More often than not, I hear whining and complaining about people not being able to get a job, needing a job, how there are no jobs around here, etc.

Of course, this is right after I see a dozen “now hiring” signs, “now hiring” posts on Facebook and hear from word of mouth that new stores like the Goose Creek Trading Company is hiring and can’t get more than five applications in.

This makes no senses to me.

Can you not get a job or can you not get a job you want?

Is anyone really above working at McDonalds? I would if I had to. My mother worked at Burger King once upon a time.

Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do until you can improve your situation.

Often times I hear from people who have applied for positions, but they never get a call back.

My first question always is, did you talk to a manager?

Usually I get a no.

Well, that’s a problem there.

Maybe I’ve just been lucky, but I’ve never had a problem getting a job.

I was lucky enough not to have to work in high school, but as soon as I graduated, my father reached out to Virginia International Raceway for me, and I was able to meet with the manager of the Oak Tree Tavern.

I applied, we spoke, and she offered me a job.

While yes, you could say my dad was the reason why this woman, who didn’t know me from Eve gave me a chance on my first job, but I kept the job for two years.

When I started school at Longwood University, it did take me a little while to get a waitressing job as I was fighting against all the other college students applying, some who had worked there previously.

However, I had no problem once I spoke to the manager at Applebee’s.

I dressed professionally, filled out an application, walked in and asked to speak with the manager.

I shook his hand, introduced myself, and told him why I was there.

He immediately asked me a couple questions, then asked me to come back the following week for a formal interview, and with that, I was hired.

It’s all about persistence, professionalism and the willingness to actually put in the work.

Some also say they don’t know who’s hiring. Well, check classifieds, ask friends, ask Facebook and check out the Virginia Employment Commission website,

I’m sure you can find something, and if you need help writing a resume, ask a friend or visit the South Boston Workforce Center on Houghton Avenue.

I promise you there are so many people who want to help you find a job, you just have to help yourself first.

Ashley Hodge reports for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at

Ashley Hodge is a staff writer for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact her at