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Being Laid Off, Part 3: Why Being Laid Off is the Best Thing That Could Have Happened To My Career

edited February 2016 in 300 Hours

imageBeing Laid Off, Part 3: Why Being Laid Off is the Best Thing That Could Have Happened To My Career

By Zee Being laid off was the best thing to happen to my career. Some time ago, I started a series of personal tales around the time I was laid-off from my finance role. I wanted to convey, in words,...

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  • Hey Zee! That was a great article series. I myself am in the same situation that you were in. I'm currently a management consultant for a prestigious firm in the US being told that I will most likely be let go in May just 7 months after starting. I've committed to trying to start my own business if that does happen. In terms of strategy, for someone coming out of college without many tangible skills - what would your first step be? Developing a marketable skill, jump into freelancing (need to think of a skill first), or try to start an internet business?
  • ZeeZee Charterholder London - UKPosts: 1,550 Sr Partner
    I tried freelancing to start with. It's an easier transition, leverages what you're good at (and know). Long term, have an idea of what you'd like to try and every day/week make some progress at steps towards it. If your idea is to develop software or an app, make sure you allocate time every day to learn software development, or spend time to work on your app. If you want to write a book, make sure you allocate some time every day to work on it. It doesn't have to be a lot of time every single day, but you want to avoid the danger of constantly postponing the moment where you'll 'really get down to doing it'. As for what kind of business/industry - choose based on your skills, interest, and what you're comfortable with. If you're an introvert, don't go into a business that requires you to constantly sell and pitch. Similarly if you're not comfortable with machine logic, software development might not be the best idea. Don't do something simply because 'everyone else is doing it'.

    Good luck!
  • mikestormmikestorm Boston AreaPosts: 4 Associate
    I was actually let go this past Monday.  The difference with me is I'm trying to break in to Finance.  My job (was) very data driven, and I was a Director with a (very low) six figure salary.  I'm the sole earner in my household with a wife, toddler, and another baby on the way.  My fear is despite my BS in Finance and Level I pass under my belt (sitting of Level II in June) I won't be able to make enough to maintain things.  I was given a 13 month severance, which helps elongate my tolerance for a lower salary (assuming I find something soon).   I have no context for what an analyst makes, or how long one stays an analyst before the opportunity to be bumped to associate presents itself.

    Providing for my family trumps any designs on a career change, and I honestly don't know what to do.
  • ZeeZee Charterholder London - UKPosts: 1,550 Sr Partner
    Hi @mikestorm! Sorry to hear about your situation. 13 months is hopefully a decent enough timeline to get something sorted. If you're breaking into finance you'd start as an analyst (pay varies widely by area and firm in the US) and you're probably looking at 2-3 years to be bumped up to associate.

    If family is (rightly) your priority, I'd apply both sides - finance and your existing industry. Treat it as 100% your full time job, the allure to take things slow and procrastinate can creep in no matter how determined you felt in the first few months. Rejection letters don't help your motivation so just power through them.

    I'd prioritize job-hunting over CFA in the next 13 months to be honest, until you get something that you're happy with monetary-wise. CFA L2 is quite time-consuming, so do your best on it but I wouldn't let it take precedence over getting a job.

    Good luck, and if you have any more questions just give us a shout and we'll help out if we can!
  • Going through a bit of that at the moment. Left my job last year because I was getting a bit stuck in a rut. May sound a bit ungrateful to some, but I was really uninspired at work and found myself dreading every morning, going in as late as I can and taking as long lunches as I could. Decided to finally do something about it.

    Still haven't decided what is the plan going forward but I'm definitely leading a happier life now!
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