Here are my ideas/suggestions if you are desperate for a job:
1. Shotgun approach – if you live in near an area with a lot of businesses, put together a resume, put on some nice clothes (long pants, nice shirt, etc) and go from business to business asking “Do you have job applications available at this time?” Leave a copy of your resume for every business even if they flat out say, “We are not hiring at this time,” because they might need you at some other time. If you do this for 10-15 businesses, chances of getting a call from at least one is significant enough to try. Hit a bunch and you might get a call from a few. Of course, don’t bring a shotgun with you.
2. Office supply businesses – There are several major businesses that specialize in office supplies. Looking for a job at one of these businesses may be beneficial for a couple of reasons. First, if you like talking and engaging with people or active engagement with clients in a retail setting, you may find working in this general retail setting to be tolerable. Second, if you are a student, working at an office supply business might not hurt, especially if they offer employee discounts on everyday stuff that you will need as a student.
3. Movie rental businesses – There are one or two major businesses that specialize in renting movies. If you don’t mind sorting, alphabetizing, engaging with clientele, and thinking about movies, you may find this to be a bearable job if you can manage to get hired.
4. Public library – Similar to movie rental businesses, but with books in mind, if you don’t mind being around books then this might be a stable option for a summer or something. Knowing a bit about books wouldn’t hurt either. :) Public libraries may have you complete a small qualifications test along with or following the submission of an application and/or resume.
5. Chain grocery stores – Because I do not want to give any business the upper hand by suggested one over another, I leave the titles quite vague but if you think about chain businesses that are responsible for selling food products and only food products, there should be one or two businesses that pop into mind. The chances that what you and I are thinking are different are quite slim if we are both thinking about multi-state chain businesses. Seeking employment at these sorts of businesses may significantly increase your chances of getting a job. In fact, I believe that there is a chain grocery store that operates with an employee union (I wont mention the name), but realize that employment in any business with a workers’ union may be a solid method you can use to bring some steady income.
6. Tech savvy – For all computer savvy geeks and nerds out there, there are many chain and local businesses that have some sort of division of computer repair/service that may not require A+ certification or proof of higher education. If you know the difference between SATA, SCSI, and IDE or what a RJ-45 cable is, you may want to consider getting yourself down to the local tech store and applying.
7. Local drug store – Often local drug stores have general retail positions available. Find out where they are and go apply if you think it would work.
8. Pet stores/pet supply stores – if you like animals, businesses specializing in pet supplies may have general positions open.
9. Head shops - if you know a lot about different sorts of smoking accessories, or if smoking (legal things) is something that you enjoy, consider applying at a local head shop. You may find a job like this to be engaging and tolerable.
10. Book stores – there are a couple businesses that specialize in books. Similar to the library, if you like books, this might work for you.
11. Temporary work at public schools – often schools might hire general positions for the summer to do basic tasks like cleaning, organizing, building basic school-related stuff like tables, etc. Check with local public schools to see if there are openings if you don’t mind this sort of work.
12. Family connections – if your family knows anyone who owns a business, see if they are in need of temporary help. You hold a slight advantage for knowing them through the family.
13. Pizza/pizza delivery – always an option if you are desperate. But make sure they don’t take advantage of you to the point where you are just spinning your wheels without getting anywhere (literally or figuratively).
14. Ebay – if you know how to spot deals, consider Ebay. Especially if you have old valuables laying around that you want to get rid of. Ebay might be touch, and often is, but it can work if you know what you are doing.
15. Home improvement businesses – there are two or three businesses I can think of that specialize in selling home improvement products. Most of the time you have to be 18+ to work at these places because of the risk of personal injury from lifting and moving things and the use of machinery.
16. General goods businesses – there are many chains businesses that specialize in selling a little of everything. As a near last resort, consider finding work here. Pay may be lower than elsewhere, but it is money.
17. Tutoring – if you are really far ahead in one academic area and feel that you could accurately instruct younger and less skilled folk about your area of expertise, consider it. For example: Spanish tutoring, math assistance, basic music lessons i.e.: guitar, etc.
18. Coffee businesses – It’s pretty obvious which businesses specialize in coffee. Consider this an option if coffee is your thing, or you don’t mind being around hot/cold liquid all day.
19. Local nature center – if you live in an city with a local nature center with employed maintainers, you might find this to be a reasonable place to apply. Especially if you love nature and don’t mind the ‘gross’ stuff like worms, bees, and whatever else nature haters are commonly afraid of.
20. Major events staff – if you live near a place where major events always occur, you may want to look for employment there, as positions like parking lot staff, basic security, head counters, kiosk operators, etc may be available depending on the sort of even being held. This may be a good option especially during summer when a lot of major events like concerts and plays are going on while many are away from school.
–Notice how I didn’t mention fast food as an option. Sure, it’s your choice, but I wouldn’t recommend it. No offense to anyone who has worked in the fast food business, but have you ever had a good look at someone who works a fast food gig? They look really tired and exhausted and I can only imagine you might feel similar. Unless you are beyond despair, I wouldn’t seek out fast food as an employment option. The high caloric content in much of fast food and the type of people it often attracts just makes it potential pitfall if you have a managed diet or a particular lifestyle lacking the sorts of things found at a fast food business.
If you can’t find a job, it’s ok, you don’t suck if the thought even crossed your mind. Many are having a difficult time finding a job. Fortunately, I currently have a job, but that is because one of the above worked for me. I work at a computer repair store because it’s who I am and what I’m good at.