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 inbills (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.