You have to adapt. Having a hard time picking a side project is a lousy excuse, man. I don't mean to be harsh, but there are soooo many open source projects where you can help and get the experience you need. Need an example? Look at hhtp://github.com/cashfarm I would love to get help there. But you should pick a project that's about something you like and help out.
After a while, you'll have experience, contacts to refer you to jobs and even write you recommendation letters.
Also crossover.com is in a hiring spree. I was hired through their process a month ago and I'm really liking it.
Feel free to contact me if you want to talk more about your options. I'll help you in any way I can
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