Lowcountry Job Hunting

Whether you're a Charleston native, looking for a change in workplace scenery or new to town and looking for a job opportunity, this post is for you. This overview of job hunting in the Lowcountry is a pathway to a fresh start.

Overall tips:

Charleston is ultimately still a small town. Networking can get you far in finding connections to jobs that might interest you. It never hurts to meet new people or connect with people you maybe haven't seen in the years since you were in your previous workplace role. The new, every day Charleston newsletter, Chs Today, sends out daily networking suggestions, like the Lowcountry Local First Mixer or East Cooper Networking. We'd even suggest joining a social sports league, Meet-Up, or volunteering around town.

Even in the age of email, texts, and networking, Resumes and Cover Letters are relevant. Some tips and tricks here. 

This summer, National Career Fairs is hosting a Charleston Career Fair, free for job seekers. You could also set up a Google alert to be notified when a new search with the words "Charleston job fair" or "Charleston career fair" become available. 

If you're on Instagram, they now allow you to follow hashtags. Check out #chsjobs and #charlestonjobs for a start.

Photo via @chstoday

Some of our largest and most known local employers and links to their career sites:
Boeing
Blackbaud
BenefitFocus
Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)
Roper St. Francis Hospital
East Cooper Medical Center
Charleston County School District
Charleston County Parks & Recreation
Charleston County Public Library
City of North Charleston
Town of Mt. Pleasant
Berkeley County Government
College of Charleston
Trident Technical College
The Citadel
South Carolina State Ports Authority

Local and national employment sites:
Lowcountry Classifieds
SciWay
Digital Corridor
Indeed
Simply Hired
Glass Door
LinkedIn
Facebook (yes, they've even jumped on board!)

Contract work:
Upwork
Freelance
Guru

Non-profit specific job listings:
Together SC

Teleworking:
(the use of home computers, telephones, etc, to enable a person to work from home or in a shared office space while maintaining contact with colleagues, customers, or a central office)
Local Works
Work Nest

This post has been a long time coming, packed full of useful information, but we would love to hear your feedback, as well. What did you find as your best resource when you were job hunting in the Lowcountry? Do we need to expand on any details of continuing the search?

Ultimately, we hope you find something fulfilling, challenging, and FUN and we believe there are plenty of opportunities for that in Charleston.

Updated 3/7/18:
CharlestonWorks
Center for Women, Ready 4 Work program

A Love Letter from Kristen Cobb

Kristen:

In May 2008, my then boyfriend (now my ride or die, hubby, Walker) and I graduated from the fabulous, beautiful College of Charleston and packed up his 1997 Tacoma truck with a suitcase full of clothes, climbing and Ultimate Frisbee gear and our 2 fur babies to head out West. Charleston had been good to us, but we had the itch for travel and adventures. Little did we know how this big adventure would drastically change our lives. After 3 months of living the dream of climbing, playing Ultimate every day, and hiking I had this feeling that I needed to take a test to determine our next move. This test: First Response. And as soon as those two little lines appeared, our lives were positively changed forever. Two, wild at heart, hippies, that couldn't seem to keep a plant alive for more than 2 days, were going to be parents. Excuse me, what? Now instead of deciding of what sick, new mountain to climb or what Ultimate tournament to go to we had to decide on the best place to raise our “Cobblet” (as we came to call her); Boulder or Charleston. It did not take more than 10 minutes before we looked at each other and said in unison, "Charleston". Walker's mom and our amazing college friends lived in Charleston and my family was only 3 hours away in Charlotte. Growing up, we both loved the idea of living at the beach. Fast forward 8 years, with another beautiful Cobblet added to our line-up, and hundreds of life experiences under our belt, we know we made the right decision. Charleston is simply the best place to start and raise a family. Not only is it a beautiful place to live, but this city is more than that, it is a community that loves and supports each other. 

Walker and Kristen, being fancy at a wedding last year

Walker and Kristen, being fancy at a wedding last year

Our Cobblets, 2 beautiful girls, Brooklyn (7) and Hadley (almost 6), are perhaps the luckiest and most loved children in Charleston, better yet, the world. My girls have the best family and extended family one could ask for (Charleston Ultimate Frisbee community). Not only do these girls have an awesome support system but they live in a city with a different beach to choose from every weekend day and endless activities to keep their minds growing. Some of our favorites:

These girls have not 1, but 3 beaches within 15 miles of their backyard. Our favorite beach is Sullivan's Island. Sullivan's Island is also where Walker and I said “I do” in front of mating dolphins (sound clip here), family, and friends. Perhaps our favorite part of Sullivan’s is Station 30. This is where my girls first felt sand in their toes, got taken out by their first wave, picked up jellyfish, and practiced their swimming.

Babies at the beach

Babies at the beach

Cobblets after a day on Sullivan's Island

Cobblets after a day on Sullivan's Island

Aside from the beaches, Charleston has many museums, plantations, parks and tours to educate and entertain your children. From Magnolia Plantation to Charlestowne Landing to McLeod Plantation to the Charleston Museum to the Yorktown to Fort Moultrie and many more. Our family favorites include but are not limited to Boone Hall Plantation, Waterfront Park, and the Children's Museum of the Lowcountry.

Boone Hall Plantation offers many fun activities throughout the year. Our favorites are the Lowcountry Oyster Roast, strawberry festival and the Pumpkin Patch/Fright Nights. The Strawberry Festival and the Pumpkin Patch offer so many activities from trail rides, 3-story slides, jump pillows, petting zoos, local foods to try, and so much more.

Waterfront Park is nestled right under the Ravenel Bridge with beautiful views of downtown, the Yorktown and water. Besides having a great playground there is a huge field for families to have picnics, throw a frisbee, or kick a soccer ball. The park also offers a pier for fishing, sitting on porch swings, a monument to our Veterans in the Lowcountry, and a shop where you can buy souvenirs, sandwiches and most importantly it has soft-serve ice cream, a Cobblet favorite.

The Children’s Museum of the Lowcountry is a non-profit organization in the heart of downtown and offers a wide range of creative things for children of all ages to get in to, even babies. For the first couple of years of my girls life, we spent many days there hanging with friends learning and exploring our imaginations. And during the summers when school is out, the Children’s Museum offers a great summer camp for kids ages 3-10 from Jedi Training to Iron Chef to Harry Potter and so much more!

A young, Brooklyn, at the Children's Museum of the Lowcountry

A young, Brooklyn, at the Children's Museum of the Lowcountry

Making that decision in 2008 to move back to Charleston turned out to be the best idea we ever had and probably the best thing we could have done for our girls. The Cobblets are growing into curious, caring, active, supportive, and driven individuals and we have to say that along with our parenting and framily (friends + family), the Charleston community has had a big impact and we are so thankful.

 

Bio (by Emily):
Kristen lives in Mt. Pleasant with her husband, Walker, the Cobblets, and their fur baby, BoBerry (like the biscuit). This month, she is graduating Magna Cum Laude from the MUSC Accelerated Program with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Just last week, she passed her boards. In her free time, she can be found playing Ultimate Frisbee or completing a marathon or triathlon.

Kristen and friends at a Triathlon 

Kristen and friends at a Triathlon 

Lowcountry Hearts

Emily:
This past Saturday, I walked into a restaurant to meet friends for dinner (notedly: before the Garth Brooks concert). Glancing into the sea of people, I spot Andy first. Hair in a chignon, stunning earrings, and a white faux fur coat that's bound to catch anyone's eye. First impression, this is Andy. She's beautiful, bold, and wasn't afraid to rock a 15 pound wedding dress when she married the man of her dreams this past year. But we're not here to talk about Andy's fashion (oh, but maybe we are closer to Charleston Fashion Week), we're here to talk about her heart. Andy's true passion, outside of her close-knit family that includes her husband Travis and French bulldog, Bernice, is her selfless job as a Certified Cardiovascular Perfusionist at the Medical University of South Carolina. One where she wears a beeper at all times, to be on call for the lives of others. Just like she's on call for her friends 24/7, with a heart (and love) of gold.

And now we present to you...

Andy:

Doesn't it seem like there's a holiday for everything these days? Just last week, I saw where it was National Chocolate Donut Day. Right before everyone's favorite, Valentine's Day. We expect to see heart shaped boxes, chocolate hearts, heart shaped balloons, and love all around, but that's not what I'm here to talk about.  Silently hiding underneath the Hallmark giant, is a smaller, less celebrated February date that makes our collective hearts skip a beat. It’s Congenital Heart Disease (CHD) Awareness Week. 

CHD Awareness Week is meant to bring awareness to the community and bond those individuals and families who are affected. CHD is an umbrella term for any defect in heart structure present at birth. It can take many forms, ranging from a simple “hole in the heart”, to a Blue-Baby, to syndromes incompatible with life.

The cause of a CHD is often unknown. Each year approximately 40,000 babies are born in the United States with a congenital heart defect and approximately two to three million individuals are thought to be living in the United States with CHD. Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defect, with 1 in every 100 children born having CHD. Those statistics are too haunting for any mother or family to bear alone.

Luckily, as if life isn’t perfect enough living in the Lowcountry, we have MUSC Children’s Hospital. MUSC is the only pediatric cardiac surgery center in the state. Every neonate, infant, toddler, child, pre-teen, and teenager with CHD will pass through MUSC’s door. MUSC is something truly special. It has a highly specialized team of professionals who dedicate their lives to saving the smallest members of our community; the Pediatric Heart Program.

Read an email directly from the Chief of Pediatric CT Surgery, Dr. Scott Bradley:

“To all-I want to let you know some good news about our program. We recently learned that the MUSC Pediatric Heart Program received the highest rating (3-stars) from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS) Congenital Heart Surgery Database. The STS database includes essentially all of the pediatric heart programs in North America; there are currently 117 participating programs. [ . . .] overall outcomes are graded from 1-star (worse than expected) to 3-star (better than expected)[. . .] Only 10 out of the 117 programs in the database received a 3-star rating in the most recent public report. Due to the statistics involved, it is particularly hard for a smaller program to achieve a 3-star rating, which makes our accomplishment even more significant [. . .] this achievement reflects the efforts of everyone involved in the pediatric heart program. We should all be very proud of this -- Congratulations!”

MUSC is one of the top 10 hospitals in the country for little hearts, ranking next to giants in NYC, Philadelphia, and Boston. This achievement is a conglomeration of years of dedication, research, studies, practice, and education. And of course, love. Many times, the team operates on a small, sick baby for hours, and the surgeon stays scrubbed in from 7am until 7pm, never taking a break or even breaking scrub. And after an entire day in the operating room, I see the surgeon’s pull a chair next to the baby’s bed in the ICU. Instead of going home to their own families, they spend the night at their patient’s side. That’s love. 

Image: The Room2Cru, the pediatric heart team operating

Image: The Room2Cru, the pediatric heart team operating

Here are stories of the lives CHD has touched, specifically MUSC's own success story Jake Paul.

How You Can Help
There are dozens of organizations, volunteer programs, and funds that aid the Children’s Hospital. From radio-thons, luncheons, sporting events,  and races, the Lowcountry really cares about is children. Here is a quick list of upcoming events to help you get more involved.

Alicia and Andy at the MUSC's Little Hearts walk

Alicia and Andy at the MUSC's Little Hearts walk

What's Next
As an extra reward, MUSC is building a brand new Women’s and Children’s Medical Pavillion. The MUSC Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital plans are already underway. It will be a beautiful, and much needed, addition to the MUSC district. It will mirror the current Ashley River Tower, and will be a state-of-the-art medical center for South Carolina’s women, children, and babies. It will open its doors in 2019. 

My Final Thoughts
MUSC’s Children’s Hospital is a center for hope. The Lowcountry, and all of South Carolina, is beyond fortunate to have such a special organization in its own downtown. Congenital Heart Disease, although the most common birth defect, is just one of the many medical issues threatening our families and their happiness. The more we educate and familiarize ourselves and our community, the more progress we can create.  If there is one thing I have learned as a member of this amazing team and community, there is more love in those hospital walls and sandy beaches than all the Valentine’s day cards combined.

-Dafne Andrea Chianella Collins, CCP