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

Being a Mentor

Emily:

In the late summer of 2012, a friend sent me a website she was working on. "Would you mind checking out the links and seeing if they work?". Taking a break from my regular day, I perused the site, clicked on links, and ended up on the 'Volunteering' page. In my years working full-time for a non-profit in the Lowcountry, I had yet to find my own personal volunteering niche outside of the paid days. Before my move to Charleston, from my hometown of Bristol, VA/TN, I had been active on the YWCA Junior Board and the Birthplace of Country Music Alliance Board (which is doing big things today!). Shortly after clicking on the 'Volunteering' page, I had filled out a mentor application, sent it in, and was contacted immediately about connecting with a student. That fall, I met Ashlyn. 

One of our first outings; seeing Annie at the Dock Street Theatre

One of our first outings; seeing Annie at the Dock Street Theatre

Mentoring for the first time is pretty much how you'd imagine it to be. It's like your first day of school, only you're an adult and nervous to meet a kindergartner. Will she think I'm cool? Will we connect? What will we talk about? And yes, even our connection, as strong as it is now, took time. We started off coloring a lunch bag that I still bring every week after four years together. Sometimes, I'd bring my Kindle and she'd play a game on it. After time, though, our time together was effortless. Catching up on what we'd done in the past week, what was coming up, and a few bouts on the playground. Today, we still have lunch together once a week, but a couple of years ago, we started running 5K's together and this year, she started playing lacrosse games that I attend. Her school, Meeting Street Academy, always has some great extra events to attend, as well. Week before last, we were sweating it out at a kickball game over lunch.

Born to play lacrosse

Born to play lacrosse

And run! Our first 5K together this year

And run! Our first 5K together this year

Mentoring in the Lowcountry is a popular volunteer option, as it fits well into schedules of most 9-to-5ers and weekend/evening warriors. The non-profit, Be A Mentor, oversees most of the mentoring programs and provides resources to volunteers throughout the year, as well as social hours and a mentor appreciation dinner every year. In my three years attending the Be A Mentor dinner, they've always featured a strong mentor/mentee team to speak at the dinner. This year, Ashlyn and I were picked to present. We prepared by having a BAM staff member come to our regularly scheduled lunch to throw some practice questions our way. Ashlyn, ever the performer, answered the questions with ease and was ready for our time in front of the crowd. We were so excited to present that evening. She had me beaming the entire time (photographic evidence) and even caught me off guard for a moment, when she mentioned to the entire dinner that her favorite memory from our time together was when I told her I was having a baby. Well, that's one way to break the news! 

Ashlyn and I with her supportive parents and sister, shortly after she announced to a room full of people that I was expecting

Ashlyn and I with her supportive parents and sister, shortly after she announced to a room full of people that I was expecting

As Ashlyn and I prepare for another summer apart, and letter writing ahead, I reflect on this past year of her growth- our growth as friends. Fourth grade is coming in fast, but like I told her under my breath at the dinner, we'll be friends for decades to come. My wish for her, as I'm sure is the same for many mentors, is that I impact her life in a strong, positive way. That the years ahead might not be so difficult as a teen because she has me to talk to about the trials. That her multiplication tables were a little easier because I sympathized with the fact that 3's were hard for me, too. That being a strong, smart woman is a positive attribute and not something she should shy away from.

My beautiful girl- inside and out

My beautiful girl- inside and out

Thirty minutes a week. That's the time commitment this volunteer opportunity required from me in the beginning. Which is why I encourage each of you to think about the impact you're making in your community and where you'd like to lend an extra hand. Maybe it's not mentoring, but gardening, coaching, or teaching a skill. Any way you look at it, giving makes you feel good. Check out these links below from our most recent weekly staff email:

What volunteer activities do you enjoy? We're looking for a community group project for the Studio team to take part in, so leave your ideas below!

Being silly... as we do

Being silly... as we do