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Job hunting in down economy exhausts students


By: Olivia Tritschler

Senior Lindsey Story takes on the tedious task of searching for a job, instead of enjoying typical teenager activities like going to the mall or movies, with the hopes of finding a suitable job. Due to the economy, job hunting proves to be unsuccessful for adults and adolescents.

There are students who have jobs and spend their free time and weekends at work, while others continue to apply in hopes of getting a chance to earn money. Story has been trying to get a job since last summer. In gaining work experience she hopes to have an advantage over other applicants.

“I have filled out many applications online and at the actual stores or restaurants,” Story said. “I have also babysat a few times and applied at the recreational department to referee for soccer, which I have been doing for the past two weeks.”

Relationships with employees can increase the chance of getting a job. Parents who have their own company or store may give jobs to their children or family friends.

“My mom’s friend helped me get the job since she volunteered at The Twig Shop in Southside Regional Medical Center,” junior Emily Kidd said. “She thought it was a good idea for me to volunteer for six months for college hours.”

For teens having extra money can be a great advantage, but jobs also offer more than money. The experience working and the responsibility that come along with a career might motivate people to search for a job.

“I am looking for a job so I can be able to pay for my own things, such as gas for my car and clothes,” Story said. “I also want one so I can be prepared for the future for when I will actually need a job.”

Parents support their children’s decision to find a job. Parents’ influence can convince young adults to contact businesses to see if they are in need of help.

“My parents do have an influence in applying for jobs,” Story said. “They constantly tell me to go out and apply, because they want the best for me so I can get a feel of what it is like to be responsible and to be prepared for after high school.”

Time management is a necessary skill when students have to juggle school, extracurricular activities, a job, and hanging with friends.

“It’s not really difficult doing homework since we are allowed to bring it to work,” Kidd said. “I don’t have a lot of free time anyway being on the dance team, but I work on the weekends so it doesn’t cut into free time too badly.”

Applying to jobs is a lengthy process. First comes the application and then it may be followed by an interview. Lastly, one has to wait till they get the call saying they have been hired.

“My least favorite thing about the application process is writing the same information over and over again,” Story said. “It gets tiring after awhile.”

Outside of school it can be awkward to see a teacher, but English teacher Elizabeth Houlihan has other jobs to receive more income. Houlihan gives haunted ghost tours in Richmond and participates with Will Power to Youth, a company that helps crossing over gang and racial lines through theater.

“Part of [having a second job] is to earn extra money to pay back college loans faster or to be able to renovate part of the house,” Houlihan said. “The other part is that I enjoy giving the tours and working with the kids.”

Sacrifices have to be made in order to have a job, or two. Work cuts into free time, and the time spent with family and friends.

“Luckily my husband also works for Haunts of Richmond so it is something we do together,” Houlihan said. “For example I do not have a free weekend in Sept. or Oct. because we are getting into our busiest time of the year.”

Hard work and dedication might not always get the job, especially in a down economy, but they show that one is responsible enough to be trusted. This gives a major advantage over other applicants.

“You need to be willing to work no matter what the job,” Houlihan said. “We were hiring at the beginning of the season and received over fifty applications. Once we starting going through the interview process people would not show up. This showed that they were not willing to work even though they applied for the position.”

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  • D

    Diana O.Mar 8, 2011 at 9:24 pm

    Great article. Wow as a senior I really never thought about getting a job. My main focus is school and sports. I made a compromise with my parents of good grades and excel in my sports and they will help me out in whatever. I leave the jobs to the ones who actually need it especially in this difficult economy.

  • U

    Unique LarryMar 4, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    As much as I really wish I could get a job I don’t think that at this point and time I would really even have the time.Balancing school and a job becomes difficult kudos to those whom of which do their jobs.

  • C

    Conner StevensonJan 14, 2011 at 9:38 pm

    Finding a job right now is so hard. I have been part of the job hunt for a few weeks now and have luckily found a few places that are willing to hire, but not after a long search. Good luck to anyone looking. I hear Lowes is hiring:)

  • C

    Carrie YoungJan 13, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    Most jobs want you to have experience in that particular field before they even hire you. That can be hard to get when everyone wants you to already have experience. I’m going to be looking for a job this summer, just like every other teenager in America, so it should be pretty tricky.

  • S

    shelby reynoldsJan 2, 2011 at 11:30 am

    its so hard to get a job right now..not only because of the need for a part time..but the crazy hours i need..and then the fact that none are available…ive looked at alot of jobs and its crazy that i havent gotten one yet..i also have a friend who had done more searching thn i…he has applied to litterally over 20 in colonial heights alone and has yet to get a job. money is tight and buisness are not hirings..its quite frustrating.

  • M

    Madison GuidryDec 17, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    I agree with Raya that it is very hard to fid jobs due to our age. Plus there are not many local openings. I work very hard at school and my job would also come second. I agree with my parents because they think that my main focus should be school. If you want a job I think it is great if you can balance a job, school, and friends.

  • J

    Jill FairchildDec 16, 2010 at 11:30 am

    I agree with Rachel. My main focus is my school work and everything else comes second. I would hate to get a job instead of another applicant, when they might have had more time to do a better job. My parents would also prefer it if I focused on school which has a big impact. I usually agree with what my parents say.

  • R

    Rachel ArnoldDec 15, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    As much as I want a job I just don’t think I would have time for it and when I do something I try to put all my effort into it. The last thing I would want to happen is for my grades to suffer just to earn a few extra bucks here and there.

  • J

    Jessica TaylorDec 13, 2010 at 10:38 am

    I have thought about applying for a job before and I would like to, but I just don’t have time for a job right now. I am definitely going to try to get one next summer though. So I guess then I will be able to relate to Lindsey.

  • R

    Raya GirardDec 1, 2010 at 6:35 pm

    I have also been searching for a is very frustrating because for so many places there is an age requirement and unfortunately the age requirement is usually 18 especially in restaurants and many retail stores like macys. On one hand I really want a job for gas money but on the other hand I am afraid I won’t have enough time to work, do cheerleading, and study or complete homework.