Author Topic: Career Start Advice  (Read 2071 times)

BoomBoomMancini

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 8
Career Start Advice
« on: June 01, 2018, 09:36:01 AM »
Hi All!

Ive been a longtime reader of the forums but was hoping to get some advice so decided to finally make an account and post.

I am a recent college graduate (less than a month ago) with 2 degrees (Finance and Economics). I was unable to secure an internship during my time in school however, and I believe this has made my job search a little difficult. I am currently still seeking employment.

My dilemma is...

I have an offer on the table for a position in Northern Virginia which is a bit more salesy than I would prefer. Technically I would be a "Mortgage Banker" but the job is a low salary plus commission. With commission it does seem possible to make a decent amount of money at this position, but obviously thats not a guarantee and northern Virginia is a pretty HCOL area (and the first month and a half wouldnt allow me to earn any commission). Additionally, this job requires me to relocate to Virginia when I would prefer to find a job closer to Philly. Ultimately, if I could find another full time job in my area I would almost certainly take it over this one, but at the same time Id prefer to be employed as soon as possible. And if I do take this job its unlikely I will want to stay long term and will probably still look for work near Philly.

Option 2 is a potential Temp position. The company claims its temp to hire but it sounds like I would have to change departments to come on full time and they werent clear on what the timeline for that would look like. Its also pretty low hourly pay while it is a temp position and isnt the most exciting job (Jr. Underwriter is the position). It also likely boosts my resume less than the Virginia job but is better than having nothing I assume. If I took this I would likely continue my job search as though I am still unemployed. I would also save money by being able to live at home.

Finally, my ideal job/company reached out to me about a week ago to ask if I was still looking for a job, to which I of course said yes. They said they would pass that on to the managers, however I havent heard back from them. I would love to work for this company, but if I move to Virginia it would really hurt my chances of being able to swing that I imagine. On the other hand, they may never ask to bring me in for an interview so theres no guarantee I should worry about it.

Obviously, Im not where I would like to be (1 month out of college, unemployed, with limited job prospects at the moment), but I really want to get started on my career in a mustachian way and start building my stache!

Any advice you may have is appreciated!

mozar

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3216
Re: Career Start Advice
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2018, 02:37:21 PM »
Unfortunately it may take you a couple of years before you get into a job in your field if you didn't do an internship/ have no prior work experience especially with economics.
If you can stay with your parents and on their health insurance until you launch that would be super.
I had a cousin who got an economics degree from Brown and he tutored math for 2 years until he found a job analyzing something or another.

The most important thing is living where you want to live. Don't move to Northern Virginia if you know you don't want to live there.

Unless your original goal was to go into sales or insurance I wouldn't take those jobs.

PNW Lady

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 48
  • Location: Portland, OR
Re: Career Start Advice
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2018, 03:27:42 PM »
With the benefit of hindsight, this is what I would do in your situation: be bold. Donít start making decisions based on fear at this early stage Ė you have an entire lifetime to do that. You are young, and now is a great time to take big risks.

The MMM blog is about intentional lifestyle design, so start intentionally designing rather than reacting. If your ultimate goal is to work for a specific employer, sit down and map out a plan. This may not happen overnight, but do not sit back and passively wait for them to call you when a position opens up. Figure out how to make contact with the right folks to simply introduce yourself, even if there arenít any openings. Invite them to coffee and ask them questions about how they got started, etc. Be extremely prepared and make sure youíve thoroughly researched them and their company. Ask smart questions. Say thank you and express your appreciation of their time. Follow up in a few weeks with an e-mail saying quick hello and providing a brief status update of something interesting you have read or learned that is relevant to their industry/company or something you discussed previously, etc. Follow up again in a month. If there are still no openings after a month or two, offer to work a 3-month unpaid internship as a low-risk opportunity for them to see what you have to offer. What you learn in the next few years is going to be much more valuable than any paycheck you will get starting out, so I would focus on what you are trying to accomplish in the next two years, as an example, rather than grabbing the first job that comes your way.

Once youíre in, work your ass off. Get in first, leave last, offer up help to anyone that will take it. Learn about the business and either find a niche or go the generalist route, learning a little about everything. Bring a smile, positive energy, and warm greeting to work with you every day. Let your work ethic be noticeable.
Good luck!!

chasingthegoodlife

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 271
Re: Career Start Advice
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2018, 04:12:22 PM »
PNW lady had good advice.

If I were you I would take a temp job as related to your field as possible, maybe even part time, to keep you going and then double down on getting your ideal position.

I would not relocate for something that isn’t a step towards your ideal position at this stage. It’s only been a month since you graduated!

If you don’t know already, spend some time thinking about the type of role you’d like. You know at least one company you’d like to work for - who else is doing something similar? If you’re not sure exactly what you’d like to do, plan to spend the next few years trying different roles that may be a good fit. Short term contracts (covering employee maternity leave, secondments etc) can be much easier to get and allow you to try different things without burning employers by leaving after a short time. If you stay in philly with your parents for a bit, you can take some risks that may be difficult to take further down the line to build your experience and find out what you enjoy.

You say you haven’t done an internship but don’t mention whether you’ve done other paid work, which is why I think temping is important to get some work related references on your CV. For graduate level roles, many employers realise that most qualified candidates can be trained to do the job effectively, what they are are interested in is how you will fit within the team and weeding out the ‘duds’ (won’t show up on time, shouts at colleagues, shows up drunk etc). An internship with the company or good work related references from another reputable company are the best way to assure them you are ‘normal’ .

Good luck.

hadabeardonce

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 326
  • It's never too early to learn the value of money.
Re: Career Start Advice
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2018, 04:19:25 PM »
I'm a huge fan of government jobs at federal, state, city, and educational institutions. The benefits are awesome for someone working toward FI. K-12 and community colleges are especially good because you get the pension plan and 403b, plus a 457(allows you to defer and invest $37,000/yr.) which other state jobs may not have access to. Unions are super cool for creating a good workplace environment and fair wages. You'd get a ton of holidays, vacation time, sick leave, personal leave, sabbaticals(potentially), etc.

Really look into it. Companies are fickle. Uncle Sam will take care of you.

mxt0133

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1552
  • Location: San Francisco
Re: Career Start Advice
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2018, 12:07:27 AM »
Everything what @PNW Lady said and I would try to be very specific at what you want to do with that company.  As for asking current employees at the company you work for find out from you colleges alumni association or LinkedIn to see if anybody works there and contact them.  Be prepared to answer intelligently on why you want to work for the company and what exactly is it your are looking for.  People love to be in a position to help others, it makes them feel important to know they have influence.  Make a good impression so that if there is nothing currently available they will have you in mind if something does come up.

Also, if you know exactly what you want to do, which you really should, find out if there are certifications that you can get while you are searching for a job, Series 7, CFP, CFA, ect.  Attend meet-up events that are related to the field you want to enter and network, network, network.  If you show that you are willing to go the extra mile to learn about the field you want to enter, it give you extra points on your resume and interview.  Good luck!

 

BoomBoomMancini

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 8
Re: Career Start Advice
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2018, 08:39:15 PM »
Unfortunately it may take you a couple of years before you get into a job in your field if you didn't do an internship/ have no prior work experience especially with economics.
If you can stay with your parents and on their health insurance until you launch that would be super.
I had a cousin who got an economics degree from Brown and he tutored math for 2 years until he found a job analyzing something or another.

The most important thing is living where you want to live. Don't move to Northern Virginia if you know you don't want to live there.

Unless your original goal was to go into sales or insurance I wouldn't take those jobs.

Thanks for the feedback!

I did decide I wont be taking the job in Virginia. I definitely agree it wasnt the right fit and I was even dreading the idea of having to move down there for it which isnt a very good sign lol.

Are you saying you wouldnt even take the temp job though? I figured as long as Im in the area it couldnt hurt to add some experience to the resume and start actually putting some money away.

BoomBoomMancini

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 8
Re: Career Start Advice
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2018, 08:42:25 PM »
With the benefit of hindsight, this is what I would do in your situation: be bold. Donít start making decisions based on fear at this early stage Ė you have an entire lifetime to do that. You are young, and now is a great time to take big risks.

The MMM blog is about intentional lifestyle design, so start intentionally designing rather than reacting. If your ultimate goal is to work for a specific employer, sit down and map out a plan. This may not happen overnight, but do not sit back and passively wait for them to call you when a position opens up. Figure out how to make contact with the right folks to simply introduce yourself, even if there arenít any openings. Invite them to coffee and ask them questions about how they got started, etc. Be extremely prepared and make sure youíve thoroughly researched them and their company. Ask smart questions. Say thank you and express your appreciation of their time. Follow up in a few weeks with an e-mail saying quick hello and providing a brief status update of something interesting you have read or learned that is relevant to their industry/company or something you discussed previously, etc. Follow up again in a month. If there are still no openings after a month or two, offer to work a 3-month unpaid internship as a low-risk opportunity for them to see what you have to offer. What you learn in the next few years is going to be much more valuable than any paycheck you will get starting out, so I would focus on what you are trying to accomplish in the next two years, as an example, rather than grabbing the first job that comes your way.

Once youíre in, work your ass off. Get in first, leave last, offer up help to anyone that will take it. Learn about the business and either find a niche or go the generalist route, learning a little about everything. Bring a smile, positive energy, and warm greeting to work with you every day. Let your work ethic be noticeable.
Good luck!!

Thanks!

I think a lot of what you said makes a lot of sense and is something I need to work on. I know I want to reach early retirement but dont have a great plan to get there in that I dont really know what I want to do and dont do a good job of making tangible steps towards that goal.

I did reach back out to the company who contacted me though and we now have a phone interview set up for this week, so fingers crossed that goes well and can lead somewhere.

BoomBoomMancini

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 8
Re: Career Start Advice
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2018, 08:48:37 PM »
PNW lady had good advice.

If I were you I would take a temp job as related to your field as possible, maybe even part time, to keep you going and then double down on getting your ideal position.

I would not relocate for something that isnít a step towards your ideal position at this stage. Itís only been a month since you graduated!

If you donít know already, spend some time thinking about the type of role youíd like. You know at least one company youíd like to work for - who else is doing something similar? If youíre not sure exactly what youíd like to do, plan to spend the next few years trying different roles that may be a good fit. Short term contracts (covering employee maternity leave, secondments etc) can be much easier to get and allow you to try different things without burning employers by leaving after a short time. If you stay in philly with your parents for a bit, you can take some risks that may be difficult to take further down the line to build your experience and find out what you enjoy.

You say you havenít done an internship but donít mention whether youíve done other paid work, which is why I think temping is important to get some work related references on your CV. For graduate level roles, many employers realise that most qualified candidates can be trained to do the job effectively, what they are are interested in is how you will fit within the team and weeding out the Ďdudsí (wonít show up on time, shouts at colleagues, shows up drunk etc). An internship with the company or good work related references from another reputable company are the best way to assure them you are Ďnormalí .

Good luck.

Thanks for the advice!

I think I will likely do some temp work to start getting some experience and to begin building my savings. That likely will also alleviate some of the pressure I feel to find a job immediately which means I can focus my job search in my area and on jobs that I really would enjoy as you mentioned.

My biggest problem relating to what you mentioned is that the job I think Id really like is an economic research job and I havent been able to find many opportunities for recent graduates in that area. I dont really mind if I end up in corporate finance instead though, especially if it ends up paying better. In fact, Im probably too indifferent about the kind of work Id be willing to do. Reality is, I just want to be employed at a decent company and start saving away.

As you mentioned, I definitely think building my network and people and experiences I can use as references to show companies I do quality work, is a must.

BoomBoomMancini

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 8
Re: Career Start Advice
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2018, 08:50:24 PM »
I'm a huge fan of government jobs at federal, state, city, and educational institutions. The benefits are awesome for someone working toward FI. K-12 and community colleges are especially good because you get the pension plan and 403b, plus a 457(allows you to defer and invest $37,000/yr.) which other state jobs may not have access to. Unions are super cool for creating a good workplace environment and fair wages. You'd get a ton of holidays, vacation time, sick leave, personal leave, sabbaticals(potentially), etc.

Really look into it. Companies are fickle. Uncle Sam will take care of you.

Thanks!

Interesting advice and definitely something I need to look into more. I do think for what Im looking for a government job would actually be a great fit.

BoomBoomMancini

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 8
Re: Career Start Advice
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2018, 08:53:20 PM »
Everything what @PNW Lady said and I would try to be very specific at what you want to do with that company.  As for asking current employees at the company you work for find out from you colleges alumni association or LinkedIn to see if anybody works there and contact them.  Be prepared to answer intelligently on why you want to work for the company and what exactly is it your are looking for.  People love to be in a position to help others, it makes them feel important to know they have influence.  Make a good impression so that if there is nothing currently available they will have you in mind if something does come up.

Also, if you know exactly what you want to do, which you really should, find out if there are certifications that you can get while you are searching for a job, Series 7, CFP, CFA, ect.  Attend meet-up events that are related to the field you want to enter and network, network, network.  If you show that you are willing to go the extra mile to learn about the field you want to enter, it give you extra points on your resume and interview.  Good luck!

Thanks!

Those sound like some great ideas and reaching out people is definitely something I need to do more of.

PNW Lady

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 48
  • Location: Portland, OR
Re: Career Start Advice
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2018, 10:29:45 AM »
With the benefit of hindsight, this is what I would do in your situation: be bold. Donít start making decisions based on fear at this early stage Ė you have an entire lifetime to do that. You are young, and now is a great time to take big risks.

The MMM blog is about intentional lifestyle design, so start intentionally designing rather than reacting. If your ultimate goal is to work for a specific employer, sit down and map out a plan. This may not happen overnight, but do not sit back and passively wait for them to call you when a position opens up. Figure out how to make contact with the right folks to simply introduce yourself, even if there arenít any openings. Invite them to coffee and ask them questions about how they got started, etc. Be extremely prepared and make sure youíve thoroughly researched them and their company. Ask smart questions. Say thank you and express your appreciation of their time. Follow up in a few weeks with an e-mail saying quick hello and providing a brief status update of something interesting you have read or learned that is relevant to their industry/company or something you discussed previously, etc. Follow up again in a month. If there are still no openings after a month or two, offer to work a 3-month unpaid internship as a low-risk opportunity for them to see what you have to offer. What you learn in the next few years is going to be much more valuable than any paycheck you will get starting out, so I would focus on what you are trying to accomplish in the next two years, as an example, rather than grabbing the first job that comes your way.

Once youíre in, work your ass off. Get in first, leave last, offer up help to anyone that will take it. Learn about the business and either find a niche or go the generalist route, learning a little about everything. Bring a smile, positive energy, and warm greeting to work with you every day. Let your work ethic be noticeable.
Good luck!!

Thanks!

I think a lot of what you said makes a lot of sense and is something I need to work on. I know I want to reach early retirement but dont have a great plan to get there in that I dont really know what I want to do and dont do a good job of making tangible steps towards that goal.

I did reach back out to the company who contacted me though and we now have a phone interview set up for this week, so fingers crossed that goes well and can lead somewhere.

Congrats on the phone interview!

My advice to you is to certainly keep the idea of early retirement in your periphery, but do not make it your focus at this early stage. IMO, you should be focusing on skill building, whether related specifically to your career or not, and on finding joy in your work and personal life. If you love what you do, or you can tolerate what you do but love the people you work with, early retirement becomes somewhat irrelevant.

It's completely OK to not know exactly what you want to do. Temp work is a great idea as it will give you exposure to different types of work and environments and you will probably start to get a feel for what you like and what you don't like. While you are figuring it all just live frugally and train yourself to become as resourceful as possible.

FWIW, if I could go back 20 years and change one thing I would have read more. Imagine reading one book a week for 20 years - that's a whole lot of knowledge and insight, not to mention an improved vocabulary!!

mozar

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 3216
Re: Career Start Advice
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2018, 10:45:51 AM »
If you do temp try to do different types of temping so you get exposure to different things. Then you can say in interviews that you are trying different things.

What I was trying to say is that employers can be very picky about what's on your resume and assume that because you have experience as an underwriter as a temp job, that that is what you want to do your entire career. I had temp jobs and I had to go to grad school to start fresh. The ideal resume has stepping stones to your goals.