfort zone are lovingly decorated with your lifelong collection of favorite excuses.”— Jen Sincero, You Are a Badass at Making Money

Living in Los Angeles without a Job
The view from our apartment hallway

Finding a Job in Los Angeles

After nearly a month of living in LA, Mitchell and I have yet to find work that will actually support us. You know, pay the rent (an amount you definitely don’t want to know) and generally stay alive. There’s a lot to be said for people who just up and leave a decent job to go somewhere completely different in the hopes of finding a career in what you actually love to do.

Here’s a list of what I would love to do:

  • Be a published author
  • Be a children’s book illustrator
  • Work with a company that feels like family
  • Write songs
  • Paint and take photos

And what was I currently doing in Indiana? Being a Technical Writer for the US Navy. An intimidating, yet satisfying job to tell people about. But it wasn’t what I wanted. Not really. Meanwhile Mitchell, who is a great film writer, was working at a golf course. With Indiana weather…let’s just say he wasn’t getting much hours.

Sites Used to Find a Job (and My Ratings)

  • Indeed.com
  • Career Builder
  • LinkedIn
  • A Google Search (AKA “Jobs in Los Angeles Near Me”)
  • Neuvoo
  • Zip Recruiter

Indeed (4 out of 5)

So Indeed is how I’ve found most of my jobs in my life as of right now. It’s how I started as a Barista at Starbucks, and how my contractor hired me as a Tech Writer. They have a decent search engine, a really good variety of jobs, and a nice application process.

The downside…

Sometimes employers can set up a test on Indeed. A test that may or may not have anything to actually do with the position and has ridiculously short-timed, detailed questions. Some aren’t too bad. But if you mess one up, you can’t retake it for another 6 months. So yeah, that kind of sucks.

Also, there are some sketchy AF jobs posted on this site. I applied for a position that I thought was an architectural company. But when I showed up for an interview, it was a entirely different company that was doing some crazy telemarketing scam-like calls that were never listed on the website at all. So…just be careful.

Career Builder (2 out of 5)

I found a couple interesting jobs on here, but nothing actually applicable to me and where I wanted to go in my career right now (which is ironic and sad considering the name of the site). I also got super spammed by their emails, which is pretty normal for these kinds of websites, but this one was worse than most. Their site was also much more difficult to navigate.

LinkedIn (2 out of 5)

I think this is one is more of a joke than most. I have a lot of connections on LinkedIn. But most of them are, well, in Indiana. Also, their “easy apply” for jobs doesn’t usually let you put a cover letter for employers. And some employers won’t even look at your resume without a cover letter. Plus the jobs listed are not as extensive as Indeed or even a Google Search. So that’s not great either. It’s also SUPER fun to see all your connections posting about great things in their jobs when you’re trying to find one yourself. Very self-confident-boosting.

A Google Search (3 out of 5)

So this was actually how I ended up using so many different job sites. What Google does is lets you see a lot of different websites’ postings and will take you to those sites when you click on a job. The job listing is not very extensive though. And also I’m not really happy with any of the sites it took me to, so maybe it’s helpful for finding other things that might be helpful? Google did show me a lot different options than Indeed had posted, so that was a plus.

Neuvoo (1 out of 5)

Funny story, I don’t remember signing up for notifications for this site, but they literally text me everyday and say something along the lines of: “Postmates wants to hire you.”

One: they would hire anyone. That’s not what I’m LOOKING for.

Two: if you click on the link in the text, you’ll see that the employer doesn’t actually want YOU exactly. They’ve just posted, you know, a job opportunity. For anyone.

I could stop these texts, but I find them strangely reassuring and entertaining. I like to think of it as a game of “who wants me to work for them tonight?”

Zip Recruiter (1 out of 5)

This one’s kind of funny too. Because it literally didn’t and still won’t work for me. I don’t know what happened, but no matter how many times I reset my password and tell my email that emails from this company are okay (even though they’re really not to be honest) I couldn’t get on the site more than one time. I only gave it a one star because they actually had decent customer service who *tried* to help me. It didn’t work. Whoops.

Conclusion

I think I’ll stick with Indeed for now, even though I kind of hate it in several ways. Finding jobs is really tough, especially when you don’t want to work for a company that you don’t plan on sticking with in the long term. But we must persevere and keep our chins tilted towards the sky.

2 Comments on “First Month in LA: Finding Jobs and Staying Alive

  1. Pingback: 10 Things That Will Surprise You About Los Angeles – Cornfields in LA

  2. Pingback: Scary Stories In LA (No. 1): What’s It Really Like to Live In Los Angeles? – Cornfields in LA

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