Hard time finding my first job at 20.

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    I have been job searching for the past 6 months and have had no luck.
    I don’t have experience except for being teachers assistants in high school, a counslers intern, and a vet assistant intern.
    Everything I’ve applied for has to have customer service experience which I dont have.
    I also might have social anxiety, i have such a hard time
    I recently had my first interview and I literally froze up and ended up crying. I knew exactly what to say and I prepared but I still froze up and cried ;(
    I dont know what to do anymore. I need a job so badly I can’t keep living like this anymore. I come from a poor and emotionally abusive family. I just need a way to become independent.
    But no one will give me a chance at their site ๐Ÿ˜
    This is more of venting.
    I’m just so stressed out.

    Mbali Mngadi

    I understand your pain. I’m sorry you’re going through this. I lost my job in February and it was a huge blow to my self esteem. Don’t give up. Somebody will give you a chance. Your time is coming….



    I got a job as a receptionist when I was 21. I had no experience whatsoever and just knew they weren’t gonna hire me, but they did, so keep trying. I had bad social anxiety back then too. It isn’t easy, but you have to be BRAVE. Take life one day at a time and start to set short term goals. For instance, ‘I will apply for X amount of job this week’. Or ‘The next time I have an interview, I will take deep breaths and say positive things to myself before I go’. It will be a process, but you will get better with time. I had to work on myself everyday to get better. Eventually, I gained confidence, so the work was worth it. Good Luck! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • This reply was modified 9 years, 2 months ago by Eva.

    Crystal, I am so sorry to hear of your stressful job search. It is NOT an easy process. Your background would be ideal for one on one care takingโ€ฆthere are lots of families looking for help with aging parents and children with developmental disabilities. Is this an option for you? Another thought (if you have access to a computer) would be applying as a virtual assistant, using your organizational skills from previous jobs? Do either of these suggestions sound like a possibility?? We are all rooting for you ๐Ÿ™‚


    Hey Crystal,

    You can do anything when you out your mind to it! I read the first line of your post and was like ‘ohhhh my goshhh! a vet intern?! a teaching assistant?! thats awesome!’
    I’m a higher level teaching assistant too, and i love my job. I’m looking for a new one like you are and i too have had emotional abuse from loved ones.

    I always keep my thoughts in my head and my mouth closed for if i said what i thought, i wouldn’t get very far. But really, all you need if self- belief and courage. Stand up and hold your head high; the children’s motto at school is “Reach for the Stars!” and as a member of staff, i believe in that too!

    Your best bet here, is to stay in education and work with children as an assistant. You’ll find it’s really rewarding and you can go home feel happy and relaxed after spending the day with young minds and personalities.
    From here too, you can safely and moderately expand your career whilst working, going from a level 2 assistant, to a level 3 and then even getting your HLTA status like me.

    In terms of having a social anxiety issue, try going out by yourself more often – perhaps to the cinema, or just for a walk, shopping, join a club or the gym. And after your confidence grows, you will be able to make friends and become more socially interactive. This will also help with you becoming more independent.

    Be kind to yourself, Crystal and remember to have confidence and self-belief.

    “If you have good thoughts, they will shine out your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” – Roald Dahl

    Best of luck!


    All of you are really great and I really appreciate of each your advice (: It made me feel a lot more better. Thank you all.

    Cee El

    Hi Crystal,

    I’m so sorry you are having a hard time finding a job and reaching that independence you need, on top of the emotional abuse you had experienced or are currently experiencing at home. I can see why you had broken down in your first interview. All of that sounds like a lot to be carrying around. I hope you can access a safe space and any resources you need to take care of yourself in the time being.

    I hope you don’t mind me sharing some advice/thoughts, which you can ignore or otherwise. I won’t mind at all. I read you said you were more venting than anything but in case any of this helps.

    I believe if you held a position where you had responsibilities in the past, even if it’s volunteer work or an unpaid internship, you can still transfer some skills into other seemingly different industries. Basic customer service skills are a willingness to learn, patience, attentiveness, knowledge of product, conflict resolution, and positivity/outgoingness. And the ability to act. It can be relatively easy to pick up. I think it’s just the closing deals and up-selling that one learns with experience. And schedule lots of self-care to make sure you don’t become cynical of humans and life.

    It might be helpful to make a list of all your past positions, internship or volunteer, and then list out the different skills you’ve learned and responsibilities you’ve had for each one so you can be fully aware of your abilities, strengths and weaknesses. And check out this .

    And, this is probably obvious, my apologies if you already know. If the job posting states previous experience as a requirement, you may be able to get away with communicating how you’ve practiced those skills in your cover letter. Personally, I usually avoid postings that say “x years of experience required” and go with ones that say, “experience is an asset, willing to train the right person”. That say though, it definitely won’t hurt to apply to the former ones. The “Fake it ’till you make it!” mentality might be helpful.

    Lastly, I highly recommend a book called the Woman’s Comfort Book by Jennifer Louden. While it says woman in the title I think the information would be useful for all genders. Borrow it from a library or buy it for keeps. Seriously. So good.

    I truly hope you find a job soon! Best of luck. ๐Ÿ™‚

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