Time to get a job! - Daily Coldcall Log (and 7 month update from bad depression)

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Rank: Monkey | 33

Hey again WSO,

I'm not sure many of you will remember me but I posted this thread (//www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/feels-like-i%E2%80%...) back in November '12. I can't even begin to believe it's been over 6 months.

Anyway as an update, I'm still unemployed but have started receiving federal unemployment. I finally asked for some help from my dad at the beginning of the year because the living situation with my mom had pushed me to the brink (severely depressed living with a severely depressed, bad news). I have since moved into his girlfriends townhome.

Since moving here, I've gotten back into the gym and used fitness as my crutch to stave off my anxiety. Of the 40 lbs I gained in 2012, I've lost 35 of them (shout out to any misc bros here) in the past 4 months. Pretty excited to start my bulk in a few months.

Anyways, I haven't fought off all my anxiety. I don't take any medication (no insurance, so I guess it doesn't matter), but I've been telling myself for the past few months that I would start pounding the pavement and get to cold calling. But realistically I've just been frozen in my own mind. I've tried to keep the thought alive that I could still reach my goal to break in as an IB analyst at a mm or boutique, but the reality is it would be extremely unlikely.

So just as I did to motivate myself with lifting and to keep myself accountable, I've decided to keep a cold calling log on these forums. I hope that's ok by Patrick and the mods, and I wasn't sure where to put it.

So for the past few months I have been studying my finance self study stuff, remembering what I did at my job and how to frame it, and thinking over good cold call tactics and scripts... It's not like I haven't done anything (like I did for most of last year), it just I've been frozen with fear. Well, with this log I hope that to be no more.

I'm planning on targeting 3 areas for companies:

1) Chicago - I live here, but don't want to.
2) Houston - I have real good experience in energy
3) San Fransisco/LA - Tech/gaming has always been my #1 interest, just not sure where it would fit in professionally.

I want to stay in finance in some capacity, though I could do business development again. I'm guessing most of the titles will be something related to "Financial Analyst", though if anyone has any ideas let me know. Going to focus on start up companies and smaller companies' finance departments. I'll also probably put together a small list of IB boutiques focusing on project finance/energy, and still try to realize my goal, but limit it to a small number.

If anyone would like to connect on linkedin or take a look at my resume to give me some ideas, let me know via PM, I'd definitely appreciate it. Also would be game for some mock interviews, if anyone is willing. I don't want to be detective'd by anyone, I'm just trying to get my life moving, so if any brazen internet trolls would please spare me I would very much appreciate it.

Tomorrow my goal is to make 10 cold calls, I'm not entirely sure to who yet, but I will let you know tomorrow. I'm using doostang and efinancialcareers to get some ideas (have an excel together already). I'll do like I did a few years back when I first start pursuing IB, and use linkedin to find the names of whoever I can starting from the top. Always go to the decision maker first... then start calling!

Here's a potential opening script (if I were to call for IB boutique):

Hey (name)

My name is (redacted), did I catch you at a good time?

----Yeah blah blah what's up?

Well (name), I'll be brief. I'm calling because I want to help you out. I want to work for you as an analyst. You need a talented guy that can work 100 hours a week for the next 2 years, and I want to save you time and make you money. So, what do you think?

Looking over that, it's not great, but it's short and to the point. I tell them what I can offer, and it leaves it open to interpretation. I'm confident but not cocky. I obviously need to adjust for less.... ambitious roles that don't require as many hours, but that can be easily done. Funny thing is, the opening started at like 45 seconds of talking time based on the size, and I finally widdled it away down to what you see there. Thoughts?

Anyways, today is Day 0. Tomorrow is Day 1. The goal for tomorrow is simply 10 cold calls, that's not too outrageous and it starts the ball rolling. I'm going to log my progress in this thread and by Day 60 I want to have a job. Lets do this, WSO!

Comments (50)

Best Response
Jun 6, 2013

OP I can give you some advice on cold calling as I made 200 cold calls in my old sales position. Follow these and I guarantee you will get a positive result. You have to believe in this 100% for it to work.

1. Make at least 100 cold calls. You reach your target 5% of the time. I made 200 calls per day.
2. Join http://www.jigsaw.com/ to get phone numbers, titles etc. To get more points just make random edits.
3. Use your alumni directory- alumni respond to emails fast - Mark Cuban returned my email in a day.
4. Keep your CV handy and have an industry veteran proof read it.

My name is (redacted), did I catch you at a good time? ( Never ask a question where they can give a one word answer, what will you say when they reply "Yes, I am busy" )

----Yeah blah blah what's up? - ( I hope you're joking! )

Well (name), I'll be brief. I'm calling because I want to help you out. I want to work for you as an analyst. You need a talented guy that can work 100 hours a week for the next 2 years, and I want to save you time and make you money. So, what do you think? (You come off as arrogant, you have to stroke these guys ego)

---

Paraphrase this or use it ditto:

Hi ___ how are you? Good, my name is ______ and I have graduated from ______ in _______. I found your name through Linkedin/jigsaw etc. and I just wanted to ask you if there is a job opening in _________.

Get straight to the point and tell them how you found their info. If you don't they will be thinking who the fuck is this guy and who gave him my number.

After this, just be quiet and listen. Never speak over anyone or cut them. If they have a secretary be confident while speaking. If she says is he expecting your call say "Yes" do whatever to get through the person. You can later apologize if they call you on it. You can say "I am sorry but that's the only way I could get to you".

Good luck. Cold calling is probably the best skill I have learned in my life Some people will be very rude and this will upset you but with time you'll brush it off like water off a duck's back. Good luck!!

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Jun 10, 2013
go.with.the.flow:

OP I can give you some advice on cold calling as I made 200 cold calls in my old sales position. Follow these and I guarantee you will get a positive result. You have to believe in this 100% for it to work.

1. Make at least 100 cold calls. You reach your target 5% of the time. I made 200 calls per day.
2. Join http://www.jigsaw.com/ to get phone numbers, titles etc. To get more points just make random edits.
3. Use your alumni directory- alumni respond to emails fast - Mark Cuban returned my email in a day.
4. Keep your CV handy and have an industry veteran proof read it.

My name is (redacted), did I catch you at a good time? ( Never ask a question where they can give a one word answer, what will you say when they reply "Yes, I am busy" )

----Yeah blah blah what's up? - ( I hope you're joking! )

Well (name), I'll be brief. I'm calling because I want to help you out. I want to work for you as an analyst. You need a talented guy that can work 100 hours a week for the next 2 years, and I want to save you time and make you money. So, what do you think? (You come off as arrogant, you have to stroke these guys ego)

---

Paraphrase this or use it ditto:

Hi ___ how are you? Good, my name is ______ and I have graduated from ______ in _______. I found your name through Linkedin/jigsaw etc. and I just wanted to ask you if there is a job opening in _________.

Get straight to the point and tell them how you found their info. If you don't they will be thinking who the fuck is this guy and who gave him my number.

After this, just be quiet and listen. Never speak over anyone or cut them. If they have a secretary be confident while speaking. If she says is he expecting your call say "Yes" do whatever to get through the person. You can later apologize if they call you on it. You can say "I am sorry but that's the only way I could get to you".

Good luck. Cold calling is probably the best skill I have learned in my life Some people will be very rude and this will upset you but with time you'll brush it off like water off a duck's back. Good luck!!

There are many threads/questions on cold calling, this perhaps is the best post

Jun 6, 2013

Great story, I think you have potential to use your story in your own benefit actually. Im sure you have heard of an elevator pitch... A guy answers the phone when you call, and you tell them this? Its too short, boring, dry, black/white and too predictable. Any kid on the other end of the phone would/probably does say shit like that. PITCH yourself. Tell them WHY you would be the best working for him, maybe portray your self discipline a bit and illustrate yourself and why you want it more than anyone else. Think of a creative way to use your past in your own benefit. Like yeah you had a rough patch, but you hit the ground running. I think that is key. Be creative, think of this call as a sales pitch when the other guy answers. You need something persuasive, colorful and fucking sexy. I can tell you have the ability to do something like this, so do NOT overthink it. Don't write it down either. Frame it out, lay out your "main points" and let it flow with confidence, aggression (not over aggression) and intelligence all at once.

"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin

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Jun 6, 2013
ValueAdder68:

so do NOT overthink it.

This has definitely been my biggest problem. Anxiety that just begets more anxiety. Tomorrow I will do my best to do the opposite of this. Thanks so far guys and to the guy willing to review my resume so far. Much appreciated.

Jun 6, 2013

I read your previous story and it is good that you having making some progress. When I was in school, I cold called a list of banks I could find in my region and the Bank that I summered for was through originally cold calling and following up for six months. A tip for the cold call, if they pitch to them that you are interested in exploring an Analyst role and they say they have no spots available, adjust the pitch to an intern role you can take on. This helped me quite a bit. Hope things continue to improve for you and good luck!!!

Jun 6, 2013

i agree with gowiththeflow. also, if youre having anxiety, youre probably just having some confidence problems. you want to come across as natural, not forced, and confident, not too salesie( i know, not a word). do your research and practice practice practice! i used to do sales over the phone also and averaged 350 calls per day. im sure you have the credentials to back it up so just lean on that.

Jun 6, 2013

Confidence is a requirement to be in Houston or anywhere for that matter. Confidence will allow you to abandon the script after 200+ iterations and you can develop your own sense of style.

Jun 6, 2013

Look outside of finance as well. If you get a decent job and then go to bschool, you could end up back in finance. Take advantage of every opportunity

Jun 7, 2013

Damn, I remember this feeling last summer, I secured a no-name boutique in July! Keep grinding, man!

The difference between successful people and others is largely a habit - a controlled habit of doing every task better, faster and more efficiently.

Jun 7, 2013

You got this, my dude!
Get that list of prospective employers going! I would reach out to HR/internal recruiting on LinkedIn (as well as the top dogs). I found that "cold mailing" (huh?) my cover letter and CV to firms left a good impression in their minds. You could mail them and then follow up with a call a week later.
Indeed.com has quite a few finance postings - check it out.
Hold yourself accountable to your plan - call 10 places tomorrow. No excuses.
Practicing builds confidence. Keep after it, bro.
Lastly, I think you should reconnect with some of your friends (if you haven't already). I'm sure they miss you.

Jun 7, 2013

gluck man..post your success story here

Jun 7, 2013

Have you thought about searching for an energy or finance related job in Calgary? I will PM you

Jun 7, 2013

.

Jun 7, 2013

Update

Day 1 (Goal reached)

Called more than 10 companies today, focused mainly on companies that were in my industry at my last job. Trying not to out myself, but think alternative energy. I had some short conversations and some voicemails. Stumbled pretty hard with the MD of Structured Finance (non bank) at one company. Spoke with a recruiter from Shelby Jennings in NYC (anyone familiar with them?) about a position at an IBD that fits my background, had some followup emails with him. Left some voicemails. Used indeed to go through more potential positions, thanks for that recommendation - I had forgotten about that site!

Have appreciated the comments and also the PMs from various folks. I received some good insight on my resume and will be looking to change a few things up with that to make it more traditional finance friendly. Also those folks I've connected with on linkedin and the friendly PMs from Chicago area and Houston :)

I changed up my intro based on some comments above and I've been practicing:

Hey John - how are you?
Good, my name is _____ and I've worked in ____ and ____ at a top ___ company. I found your name through Linkedin and I just wanted to ask you about your hiring climate for analysts.

I've also typed out some better answers to "Tell me about yourself", employment gap, and to some possible objections.

Going to go for a walk now and clear my head.

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Jun 7, 2013

Stick in there man, seems like things are getting better for you. I actually remember reading your initial post.

Post your resume in the resume section here rather than wait for people to ask for it through PM (ignore, if you already have). This site is a great resource with a bunch of people willing to go out of their way to help.

Jun 10, 2013

I hope everything works out for you.

Jun 10, 2013

Update

Day 2:

Wasn't able to get as much done over the weekend as I wanted due to family obligations.

Today started off good - was making a bunch of calls and then I received a call in response to my work on Friday. Head of corporate recruiting got in touch with me for an analyst position I had made some calls about, we have another call set for Thrs. This isn't IB, it's more of an exit for most analysts... the same position I held just at a much, much, much larger company. Spent the last while going through their 10-k, which has been good for me because I forgot a lot of this terminology. I'm also revising my resume and trying to nail down some major points to telling my story and elevator pitch.

Tomorrow I will make at minimum 25 calls (but hopefully many more. I think I'll keep the goal structure as it motivates me to hit a target).

Thanks for all the kind wishes and linkedin requests, much appreciated!

Jun 10, 2013

Interesting to read this daily call blog. Good luck mate.

Jun 11, 2013

Day 3

Had a bit of a setback today. I started the morning by reading a bunch of things, was bouncing around from dealbook to pehub to techcrunch, then I moved on to reading more of the 10-k I was reading, and then found myself entrenched in a whole bunch of research about things I had forgotten at my last job. I wanted to make calls but as I read more and more, I psyched myself out :( Analysis paralysis, I guess. Either way, it was a productive day just not in the goal reaching sense. Tomorrow is 25 calls or bust. Not hitting 25 calls tomorrow is not even a question.

Tonight, I'll continue going through this 10-k (thursday is the 1st interview) and start writing out/reading aloud answers to some questions and maybe add a line or two to my resume since I removed some things on the advice of others and now find myself with a resume that's about 2 lines too short!

Thanks guys.

Jun 11, 2013

This is awesome. Keep it up and good luck!

Jun 11, 2013

Keep going! We're rooting for you!

Jun 11, 2013

Keep it up your on the right track.

your going to make it

Jun 11, 2013

all it takes is one yes!

Jun 12, 2013

Keep it up man!

Jun 12, 2013

Keep it up mate!

Jun 12, 2013

Are you willing to relocate? There are some front office positions in some small markets that get looked over.....

Jun 12, 2013
ibj:

Are you willing to relocate? There are some front office positions in some small markets that get looked over.....

I'm hoping to relocate, tbqh. Tired of Chicago. That being said, I haven't seen any small market IBD positions posted anywhere (I'm guessing you mean like Charlotte and Atlanta type areas?) and I'm spread quite thing in terms of where/what I'm looking for..

For example today I've been calling (and applying to posted jobs) pretty much all over, and I'm feeling quite dazed at the moment trying to process everything. I'm taking a break and reading the replies to the thread is giving me the motivation to continue. I need to come up with a more solid focus or I guess just continue throwing darts at the barn door like I feel I'm doing today.

Jun 12, 2013

Day 4

Hit my goal, but that's including emails sent and applying for specific jobs online. I need to readjust my gameplan tomorrow, right now I'm all over the place in different industries/positions/using job boards. I need to just go industry by industry and cold call as many companies I can find in there and proceed. I am getting more comfortable on the phone, but other than this interview I have tomorrow I haven't gotten much interest (as far as I know).

I also made the unfortunate mistake of thinking of a great business idea when I was grabbing some things at the grocery store today. A portion of my mind has been playing with ideas for that for the past 2-3 hours since it came to me. It's too bad I've backed myself into a corner like this or I'd try to pursue it.

Tomorrow's goal is simply to do well on my first interview and not get dinged. I think that would help my confidence and ending up getting a job off my first day of calls would be a great ending to this horrible 16 month period of my life. Go hawks.

Jun 13, 2013

Good luck and nail that interview. Great game from the Hawks!

Jun 12, 2013

good luck on the interview mate

Jun 12, 2013

when you mentioned you were going through the 10k, were you just reviewing it for practice? or do you always look at the 10k for whatever company you are interviewing at?

Jun 13, 2013

Day 5

Interview went awesome, onto the second round with my would be manager! Hopefully it will be next week but it's depending on his free time. If I get through that one, they'll fly me in for last round. Definitely don't want to get my hopes up but it was nice to do well on that. Clearly I hope I continue doing well, but I don't want to be only focused on that one opportunity. Nothing else really in the pipeline atm, but I'll press on.

Tomorrow I want to make at least 25 cold calls. Not anything through job boards, just call up some folks and try to make some magic. Also to jasper90's question, I'm not planning on going through any 10-k's, it just so happened that it was a much bigger version of the company I was working for and reading through it helped me remember all the terminology/what I worked on during projects.

Thanks for the continued motivation guys and yes indeed, go hawks!

Jun 14, 2013

good job man, that sounds pretty exciting

Jun 14, 2013

Day 6

On hold, will be gone til at least the afternoon as apparently my grandpas girlfriend was in a bad car accident.

Jun 17, 2013

To the OP - I totally sympathize & am rooting for you. Cliche (when you're at the bottom you won't realize it until long after the fact): I was in a similar situation shortly out of college and after a long unemployment period & being down to almost my last dollar I finally landed a low-paying job and from there my career was pretty much onwards and upwards (until recently - the second half of my post). Anyway, I totally understand the feeling of having constant anxiety weighing on you. The only times I don't / didn't feel it are when I'm doing something I enjoy or with friends / loved ones.

Apologize in advance for off-topic. Fast forward a bunch of very productive years and now I'm out of work for the last couple months (most recently was a senior analyst at a HF). I wasn't very good at playing the politics game (lesson learned) and naively thought that generating consistently good risk-adjusted returns would take care of everything. Does cold-calling work for more senior positions? It is very tough out there, but anything worth getting is tough.

Jun 17, 2013

just keep at it bro. You'll get there. We're in it together!

Jun 17, 2013

The best post on WSO for cold calling by rothyman and a stand up guy http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/blog/cold-calling-101

Jun 17, 2013

Inspirational story and it has been great to follow your progress. I'm going to start keeping myself more accountable as well. You've motivated me to give this cold calling a shot!

Jun 17, 2013

Day 7

Wasn't a good day, couldn't get anything going for some reason my anxiety was really bad. Kept myself busy reading more and practicing more, but I couldn't pick up the phone. Ugh, tomorrow needs to be better! 25 calls tomorrow at least. That's the goal. I feel ashamed coming back to update here after a bad day, but the accountability helps I suppose. Still waiting to hear back for an update on when my #2 interview will take place. She said I would hear back by late this week. Feeling really good physically and mentally for what its worth, just the cold calling anxiety is nippin me atm. Lets do this tomorrow!

Thanks for the nice comments as well, and great to hear that this is motivating others out there.

Jun 17, 2013

I remember reading your old thread, keep up the good work!!!

I have to be careful how I word this so it isn't taken the wrong way.
Have you thought about lowering your goals for the day? What I mean by that/personally sometimes I set daily goals that are too high and I get intimidated/daunted and end up procrastinating/doing something else for awhile until boom it has been a couple hours and I hardly have any work to show for it.

Flipside, if I start smaller I tend to get started faster and end up getting more done, usually more than my initial goal.
Also helps to build up and gain momentum. 10 one day, 15 the next --- 20 ---- 25---- gets easier.

Just a thought on something that helps me sometimes.
Good luck!

Jun 19, 2013
ALF.:

if I start smaller I tend to get started faster and end up getting more done, usually more than my initial goal.

Will probably take that advice into tomorrow.

Day 8

No calls made again today... trying not to think of it as failure, but it's hard not to feel that way. My goal tomorrow is to have 5 calls made by lunch time CST. I'm getting up at 6-7am, but still failing to capitalize on the mornings and feel overwhelmed in the afternoon. Thanks for the support, I'm tired of knowing the amount of bad days are beginning to overwhelm the good ones in this daily log. I need to embrace this panic and use it as a strength instead of hiding behind it. Cheers.

Jun 19, 2013

are you sure working in an office environment is your best bet? I don't want to sound like an ass, but if you are having small anxiety attacks on occasion, then jobs with less face time may be more suited for you. Based on your post, you at least have experience, and could get your work done but an office setting may not be the best idea.

But I could be looking at this wrong, since the small bumps in your path could just be due to the frustration of calling daily and coming out empty handed. Why not aim for shops in Chicago that have office mobility to other cities. Networking in person may help boost your confidence more and if anything build your network. As many people have echoed on the forums, networking in person is more ideal. Plus, they may be able to give you more contacts. As a rule of thumb, whenever I talk with someone in person or via the phone, I always hint at or directly ask if they could put me in touch with some other professionals they know. I am personally interested in some specific groups, so it helps when I ask if they know someone in a specific group. And generally, I can figure out if they work with other groups based on deals they have mentioned they have done or sometimes they have brought up what groups they share their floor with (which is really convenient because odds are, they know them)

Also, idk how long you have been out of school, but do you still have access to your school's recruiting? Definitely get in touch with the various campus recruiters. Also get in contact via email with various FLDP programs and see if you can work some magic. I know you mentioned regular hours are not of concern, so these financial analyst positions could be good opportunities. And there are a few energy FLDPs that may interest you too.

Good luck!

Sorry for grammar mistakes

Jun 19, 2013

Day 9

Had everything going in the morning, hit my calls then decided to clear my head and go to the gym, out of town dad calls about 5 times while I'm there and makes me rush over to my moms place which is over an hour away and I end up spending the entire day there working on stuff and hauling more stuff around (house is up for sale finally). Every time I feel like I've broken through my anxiety it feels like there's something there to set me back. At least my time there was pleasant and not volatile like usual. Worn out though.

I did get a call a couple of hours ago from a recruiter that I spoke with last week, looking forward to calling him back tomorrow morning and find out what opportunities he found (he said there were a couple). Should hear back about setting up my 2nd interview either tomorrow or Thursday as well, so hopefully this recruiter found some other opportunities I can add to the fire. Going to watch a bit of the hawks game and probably fall asleep before they lose, early start tomorrow got to get after it.

Jun 20, 2013

Day 10

Well, after some calls this morning I decided to reach out to the person I interviewed with last week to followup and check on when I'd be moving on to round 2, turns out my would-be manager "is still hoping to find someone with top-tier banking experience or highly relevant and [basically what I did but on a larger scale] transaction experience." We did hit it off pretty well, and the email ended with "Let me know if there is anything that I can add, to the information that you gave me, that would help to make a stronger case for you." So I put together a good argument / summary in a quick email and I guess we'll see if it gets me a shot at round 2, but it doesn't look good.

I wish I had more stuff on the burner so this didn't sting as much. The recruiter and I got in touch and he's got an opportunity for me he thinks based out of Houston, so he's setting that up for early next week. Excited to watch the heat game tonight, too bad I fell asleep for the hawks looks like it turned out to be a great one.

jasper90:

are you sure working in an office environment is your best bet? I don't want to sound like an ass, but if you are having small anxiety attacks on occasion, then jobs with less face time may be more suited for you. Based on your post, you at least have experience, and could get your work done but an office setting may not be the best idea.

My anxiety is directly related to needing confidence to cold call and sell myself. I have no problem performing a job or working with people, in fact I'm a very social being outside of this depression mess. Plus, I'm not entirely sure what you mean by not working in an office environment, that wouldn't leave many career options! ;) Thanks for the ideas regardless, cheers m8.

Jun 21, 2013

I have some ideas to share.
1) You have set locations in which you want to work, so one method to get more potential numbers is to use google maps to find firms. Basically go to your desired city, hover over the downtown area, type in "investment bank" or what not, and if it's a major city like the ones you mentioned, you'll get tons of firms' names, numbers, or websites, i.e. countless opportunities ripe for the taking.
2) Another thing that was super helpful for me to get my current internship was practicing my overall pitch and interview with ex-bankers. If you know anyone in the industry right now, ask them if you can practice cold-calling or interviewing. I thought I was decent at interviewing, and then I practiced with an ex-BB banker.
3) I had a similar attitude towards cold-calling/networking, but during the process, a mentor told me that "you'd be surprised how much people are willing to help you." To test that point, I emailed a couple CFO's of some of the largest publicly traded companies in my (small) state directly to ask for info. interviews; they both accepted, and they were fantastic calls. Though they didn't result in anything, the fact I did it made me feel that much better to kill it on the next interview. The phrase doesn't seem like much, but for me that changed my entire mindset.

Jun 25, 2013

sup brah... aware.

we're all going to make it.

Jun 28, 2013
F. Ro Jo:

sup brah... aware.

we're all going to make it.

"We're all going to make it crew checking in"

Jul 1, 2013
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Jan 5, 2014