Dear News Desk: I have been desperately searching for regular employment since relocating to Southwest Florida in October 2007. We both had been living in Tampa since 2002, and were married in June 2007. I have been practicing law in the Tampa Bay area since 2002.
My husband received an employment opportunity at Florida Gulf Coast University, and we decided to relocate for this great job! I left the law firm where I was working and we moved to South Fort Myers to be near the university. I immediately began a job search since relocating.
I took a job at a retail store, Tommy Bahama, which is one of the only forms of employment I could think of where I could find an immediate hire since “season” was coming.
I am still working for Tommy Bahama and with all the negative press on the job market in Lee County, I am probably lucky to have this job. I am still searching for a job in my field, as well as for work in a tangential field.
I’ve searched on lawcrossing.com, joined local bar organizations, used the Florida bar Web site, the local bar Web sites and craigslist. These are just the sites that I have used for a legal job search. In addition to legal jobs, I have applied to multiple other organizations such as Chico’s FAS and FGCU.
It seems that if you have a bachelor’s degree and a juris doctorate, but are applying for a lesser-qualified position, that employers will not consider your skills. Then, when I apply for jobs that require your education, I lack the necessary years of experience.
If I had to speculate, it will take an employer willing to look “outside the box” for their employee and at least take the time for an interview to see what this person is all about and the skills she does bring to the table.
I keep hoping that maybe the right fit is out there, and I need to keep being patient. It has been a year and a half, so this becomes a bigger challenge as time goes on. I used to be the breadwinner, and now I make little more than minimum wage.
I can type 55 wpm, but it seems employers do not want someone with as much education as I have for a clerical position. I’ve applied for this type of position, and was told that I was overqualified and that someone with four years of experience and a GED was more along the lines of what that particular employer is looking for.
I have five years of litigation legal experience in nursing home defense, knowledge of worker’s compensation, some insurance defence experience, and a little wills & trusts. I have experience as a receptionist, a secretary, an executive sales assistant and retail. I’ve even done light assembly work. I just need someone willing to give me a shot. Thank you, Erin R. Casey