SRS I'm spilling out all my career/life direction uncertainty dilemmas in this thread.

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by CrispyGame, Dec 13, 2008.

  1. CrispyGame

    CrispyGame Stop staring at my avatar.

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    First of all, I may seem like I'm about to ask a lot of questions that lead to other questions that may not lead to anywhere, but take that as an indication of how lost I feel.

    I'm 22 and I just graduated from a good public university with a degree in Accounting. I have a great GPA (3.5, not counting a 3.8 in junior college), but I honestly feel like that's all I have to show for it. When I wasn't in class, I was either studying, online or playing Xbox (I wasn't much of a partier). And I was also in the accounting club, but virtually everyone else in the major was anyway. I'd also go to the annual 'networking' events, but I've always been very nervous and just probably came off as uninteresting (not necessarily poorly, but not standing out much either), and every firm just regurgitated the (same) process of applying through the career center. Managed to get about 10 interviews while still a student, and except for the few that threw the hardball questions the whole time, they all seemed to go well. I got rejected from second interviews from all but one firm, and I thought that second one went nearly PERFECT; I even heard positive reassurance midway throughout. Heartbreakingly rejected. After having graduated this August, I've managed only one interview after dozens of resume sendings. Passed the phone interview, went in-person, thought that went well, rejected. I've even been to a few staffing agencies, including another branch of the same one I got my only two-months of (clerk-level) accounting experience through, just to be told that there were no jobs for someone with my limited experience, though admittedly blaming it on the economy.

    Now if I ended my post here with a reflectionary question or two, I'm sure this thread would mostly be about interview preparation. But now here's where this thread will probably split off into many tangents.

    1) My life experience is quite limited, and of what's there, I can't remember or conjure it up in a useful way. All I really have to show on my resume was about two months of low-grunt-level accounting work that a high school graduate could do (though this was after my junior year so I hadn't gotten my degree yet), with really no sense of accomplishment and a vague feeling that one of their clients didn't like me for some extremely minor reason, though I may be exaggerating there. I also had two years' worth of being a cashier at Home Depot, but I've forgotten many noteworthy experiences from there that could be used to answer a behaviorial question. Even though I was one of their favorite cashiers, I never got to progress into a leadership role because of scheduling incompatibility, and when I was finally able to work full-time, I was about to leave anyway. The only real leadership experience I've had was moderating a forum, but frankly, I think I was a crappy leader. I just wanted to lock threads. :evil: The point of it is, the only significant accomplishment I can think of is graduating college with the GPA I did, but that'd just be kind of 'blah'. And I did get merit badges at Home Depot, but that's really it. I feel book-smart, but I feel so deficient in "street-smarts" that I don't feel any good coming out of it. I don't feel like I have very much to show for my 22 years here, and I wonder how I'm supposed to differentiate myself to appear the best when I realistically only seem average/mediocre.

    2) I don't know if I want to pursue accounting anymore. A friend once told me, in the context of job rejections, that things usually happen for a reason - i.e. it's not because I sucked the interview hardcore, but that maybe I wasn't meant to work in this field. Most of those 10 on-campus interviews were for CPA firm auditing, but that was before I had taken a class on it, and under the guise that everyone basically started in auditing anyway. I took the auditing class later, and quickly found out that I was just not interested in it at all, so I felt a little better about the rejections in retrospect, and though I sort of liked tax and cost accounting, my confidence level has just taken such a beating that I'm, at best, indifferent about pursuing this career further. Although I do plan to take the CPA exam, I'm only doing so because a family member has agreed to pay the $800 fee to take it as a gift, and had I had to come up with the money myself at this point, I'd most likely not do it, which does leave me feeling quite bad about it. What's that? Family member? A CPA? Surely this must mean...

    3) People say it's always "who you know", but I don't feel like I know anyone that could really benefit me. I've just always been real shy and introverted. I've already spoke with him regarding job leads that his associates would know of. There are none. And I don't know anyone else that can benefit me. My other family members are in fields that don't interest me. My friends' employers (if they are employed) just aren't hiring. And I never really developed a lot of connections in school. In fact, as irrational as it sounds, I've even started fearing them because of their job successes. Somehow, me and this girl in class started chatting on a normal basis (though I will mention that I've never had, nor was ever looking for a significant other, but that'd be for another thread). Then (and this was before, but not why, I started getting apathetic) I found out she got hired on by one of the Big 4, and for some reason, I just stopped talking to her. We were pulling the same grades, but I just couldn't talk to her, for fear of inferiority complex.

    4) If I don't want to pursue accounting, I don't know what else to. I've always had kind of a passion for real estate, but this being a TERRIBLE time to get into it, combined with an apathetic confidence level and not really having a lot of cash have psychologically prevented me from getting into it. I feel like I could be a decent realtor, but I'd have to eat into my already low savings to market myself and/or stay alive, and I'd have to combat my shyness. Which brings me to sales. I think I could be a good salesperson, if the definition of salesperson is strictly matching what a company provides to what a customer desires. But then my shyness/introversion gets the worst of me. I could get into computers/IT, but I haven't really programmed anything aside from just HTML/CSS, I can't answer why certain methodologies would be better than others, and although I'm quite good at home computer stuff (building the systems, troubleshooting, virus/spyware removal and home networking, but my knowledge of that is intermediate at best), a lot of entry-level IT jobs seem to require this daunting laundry-list of skills and experience that I realistically can't learn unless I step out of the comfort zone (home) and into the twilight zone (a failed job application).

    4.5) Let's back-track for a second and suppose that I wanted to still pursue accounting, but understandably at this time, I can only get jobs that would be significantly below the level of a good recent graduate. I'm worried that a future employer would discount a crappy 'first job out of college' on the basis that I couldn't find anything better, when suppose that I really couldn't on account of the economy, and that I just needed some money coming in.

    I know I just asked several mouthfuls, but I just need some guidance to get me out of living in this apathetic state of existence in any direction I possibly, and realistically, can. I also know that this is going to sound a bit superficial, but I've always had this desire and feeling that someday, somehow, I will be rich - but that I just don't know exactly how I will. But let's put the 'getting rich' part on the back for now and jump back to the issues at hand, which I'll summarize very briefly for those that just scrolled to the bottom: I haven't accomplished much, I'm jobless, my confidence is extremely low, I'm jobless, I'm too shy, I'm apathetic, I'm feeling uncertain about my degree path, I'm jobless, I'm feeling uncertain about alternate paths, I'm jobless, and I know that I'd have the determination, even if I can't possibly prove it now.
     
  2. butta

    butta OT Supporter

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    bro I'm 22, an accounting major (with a GPA not nearly as good as yours) and I interviewed with a bunch of people and they all did the same old story (the economy this/economy that). KPMG came to my school and held 11 interviews and did not even CALL A SINGLE PERSON BACK and gave no second interviews. My dad is a CPA and I could potentially take over his business which despite the economy is still growing. All I would have to do is basicaly get my CPA, but like you say I am taking Audit right now and it fucking SUCKS and I hate tax. The only accounting class I have taken to is my cost accounting class. Why dont you try to get in with a regional firm? RSM McGladrey is a big time firm among several others.

    Have you seen this list?

    http://www.vault.com/nr/finance_rankings/accounting_rankings.jsp?accounting2009=2


    find out what firms have offices by you :dunno:


    I love computers too and I feel like I have the intermediate knowledge you speak of but its too late for me to switch my major. Does UCSB have an alumni network? Have you tried tapping into it?
     
  3. CrispyGame

    CrispyGame Stop staring at my avatar.

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    Yes/No. Read #3 again.

    I really think my confidence has been too drained to apply for even those types of firms. I don't mean to discount your suggestion andI know you mean well, but that would really mask the symptom of a larger, more complicated problem.
     
  4. butta

    butta OT Supporter

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    crispy I go to Loyola College in Maryland and we have this thing called hounds 4 hire. Its an online database and you can use these things called "mentor tokens" to reach out to alumni in your field (in this case accounting). Does UCSB have an online recruiting site like that?
     
  5. CrispyGame

    CrispyGame Stop staring at my avatar.

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    They have some kind of alumni database, but they just give you the data and you have to make the contact manually. I dunno if yours is more rigid or structured. And they have a job board, but I was already well-versed in how to use it. And there's really not much intriguing activity on it right now anyway - a lot of outdated postings, and crap jobs that don't have much to do with my field and aren't interesting anyway. And I suppose you could search the campus interviews for the better firms, but I've already used (blown) my one shot with them all, and as a result, lost any interest in working for them after all.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2008
  6. butta

    butta OT Supporter

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    How much money do you have saved up? Any desire to travel the world and takea year off? If that is too risky for you then just keep trying to get interviews. I know exactly how you feel as far as being discouraged. I saw many kids go to interviews (with companies they woudl not even work for and told me they wouldnt) and they got the second interviews only to deny the job (when people like myself would have actually taken the jobs). Its discouraging, you just have to keep trying, and never give up. :bateman:
     
  7. butta

    butta OT Supporter

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    btw if you are as introverted as you say, sales is outta the question for a career. You need to be friendly and outgoing for sales (at least if you want to be successful).
     
  8. CrispyGame

    CrispyGame Stop staring at my avatar.

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    I can come off as friendly, and at least professional. I dunno - I just think that the sales itself isn't too hard to handle, but the prospecting could be. So if all the prospecting was done in advance, I feel I could be good at it. I did work in retail for 2 years, interacting with literally hundreds of customers a day. If I wasn't friendly, I wouldn't have lasted nearly as long.
     
  9. butta

    butta OT Supporter

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    A cashier does not necessarily have to interact with people that much, you are mainly there to give cash back. If you were a garden sales associate and had to talk to people and diagnose what kind of fertilizer would be most appropriate for them, that would require more personal skills than just working a register and giving change.

    You did not answer me about the travel part :o
     
  10. CrispyGame

    CrispyGame Stop staring at my avatar.

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    I have about $1600. I get unemployment (I hate to admit it) of about $100/week, I have debts with $70/month to pay, and I'm going to have to start paying my college loans soon. I really feel like I do want to travel, but with what I have saved up, I know deep-down it isn't the smartest thing to do. My resume gap is already large enough - over a year. The last thing I'd want to do is make it two. If I had to get an odd job or two, I suppose, but I just can't help but feel it's too risky to do it now, especially in this economy.
     
  11. CrispyGame

    CrispyGame Stop staring at my avatar.

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    I did returns too. That's got to be at least twice the interaction. Sometimes more, depending on the complexity. :hs:
     
  12. butta

    butta OT Supporter

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    okay yea returns is defly people intensive. I think a lot of people are in your situation bro, I dont knoow what the fuck to do myself. I need some money and over xmas break as of right now I have no job. I need to find something myself :hs:
     
  13. Mike00

    Mike00 New Member

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    I've done customer service ( in it's own ways it does require some sales skills ) that said I have to agree with orgiinal poster that based off your personality sales is not for you. I work in b2b sales for a living and while I may be shy/introverted in personal life when it comes to work I'm not and I'm grateful because there is no way you I could do this sales job or any other if I was. No sales job out there has prospecting done in advance. The idea of prospecting done in advance for most sales job is you have a a name or number and supposedly they wanted information from you (90% of the time they didn't) hence the issues you've discussed will come up.

    In terms of accounting I can't say I'm too surprised of all the jobs we lossed this year 250,000 have been financial related. There are a lot of people out there with lots of experience looking for probably the same jobs you are and if you don't stand out in the interview personality wise it's going to be tough.

    That said 11 interviews really isn't all that much. It's normal to be doubting and worrying right now at your age/stage and life and it doesn't hep that the economy is real rough right now. Believe me many other people out there are worried to.

    Right now it doesn't much matter what you decide to do long term in terms of career/job. You do however need to continue to go on as many interviews as you can and should be calling places after you send in resumes. If nothing else interview practice is really good and from the money situation landing some kind of job is probably a good idea. Long term you have more wiggle room once you have a sustainable income. But the idea is to get on many interviews as you can because that's a skill that will be incredibly useful no matter what industry. I can tell first hand the only reason I got hired at my current job is the interview. I had some experience but all that much and unlike everybody else I work with I didn't have a degree. I impressed the director and he gave me a shot and it turns out I led the department in sales and was able to moving up to a managerial position also.

    Best advice I can give you is continue to go on as many interviews as you can right now. As you get better I imagine you'll see better responces. Based off your post I imagine your coming off slightly shy/unsure of yourself in the interview and that matters a lot. More you go on the less you'll be like that.
     
  14. uneek

    uneek OT Supporter

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    do you find accounting interesting? did you enjoy your accounting coursework? did you like learning about the way accounting works and have an interest in learning more about accounting?

    did you take the courses because you thought it was your family wanted & was a good career choice?
     
  15. CrispyGame

    CrispyGame Stop staring at my avatar.

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    I actually found the coursework (except for auditing) interesting; I didn't necessarily intend to major in it at first, but everything I've read led it to be the best specialty of the business major. I just liked how it flowed, I suppose. It wasn't necessarily what my family 'wanted', but they were fine with it, and it did seem like a good choice.
     
  16. uneek

    uneek OT Supporter

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    What I was getting at was maybe you are more research driven and may want to consider a PhD.
     
  17. CrispyGame

    CrispyGame Stop staring at my avatar.

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    It may seem that way, but no. The thing is, I was interested in the beginning, but I was never really passionate about it. I never really liked schooling that much in the first place; I just stuck it out because it was the right thing to do. Partly due to those rejections, I really started becoming apathetic about further education. I was too far in to give up though, so I might as well have just finished the BA.

    I'm aware of what PhD programs entail; I can't possibly see myself completing one, or frankly even getting admitted into one if I wanted to.
     
  18. uneek

    uneek OT Supporter

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    then I would consider giving up on accounting. I think your family will be more understanding if you can show them that you havn't just given up when things got tough but that you tried and really don't like it. if you don't like accounting then sack up and talk to them about it. if theyre so hellbent on you living on the legacy then ask for a job at the family business.

    you seem to me like you're just not really aware of what your wants are at this point. go work in construction for a year or two. when you've had enough, you'll be far more likely to be able to find something in school that truly interests you and you'll have enough of a backbone to not pick something for the money or status or some other reason that isn't going to keep you going day after day.
     
  19. CrispyGame

    CrispyGame Stop staring at my avatar.

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  20. uneek

    uneek OT Supporter

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    I kind of get the impression that you are really focusing on the end result, i.e. being rich & being able to do what you want.

    nothing wrong with this, but realize that the story you linked to is about a guy who spent his early years broke. are you willing to do this to pursue your dreams? if so, no problem for you, but I get the impression that you don't have the cojones to look your family in the eye and stand by your decision. you can do either:

    1. live your life according to the wishes of your family. be miserable with yourself, but happy that your family is pleased

    2. live your life according to what you want to do. be happy with yourself, but have a bad relationship with people in your family.

    3. compromise. talk with your dad & tell him you don't like accounting and aren't sure if your plans will work but you have some ideas that you want to explore, and why you think they're viable, and explain how you are prepared for things if it doesn't work out, and if you're ok with it, etc. maybe he won't be happy, but if you stand up for yourself without ignoring him eventually he will probably warm up to you. see if he'll give you a job in his business to see if maybe you just havn't found a good company, but if you don't like it you dont want to alienate the family if you do something else.
     
  21. CrispyGame

    CrispyGame Stop staring at my avatar.

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    I may add to this post to get a better reply, but it's actually my uncle that's the CPA, and his license is technically inactive. My dad just has confidence that I'll do well no matter what path I take. So I don't think my family will be disappointed either way, it's just me who'll feel bad about getting a gift that's a means to an end that I'm having second thoughts about. But I probably shouldn't let the shambly economy (especially in SoCal) be too influential... :hs:. The way you're wording it just makes it more dramatic than it really is.

    #3 sounds like the better of the ideas, if I were to act on act on one.

    The reason that story resonated with me is that I'm 22 now, and I feel like I'm exactly where he was. I guess if I got anything out if it, it's that things can be worse, and if/when they are, just try to perservere. There's hope for the relatively hopeless.
     
  22. uneek

    uneek OT Supporter

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    I just remembered that sombody in your familiy was an accountant and thought it was your dad. Good to know that they are not raving for you to follow in the footsteps, so to speak, I had been under the impression that it was a family business that you were expected to carry on in.
     
  23. calisteph6

    calisteph6 Active Member

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    you can put most loans into forebarence for like 18 months and the stafford loans for 5 years, so don't worry about that, but remember it still accumulates interest.

    Take the CPA for sure, because if you end up in any business field it looks good. I say keep hitting the pavement. Indeed.com is good and craigslist has a fair amount of listings now for part-time tax work. Remember, when you are unemployed *nothing* is too easy or beneath you.
     
  24. CrispyGame

    CrispyGame Stop staring at my avatar.

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    All those Craigslist postings (San Diego in particular) want experience or at least CTEC. I can probably take care of the CTEC in a little bit though.

    I haven't really written off accounting just yet... :hs: I know nothing should be too "below me" at the moment, but I wonder how judgemental other potential employers would be if my first job out of college is kind of sub-optimal. Only because I hear people claim to be.
     
  25. calisteph6

    calisteph6 Active Member

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    no, they won't judge you. Not in this market...any employer will understand that your timing for graduating just sucked.

    Send them your resume even if they say they require something you don't have. Maybe call and ask if they can use someone to do light tax work and tax return packaging? You can actually learn a lot from just packaging.
     

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