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My apologies for the length of this… it’s simply a fluid thought that may or may not make any damn sense…

TLDR: About to turn 27, live in the bedroom I grew up in, unemployed for almost a year, completely lost

About a year ago I was let go from my job at a startup tech/energy company. I had worked there for over a year serving multiple roles, but ultimately as a financial analyst. All of my coworkers were from target schools (and b-schools) with top tier banking and engineering backgrounds, while I had graduated from a non-target and had been self-employed directly out of college. I had absolutely lucked into an interview with the CEO and decided to start a real career. I felt very inadequate compared to everyone else – as if I was a charity case. So I completely entrenched myself in the job working 70+ hours a week to establish myself and learn the industry. While I wasn’t making as much as I had been, I was helping create something meaningful and it felt like I was opening a lot of doors.

Due to the startup culture, I was quickly promoted and continuously given more responsibilities. Outside of management, I had grown into the only person who actively worked in all aspects of the business – a jack of all trades, somewhat. I was now realizing that I wasn’t judged on where I went to school or what I had done previously, I provided value to the company with my work. I received great reviews and pretty much felt like the folks I worked with were family.

So how did I end up posting this here on WSO? Well despite not graduating in finance or knowing of IB/high finance as a career path, I was surrounded with ex-wall street guys and began researching. I posted here (infrequently) and gleaned enormous amounts of information from late 2010 until 2012. While most monkeys try to move to firms like mine for positions like mine after their first 2 years, I was trying to leverage my experience into an analyst role in IB.

My CEO (former banker) knew that I wanted to pursue those opportunities, but had offered me a promotion to a project management role. He alternatively was willing to give me a few months to try to break into IB while keeping my current role and then we would part ways. I had already been working on all the WSO, BIWS, TTS guides & self studies, as well as having direct financial and biz dev experience in my current role, and so I decided to take a risk going for IB. After several months of 100+ hours weeks in the office, I was able to meet a lot of great people and expand my knowledge base, but ultimately wasn’t successful in landing an IB analyst role. I had really missed any sort of experienced hire recruiting period (late summer, early fall), and while disappointed I was asked to take on a more senior and specific finance position by my CEO.
This was short lived as I was let go several months later. This was due to a combination of new VC ownership buying out previous ownership (to give you a sense, the company will probably have about $50mm in 2012 revenue) and personal issues that are still plaguing my life. I had already been registered for a pre-MBA financial cert program at an M7 school, and being that I was now unemployed, I decided to just focus on those for a few weeks before diving back into job hunting.

Weeks turned into months and months have almost turned into a year. I’ve completely shut out everyone in my life, decade long friends, my former coworkers, and my family. Without my job behind me, I could no longer make those same calls I was making 6 months prior to bankers. Day after day it has felt like another enormous weight has been placed on my back. “Who the fuck would hire me?” is a consistent thought as I think back over this past almost-year. I went from having 1000 things to do and being prideful in my work, to having nothing but the thoughts between my head.

I was too embarrassed to apply for unemployment (“Why do I deserve it, I’m fucking useless”) and that feeling, like every other, has only compounded as these long months have gone by. Back in the spring, my apartment lease came up. My only option was to move back into the house that I fucking grew up in… as a 26 year old. For over 6 months, my roommate has been my mom. My parents divorced over 3 years ago, and in that time she has spent over $400k in lawyer bills (of maybe $1 million total) trying to invent the most ridiculous stories about my dad. The stories I could tell you are absolutely ridiculous and are a great deal of what plagued the end of my job.

I’ve dealt with this complete soul crushing feeling, which has now morphed itself into an absolutely terrible beast. I’ve spent every waking moment trying not to actively think about my life for like 40 god damned fucking weeks. I’ve expended all of my energy trying to not think about my 4k credit card bill I stopped paying back in April; that I’ve ignored every facebook/email/phone call from good, good, good friends for almost a year; that my phone was turned off back in June and I’m too embarrassed to ask anyone for help; that I haven’t filed my 2011 taxes nor have I applied for unemployment because why the fuck do I deserve that; that my mom cries her eyes out for 12 hours a day and seethes with rage the other 12; that I haven’t talked to my dad in almost a year; that I’ve thought about killing myself every single moment of every single one of these days for going on almost a year when I have to think about reality.

There aren’t very many options at this point, and so I’m here searching for some advice… something that will connect and stop this madness because I simply cannot bear it anymore. I’ve been too proud of a person to burden anyone with this because what is my pain compared to most of the shit that happens to people in life and why should mine be any more important. For almost a year I haven’t even allowed myself to cry, but I just want to release this grip my mind has on me so I can go back to living my life and pursuing all of those doors that I had opened, instead of laying in the bed I slept in when I was in middle school, watching my 27th birthday come and go.

Comments (45)

  • FeelingMean's picture

    Everything Addinator said.

    I think creating a routine will help you tremendously. You need to find a way to use your time constructively- that will make you feel better. Go running, lift, 50 push ups every morning, something. Look for jobs for an hour a day, cold call places just to call them. Like Addinator said, you cannot continue to isolate yourself. You simply cannot afford to. Call your friends, that is what they are for. Don't be afraid to tell your story or ask for help.

    Also, I kind of got lost with the education part- you completed the certificate? Or wanted to find a job first? Can you go back to school at all- any interest there?

    That feeling you mention... the soul crushing feeling.. the "beast"? You need to become more powerful than that. Whether you get a job or not, you need to kill that. Find a way to use that energy and those thoughts to the best of your ability. Let your anger feed your strength. In my opinion, this starts with a physical regiment. Try it and see where it goes.

    You have a kid in CT who believes in you. Message me if you ever want to talk about anything.

    "That dude is so haole, he don't even have any breath left."

  • BonsaiMoneyTree's picture

    Probably not what you want to hear since it's not career oriented, but I'm 100% certain it will help. There is never a better time to try this than when you think you've hit rock bottom. Turn to some higher power, whatever it is you may choose, is irrelevant. God, Buddha, you name it. Maybe it's not even a religious figure. Something you can rely on to lead and point you in the right direction. When it comes down to it, human nature is selfish. You can't rely on anyone else for help. It's a self-help world; hence the importance of believing in something worldly.
    Some people may say this sounds corny (in fact most people on WSO might, yes thats stereotyping) but you might be surprised.

  • VoidTrading's picture

    Hey man. I was in a similar situation, not too long ago. Honestly. (Not necessarily all of it applies, but I can relate to the feelings of despair).

    One thing I will say though: this board helps immensely.Read some success stories, read about others in similar situations and how they picked themselves up. Make a schedule and stick to it. That is the most important. No schedule means it is easy to get lost. Utilize LinkedIn as best as you can. Reach out to alums, reach out to old co-workers and see if they can put you in touch with someone who may be looking for your skillset.

    But most importantly, don't be afraid to branch out your search. Don't just target one city, target as many as possible. Really. Utilize the WSO base to check for companies you may have no idea existed.

    PM me if you need anything. I am pulling for you.

  • beezle's picture

    Finding a job is now your full-time job.
    1) Create a routine: wake up in the morning, go to the gym, read the news, check job boards, apply to 5 jobs, email 5 people, call/reconnect with 1-2 friends, get out of the house (grocery shopping, bookstore, anything...), set up a meeting with a recruiter. Create a list of things to do daily and cross them out as you accomplish them, whether it's setting up a phone interview or making a dentist appointment.
    2) Stop isolating yourself: go on LinkedIn and connect with as many people you know and don't know, go on Facebook and see what people are up to (B-School? New Job? New City?) and reconnect with them, contact recruiters and tell them your situation and ask for advice, call your old coworkers including your CEO and ask them to help you find a new opportunity, call your old college professors, and most importantly reconnect with your friends!!
    3) This may be the perfect time for you to start your own business, apply to grad school, or study for a new license. Never be idle - always be learning, making money, or both.
    4) Lastly, you need to pick your confidence back up! You can't be worrying about your mother and her divorce for now - surround yourself with positive people and inspire yourself with success stories. Go on dates, watch an inspirational movie, join the local kickball team. Anything that will boost your confidence and re-integrate you back into society.

    Good luck with everything, and I'm glad you took a first step in asking for help on this forum.

  • EURCHF parity's picture

    Another option: move to Asia. Flight to Singapore = $2,000. First 2 months rent for a common room in a decent condo flatshare = $2,000. You should get a job within the first few weeks. The job market here is still decent (don't know about banking, for everything else, it's fine) and US-trained, US-quality employees enormously valued.

  • Jeff8700's picture

    Yeah seriously, the above advice is good. Look into interesting podcasts / music, throw your iPod on every morning and go to the gym. It's a great way to pass the time and clear your head, plus getting in shape will most definitely help your confidence immensely.

    Also, get back in touch with your friends. There are obviously a lot of people that care for you and want to help you and you'll feel a lot better after seeing that. Honestly, I know you're embarrassed about your situation but your true friends don't give a shit that you're living at home and can't find a job, especially in this economy. I know multiple people that had to do the same thing and I respect them more for living with their parents and trying to save money than I would if they had been pissing away money on something they couldn't afford to keep up the act. Having said that, once you find a job you should move out ASAP. Being around your mom doesn't sound conducive to getting out of depression.

    Lastly, go do something fun that will help clear your mind and make you realize there's more to life than success. I realize you're in debt, but shit go take a martial arts class, join a local coed sports team, join a beer brewing club, cook, etc. Try new things and new experiences. That's what life is all about.

    At the end of the day, you're honestly blowing things out of proportion and making life worse for yourself. I've had a lot of depressing stuff happen over the last three years as well, and you need that mourning / depression state for a couple of weeks, but after awhile you have to realize when it's time to move on. And now is the time. Just don't, and I repeat, don't kill yourself. Suicide is never the answer, you'll be fine and realize how much time you wasted feeling bad for yourself. Good luck.

  • WallStreetOasis.com's picture

    proxyaccount wrote:
    My apologies for the length of this… it’s simply a fluid thought that may or may not make any damn sense…

    TLDR: About to turn 27, live in the bedroom I grew up in, unemployed for almost a year, completely lost

    About a year ago I was let go from my job at a startup tech/energy company. I had worked there for over a year serving multiple roles, but ultimately as a financial analyst. All of my coworkers were from target schools (and b-schools) with top tier banking and engineering backgrounds, while I had graduated from a non-target and had been self-employed directly out of college. I had absolutely lucked into an interview with the CEO and decided to start a real career. I felt very inadequate compared to everyone else – as if I was a charity case. So I completely entrenched myself in the job working 70+ hours a week to establish myself and learn the industry. While I wasn’t making as much as I had been, I was helping create something meaningful and it felt like I was opening a lot of doors.

    Due to the startup culture, I was quickly promoted and continuously given more responsibilities. Outside of management, I had grown into the only person who actively worked in all aspects of the business – a jack of all trades, somewhat. I was now realizing that I wasn’t judged on where I went to school or what I had done previously, I provided value to the company with my work. I received great reviews and pretty much felt like the folks I worked with were family.

    So how did I end up posting this here on WSO? Well despite not graduating in finance or knowing of IB/high finance as a career path, I was surrounded with ex-wall street guys and began researching. I posted here (infrequently) and gleaned enormous amounts of information from late 2010 until 2012. While most monkeys try to move to firms like mine for positions like mine after their first 2 years, I was trying to leverage my experience into an analyst role in IB.

    My CEO (former banker) knew that I wanted to pursue those opportunities, but had offered me a promotion to a project management role. He alternatively was willing to give me a few months to try to break into IB while keeping my current role and then we would part ways. I had already been working on all the WSO, BIWS, TTS guides & self studies, as well as having direct financial and biz dev experience in my current role, and so I decided to take a risk going for IB. After several months of 100+ hours weeks in the office, I was able to meet a lot of great people and expand my knowledge base, but ultimately wasn’t successful in landing an IB analyst role. I had really missed any sort of experienced hire recruiting period (late summer, early fall), and while disappointed I was asked to take on a more senior and specific finance position by my CEO.
    This was short lived as I was let go several months later. This was due to a combination of new VC ownership buying out previous ownership (to give you a sense, the company will probably have about $50mm in 2012 revenue) and personal issues that are still plaguing my life. I had already been registered for a pre-MBA financial cert program at an M7 school, and being that I was now unemployed, I decided to just focus on those for a few weeks before diving back into job hunting.

    Weeks turned into months and months have almost turned into a year. I’ve completely shut out everyone in my life, decade long friends, my former coworkers, and my family. Without my job behind me, I could no longer make those same calls I was making 6 months prior to bankers. Day after day it has felt like another enormous weight has been placed on my back. “Who the fuck would hire me?” is a consistent thought as I think back over this past almost-year. I went from having 1000 things to do and being prideful in my work, to having nothing but the thoughts between my head.

    I was too embarrassed to apply for unemployment (“Why do I deserve it, I’m fucking useless”) and that feeling, like every other, has only compounded as these long months have gone by. Back in the spring, my apartment lease came up. My only option was to move back into the house that I fucking grew up in… as a 26 year old. For over 6 months, my roommate has been my mom. My parents divorced over 3 years ago, and in that time she has spent over $400k in lawyer bills (of maybe $1 million total) trying to invent the most ridiculous stories about my dad. The stories I could tell you are absolutely ridiculous and are a great deal of what plagued the end of my job.

    I’ve dealt with this complete soul crushing feeling, which has now morphed itself into an absolutely terrible beast. I’ve spent every waking moment trying not to actively think about my life for like 40 god damned fucking weeks. I’ve expended all of my energy trying to not think about my 4k credit card bill I stopped paying back in April; that I’ve ignored every facebook/email/phone call from good, good, good friends for almost a year; that my phone was turned off back in June and I’m too embarrassed to ask anyone for help; that I haven’t filed my 2011 taxes nor have I applied for unemployment because why the fuck do I deserve that; that my mom cries her eyes out for 12 hours a day and seethes with rage the other 12; that I haven’t talked to my dad in almost a year; that I’ve thought about killing myself every single moment of every single one of these days for going on almost a year when I have to think about reality.

    There aren’t very many options at this point, and so I’m here searching for some advice… something that will connect and stop this madness because I simply cannot bear it anymore. I’ve been too proud of a person to burden anyone with this because what is my pain compared to most of the shit that happens to people in life and why should mine be any more important. For almost a year I haven’t even allowed myself to cry, but I just want to release this grip my mind has on me so I can go back to living my life and pursuing all of those doors that I had opened, instead of laying in the bed I slept in when I was in middle school, watching my 27th birthday come and go.

    First off, if you feel like you might hurt yourself, you shoudl definitely seek out some help asap. I was fired and unemployed for a while as well, so I know how you're feeling. It sounds like the family issues have somehow hurt your confidence which is not allowing you to push forward.

    You sound like a very smart and motivated guy which is evidenced by your CEO continuously promoting you. You need to take that track record and grab it and sell the shit out of it on your resume. Send me your resume - [email protected] and I'll take a look. Also, if you need some help filling in the gap in time on your resume, I can have you do some stuff for WSO/JDO that will take minimal hours per week but will make it seem like you continued your track involced with start-ups.

    Send me a message and connect with me on LinkedIn and I'll try to help out.

    Talk soon,
    Patrick

  • northdakota's picture

    I'm a little younger than you are but I have experienced a major career setback that turned me severely depressed and borderline suicidal. I bounced back later and it all feels better now. I can relate to the overwhelming sense of despair you must feel now but one I would second Patrick in saying that if you feel this weight becoming unbearable you should first and foremost seek professional help. We can't deal with this on our own sometimes. Second I want to say that what helped me through this period were friends and family. You have to be open to them and share with them your feelings. They will console you and go to bat for you in connecting you with new jobs. More importantly they will help you see things from angles you might be unaware of--if you spend all your time on this site It will seem like wall st is the only path to happiness in life. Hardly.

    Being isolated will push you down a spiral of endless despair and feeling of self worthlessness. Surely this will not help you present yourself going into future interviews. To have some pillar in your life at a time like this will be more powerful than whatever interview training prep money can buy.

  • TheSquale's picture

    That sucks...
    You learned the hard way that telling your employer that you have other plan than being entirely dedicated to the work he is giving you is not always a good thing.
    The first thing you need to do is really to call friends, you need to have great time and stop wondering why're you're such a loser, which obviously you're not. You just made a mistake as everyone do, just accept it and go over it.

  • philosophizingphilosoraptor's picture

    I'll tell you why you deserve it, man.
    You see, you (and all of us), are something of a probabilistic miracle. Out of the millions of billions of sperm that could have taken your place back at conception, you won out. Against all odds, you won, and you were created. You have already won the most important game of life, and that is the glory of having the chance to play. You are already a winner; now, go out and win some more. You have been given the chance to play the game of life, and that is special indeed.

    From there on, you march on towards death. See this as a positive - no matter how bad things get, they are all really trivial in the face of death. No matter how unemployed or out of luck you may be, it is a triviality in the grand scheme of things. That girl rejected you - big fucking deal. You live in your moms place - big fucking deal. None of this shit will matter on your deathbed. What will matter is how you play your hand into your own personal glory, how you get up after life has thrown you down. You seem pretty self-made; you have already played a large and impressive role in a startup. Don't doubt yourself or your abilities, because you are already a winner.

    With this newfound confidence in your abilities due to the fact that you are already a multiple winner, and with the knowledge that most of life is trivial, and that you shouldn't take yourself, your situation, or anything too seriously, get out there and kick ass. Relish in the lightness of life that liberates you.

    So, listen to some pump up songs (Requiem for a Dream Lux Aeterna, Till I Collapse - Eminem), relax (Zion I - Coastin), and go out there and kick ass. Utilize the wonderful advice and opportunities listed above - Patrick is a real legit dude. And continue winning in the game of life.

    Best of luck!

    To the starving man, beans are caviar

  • twinbrothers's picture

    Why do you worry without cause?
    Whom do you fear without reason?
    Who can kill you?
    The soul is neither born, nor does it die.
    Whatever happened,
    happened for the good;
    whatever is happening,
    is happening for the good;
    whatever will happen,
    will also happen for the good only.
    You need not have any regrets for the past.
    You need not worry for the future.
    The present is happening...
    What did you lose that you cry about?
    What did you bring with you,
    which you think you have lost?
    What did you produce,
    which you think got destroyed?
    You did not bring anything,
    whatever you have, you received from here.
    Whatever you have given, you have given only here.
    Whatever you took, you took from God.
    Whatever you gave, you gave to Him.
    You came empty handed,
    you will leave empty handed.
    What is yours today,
    belonged to someone else yesterday, and
    will belong to someone else the
    day after tomorrow.
    You are mistakenly enjoying the thought
    that this is yours.
    It is this false happiness that is
    the cause of your sorrows.

  • Edmundo Braverman's picture

    Dude,

    Everyone here has solid advice, so the only thing I'm going to add is about unemployment.

    Filing for unemployment is not "asking for a handout" and is not "something you don't deserve". Unemployment is insurance you've paid premiums into for all the years you've worked. If you broke your leg would you pay the doc out of pocket or would you charge your health insurance that you've paid for for years? C'mon man. That's why they call it unemployment "insurance". You're entitled (as much as I hate that word) to that money because you've paid into it and have now triggered the pay-out by losing your job.

  • Lao Bai's picture

    Hey dude,

    The first thing I want you to know: It will get better. I promise. I know it can seem really bleak, but believe me I've been in a similar way, and it definitely gets better.

    1st - Start exercising regularly, even if it means just hitting the stairs in your house multiple times a day. Eventually you want to be getting outdoors and out of the house. Long walks with audio books or jogging with uplifting music are some of my favorite ways to get my head clear.

    2nd - Start reaching back out to your old friends. When I would get real lonely studying in college or working late hours right out of school. I would find time and run through my phone or email contact list and start just going down alphabetically. It doesn't matter how long you haven't talked with someone or how you left your last conversation, just reach out to them. You don't need to explain why and if you're afraid of them asking what's going on with you, don't be, or say you are taking time off to reinvent yourself for a new career. It doesn't really matter because the point of this isn't to impress, but to reconnect.

    3rd - Be aware of what you are putting into yourself. This goes for your mind and your body. It sounds really simple but eating healthier foods (maybe even adding vitamin supplements) and exercise can make you have more energy and even help clear your mind. As for affecting your mind directly, careful what you are feeding it. Take any depressing movies, music, books etc and literally throw them away. Only watch movies with good messages (Pursuit of Happyness, Rudy), read self-improvement/ empowerment books (Deepak Chopra, Tony Robbins), and listen to things that make you happy.

    4th - Take a job, regardless if it is what you want or not. I took a job in retail sales out of school slinging computers at a big box store. The job was not what I envisioned but it was in a swank area of town and I actually landed an interview from someone who came in. The point is that this gives you something to do. It will also give you a little breathing room financially. You might also work with some decent people that I promise you will have to try hard not to impress.

    5th - Go see the doc. Let him/her know exactly how you feel. Being embarrassed isn't an excuse because this is nothing to be embarrassed about (plus they see way worse stuff all the time). One of my good friends was in a bad funk and found out he was hypoglycemic and had to watch his blood sugar. Not saying this is the case for you, but you should definitely go get checked out.

    Finally, we're all lawyers here, no one is here to judge. If you have any questions, man, feel free to PM me. I am more than happy to talk with you further.

    Best of luck,
    Old White

  • BuyersRemorse's picture

    Hang in there dude...Many of us have been there. For ambitious people, being unemployed is one of the worst possible feelings. As some have mentioned, now is NOT the time to isolate yourself...now really is the time you should be turning to your friends and loved-ones. The expression 'that's what friends are for' is apt right about now.

    To reiterate what some have mentioned here: widen the scope of your job search. Banking is a tough field to break into in the best of times.

    When I was unemployed, I made sure to keep a regular schedule which went something like this:

    -8:00am: wake up

    -8:00-9:00am: coffee/bfast/reading general and industry-specific news (want to remain plugged in so when you do land an interview, you can speak to industry events)

    -9:00-11:00: lead generation: scan job-sites/linkedin to identify all the jobs I would apply for / people I would reach out to

    -11:00 - lunch time: Follow up on prior job applications / meet contacts I've already been in touch with, etc...

    -After Lunch time - 5:00: tailor resume and craft cover letters for new job postings / write introductory notes to possible new contacts

    -5:00 - 6:00 work out: run, lift weights [very important - keeps you thinking positively]

    -Dinner

    -After dinner, socialize with old friends, girl friend, etc...

    I found that by keeping a regular routine, I knew I was going to make consistent progress towards my goal every day. This schedule also ensured that my life didn't fall apart because I was able to keep in shape, remain in touch with friends, etc...

    Again, hang in there dude. It's a horrible feeling but remember that even the most successful corporate titans have gone through tough times. What made those people successful is that, in the face of adversity, they kept the will to get out of bed each morning and to make good things happen. Remember that dude and good luck.

    BR

  • suchislife's picture

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujMP41Rphzc

    Take a look at this video, I have used it for about a year and a half as a pickup it always does the trick.

    You need to instill your life with positive messages and a schedule like everyone said, this will help. tremendously

    Take a look at this book "Think and Grow Rich" this is probably the one of the best self help personal fulfillment books ever written, comes all the way back from 1937, I have read it countless times (at least eight) it will always help, also you can check out Napoleon Hills videos on you tube.

    Surround your life with positive and uplifting stories and messages this will help you see some light at the end of the tunnel. Hang in there,

  • MitchKumstein's picture

    Lots of good people on this board and a lot of excellent advice.

    OP - I'm pulling for you too. Remember that you are a smart, talented and hard-working person that many organizations would love to have around.

    Reconnect with the important and positive people in your life and be confident in yourself, because you should be.

    Night putter.

  • G Spread's picture

    You sound clinically depressed.. I would seek out help for that first and foremost, because it's hard to motivate yourself if you're depressed (I've had depression before and I can liken my symptoms to yours). Everyone seems to be overlooking this; it's not like you can just jump out of bed and start being all proactive and whatnot if you're depressed--depending on how severe it is.

    Other than that, just follow every bit of advice everyone else gave and I'm sure you'll be able to get back on your feet. You have some very impressive experience behind you and I'm sure you can make good use of your contacts too. Oh and get back in touch with your friends. They've been reaching out to you for a while and would clearly like to see you again.

  • Soros's picture

    Wow this site truly amazes me - when someone actually needs help people come out with legit advice, selflessly divulging their own experiences.

    To the OP - Keep a seperation between what is real and perceived. Dwelling on things like "I'm a peace of shit" which is apparently incorrect considering your track record are not things you need to focus on. When you are in a state of depression your perception of how things are is skewed towards the worse.

  • In reply to WallStreetOasis.com
    ricky212's picture

    WallStreetOasis.com wrote:
    proxyaccount wrote:
    My apologies for the length of this… it’s simply a fluid thought that may or may not make any damn sense…

    TLDR: About to turn 27, live in the bedroom I grew up in, unemployed for almost a year, completely lost

    About a year ago I was let go from my job at a startup tech/energy company. I had worked there for over a year serving multiple roles, but ultimately as a financial analyst. All of my coworkers were from target schools (and b-schools) with top tier banking and engineering backgrounds, while I had graduated from a non-target and had been self-employed directly out of college. I had absolutely lucked into an interview with the CEO and decided to start a real career. I felt very inadequate compared to everyone else – as if I was a charity case. So I completely entrenched myself in the job working 70+ hours a week to establish myself and learn the industry. While I wasn’t making as much as I had been, I was helping create something meaningful and it felt like I was opening a lot of doors.

    Due to the startup culture, I was quickly promoted and continuously given more responsibilities. Outside of management, I had grown into the only person who actively worked in all aspects of the business – a jack of all trades, somewhat. I was now realizing that I wasn’t judged on where I went to school or what I had done previously, I provided value to the company with my work. I received great reviews and pretty much felt like the folks I worked with were family.

    So how did I end up posting this here on WSO? Well despite not graduating in finance or knowing of IB/high finance as a career path, I was surrounded with ex-wall street guys and began researching. I posted here (infrequently) and gleaned enormous amounts of information from late 2010 until 2012. While most monkeys try to move to firms like mine for positions like mine after their first 2 years, I was trying to leverage my experience into an analyst role in IB.

    My CEO (former banker) knew that I wanted to pursue those opportunities, but had offered me a promotion to a project management role. He alternatively was willing to give me a few months to try to break into IB while keeping my current role and then we would part ways. I had already been working on all the WSO, BIWS, TTS guides & self studies, as well as having direct financial and biz dev experience in my current role, and so I decided to take a risk going for IB. After several months of 100+ hours weeks in the office, I was able to meet a lot of great people and expand my knowledge base, but ultimately wasn’t successful in landing an IB analyst role. I had really missed any sort of experienced hire recruiting period (late summer, early fall), and while disappointed I was asked to take on a more senior and specific finance position by my CEO.
    This was short lived as I was let go several months later. This was due to a combination of new VC ownership buying out previous ownership (to give you a sense, the company will probably have about $50mm in 2012 revenue) and personal issues that are still plaguing my life. I had already been registered for a pre-MBA financial cert program at an M7 school, and being that I was now unemployed, I decided to just focus on those for a few weeks before diving back into job hunting.

    Weeks turned into months and months have almost turned into a year. I’ve completely shut out everyone in my life, decade long friends, my former coworkers, and my family. Without my job behind me, I could no longer make those same calls I was making 6 months prior to bankers. Day after day it has felt like another enormous weight has been placed on my back. “Who the fuck would hire me?” is a consistent thought as I think back over this past almost-year. I went from having 1000 things to do and being prideful in my work, to having nothing but the thoughts between my head.

    I was too embarrassed to apply for unemployment (“Why do I deserve it, I’m fucking useless”) and that feeling, like every other, has only compounded as these long months have gone by. Back in the spring, my apartment lease came up. My only option was to move back into the house that I fucking grew up in… as a 26 year old. For over 6 months, my roommate has been my mom. My parents divorced over 3 years ago, and in that time she has spent over $400k in lawyer bills (of maybe $1 million total) trying to invent the most ridiculous stories about my dad. The stories I could tell you are absolutely ridiculous and are a great deal of what plagued the end of my job.

    I’ve dealt with this complete soul crushing feeling, which has now morphed itself into an absolutely terrible beast. I’ve spent every waking moment trying not to actively think about my life for like 40 god damned fucking weeks. I’ve expended all of my energy trying to not think about my 4k credit card bill I stopped paying back in April; that I’ve ignored every facebook/email/phone call from good, good, good friends for almost a year; that my phone was turned off back in June and I’m too embarrassed to ask anyone for help; that I haven’t filed my 2011 taxes nor have I applied for unemployment because why the fuck do I deserve that; that my mom cries her eyes out for 12 hours a day and seethes with rage the other 12; that I haven’t talked to my dad in almost a year; that I’ve thought about killing myself every single moment of every single one of these days for going on almost a year when I have to think about reality.

    There aren’t very many options at this point, and so I’m here searching for some advice… something that will connect and stop this madness because I simply cannot bear it anymore. I’ve been too proud of a person to burden anyone with this because what is my pain compared to most of the shit that happens to people in life and why should mine be any more important. For almost a year I haven’t even allowed myself to cry, but I just want to release this grip my mind has on me so I can go back to living my life and pursuing all of those doors that I had opened, instead of laying in the bed I slept in when I was in middle school, watching my 27th birthday come and go.

    First off, if you feel like you might hurt yourself, you shoudl definitely seek out some help asap. I was fired and unemployed for a while as well, so I know how you're feeling. It sounds like the family issues have somehow hurt your confidence which is not allowing you to push forward.

    You sound like a very smart and motivated guy which is evidenced by your CEO continuously promoting you. You need to take that track record and grab it and sell the shit out of it on your resume. Send me your resume - [email protected] and I'll take a look. Also, if you need some help filling in the gap in time on your resume, I can have you do some stuff for WSO/JDO that will take minimal hours per week but will make it seem like you continued your track involced with start-ups.

    Send me a message and connect with me on LinkedIn and I'll try to help out.

    Talk soon,
    Patrick

    No need to worship a god. Just worship Patrick

    Because when you're in a room full of smart people, smart suddenly doesn't matter—interesting is what matters.

  • Guest1655's picture

    hey there your post really resonated with me as I'm also 27 live in the same shitty 2br aprt that I practically grew up in (by choice though), work in a small biz and have gone through some tough periods as well. Are you located in NYC by any chance? While I cant offer any jobs I'm involved in a financial literacy non-profit org that's always looking for good people to help out, perhaps that may help distract you a bit.

    Don't give up, you've had what it took to get into the door of the top start-up and the top masters program, you will bounce back. Just know that the unemployment is there in case you are really in a cash crunch, dont be so hard on yourself, you've paid into the program so you deserve the money like social security. Also speak to a therapist, I was going through some tough times last year and had really terrible anxiety. I had to take off from work and gave up on my MBA dreams. after seeing a therapist once a week for a few months, things really improved, now I dont even go anymore, and I managed to take the GMAT and applied to 3 programs (waiting on results now!)
    It may be a difficult though for you to take my advice but I can assure you that talking to someone who is knowledgeable about handling these things actually works.

    cheers and contact me if you wish to talk.

  • crasshopper's picture

    I don't pretend to have all the answers in life but here are a few things to maybe think about.

    1. Why is career so important? You clearly derived satisfaction and self-worth from your previous roles. Why? Was it the title or the feeling that you were helping others or doing something meaningful?

    2. Unemployed or on vacation? As you said you now have zero responsibilities. So if there's something you wanted to do and it doesn't cost money, now you may be able to do it. As far as the credit cards go -- guess what, they can't squeeze blood from a stone. Pay them back when you're employed again.

    3. I don't personally subscribe to a religion. However I have been in a situation like what you're describing and one thing that helped me was a meditation called vipassana. Actually I'm not sure I'm spelling it right or that my impression of it is accurate to what the practitioners would say. But what I followed, instead of ommmming or "clearing your mind" or whatever, was to think "I am alive" and open my ears and eyes. Just observe something, basic facts like sunshine, rain, street sounds, your own breathing. "I am alive". It's not saying anything other than that fact. For me that helped quiet the yelling of my own mind and turn around to "receiving" the basic things you can be thankful for, instead of "forcing out". Tough feeling to describe but it made a difference for me.

    4. Exercise. Everybody has said it and it's the hardest thing to see when you're depressed. But moving and pumping the blood in any way is going to elevate your mood, period. There's a reinforcing feedback loop between your thoughts and your body. So one way to stop the downward spiral, if you can't un-depress yourself mentally (very hard to do), is to force yourself to move and let neurochemicals take it from there.

    4a. Cleaning / dressing sharp / daily planner type stuff. This may not work for you but in the same vein, maybe you remember one of the officers in Slaughterhouse V prison. He shaves every day not because he's going to see anyone, but for his own sanity. When I was in a situation maybe alike to yours, I kept a (paper) schedule and didn't necessarily plan out all the great things I would accomplish, but did write down what I had actually done during each hour of the day. It felt like that kept me accountable.

    5. You're not the only one. People are loath to admit their failures but I'm sure tons of people (esp over the last 5 years) have let down others and seen a weaker side of themselves. So you're probably not hearing about it because, like you, who wants to complain? But you're not alone, either.

    6. Life kicks people in the ass in many ways. Unemployment, relationship/marriage/sex problems, alcoholism/substance abuse, bad thesis advisor, death of a child, hurricane, on and on. The longer you live the more likely something shitty is to happen to you. Again, you're not alone. Bad things happen to people, including in this case you.

    27 may seem old but it's not really. I know and respect people who are 40 whose best job options are under $10/hr. Obviously everyone on WSO is career-driven, wants money, etc. But there is more to life than that. Think about your best friends. Do you love them because they're rich or successful? Nope, and they probably don't judge you on that score either.

    Good luck.

  • amufb1's picture

    A response from you, proxyaccount, would be reassuring, just so we know everything is alright with you...

    "Do you like Huey Lewis and the News?"

  • M and E's picture

    Get some help.
    I'm really into trading so its logical that I'm into strategy.
    I do some recreational military simulation, using real military strategy so I'll correlate it to your situation.
    You're getting ambushed right now, and you're letting yourself get ambushed. If you stay in an ambush, it starts to close down and get worse as the enemy closes in. Your parents, your lack of drive, cold shouldering friends, professional outlook, ability to pay bills, its all part of the ambush.
    No the only way to beat an ambush is to break the fire line. You focus on one or two enemies, get outside of the enemy, regroup, then outflank the enemy as a whole.

    You need a job, and here's the reality: Its not going to be your dream job, but you will be able to get your dream job in a couple years.
    Then you need to move out of your mom's house, you need to reach out to any real friends of yours, and find your deeper meaning in life. Maybe you're religious--I am, if you are, or once were, see if that can help you--go to church on Sunday. Even if you don't feel something at first, the routine will help you and you'll find a deeper meaning soon enough.
    You'll start moving up and your bills will be paid off. Things will get better for you, and rapidly.
    You will be able to look back at your current situation as something that made you a better person.

  • In reply to philosophizingphilosoraptor
    WhiteKnightDD's picture

    philosophizingphilosoraptor wrote:
    I'll tell you why you deserve it, man.
    You see, you (and all of us), are something of a probabilistic miracle. Out of the millions of billions of sperm that could have taken your place back at conception, you won out. Against all odds, you won, and you were created. You have already won the most important game of life, and that is the glory of having the chance to play. You are already a winner; now, go out and win some more. You have been given the chance to play the game of life, and that is special indeed.

    From there on, you march on towards death. See this as a positive - no matter how bad things get, they are all really trivial in the face of death. No matter how unemployed or out of luck you may be, it is a triviality in the grand scheme of things. That girl rejected you - big fucking deal. You live in your moms place - big fucking deal. None of this shit will matter on your deathbed. What will matter is how you play your hand into your own personal glory, how you get up after life has thrown you down. You seem pretty self-made; you have already played a large and impressive role in a startup. Don't doubt yourself or your abilities, because you are already a winner.

    With this newfound confidence in your abilities due to the fact that you are already a multiple winner, and with the knowledge that most of life is trivial, and that you shouldn't take yourself, your situation, or anything too seriously, get out there and kick ass. Relish in the lightness of life that liberates you.

    So, listen to some pump up songs (Requiem for a Dream Lux Aeterna, Till I Collapse - Eminem), relax (Zion I - Coastin), and go out there and kick ass. Utilize the wonderful advice and opportunities listed above - Patrick is a real legit dude. And continue winning in the game of life.

    Best of luck!

    This, once you realize this you become unstoppable.
    I'm in the same boat OP but I'm constantly improving myself. I read books and articles all day while looking on the job boards and networking and the GYM at night is what keeps me alive. I'm 10x the man I was 10 months ago.

  • In reply to BuyersRemorse
    WhiteKnightDD's picture

    BuyersRemorse wrote:
    Hang in there dude...Many of us have been there. For ambitious people, being unemployed is one of the worst possible feelings. As some have mentioned, now is NOT the time to isolate yourself...now really is the time you should be turning to your friends and loved-ones. The expression 'that's what friends are for' is apt right about now.

    To reiterate what some have mentioned here: widen the scope of your job search. Banking is a tough field to break into in the best of times.

    When I was unemployed, I made sure to keep a regular schedule which went something like this:

    -8:00am: wake up

    -8:00-9:00am: coffee/bfast/reading general and industry-specific news (want to remain plugged in so when you do land an interview, you can speak to industry events)

    -9:00-11:00: lead generation: scan job-sites/linkedin to identify all the jobs I would apply for / people I would reach out to

    -11:00 - lunch time: Follow up on prior job applications / meet contacts I've already been in touch with, etc...

    -After Lunch time - 5:00: tailor resume and craft cover letters for new job postings / write introductory notes to possible new contacts

    -5:00 - 6:00 work out: run, lift weights [very important - keeps you thinking positively]

    -Dinner

    -After dinner, socialize with old friends, girl friend, etc...

    I found that by keeping a regular routine, I knew I was going to make consistent progress towards my goal every day. This schedule also ensured that my life didn't fall apart because I was able to keep in shape, remain in touch with friends, etc...

    Again, hang in there dude. It's a horrible feeling but remember that even the most successful corporate titans have gone through tough times. What made those people successful is that, in the face of adversity, they kept the will to get out of bed each morning and to make good things happen. Remember that dude and good luck.

    BR

    +1.

    OP you need to go out as well to clear your head. Nothing like hitting on the downtown clubs with your buddies, really puts stuff into perspective.

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