You’re Young and Unemployed: Some Tips for Finding a Good Job

Editor’s note: Make It Missoula is collaborating with the Missoula Job Service to help people find local jobs so that they can move home to Missoula or continue to call Missoula home.

We’ll be regularly posting both job listings and job hunting and interview advice. Be sure to watch the Make It Missoula Facebook page for new job listing announcements.


Earlier this month, we reported on significant changes taking place in Montana’s workplaces.

While the numbers of older employed individuals continues to rise, younger people are finding it difficult to obtain and keep jobs.

Here are a few useful suggestions that might help you:


  1. Research your college major carefully and plan accordingly. Having a bachelor’s degree does not necessarily guarantee a job. In fact, many four-year college degree programs do not meet the requirements for employment in that field. Unless you are seriously committed to continuing your education at the Master’s level, be prepared to work outside of your vocation.
  2. If college does not appeal to you, consider pursuing one of the top jobs that doesn’t require a four-year college degree. The following jobs are in growing fields and may only involve obtaining an associate’s degree or receiving short term training: Dental Hygienist, Web Developer, Medical Secretary, Paralegal Assistant, Court Reporter, Surveyor, Insurance Agent, and Architectural Drafter. Yes, it is possible to find a good job in Missoula!
  3. If, after a lengthy and heart wrenching search, you still cannot find a job, consider relocating. Some states, like Iowa, Vermont, and North Dakota, have lower rates of unemployment and may provide better pay. You may return to Montana someday. For now, focus on survival, professional and personal growth.
  4. Remember that your dream job isn’t the only job out there. You may need to focus on working in another field or earning lower wages for a time. Although it may not be the perfect job, it may still add to your résumé. Look at the skills you can learn in the position and see how those abilities might enhance your chances of one day working in your chosen field.
  5. While waiting for your perfect job, work on making yourself more marketable. Look for opportunities to intern or volunteer, especially while you are pursuing your degree. Often internships or volunteer experiences will provide you with sought-after skills and the necessary experience to apply for better jobs.
  6. Look for networking opportunities. Every month individuals across Missoula attend professional functions to connect with other specialists in their fields. Consider joining the Missoula Downtown Association or the Missoula Greenhorns to meet others, share your talents, and build friendships. Who knows? These connections may lead to a job!

Remember, while it may be difficult to find a job in today’s economy it never hurts to prepare! Be mindful of the opportunities available to enhance your skills and abilities and be patient.

Hard work does pay off in the end.


Looking for a job in Missoula? Be sure to check out our Missoula Job Listings.  Be sure you “LIKE” the Missoula Job Service Facebook Page for daily post on job opening. You’ll also find Missoula-area information on Job Hunting ResourcesJob Hunting Tips, Job Interview Tips, tips for writing Cover Letters and Resumes.


Jennifer Lodine-Chaffey of the Missoula Job ServiceJennifer Lodine-Chaffey was born in Missoula and received an MA in History from the University of Montana in 2006. She currently works as an Employment Consultant at the Missoula Job Service, an organization that offers programs and services to assist employers and job seekers alike. Those looking for employment can view job openings on our job board, website, and social media outlets. Employment Consultants provide résumé reviews, conduct practice interviews, and offer skills testing.

The Job Service also provides a self-service area where job seekers have access to phones, a fax machine, a copier, and computers. Our qualified staff also offers business consulting services, including employee recruitment and retention assistance. Additionally, we provide financial support for businesses looking to train both new and current employees.

We are here to help our community!