Hello fellow job seekers and career experts!
First I want to thank J.T. for opening my eyes and making me realize that my career is not dead. I been listening to the podcast nonstop.
Now let me introduce myself
My name is Marlon and I studied Finance at Baruch College in NYC. Before that, I used to be into cooking. I wanted to be Chef and pursue a career in that field. After some years in the industry, I decided that the passion for this industry was not as great as I initially thought and that it would be foolish for me to continue. I decided to go back to school and get a degree in a four year college and open my mind to different aspects of the world. I decided to study Finance, and let me be honest here, I didn't know why I pick it at the time. I was comfortable with math and the prospect of getting pay well was very appealing to me.
Fast forward a couple of years and I am in my junior year and starting to study finance. I have met some people that are also serious about their future. The people that I meet are doing really well, they have jobs in their fields already and some even in Finance. This was a little intimidating to me, to be honest, because I had nothing going yet. I have not gotten an internship or part-time job, but I was going to classes and participating in as many extracurricular activities as I could. I was part of an Honor society, I was treasure of a national school association. But somehow this was enough for me. I felt I wasn't doing enough, and to this point I still do. Mind you, always threw a resume here and there; spray and pray like J.T. likes to make fun off, but never really committed and never saw results. I felt that I was putting enough effort, as much as a full time college student could afford anyway. I was lying to myself and I knew it. I became frustrated and it started to resent my friends for their success. I slowly started to handout with them less and less. Money became an issue and that only contributed even more my rationale of less social interactions. I convinced myself that if I could only get an internship in a respectable financial institution, everything will be well, and I would catch up to my friends and feel happier. My GPA became an issue.
My frustration was leaking into every aspect of my life. I am always angry. I fought with my family more and more. I neglect old friendships and even worse to me, my grades started suffer. My GPA was pretty good throughout my college career; this was something I was pretty proud of. When time came for an internship application, my GPA was way bellow the required level, so I never bothered. I continued my spray and play "strategy" and got very little results. The interviews I got went horrible because my morale was low. I was offered an internship in a small stock brokerage firm, for free of course. I had nothing going on and I had zero experience to know any better. I took it.
I proceeded to do hours after hours of cold calling. I was really nervous because if I was able to connect to a potential investor I had to enter a scripted conversation with the hopes of setting up a meeting with a senior trader. I bombed every time. I stuttered and mumbled my way through the scripted pitch and of course I was received with "what?" follow by "no thank, you not interested.” I felt like a failure and of course I quit. I rationalized that decision with I need money so I got a job as a waiter selling burritos, tequila and beer.
Senior year comes and things are not doing well. Classes get even harder because foolishly, I bumped all my advance major courses to the last year. My GPA took a bigger hit. My friends are doing great, but I am seeing them less and less to avoid the question: "what have you been up doing?" I even ran for undergrad school government. I lost of course, “but I tried” that's what I kept telling myself.
Graduation comes and I have absolute nothing. I am skipping classes, and I am doing the bare minimum to pass class. In some cases, I even ignored exams and winged them. I was self destructing myself and my career. Maybe I was convincing myself that my career was a mess because it was ruined, by my own hand.
After graduation day, I never talked to my friends again. I said to myself that once I get my life together again, I will be able to socialize again and contribute to my circle of friends. That day never came because I didn't find a job. For so long, I didn't even apply. I stopped applying because I conditioned myself that applying to a job meant rejection and of course I tried to avoid that as much as possible.
My father found me job as sales representative in a warehouse that sells used shelves for new businesses. I was good at it and enjoyed it from time to time, but I knew this was not for me. I knew that I need to move on, but for now I needed money. I had a terrible boss. He had a really bad temper and was ready to explode at any moment. I had to play defense with him. I decided to leave and get serious about my career again. I had no job offers, and nothing in me had changed. I went on a trip with my family, and of course when I came back I fell in the same hole I was in before. My mother got me another job at this company that refurbishes alternator and started. My job was basically to look for potential clients and serves as liaison for current ones. Sometimes I had to take units to them and I had to collect payments for the accounts I managed, and make sure all their needs were met. I am still here, after one year and eight months.
I decided to change my life and finally get serious with career and stop feeling sorry for myself. I am ready to accept that all my past misfortunes were my fault; I was the villain in my story. I started by logging into Facebook and looking into my past friendships and seeing how they are doing. Well most of them doing really well. Turns out I have a friend who is an Assistant Vice president to Citi group. I even made a LinkedIn account. Things I dreaded back in college are clear necessities now. I have plenty of old friends that are working in the field I chose, and best of all, they are all in NY. I have made contact with them, and plan to tell them everything and practice my career story with them. I am no longer in a desperate rush to get something better anymore. This path always led me frustration and disillusion of the whole system. But now I know that I was doing it completely wrong and that I do have a chance. I have a plan now.
I swear I didn’t think this was doing to turn into a huge post. But as you may see I have a lot to say and need an audience. I am 29 years old and need help. Your help specifically. I can be open and frank here because I am sure someone has gone through a dark time in their life and maybe give me advice on how to not let myself fall on that dark hole ever again.
The QUESTION: I want to work in investment banking and I have an idea of the institution I want to work with. Problem is, it has been a while since I graduated college and I am rough in my Finance basics.
My plan is to get a part-time job to pay the bill and get an internship (free is ok) to get meet people and put something related to my field in my resume. I see it as volunteer, why wouldn’t they want free labor and the chance to be a mentor to someone?
My other option is to get an entry level position at one my top 10 institutions. I suspect this will take some times because I have to network and follow all the Careerrealism steps.
Problem is I no longer want to work at my current job. They want more time from me, and I can’t give it to them anymore. I have requested two days off per week, to concentrate on my career search. I have given my month notice, but they can give me a couple weeks more if I need them.
One last thing. This is a family business and the family is friends with my family. I can put any job title I want and they will back it up.
So! Fellow job seeks and career experts what do you think? Should I go for an internship and part-time combo? Or full time entry level?
If you have made it this far, wow! Thanks J