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Old 02-06-2010, 11:20 PM
 
2 posts, read 4,853 times
Reputation: 15

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Before you get snarky. I don't want a good job. I'm a painter and I'll be looking for an insignificant job to pay my rent. I've been living as an artist below the poverty line for half a decade and, like a cockroach, I can live off the smallest morsel of employment for months.
When I say I'm an artist, I do not mean that I'm a graphic designer who wants a desk job with the newest mac and a condo. I do not mean that I'm a kid playing Jackson Pollock trying to hustle people because I saw a bad painting priced too high one time. I do not mean that I went to college, realized I had no skills, and only the art department would have me.
I am a smart, capable, 20-something that needs something to pay my rent while I live my REAL life.
My question is, can I expect to find part-time minimum wage employment (retail, barista, stocking) with my qualifications and a solid work history in under a month?
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Old 02-06-2010, 11:41 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
20,932 posts, read 22,518,996 times
Reputation: 32882
Well, I can give you an honest answer but you will call me snarky because it probably isn't want you want to hear. The jobs you mention are the most difficult to come by. That doesn't mean one or two might not be available at any given time but you will have a lot of competition.

Be pepared with a good amount of money for rent, food and other necessities to either tide you over while you are competing for jobs or to move elsewhere if you are not successful here. Take a look at various employers' websites to see if they are hiring. I don't know how reliable Craig's List is but it's a start. The State of Oregon has all sorts of jobs listed on it's website for both government and non-government jobs.
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Old 02-06-2010, 11:57 PM
 
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
86 posts, read 141,201 times
Reputation: 40
Hehe, I am quite similar to you, at least to some extent. I have a BA from a good university, don't care for a "real" job, and work to live, rather than the other way around. I found a job as a barista, which I use to fund my addiction to film and processing =p. I don't show or sell my photos though; I'm not sure whether you do that with your paintings for extra income. I consider myself smart and capable as well, though I don't want to rot in an office staring at an Excel spreadsheet for 40 hours a week. Sorry to be snarky =p.

I think if you look for it, rather than complain and whine and moan about the jobless rate like most people, you'll find a job. When I moved here about nine months ago, I made LOTS of photocopies of my CV, and went around town giving them out to everyone. It was a good way to explore a new city and apply for the jobs for which you're likely looking. I took an application from Starbucks, made about 20 photocopies (already filled out) and gave them to every Starbucks I could find. I got at least five calls within a month, but ended up getting a job as a barista at an independent shop (that serves Stumptown, no less).

BUT, in under a month? I wouldn't bet on it. That's not to say it's not possible, but be prepared to NOT find a job in that time. I'd say go for more 3-5 months to be on a safer side.

I make enough to live downtown in a nice area with a roommate, buy my film, go out a few times a week for drinks, etc., and still have money left over. That said, I utilities are included in my rent (which is under $400), internet is free, I don't need/care for cable television, I don't buy new clothing every week, don't go out to eat every night, don't buy useless junk, etc.
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Old 02-07-2010, 12:49 AM
 
2 posts, read 4,853 times
Reputation: 15
Minervah- out of curiosity, what would you say are the easiest jobs to find?

Yhbv24- thanks, that is what I like to hear. it's been a real challenge to figure out what people mean when they say the job market is hopeless... or to qualify it against my own job expectations. I do hope to sell paintings when I get up there and I'm actually pretty hopeful after some craigslist queries... evidently, even lousy artists were selling until recently. I also make metal jewelry and pull a steady $200/month from the Phoenix boutiques I show in. If I can land a couple of Portland boutiques, I might even be able to get by on odd jobs alone!
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Old 02-07-2010, 08:34 AM
 
Location: Houston TX
227 posts, read 525,309 times
Reputation: 111
Hey there,

I no longer live in Portland but I am still connected with the many of the artists there.
Many sell their work at Saturday Market. Some friends of mine run a gallery on 23'd. The arts community is thriving in Portland, you're just going to have to do some networking to get connected and rolling. As for "real jobs"? That news isn't so hopeful. I have friends with MBAs who have been unemployed for over a year. If I were you I'd keep those expectations low and either devote yourself entirely to the bohemian lifestyle and market your art, or try to find barista work. If you want more specifics, please PM me. I may be able to connect you with someone.
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Old 02-07-2010, 11:18 AM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
20,932 posts, read 22,518,996 times
Reputation: 32882
Quote:
Originally Posted by phx2pdx View Post
Minervah- out of curiosity, what would you say are the easiest jobs to find?
Although I have a job, I look at websites and Craig's List etc to see what else may be out there. I have found that, including the company I work for, the majority of jobs I see are high-tech or some type of management or finance jobs. Many of the job titles are pretty foreign to me. They describe a specialty I never heard of like "Websphere J2EE Integration Developer" which I am sure the tekkies will understand but most folk don't. There are also "Enterprise Architecture Specialist" or "Strategic Partner Consultant."

I took these off my company's website. Some the postings have been there for awhile probably because they are so specialized and most people who move here are not looking for that type of work. In other words, in my obsevation, the more specialized the skills in a limited field, the more opportunity for job openings.

YHBV24 has the right idea. Come prepared to work very hard at finding work. Come with money to support yourself while doing so for at least six months. You don't sound like your needs are great and that is definitly a plus. Portland can be very expensive but there are ways to get around that. It would be great if while looking for a job you could sell some of your artwork.

Keep in mind that even in the best of times, jobs in this city are not all that easy to come by. But if you are young and determined, you will probably succeed.
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Old 02-07-2010, 04:09 PM
 
Location: Houston TX
227 posts, read 525,309 times
Reputation: 111
ProTip:
Bring a bike. If you've got a car, sell it. Live in the city, Bike and take our excellent public transportation everywhere.
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Old 02-07-2010, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
86 posts, read 141,201 times
Reputation: 40
Portland does indeed have a great arts scene, filled with young people. You can find art basically everywhere, from proper galleries to small independent coffee shops. There is also First Thursday (The Pearl) and Last Thursday (Alberta St.) where artists can exhibit their stuff, especially Last Thursday, which is more independent, eclectic and far more crowded and fun, in my opinion. There's also the Saturday Morning Market on the waterfront (ThinkingThinking mentioned it), and various other places where you can show your art.
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:52 PM
 
Location: Greater PDX
1,018 posts, read 3,656,686 times
Reputation: 940
There is a difference between "great arts scene" and "high quantity of aspiring artists."
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Old 02-09-2010, 12:01 AM
 
Location: Wellington, New Zealand
86 posts, read 141,201 times
Reputation: 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Shaft View Post
There is a difference between "great arts scene" and "high quantity of aspiring artists."
True. I don't mean in terms of quality, but just people that are into art. Don't even get me started on today's art world =).
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