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As the title suggests, I’m currently unemployed. Being fired just a few weeks prior to the Presidential Election, along with the results, is enough to have even the most level-headed person flirting with the idea of taking a nice, long bath with a toaster, but not me. Luckily, I share an apartment with two fraternity brothers and we pay less than $1,000 per month total. I’ve been able to save a good chunk of money because of this, so I’m not terribly worried about my (hopefully) short-term unemployment. This is a stark difference than the position I was in almost a year ago.
I graduated from a state school where I majored in Finance and minored in Accounting, so I’m optimistic I can find something in my field quickly. Although I got fired from my first job, I think the experience that I gained over the last 9 months was worth the humility of breaking the news to my parents. The experience that I’m talking about isn’t something that I’d put on my resume or LinkedIn (shouts to Dave on accepting my connection though), but is something that I’ll take into careful consideration before accepting my next job offer.
After graduation, I moved back in with my parents but hadn’t sent a single resume to a company in my lovely hometown, Omaha. I had grandiose plans in Kansas City. Plus, my dad had converted my room into his new home office and workout room so I didn’t feel too welcome. As I sent resumes out to any and every company I could think of in Kansas City one thing became apparent – scheduling interviews would be much easier if I actually lived there.
The next thing that happened is very foreshadowing to the next year of my life. A few phone calls were made and the next thing I knew I was driving around Kansas City with one of my fraternity brothers looking for some place to call home. Instead of aimlessly driving around, we decided to use Starbuck’s free Wi-Fi to scout some new places. We found an apartment on Craigslist for the low, gave it a visit and the day before signing, added a third roommate. My two roommates already had jobs lined up and needed to move in immediately, so I was locked into a 13-month lease without a job and less than $300 in my bank account.
We moved in and I was blindly sending out resumes and cover letters to any company with an “Analyst” or “Consultant” position available. Companies’ HR departments started to get in contact with me and the stars were beginning to align. Que the interview process, being asked the same questions, responding with a script that would make Hillary proud, and donning my only suit three to four days a week.
The first offer I received was from a payday loan company that I more or less interviewed with for practice. Not to knock the company, but I didn’t feel comfortable loaning money to people with poor credit at rates as high as 36%. Other companies expressed interest and I had a choice to make – continue the interview process for a staff accountant position that wasn’t guaranteed or take a job in a call center with the promise of upward mobility and quality experience to pad my resume.
A bird in the hand is worth two birds in the bush, right?
I don’t want to say much about the company, but all said, I gained a lot of experience in this call center. I had to pass the Series 6 Exam which looks great on my resume. The customer service experience that I gained from talking to advisors and shareholders for 8 hours per day was unparalleled but mentally taxing. Nine months of this led to me seeing a psychiatrist and being diagnosed with Anxiety and ADD.
Now I’m back to square one. The difference between a year ago and my current situation is that this time, armed with an Adderall and anxiety prescription, I know what kind of company culture is the best fit for me. Although I had the email address and phone number of the CEO of the company, I was so far down the ladder I wouldn’t imagine trying to contact him. This experience gave me the insight to shop around and be selective in the next company that I work for (check my LinkedIn, Dave).
I may have been fired, but I look at my current situation like a mutual breakup – I wasn’t happy at the company and the company wasn’t happy with my performance. And I’m just now realizing that could be said about my last girlfriend too. .