Since You Asked: Jobs Don’t Match Qualifications

It's critical to stay motivated and flexible

I’m a 27-year-old graduate with a M.B.A. who lives in a small town in the deep South. I only make $9 per hour on my job as a warehouse worker, which may end soon. I’m having the hardest time finding a decent job on an M.B.A. pay scale. Any recommendations?

—J. Johnson
Alabama

Although the job market is dismal, and only projected to get worse in 2009, don’t lose hope. It’s critical for you to be motivated and flexible in your job search. In other words, you’ll find work if you’re willing to step out of your comfort zone, area of expertise, or geographical location. Statistics show jobs are increasing in the education and healthcare industries. Look for business opportunities in these areas to put your M.B.A. to good use either in your hometown or elsewhere.

You might also consider becoming a professional freelancer to pay the bills. Post a free profile on Websites such as O Desk or Elance so companies can hire you for project-based and hourly work.

Make sure to join the National Black MBA Association and take advantage of its Conference Job Match program. CJM provides job matching between members and the more than 350-plus corporations and government departments at the NBMBAA’s Annual Conference and Exposition. The membership fee of $125 per year is well worth it for the investment and networking possibilities!

Annya Lott is the Careers editor at Black Enterprise.

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  • Maiyeko

    Remember too, your note doesn’t state how long you have been in the $9.00 an hour position or when you graduated, but if you stay in it too long your MBA will be useless. Employers will simply see Warehouse worker for __ years and typically exclude you from any opportunity that doesn’t involve a forklift.

    I highly agree, that you should investigate and test the waters in a metropolitan area. You can start by simply sending out your resume and seeing how many replies you receive (change the address to match the city, they aren’t going to check). If you know someone there ask if you can use their phone number on your resume or establish one by getting a pre-paid cellphone ( you can ask that the number be for any city you want), Skype is another (cheaper option) for a phone number. The reason being is that you don’t want to be ruled out as a candidate because you don’t live in the area, you can always work out the logistics if you have the financial means after you’ve accepted the position.

    Good luck…