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Old 06-07-2009, 10:05 AM
 
Location: Maryland not Murlin
7,347 posts, read 13,929,814 times
Reputation: 4503
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seafarer6981 View Post
I need to come to Maine and live for a year, to A) Decide if I can handle the climate change and general change and B)To gain residency so that I may attend school for about half as much as I would otherwise. My plan, as it were, is to move to Portland (with the idea that there will be more jobs available). I wouldn’t mind serving or bartending, but I would rather work in the marine industry. I don’t have a lot of savings, maybe enough to hack it out for two months in a cheap rental looking for a job. And I can always dip into the ol’ credit cards. So the way I see it, I could probably tough it out for up to three months without employment before I’m completely bust.
The climate is not much different between Portland and Louisville, with the only real exception is the Louisville is hotter and more humid in the summer and Portland is more snowy in the winter.

My advice would be to come up here with enough money to 'hack it out' for at least four months. Ideally, six months. While Portland has more jobs than any other Maine town, don't expect to just walk in here and get something right away.

Restaurant jobs, aka service industry jobs, are abundant but there are two factors involved that make it difficult to acquire a job in this field:

1) While Portland is not a traditional college town, there are many college students here (between USM, MCOA, UNE, SMCC, and a few others). Students take most of the non-degree related employment options around town (i.e., restaurant work) over the summer. You will see many Help Wanted signs go up towards the end of August and early September as the college kids go back to school, but these positions fill up rather quickly as well by local residents who are looking to supplement their income during the slower winter months.

2) Many restaurants cut back on their staff during the slower winter months. With tourist season over, the amount of off-the-street business drops off dramatically and only the already-well-established restaurants continue to do high volumes of business over the winter. Incidentally, the people who work at these places sure as heck are not going to quit their jobs because it is really, really, hard to find a restaurant job around here during the winter and if you do A) you will only be hired for 10 to 20 hours a week B) the boss/owner is a complete a$$hole and can't keep employees C) you will only work for a couple of months through the holidays and then get 'laid off' until April or May.

A bar tending job is going to be harder to get for a new-comer.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Seafarer6981 View Post
Am I completely nuts? (no wait, I think I know the answer to that). Is this a viable option?
After one post, who knows. You could be a complete nut job for as far as anyone knows and just to offer a different opinion for the sake of variety, I am going to say yes, you are effin' nuts!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seafarer6981 View Post
Is anybody out there connected with the maritime industry who could give me specific advice?
You are going in the right direction with the MMA. The only other possibilities are to join the Coast Guard or to just take the Coast Guard licensee test.

USCG Approved Captains License Courses -- New England Maritime

You can check out the Coast Guard prep. book from the library for both the Six-Pack test and the 100-ton test. It's a sit-down test so it's not like they actually take you out on a vessel to prove your skills. You may or may not be required to show proof (log book) that you have the experience.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Seafarer6981 View Post
What is the job outlook right now for non-college grads and how hard is it to live in Portland on that kind of income.
Chances are you would need at least one room mate but I do know of a few people who live in studios alone. It is doable, but it really depends on the type of lifestyle that you lead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seafarer6981 View Post
Mind you, my tastes are simple, but I need clean and safe. When is the best time of year to move? In reality I would like to come this fall after I make a couple of visits this summer.
Like I said above, trying to find employment in the fall is going to be pretty slim pickings. I would say April or May is the best time, at least as far as service industry jobs are concerned.

While Portland does not have a Ghetto, there is a seedy side and a few spots that I would not recommend (Grant St. for one, The area near Whole Foods as another). I have gone over my views regarding Portland crime numerous times in the past, so I'll just say that while you do not have to worry about drive-by's or being robbed at gun-point you shouldn't get cocky with the safety factor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seafarer6981 View Post
From everything I’ve heard, Portland is a beguiling and inviting place. Shall I continue to assume so?
Uh, Mainers themselves are friendly, kind, and inviting, but Portland has ALOT of residents from out of state who bring with them their particular brand of mannerisms. So expect to meet some downright rude people.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seafarer6981 View Post
My political slant is to the left, do you think I would feel more at home in Portland?
In Portland, yes. You should have little to no problems. However, Portland is not the bastion of liberal sanctity that Mainers from other parts of the state tend to believe. You will run into people with all kinds of political, social, religious, etc., etc., views here that differ, sometimes to an extreme end, from yours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seafarer6981 View Post
Does anyone have a job for a multitalented, bi-lingual (Spanish/English) guy? Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.
Not off the top of my head. Spanish is not really spoken around here so as someone who is fluent in English and Spanish might have the leg up, I just can't think of where, though.
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Old 06-07-2009, 05:32 PM
 
Location: On a Slow-Sinking Granite Rock Up North
3,509 posts, read 3,313,742 times
Reputation: 2333
Welcome to the Maine Forum

Here's a link to start you off on your job search:

Jobs - Portland, Maine

Here's a link to Maine Maritime Academy:

Maine Maritime Academy-world's best seamanship instruction.

I don't know diddly about the Portland area (but Irfox certainly posted a great post for you)

I do know several people who went to MMA, and they really enjoyed it, and were successful with it.

You should definitely come up and tour Maine to get a feel for it as well as to scout out the cost of living expenses.

Good luck in your endeavor!
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Old 06-07-2009, 05:39 PM
 
Location: On a Slow-Sinking Granite Rock Up North
3,509 posts, read 3,313,742 times
Reputation: 2333
[quote=K-Luv;9176587]
My advice would be to come up here with enough money to 'hack it out' for at least four months. Ideally, six months. While Portland has more jobs than any other Maine town, don't expect to just walk in here and get something right away.

Chances are you would need at least one room mate but I do know of a few people who live in studios alone. It is doable, but it really depends on the type of lifestyle that you lead.

Good points! Come prepared and perhaps willing to take whatever job you can get until you can find something more suitable to your goal.

Uh, Mainers themselves are friendly, kind, and inviting, but Portland has ALOT of residents from out of state who bring with them their particular brand of mannerisms. So expect to meet some downright rude people.

Thanks for pointing that out
[quote]
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Old 06-07-2009, 09:35 PM
 
Location: portland, me
514 posts, read 1,085,154 times
Reputation: 163
Figure out what is the bare minimum that you need for an hourly rate for a job. Then look like crazy. Eventually you will have to settle for something that probably pays less than that, but the great thing about Portland is that job offers tend to be more frequent once you have a job. Getting the first one is the hardest part.

I've had several friends go to MMA. They all have good jobs now, and have always had an easy time of getting one in the past. The Boston area employs many MMA grads.

Many Maine College of Art students stick around all year here due to the strong art scene in Portland. This means that many of them are always looking for roommates. Hit up maine.craigslist.org for available roomies and apartments. Studios are pricey, but a roommate or two will make paying rent a whole lot easier.
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:16 PM
 
1,961 posts, read 2,935,745 times
Reputation: 1782
Go for it Seafarer!!
You are young and you can risk it. Take advantage of your ease of mobility now before you are saddled down with too much responsibility. Life is an adventure!
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Old 06-09-2009, 09:42 PM
 
2 posts, read 3,166 times
Reputation: 14
Wow! I can't believe how helpful and insightful you guys are, especially Irfox. I can see why you are so well respected here and I'll go ahead and guess, elsewhere. I was busy over the past couple of days and just had a chance to write a big:

THANK YOU ALL!!!

Judging from what everyone has said, it would be a good idea to wait until the spring/summer to go. I've also been looking at some seasonal employment @ CoolWorks.com - Summer Jobs and Seasonal Jobs in Great Places. I am as determined as ever and I have to remind myself that this idea just came to me a few weeks ago and it might take a year or two to come to fruition. So, I'm going to try to maintain my patience while I'm investigating all of this. Thanks again every one.
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Old 06-25-2009, 10:01 PM
 
Location: las cruces nm
15 posts, read 27,696 times
Reputation: 18
i grew up in bangor and pittsfield and i lived in portland for about 6 months in 2000 (i couldn't stand the traffic and went back to bangor at the time, yuk yuk)... now i don't know if it's changed but there were a LOT of factory jobs through temp agencies like manpower, kelly, etc. they paid decent, some of them were the kind of jobs that would drive you crazy if you did them for too long (very repititious) but they paid the bills while you're making other plans. as long as you can pass a manual dexterity test they would send you to Nichols something-or-other, Idexx, Barber Foods, the B&M plant, Jordan meats, Sappi Paper (the old Westbrook Mill) assemblin stuff or packing or food processing... depending on your personality type that can be more agreeable than service jobs. like i said that was 10 years ago so you got to take suggestion that with a grain of salt.

i don't think portland is financial suicide compared to other parts of the country. i think portland is the kind of place where you at least have a chance of being recognized/ rewarded as a hard worker. (Not to say there aren't plenty of people stuck in undesirable jobs in Portland for one reason or another.)

rents were kinda ridiculous as i recall and the housing market was so tight landlords thought they could get away with a lot (not fixin stuff, etc). there are good places to rent, but it takes time and a little luck. hope your endeavors go well.
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