Career Advice? Aka what should my next move be?
Hello fellow monkeys,
I'm sort of at a crossroads and could use some help figuring out what my next move should be. If any of you can offer any advice, I'd be extremely grateful.
I graduated from a non-target state school May 2013. Didn't have anything lined up by graduation and was going insane, so when I finally received an offer I took it. Back office of all back offices at adoing tax reporting. Essentially, ensuring that the firm was providing accurate 1099's to clients and the IRS. A few globally applied macros but for the most part just data processing/entry.
After around 6 months of this; I landed a new opportunity. A local real estate developer(around ~3000 residential units and ~4,500,000 sq.ft. of retail)'s CFO and I met under odd circumstances. He mentioned that they had not run a single operating budget since 2010. They were growing like crazy (by 2016 it will be at ~5000 units and 6,000,000 sq.ft. of retail) and extremely hurt for staffing, so it had just sort of gone to the wayside. Further complicating matters was that up to 40% of property level spend was being mis-coded; so relying on past data was useless.
So I came on and spend about 2 months building operating budgets; and then (at CEO's insistence) was running monthly reviews and variance reports. Sort of useless since most bills are net 30 and trickle in several weeks late, but quarterly review was a much more powerful tool. I was learning a lot about how the operating financials of a developer works, and even got to help prepare underwriting documents (especially in relation to projected operating financials) for a couple new deals.
I recently, however, received word that the CEO (mercurial to say the least) felt that each region's regional property manager should be administering the operating budget; since they would have the expertise to say what is acceptable variance due to the nature of the individual property, and what is the result of lax spending. As such, I'm due to be laid off at the end of the year. I'm not exactly sure what happened; I do believe the CFO went to bat for me as they're letting me keep my Christmas bonus (nothing spectacular, but I suppose its the thought that counts).
As for my actual questions:
1) Where the hell should I be looking for my next opportunity? I have done the usual and am setting up a few informational/informal sit downs at REIB's and RE units at larger firms. What and where else should I be doing to find the next gig?
2) How the hell do I explain that I only spent ~7 months here before being let go? I feel like that is such a huge red flag on my resume; that it will come across as if I was so incompetent that they knew in less than a year that they didn't want me. In reality, I'm aware things aren't that black and white, and that the firm itself had an EXTREMELY high rate of turnover. Still, I'm worried about how this will be perceived
3) Any general advice on things I may not be thinking of? New avenues or something that I may not be thinking of? I'm not particularly married to Real Estate; but I did enjoy my first taste of it.
Sorry for the essay, thanks in advance.