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I’m tired of being shamed for having “less than” jobs.

9 months ago

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I have a college degree and initially when I first got it, I didn’t have 1) experience or 2) a car to get to my job. So I walked to work at Walmart. And now each time when I apply for jobs, I ALWAYS get asked “Um... so you worked at Walmart? Why is that?” Or a general “hmm that’s weird” kind of vibe. So what was I supposed to do? Sit home and collect unemployment? I’m so sick of the mentality of “I’m too good for THAT job” that so many college graduates seem to have.


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    FuzzArtist

    There's no shame in work. Any work. All work has dignity, even working at Wal Mart. Tell the haters to go pound sand

    9 months ago

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      IamEzcanor

      Like I always say work is work.

      9 months ago

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    Glassfern

    Worked at Target. The trick is to read over the job posting, and pick out what hard and soft skills you learned at Wal-Mart that would carry over to your new job. Things like time management, customer service, conflict resolution, team delegation, risk management, point of sales or troubleshooting technology are just examples.

    9 months ago

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      Jacam13

      This is excellent advice!

      9 months ago

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    BettyBornBerry

    Tell them that working there will get you money to pay for your daily expenses.

    9 months ago

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    optigon

    The thing that I've found that interviewers want to see is some sort of coherent narrative that builds a sort of personal story of your professional life and that the narrative supports the notion that they're hiring someone who is in control of their situation. So, ideally, you don't want to bring up that "it was the job that was available, so I took it," because it sounds like you're out of control of your circumstances. Instead, they want some through line or reason that suggests it was a conscientious choice that either supports your career or training. It helps if you can tie its presence on your resume to whatever you're applying to. So, instead of, "I took the job because it's what is around," maybe shoot for something like, "I worked at Walmart because it provided a flexible schedule for me to pursue my education and training." I'm guessing you studied something relating to social work, from what you've posted before, but you might be able to tie working at Walmart with being able to understand the perspective of prospective clients if you're applying to work for a social services organization or a practice that works on a sliding scale. All the while, at least in my experience, it's sort of a classist carry-over, but "The new job paid more money" is kind of a rude answer for those sorts of responses, despite the reality that it's part of the control of one's professional life narrative. It goes back to the sort of upper-class idea that money isn't a problem, so it's not a pursuit unto itself. (Despite it being a complete farce.) I hope that maybe that helps. I've been in a similar spot, especially when I was first starting off, and it's frustrating. Though in my case, I was mostly mocked by coworkers for "going into debt for that fancy degree, now I'm making more than you!" or having HR people at those places snub me because I had the degree. (They wanted non-degreed people because they weren't a threat. In my case, I posed the threat that I would take a job "in my field" once I got the chance, while people without degrees would have to put up with them.)

    9 months ago

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      Quicksilver9876

      Something I found kind of empowering - even people who tell a coherent narrative about their career are full of shit. I have a great narrative - I have worked in my field, going from a broad application into a specific area and now I'm considered an "expert". But it's not like each move was planned. It was a lot of luck, a lot of varied experiences, and when I tell a story I always pick out those experiences that support the story. I have never been a manager but I can tell a narrative of my roles that paint me in a "leadership" role. I have never been an analyst, but I can tell a narrative of my roles as if I had been hired specifically to crunch numbers. Look at what the job is looking for, then highlight the experiences that give you this narrative.

      9 months ago

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    mindonthepath

    Me too, my friend, me too. Degree-holding, yet working as a TA at an elementary school.

    9 months ago

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      camest

      How did you end up as a TA? I got my BS in business last June but can’t find any work and being a TA for an elementary school sounds fun.

      9 months ago

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    Desertbro

    You're supposed to get a $100K loan from your parents to start an indy business. Sheesh, poor folk don't know how it's done. /s

    9 months ago

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    Re0h

    Hmm, yeah I get shamed by my parents and older people who work at my job. If anyone has anything negative to say to me about where I earn my money, I just ask them are you gonna supply me with a higher paying job or at least help me find better work? Usually the answer is no or silence. I tell them money is money if it isn't illegal, it shouldn't matter where it comes from. People who shame you are bullying and secretly trying to break you and make you feel like you are weak minded for choosing work like that.

    9 months ago

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    paolocase

    I came from a developing country where classism was a thing. We were always told that in the West, there's honor in work, whether or not you worked at Walmart or at an office job. Moving here and going to school here taught me what a crock of shit that was.

    9 months ago

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    hellohellos

    what reason do you give them? i think your reasons are totally valid. sometimes you just need money and you're constrained by your geography. but i think their question is also valid. they want to get to know you better, they want to know why you made certain decisions. my first job was in a totally different field from what i studied and i often get asked why i chose it, and i just shrug and say i needed a job. it's worked for me.

    9 months ago

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      DefiantRanger9

      Needed to make payments on my student loan as well as rent. Everyone’s like “but Walmart (or X job) wouldn’t pay that off.” Yeah but it helps PAY SOME OF IT DOESN’T IT? 🙄

      9 months ago

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    Mannimar

    I spent 6 years as an "educator", I wasn't a teacher or your typical admin staff. I was essentially a daycare worker. In that position I learned training skills, time management, interpersonal skills, public speaking, and have many stories that would perfectly fit into a Star interview model. I spent some time in management with the roll as well and learned budget management, curriculumn development and staff management. For years I wasn't considered a reasonable candidate for a sales position, or trainer, or manager no matter how many places I applied to. It took some time, but eventually I found a carrier path that was willing to take a chance on me. I know it's hard, but you'll get there eventually. Just keep tweaking your interview practice to present those skills you learned in that "less than" job in the best light for the role you want

    9 months ago

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    Negro387

    America is a very crooked and corrupt country, feel no shame in working any job you have to till you can. I have a bachelors degree in business and have seen people with liberal arts degrees and the right complexion for the connection get jobs in industry who have no leadership skills or work ethnic don’t pay attention to the pretentious scum that run this country.

    9 months ago

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    radioflea

    Don’t feel badly about any job that you’ve taken. I know some incredibly entitled people who would refuse to work unless it’s a specific job that makes x amount of money per year. As a former HR representative I would always hire the people that took the entry level jobs because it showed me that they’re willing to start from the bottom to work there way up. it would also tell me that they’re willing to put priority over pride.

    9 months ago

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      DefiantRanger9

      Aww this is awesome to hear :-) and yeah we must know the same people haha. My best friend lives with her mother at age 35 and has a huge credit card debt she can’t pay off, because she’s not willing to work “less than jobs” (what she deems not worthy of her time) even tho the local factory is hiring at $18/hour starting. She instead complains that she has to live with her mom, and her mom won’t allow her to have a dog.

      9 months ago

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    Velky1

    These people giving you crap will lose their jobs one day and feel sorry they looked their noses down at hardworking people such as yourself

    9 months ago

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    Significant_Ad_7237

    That is awful that you have been treated that way! Seriously I applaud you for working wherever you were able to find employment and getting yourself there without a car! So many people wouldn’t do that! Keep on keeping on! Do not let people make you feel ashamed! That is BS! And also, if I were you, I would try to think of a way to respond, speak about how their evident behavior in judging you for having that position is addressed in a way that is not like what they are doing to you - so not shaming, unkind or agressive; not coming from a place of wanting to “get back at them” - but calls out that they are effectively being biased, judging you and the quality of your candidacy for a position and quite honestly probably violating quite a few of their own internal HR directives, as well as maybe erring in a direction that could open them up to your having the right to legally address, seek reparations (not a lawyer, so totally kind of just thinking out loud here...) based on their discriminating against you for working for Walmart. Perhaps ask to speak to an HR representative or their direct supervisor, even get the email for the executive assistant of the CEO/boss/head of the company; then I’d also Cc your former Walmart supervisor and even consider contacting and Cc’ing executive leadership at Walmart - bring this behavior to the attention of your interviewers’ leadership and to the attention of Walmart! Be diplomatic, base everything on purely factual, well-documented information without any emotive language use or embellishment and let people know you want to work, you are a high quality candidate and you see their bias and it’s not okay! Don’t give up! Don’t be shamed! You will find a position!!!! It takes sometimes hundreds of applications for all types of people with all types of backgrounds! But if you are able to - call this out in a way that shows the quality of human you are, addresses this ridiculous and behavior of employers and will be helping not just you, I hope, but all the other people who have to go through this and shouldn’t! Don’t give up!

    9 months ago

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    NikkiC993

    Then it bites you because you're "overqualified" and yet if attempting to apply for jobs one can be considered qualified then the waiting time between the degree and applying for that jobs becomes questionable. Yet if you are unemployed then might as well forget it too. Can't win either way.

    9 months ago

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    tw1080

    I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Management. I’m currently working a $13/hr job processing tenant applications for rent assistance for a consulting firm. Why? Because I was laid off and I need to work. I was raised by a single mother who worked her ass off my whole life, because she needed to. There’s no shame in honest work. And the *good* employers will recognize the value of that.

    9 months ago

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    ElectricOne55

    Ya, I've found some of the hiring managers at these jobs have really big egos of their company and want experience only related to the field. I went to school for pre physical therapy and worked in IT. I took a science based degree which could be considered harder than coding. Some of the interviewers would look baffled like they didn't know what physical therapy was, or they assumed firefighting was just chilling at the station all day and look surprised when I said all the training, drills, procedures, and changing protocols and documentation standards we had to follow. That goes to show that even jobs like that these employers still didn't respect because it wasn't "in their field"

    9 months ago

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    novaguy88

    Yea it’s definitely a stupid stigma that needs to leave. Most of us including myself started at the bottom. I found a job in and after high school classes at 15 making $8 an hour to fund a laptop. (My entire family at the time used the same PC). I grew from there in the IT field. Anyway my point is to ignore that garbage but make sure you’re on the step for a later goal. 2 years of retail can land a legit position in a company. You never know.

    9 months ago

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    Lovehard222

    There is no shame at having a job. It’s part of life and unfortunately, college degree is not enough. You need experience , a lot of it. You should use your experience at Walmart as a tool . Add skills you learned that will elevate your worth as an employee. A lot of people even exaggerate their skills. Also when you’re looking for a new job, you have to reduce your expectation. Everybody starts at the bottom, so you got to find a job where you already have qualification and a little experience (for exemple : a customer service coordinator) and with time you get a better job. Or you can also find an internship. Finally, it takes a lot of time to find a job after graduating. I have many friends is sociology who found a job related to their education 2 -3 years after they graduated. Also remember that when an employer calls you for a interview and asks questions about what you do, don’t get frustrated! They just want to know more about you , and they are aloud to do so. You just have to show them why you are the best even if you worked at Walmart. If they called you that means they are interested or curious about you.

    9 months ago

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    notahambanana

    I've been there! Got a BA and then worked at Target for four years before being able to get a job in my field. It took me a while to realize that my resume should say more of how I impacted my store (trained team members, increased sales, etc) and how those skills translated into the jobs I was looking for. Ngl, it took a heck of a long time to figure out which skills I gained while working retail and how it translated to what I was looking for. But knowing them made interviews a lot easier. Also I've had one family friend who completely and utterly shamed me for working at Target and insisted that I shouldn't be exhausted after working a 10 hour shift because exhaustion only comes from working "real" jobs.....🙄

    9 months ago

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    WoodenRefrigerator1

    2 cents here, maybe come up with a good excuse for working at Walmart, my relative works there, I only went for a week trial and ended up staying, you know the manager liked me there etc. Here in the UK, it's understated and not obvious but maybe play to the stereotype, that sounds like the easiest option.

    9 months ago

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      JoblessAndAJoke

      "Excuse"? Ffs.

      9 months ago

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    eatcheeseplease

    Have you had a few other jobs since then to fill up your experience section? If so, you maybe be able to leave Walmart off the resume.

    9 months ago

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      9 months ago

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    rayndomuser

    It’s more of how you’re responding to questions about your work history more than where you worked.

    9 months ago

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    rackfocus

    Be kind to yourself. Don’t let others define you.

    9 months ago

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    BeMyForever

    I take a lot of pride in my "less than" jobs. I learned a lot about customer service and how to properly handle all kinds of individuals with all kinds of temperaments. I still miss doing some of those jobs and I'd do them again if it weren't for the pay. My favorite place to shop is Walmart... let the haters hate....

    9 months ago

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    adviceth135

    I can definitely see why you are frustrated. It's a shitty thing to shame someone for doing work. Everyone needs money and I am sure that the people being derisive went to Walmart plenty themselves. There is nothing to be ashamed of for customer service jobs. There is a reason they are essential workers. And I agree that mentality of being "too good" for a job is not a good one. People can be picky all they want, but everyone needs money be they a college graduate or not. If someone asks you about it in an interview you can say the truth, it was the job available to you and it taught you great ways to deal with customers. That's a good skill to have in any field.

    9 months ago

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    BadBossesfromHell

    You could just say that’s the only job available in your hometown (maybe that’s true?) Many people come from humble means but it’s impressive to work with what you’ve got and then move up. You should be proud of your past work. If you’re applying for an office job or something above Walmart (which you deserve) they’re not always interested to know, because it’s a retail job (I assume ) so they’d rather know if you’ve done anything more relevant. Don’t let people’s opinions bother you.

    9 months ago

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    Tricky_Recipe_9250

    Don’t sweat it. Even when you are making top percentile income, you will feel bad because your friends are making more and have better titles. It is ALL RELATIVE

    9 months ago

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    SilverUSA

    I worked at walmart for 3 years. Most people sucked, the company sucked, the job sucked, but I proudly walked away from that job knowing that I have important experience dealing with any situation imaginable. People should value experience and job history like that more, customers are the reason businesses exist after all.

    9 months ago

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    FromTheMachine24

    Damned if you do. Damned if you don't.

    9 months ago

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    chickenboi8008

    I went through the same thing. I graduated with an engineering degree but couldn't find a job, so I ended up taking a manual labor job for the meantime. I remember my coworkers judging me; they were wondering why someone with a degree was working on the floor with them instead of up in the offices. They were immigrants who didn't have degrees (with some speaking little English) and here I was, born in America and recently graduated with a 4 year degree with student loans working a barely above minimum wage position. It was honestly disheartening at first but when I went to interviews and was asked about that position, I told them what I learned from the experience and how that translated to me becoming a better engineer. I ended up getting an office job later on in engineering after quitting that manual labor job. I think you just have to put a positive spin on the experience and show how the skills you gained from that job are transferrable to the ones you're applying to. Don't make them shame you for your work; turn it around and show them what you've learned and how that will contribute to the position you're applying for.

    9 months ago

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    iceleo

    God, I feel this. I work in the culinary industry and I am trying to find jobs. I have been unemployed for two months. People in the interview were judging me for being unemployed and asking why....its literally a pandemic...the business is doing terrible for one thing, and there are millions of people unemployed!

    9 months ago

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    McKeon1921

    This post has such good comments to help this that I'm saving it. Also, I do hate that this attitude exists.

    9 months ago

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    parachute--account

    Don't sweat it. My early career jobs don't even make it onto my CV any more now I'm in my late 30s. I only list the ones that are directly relevant to my current work. Degrees are relegated to the back page. I worked places way worse than Walmart as well.

    9 months ago

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    livingwithghosts

    I have never experienced this as I moved up better jobs. I have experienced being asked what my experience translated to. I think this is your own personal translation of the situation.

    9 months ago

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    mundanelobster8

    Say you worked corporate, problem solved

    9 months ago

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    PltrStonk

    Put your money into the stock market. $BB & $GME. I am not a financial advisor.

    9 months ago

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