About a year ago, I was sick and depressed, and managed to sleep through two days' worth of what was supposed to be scheduled work hours. I was assumed to have left without notice and let go from my job (retail) as a result. It was a position I had held consistently for over 5 years.

Since then I've been doing better mentally and physically, but not financially. I was able to do some traveling and even got an associate's degree. But, my financial situation is only getting worse over time, and if I'm not able to become employed again soon I don't know if I'll be able to continue attending university.

I've been trying to land halfway decent positions with no luck so far for a while now, and I'm a little tired of no results. I want to work in and I have experience in digital illustration, graphic design, and web design, but haven't actually been employed in any of these in a capacity I can put on my resume.

To make things worse, I'm kind of an introvert and I haven't maintained any connections with any relevant references: previous employers, coworkers, teachers or classmates. Even family isn't much of an option: Either they live outside the country, or I haven't talked to them in months and they aren't aware of my situation.

So, what can I do? I personally know that I'm up to working and putting in the elbow grease to dig myself out of my hole, but my resume is an absolute disaster...

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    If you have a skill set, you don't need to be employed in that area to put it in on a resume. It is OK to have side projects section. Many employees are equally (or even more) impressed by self-taught individuals. – Akavall Mar 14 '17 at 5:00
  • You may have to accept working some absurd hours in retail or literally whereever else they'll take you to keep attending uni. – Magisch Mar 14 '17 at 10:10
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    Also, how about posting on free Internet boards such as craigslist (if you have this in your area) and offering your services as a freelancer? – Teacher KSHuang Mar 14 '17 at 11:54
  • Or even the old-fashioned way and on actual bulletin boards (but this will require added expenses of printing). Meanwhile, be sure to showcase your portfolio when you are posting. – Teacher KSHuang Mar 14 '17 at 12:00
  • Actually, I just realized that you don't even need to confine yourself to the craigslist in your area. Because the work you do is digital, you could use any area that has the most listings (of freelance work in your field) or that has the least competition (of freelancers in your field). – Teacher KSHuang Mar 14 '17 at 12:02

Take whatever job you can get to keep afloat. Look in the usual places, newspapers, labour department if there is one. If you're studying, that's what you do to keep focused on your goal. Don't worry so much about what industry, great if you can find one that matches, but it shouldn't preclude all other options unless you're independently wealthy.

There is quite often menial jobs available that pay surprisingly well, I made a lot of money cleaning offices at night at one point. Moved concrete slabs, painted roofs, planted trees, plenty of things require little to no skill, just a willingness to work. Some were paying $300 or more a day if you worked hard enough, back in the days when that was a lot of money.

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