A crying Gen Z job seeker with two degrees and three languages has said she is the ‘most humbled’ after going door-to-door for a minimum-wage job and striking out, adding that she ‘just wants to be a TikTokker’.
Lohanny Santos, 26, from Brooklyn, uploaded a video of herself crying while holding a stack of resumes to TikTok.
‘This is the most humbled I’ve ever felt in my life,’ she said and told viewers she was trying to meet potential employers in person asking for a job – but this has been unsuccessful so far.
She added: ‘It’s honestly a little bit embarrassing because I’m literally applying for minimum wage jobs and some of them are being like “we’re not hiring” […] This is not what I expected.’
Santos, who graduated from Pace University with a degree in communications and one in acting, said she speaks three languages and seems devastated after she was unable to find a minimum wage job, which would pay her $16 per hour in New York.
‘This sucks,’ she added as she wiped away the tears rolling down her face. ‘I just want to be a TikTokker if I’m being so for real with you but I can’t be delusional anymore… Like I literally need to make money, so I’m just going to keep trying.’
Santos said she went into several coffee shops to hand them her resume – just like she did when she was 16 and was looking for a job.
The one job Santos said she actually got, which was at a coffee shop, would have required her to do 18 hours of unpaid training
Santos, who said she was raised between Brazil and New Jersey, is not the only one unable to find a job in New York right now, as data by the New York State department of Labor reveals that unemployment is on the rise.
The unemployment rate for New York City was 5.4 per cent in December, up 0.1 of a per cent from November and an increase of 0.3 per cent from December 2022. New York State’s rate was 4.5 percent in December 2023.
Santos’ video seemed to resonate with many Zoomers – colloquial name for Gen Z members – as it got 3.3million likes on TikTok.
‘Never feel embarrassed. You should feel proud that you’re pushing your pride to the side and being realistic,’ one of her fans wrote.
But not everyone was sympathetic towards Santos’ situation.
One commenter wrote: ‘Maybe if you didn’t major in communications and acting, you wouldn’t be in that situation.’
Another asked: ‘Something tells me she is doing this for the content?’
Some told her that her degrees and languages alone wouldn’t get her a job, since experience was what mattered most to employers.
‘This used to be a normal process of finding a job when you have no experience, the only difference is that we’d do it while going to college, not waiting until after,’ a user wrote.
Others said that Santos chose the wrong majors in college. ‘Well picking communications and acting ain’t a great start,’ one said.
Another added: ‘Acting like your better than everyone else then crying while applying for an everyday job is comedic, stepping off your high horse must be tough.’
Santos defended herself against the hateful comments on social media, saying that her frustration at not being able to get a minimum wage job wasn’t because she looked down on those jobs.
She said: ‘I’ve been working minimum wage jobs since I was 16 years old. […] I’m not above any jobs, I’m not above any opportunity. I’m just simply human and thought that going to college, getting a degree would get me further in life.’
Santos also said English was her second language after first speaking Portuguese and that she was the first in her whole family to graduate from college.
About her decision to study communications and acting, she said that she is glad she did those degrees as they were things she was passionate about.
‘We only have one life and we might as well keep following our dreams and doing what we can to get to where we want to be. Part of me is just like, I’m, gonna go and follow my dreams. I’m just gonna do it,’ she added.
The influencer, who has a combined following of around 180,000 across her TikTok and Instagram channels, often shows off her cozy room in New York City in her videos documenting her life.
Santos already had success as an influencer as she attended Sally Hansen, BLKDNM and Forbes events, so her wish to ‘just be a TikTokker’ might come true very soon.
Some of her followers thought her viral video, which showed her crying on camera with the stack of resumes in hand, might have been for show.
‘This is planned,’ one user wrote while another accused her of ‘just trying to get attention as an influencer so she doesn’t have to get a real job’.
She also hit back at the criticism that her job search was fake, saying ‘this is my real life’.
‘I’m not joking on here. The video that I posted of me going around with my resumes, like I was doing those things. I was going to coffee shops and stuff and handing out resumes with tears on them. I’m actually looking for a job,’ she clarified.
One Instagram user said it wasn’t even Santos’ fault that she couldn’t find employment and suggested that it was a problem with her whole Gen Z generation instead.
‘The problem is your generation, and everyone else’s perception that you guys are just nothing but trouble,’ the user said.
‘Business people don’t want that stuff in their offices. Sorry, now you guys are seeing how your schools failed you.’
In the end, Santos’ public job search paid off as she got her first brand partnership with a contraception pill company.
‘I just landed my first-ever brand deal with Julie. You have no idea how much this means to me,’ Santos said.
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