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I sit confused, in a corner, and with no one to blame but myself (for the second time this year). I took what I thought was my dream job right out of college and was there for a tedious, long, tumultuous two years. It got to the point where my boss and I didn’t get along on a professional level and I felt it was time for me to leave. The only problem is I had 0 job prospects and the year had just turned so we were very busy.
Well, I abruptly left that job in February and my first thought was to apply to grad school seeing as though I had no outstanding professional applications out there. Naturally, I threw my hat in the ring for a couple of New York programs.
Great, right…? Wrong, I still had not a single job prospect, phone calls set up or any applications out. So, the next few weeks were miserable. Editing my resume, sending applications and e-mails, phone interviews, the whole nine. It sucked and I wouldn’t wish a new job search on my worst enemy. Luckily, my applications came to fruition in a timely manner. The only problem was that I had pending grad school applications and ultimately decided to leave that fact out of the equation during my interviews. A necessary evil and not the best look if I did get in for the fall.
Fast forward to March and I am starting my new job, nothing thrilling but pays the bills and a good gap for when I hear back from grad school in late summer. BUT WAIT, my top choice literally got back to me the day after my start date saying I have been accepted into the Fall 2018 class. Great problem to have, but how the FUCK am I supposed to tell my new company that I am leaving in the fall?
Answer, I didn’t. But now I have to tell them tomorrow given the massively sticky situation with the team on which I currently work. The team is currently five people… Two of the people, besides myself, have announced they will be leaving the team within the last two weeks. I will be the third (and final?) person tomorrow. What great luck! So now I sit here, essentially forced to tell them earlier than I anticipated at the worst possible, shitstorm of a time. God, this is gonna be ugly.
I share this story to give you a few of my takeaways for the first few years of employment out of school.
First, sometimes you have to eat shit for a while. Now, I will say this is applicable when you have an end goal in mind- mine being grad school. Ultimately, I should have stayed at my first job until around now and left for school. But I made an immature, stupid decision and had to deal with being unemployed and uncomfortable instead of at a much better paying job that I didn’t like for only a few more months.
Second, don’t make rash, immature decisions just because you don’t like the current situation. As chronicled many times before, quitting and having nothing to do SUUUUUUCKS. I went through that limbo phase where I didn’t have income and was shitting myself every day- not a good feeling. I should have taken a step back and just dealt with it instead of being a baby and just up and quitting.
Third, for the love of god have at least SOMETHING lined up when you are looking to leave your first job. No one will fault you for doing what’s best for you, but up and leaving with nothing solid is so, so, so stupid. You feel terrible about yourself and every day is a constant panic to get at least some sort of line out to every single company.
Finally, be ready to be entry level allllll over again. This part was the hardest for me, as I had established client connections and relationships, work relationships, a routine and was very familiar with my old job. When you leave your first entry level job, unless its in the same exact position at another place you will be at the bottom of the totem pole again. This is pretty obvious but something that one may find difficulty dealing with given the former groove that was so familiar.
All I have to say is please don’t make the same mistakes I did. I simply got lucky with the end result of the situation. But the road here has been uncomfortable, uncertain and a lot to handle. Avoid this at all costs, take a step back and realize this is just the beginning of a long road ahead. Make it easy on yourself..