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Old 12-08-2012, 09:31 PM   #1
redlinernyc
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Anyone here in the "corporate world"?

I hope you guys can hear me out. I'm the last person to explain personal problems online, but I'm in a $hit hole right now. I don't want to be cliche and tell you guys I'm one of the millions unemployed and seeking a job, but that's what my story is. It's been 7 months since I finished my MBA in Marketing Strategy (graduated in May 2012). I knew it would take a few months to find something in today's age, but as the year comes to an end, I'm getting really frustrated and worried.

I spend on average of 6 hours a day applying to jobs. I have applied to over 1500 jobs since May. My cover letter and resume folders on my desktop contain every single job I applied to and it seems I add to it everyday. You know what the sad part is? I have a previous Masters in International Relations (hey, I got it for free from my university) that I've started EXCLUDING from my resume. I found that employers are getting turned off my applicants with too much education and that possibly it was working against me. So as of September I've applied with my BA and MBA only. Still...no luck

I have my up days as well as down days but it seems the recent trend has been more of the latter. This is holding everything back...I want to get engaged and move on with my life but I can't without having started a career. I'm applying for entry level jobs too and I still can't get something!

The biggest let down was this week. Two companies I interviewed with called me in for 3rd round interviews over the course of the last month and this past week both of them decided to go along with someone else. I did everything right during those interviews. I brought with me previous MBA projects that were in line with the nature of those positions so show them I knew my stuff. They led me on by telling me my chances "looked extremely good". They told me they would get back to me by a certain date, which was 3 weeks ago, and I heard from them this this week.

I've been networking, I've been active on Linkedin, I've been using all the popular job search sites. I've been doing everything right. I've been "open" as far as salary goes, I've told employers that I'll relocate, work weekends, take less pay, etc. Yet, it seems my friends with basic 4 year degrees have gotten jobs much quicker than me (no work experience too). What gives?

I'm looking for something in strategic marketing but am open to finance as well. Does anyone in the Northeast work in the corporate world and if so, can you let me know if there any openings where you work? I'm in NYC but am open to relocation, but nothing further south than the DC/Virginia area. Additionally, I'd relocate as far north as Mass/CT. Any help is GREATLY appreciated
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:06 PM   #2
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First off, keeping a positive attitude is the best thing you can do. I know that's not easy, trust me. People can sense desperation or aggravation and it can sometimes be a turn off.

Second, I feel for millenials. I'm not sure if you fall in that category, but they seem to have been hit hard by the economic downturn. I'm just slightly ahead of that generation in age (I'm just barely considered Gen X) and feel fortunate our generation was just ahead of the big economic tsunami.

Finally, before I make any friendly suggestions let me give a quick disclaimer. Short of knowing you personally any advice I can give may not apply. Take everything I write down here with a grain of salt.

So...

Based off what you say here, I think the thing you (again not knowing you) may lack is enough real world application of your education, I.E. experience. With the economic downturn fewer jobs exist that allow someone to crack into the corporate world. School is great and I would never put it down, but experience trumps all. I have a 4 years bachelors degree and part of an MBA (which means zero without having completed it) and make more in terms of salary than most MBA grads do. Why? I'm an experience whore. When looking at potential jobs, I always look at what I will learn by working there that fills in a knowledge gap I need to get to where I want in my career. Early on in my career I took severe cuts in pay and took on jobs that many would consider beneath someone with a degree simply for the experience it gave me. I never take a job based on salary or benefits alone. The things I look for in a job (even to this day later in my career) are: 1) What NEW skill set, that I am lacking, will I learn by taking this job, 2) Is this a cultural fit for me and, 3) Now I finally look at salary, bonus and benefits.

So, instead of thinking about pay and the fancy title, start to think about this:

1) What do I want to do for a career?
2) Where do I want to be in the next 2, 3, 5 years?
3) What skill sets am I lacking in terms of real world experience?
4) Now go find a job that is attainable, even if its lower in pay scale or title than you hoped, and get that experience

Personally, I always take a look at the type of jobs one level above me and start planning how to fill in gaps in my knowledge. That has propelled my career along nicely. As example, at my last company I started out as low as you could go in the chain in my dept. Instead of grousing, I got in there and learned my ass off. Put in a ton of hours. Showed my boss I wanted to learn and was thinking ahead. I stayed humble. I always showed a willingness to help out anyone in the company. In the end part of the reason I rose so quickly is people liked me as well.

One last thought as someone who has been the hiring manager multiple times. When a company calls you in to interview, they already like your skill sets and think you have what it takes to fill the job. They are mainly looking for two things in an interview 1) Does this person in front of me match the person on paper? Do they appear to have the skills I need, and 2) (Important!!!) Do I like this person? Can I work with them? Will they fit in our group?

So, try and keep in mind that being likable is important as well. Everyone is human, from the CEO on down. If they don't like you, they don't want to work with you.

I rambled here, which isn't characteristic of me. But I'm 6 beers in and felt like imparting a little knowledge if I could...

Good luck my friend.

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Old 12-08-2012, 10:21 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by crotch_rocket_pilot View Post
First off, keeping a positive attitude is the best thing you can do. I know that's not easy, trust me. People can sense desperation or aggravation and it can sometimes be a turn off.

Second, I feel for millenials. I'm not sure if you fall in that category, but they seem to have been hit hard by the economic downturn. I'm just slightly ahead of that generation in age (I'm just barely considered Gen X) and feel fortunate our generation was just ahead of the big economic tsunami.

Finally, before I make any friendly suggestions let me give a quick disclaimer. Short of knowing you personally any advice I can give may not apply. Take everything I write down here with a grain of salt.

So...

Based off what you say here, I think the thing you (again not knowing you) may lack is enough real world application of your education, I.E. experience. With the economic downturn fewer jobs exist that allow someone to crack into the corporate world. School is great and I would never put it down, but experience trumps all. I have a 4 years bachelors degree and part of an MBA (which means zero without having completed it) and make more in terms of salary than most MBA grads do. Why? I'm an experience whore. When looking at potential jobs, I always look at what I will learn by working there that fills in a knowledge gap I need to get to where I want in my career. Early on in my career I took severe cuts in pay and took on jobs that many would consider beneath someone with a degree simply for the experience it gave me. I never take a job based on salary or benefits alone. The things I look for in a job (even to this day later in my career) are: 1) What NEW skill set, that I am lacking, will I learn by taking this job, 2) Is this a cultural fit for me and, 3) Now I finally look at salary, bonus and benefits.

So, instead of thinking about pay and the fancy title, start to think about this:

1) What do I want to do for a career?
2) Where do I want to be in the next 2, 3, 5 years?
3) What skill sets am I lacking in terms of real world experience?
4) Now go find a job that is attainable, even if its lower in pay scale or title than you hoped, and get that experience

Personally, I always take a look at the type of jobs one level above me and start planning how to fill in gaps in my knowledge. That has propelled my career along nicely. As example, at my last company I started out as low as you could go in the chain in my dept. Instead of grousing, I got in there and learned my ass off. Put in a ton of hours. Showed my boss I wanted to learn and was thinking ahead. I stayed humble. I always showed a willingness to help out anyone in the company. In the end part of the reason I rose so quickly is people liked me as well.

One last thought as someone who has been the hiring manager multiple times. When a company calls you in to interview, they already like your skill sets and think you have what it takes to fill the job. They are mainly looking for two things in an interview 1) Does this person in front of me match the person on paper? Do they appear to have the skills I need, and 2) (Important!!!) Do I like this person? Can I work with them? Will they fit in our group?

So, try and keep in mind that being likable is important as well. Everyone is human, from the CEO on down. If they don't like you, they don't want to work with you.

I rambled here, which isn't characteristic of me. But I'm 6 beers in and felt like imparting a little knowledge if I could...

Good luck my friend.
really appreciate this insight! I'm 27 and I have about 2 years of full time managerial experience while completing the MBA. Everything you mentioned is what I'm a firm believer in. I just feel that no one has faith in me and wants to hire me. I know once I'm in, I won't disappoint and I'll exceed all expectations. I take a 5 hour energy shot before my interviews and walk in fully energetic and friendly.

If I compare my first interview in June and my last interview there is a HUGE difference in my skills. It was practice. But now practice is done and I need a job. Salary is not my top priority anymore. I'm looking for a company where there's potential for growth. I'm not the type of person to switch jobs every year.
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Old 12-08-2012, 10:32 PM   #4
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really appreciate this insight! I'm 27 and I have about 2 years of full time managerial experience while completing the MBA. Everything you mentioned is what I'm a firm believer in. I just feel that no one has faith in me and wants to hire me. I know once I'm in, I won't disappoint and I'll exceed all expectations. I take a 5 hour energy shot before my interviews and walk in fully energetic and friendly.

If I compare my first interview in June and my last interview there is a HUGE difference in my skills. It was practice. But now practice is done and I need a job. Salary is not my top priority anymore. I'm looking for a company where there's potential for growth. I'm not the type of person to switch jobs every year.
You seem to have the right attitude.

Another thing that helps is a laser focus in terms of what you want to do eventually. I found a passion for product development and marketing strategy which led me to my career in product management (and hopefully beyond). I love the mix of technical and non-technical skills required. So find a list of three SPECIFIC jobs you hope to obtain someday and work your way back in terms of what real world experience you need to obtain the job. Just because you learned it in school doesn't mean a job considers you to have honed that skill.

Again, consider taking a job more entry level that is below that SPECIFIC job you hope to obtain someday. If you truly have the skill sets to make it to the top you will rise quick. Be patient and think in terms of years and not months.

One last thing. One of the true benefits of an MBA is networking. If you played your time during your MBA right you networked like nobody's business. Personally I network like my life depended on it in my own career. During my stint working on an MBA I was amazed at the numerous networking opportunities. If it was a decent MBA program they continue to hold networking events for your class even after graduation. Check into it and get back in there and use those contacts! Use the resources you have available to you at the business school you obtained your MBA from. And take full advantage of any kind of networking you can do IN PERSON. Linkedin is nifty, but nothing beats networking in real life.

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Old 12-08-2012, 11:51 PM   #5
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I've done a fair share of interviews from both sides of the table and there are some things you will want to consider.

1. Not being able to land a job in the last 7 months since graduation is itself a BIG red flag for employers. "Why wasn't this person able to get a job? Is something wrong with this person?". The natural question they will ask is what have you been doing all of this time? If the answer is job hunting and riding motorcycles, it's not enough. A better response is one that demonstrates you have been trying to improve over time. That could be additional classes, volunteer work, teaching, tutoring, etc. Help volunteer for hurricane Sandy work to get out there and break up the day to day.

2. Be humble. To echo cr pilot, experience counts and coming out of an MBA still leaves a lot of room for improvement. I worked in consulting and disqualified candidates for being too cocky and trying to bs me during the interviews. When applying for entry level jobs, keep a positive attitude and do not be afraid to stress that you want to learn on the job.

3. Listen and ask thoughtful questions. Take mental notes during your interviews and think about problems your employers are trying to solve. Ask them for more details about their experiences, things they would do differently, or ways you have applied your experience in similar situations.

4. Show you can think logically and thoroughly. I don't care if you think you know the answer to the problem and want to jump right to it. Better candidates are ones that can lay out a plan, explain the reasoning behind it, and modify as necessary when assumptions change.

Hope this helps.
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Old 12-09-2012, 01:01 AM   #6
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All the advice in here is really on point. It has already been said, but let me just highlight the one thing that is hardest to get right: you have GOT to get people to like you in your interviews. Opinions vary, but mine is that you can make people like you by acting natural and staying relaxed but sharp. Let's be honest, most interviewers care more about how you would affect their daily office life than anything. A polished "interview mode" isn't enough.

You may already have all of this down, but it's still worth keeping in mind.


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Old 12-09-2012, 10:59 AM   #7
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You seem to have the right attitude.

Another thing that helps is a laser focus in terms of what you want to do eventually. I found a passion for product development and marketing strategy which led me to my career in product management (and hopefully beyond). I love the mix of technical and non-technical skills required. So find a list of three SPECIFIC jobs you hope to obtain someday and work your way back in terms of what real world experience you need to obtain the job. Just because you learned it in school doesn't mean a job considers you to have honed that skill.

Again, consider taking a job more entry level that is below that SPECIFIC job you hope to obtain someday. If you truly have the skill sets to make it to the top you will rise quick. Be patient and think in terms of years and not months.

One last thing. One of the true benefits of an MBA is networking. If you played your time during your MBA right you networked like nobody's business. Personally I network like my life depended on it in my own career. During my stint working on an MBA I was amazed at the numerous networking opportunities. If it was a decent MBA program they continue to hold networking events for your class even after graduation. Check into it and get back in there and use those contacts! Use the resources you have available to you at the business school you obtained your MBA from. And take full advantage of any kind of networking you can do IN PERSON. Linkedin is nifty, but nothing beats networking in real life.
I did network like crazy in school. But the problem is, people (at least in my experience) will help you once or refer you once and then they consider their good deed over. That's been the trend for me in this situation. It's almost as if people don't want to be bothered. And believe me, I am NOT demanding for my next job. I think I'm being pretty flexible at that; I've told employers I'll take less pay or that I'm "open" in terms of pay, that I'll work weekends/nights, that I'll relocate. I don't know what else to do to be a more attractive candidate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sckill View Post
I've done a fair share of interviews from both sides of the table and there are some things you will want to consider.

1. Not being able to land a job in the last 7 months since graduation is itself a BIG red flag for employers. "Why wasn't this person able to get a job? Is something wrong with this person?". The natural question they will ask is what have you been doing all of this time? If the answer is job hunting and riding motorcycles, it's not enough. A better response is one that demonstrates you have been trying to improve over time. That could be additional classes, volunteer work, teaching, tutoring, etc. Help volunteer for hurricane Sandy work to get out there and break up the day to day.

2. Be humble. To echo cr pilot, experience counts and coming out of an MBA still leaves a lot of room for improvement. I worked in consulting and disqualified candidates for being too cocky and trying to bs me during the interviews. When applying for entry level jobs, keep a positive attitude and do not be afraid to stress that you want to learn on the job.

3. Listen and ask thoughtful questions. Take mental notes during your interviews and think about problems your employers are trying to solve. Ask them for more details about their experiences, things they would do differently, or ways you have applied your experience in similar situations.

4. Show you can think logically and thoroughly. I don't care if you think you know the answer to the problem and want to jump right to it. Better candidates are ones that can lay out a plan, explain the reasoning behind it, and modify as necessary when assumptions change.

Hope this helps.
I'm prepared to tell employers that my real job hunt started in October of 2012 instead of May. I'll say I was traveling or something like that. But I'm pretty sure employers are aware that the job market is crap right now. So far I haven't been asked that question, but if it comes up then I'm prepared to answer it.

I'm extremely humble during my interviews and I explain to them that I want to LEARN as much as I want to contribute. I even say stuff like "I'm not looking for a job, I'm looking to start my career and I'm looking to stay in one place and grow". That shows that I'm not the type of person to get the experience then leave for something better. I say all the right things in my opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Armonster View Post
All the advice in here is really on point. It has already been said, but let me just highlight the one thing that is hardest to get right: you have GOT to get people to like you in your interviews. Opinions vary, but mine is that you can make people like you by acting natural and staying relaxed but sharp. Let's be honest, most interviewers care more about how you would affect their daily office life than anything. A polished "interview mode" isn't enough.

You may already have all of this down, but it's still worth keeping in mind.


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I think you mentioned something that seems to be common sense, but yet something that I fail to do sometimes: get people to LIKE you. Obviously I don't walk in like a douche with extra swag or anything like that, but at the same time I think I focus too much on the professionalism that I tend to not focus on the likability factor. In May, during my first few interviews, I would be ultra serious and not really engage interviewers. Then I realized my own mistake. Now I'm engaging with them, talking about gas situation from Hurricane Sandy, asking them how THEY like working here, etc. I'm always smiling (not in a weird way) and showing interest.

Everything mentioned here was great stuff and I thank you guys for that. I'm about to start my job hunting for the day. Again, if anyone knows of an opening in their work place or know of openings in other places, DO let me know. A fellow .net member really needs a hand right now

Thank you ALL!
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Old 12-09-2012, 11:18 AM   #8
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I did network like crazy in school. But the problem is, people (at least in my experience) will help you once or refer you once and then they consider their good deed over. That's been the trend for me in this situation. It's almost as if people don't want to be bothered. And believe me, I am NOT demanding for my next job. I think I'm being pretty flexible at that; I've told employers I'll take less pay or that I'm "open" in terms of pay, that I'll work weekends/nights, that I'll relocate. I don't know what else to do to be a more attractive candidate

I guess I look at networking different than most. I like people, so I network first to make friends with a secondary by product of that being the potential help that that contact will give me down the road. That being said, I just don't pop into someone's life when I need something. I bond with them, take interest in their lives, buy them a beer and talk about their kids and new toys, etc. I also go out of my way to give them access to my contact network to get them jobs, etc. even when there is no immediate benefit for me. I do this more as a friend than anything else. I'm in regular contact with my network, which takes a lot of work. But none of those people would just refer me once and be done with me. They would go to the mat for me because I would do the same for them.

Have you considered expanding your net during the job search? Consider a country wide job search. At 27 your young and always have time to move back home once you have better experience. I spent three great years in San Diego when I was your age (which wasn't too long ago!) getting valuable work experience. Also consider the mid west, where your valued degrees may go a long way in securing a job. To get what we want in life sometimes sacrifice is necessary. You may have fun learning about a different area of the country as well!
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Old 12-09-2012, 03:11 PM   #9
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It doesn't sound like you're doing this, but be careful not to give "canned" answers. As odd as it sounds, sometimes doing absolutely everything right doesn't increase your likability factor. If your answers sound too rehearsed, then you won't come off as genuine.

What's a typical career path with a mba in marketing?

I would not tell perspective employers that you are willing to work nights and weekends and lower pay. It comes off as desperate and could hurt their impression of you. If they ask, you are willing to do what it takes to get the job done and you are looking for fair compensation for the position. Always let them make the first offer.

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Old 12-09-2012, 04:34 PM   #10
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Have you ever tried applying with a temp agency? Granted I'm on the other side of the country, but the SF Bay Area also has a competitive job market, and whenever when I was between jobs temp assignments filled my employment gaps.

Many large companies are moving towards utilizing temporary personnel to keep their costs down, and they effectively search for good employees by trying the temps out. This has proven to be my foot in the door as I've been converted to a perm employee. I've used this strategy successfully a few times now in my corporate career.

The agencies I've used and stuck with are Accounttemps and OfficeTeam, I'm pretty sure they are on the east coast too.

Good Luck with your job search!
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Old 12-10-2012, 07:45 PM   #11
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hey, yep I've applied with a temp agency. I just don't like the cut they take from a person's pay. They're on the look out for me as well.
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Old 12-10-2012, 10:44 PM   #12
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hey, yep I've applied with a temp agency. I just don't like the cut they take from a person's pay. They're on the look out for me as well.
You said you have LinkedIn. Here is a good article I read that sorta syncs with some of my comments above. It's at all about your skills!

http://www.linkedin.com/today/post/a...ere?_mSplash=1
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Old 12-13-2012, 02:00 PM   #13
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For entry level marketing positions, have you checked out pharmaceutical advertising agencies (e.g. Ogilvy, Publicis, etc)?

Many of the entry level positions in Marketing are in project coordinating functions , wherein you will work with the Account Executive and if you are a great worker, your efforts will be recognized and work yourself up to a Account Executive then move on to the Client side (e.g. Pfizer, Bristol, Novartis, NovoNordisc, etc) as a Brand Manager.

Check it out. PM me if you have questions that I may be able to address. Best of luck in the search.
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Old 12-13-2012, 11:50 PM   #14
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^ thanks so much. Definitely going to check out those sites
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:05 AM   #15
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Also, as other members have mentioned, many companies now first hire the "temp" route and the main reason they do that is be cause it is a definitive time for the hiring manager to assess the needs of the company and to assess the employee. Big corporations do this all the time and often, they hire these temp workers eventually. In the event that they don't, it adds experience in that line of work into your CV and makes you more marketable.
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Old 12-16-2012, 03:55 PM   #16
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Update!

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Originally Posted by LeMisVH View Post
Also, as other members have mentioned, many companies now first hire the "temp" route and the main reason they do that is be cause it is a definitive time for the hiring manager to assess the needs of the company and to assess the employee. Big corporations do this all the time and often, they hire these temp workers eventually. In the event that they don't, it adds experience in that line of work into your CV and makes you more marketable.
It's funny you mention that. Just yesterday I got an email from a company I interviewed with (It's a Marketing/Business Advisory firm in White Plains) for an Account Strategist position. I guess they liked me and offered me a 1-month contract position starting tomorrow. If I do well they said it'll be a permanent position. So I gotta rock this next month.

Wish me luck everyone. The pay is crap, not to mention the $15 in tolls each day. But I see the long term picture and the idea of a permanent job prevails!
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Old 12-16-2012, 04:14 PM   #17
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Great new Rahul! im sure good things will come from this man
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redlinernyc (12-16-2012)
Old 12-23-2012, 02:27 PM   #18
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Congrats. Ride your bike in and it's only $4.10 in tolls every day.

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redlinernyc (12-23-2012)
Old 12-23-2012, 03:21 PM   #19
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Congrats dude! I'm sure you'll rock it!

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redlinernyc (12-23-2012)
Old 12-23-2012, 03:38 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redlinernyc View Post
It's funny you mention that. Just yesterday I got an email from a company I interviewed with (It's a Marketing/Business Advisory firm in White Plains) for an Account Strategist position. I guess they liked me and offered me a 1-month contract position starting tomorrow. If I do well they said it'll be a permanent position. So I gotta rock this next month.

Wish me luck everyone. The pay is crap, not to mention the $15 in tolls each day. But I see the long term picture and the idea of a permanent job prevails!
Congrats dude! Link in with me Paul Ruzinsky


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redlinernyc (12-23-2012)
Old 12-23-2012, 04:29 PM   #21
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Thanks everyone. You guys rock! First week went well. Hours are long (9-6) and commute is one hr each way so my actual day is more like 730-7pm. But I am not complaining. I like the struggle. Turns out my boss, Mark Stevens, is a big guy and very well known. CNBC and Fox News call him in all the time for his opinion on matters. Not to mention he has 5 books and speaks at a lot of events. He's a mini celebrity and I interact with him daily.

He even assigned me two clients who signed up for services because their businesses are suffering. So it's nice to know that the company has faith in me...something no employer wanted to give me before. I come in 15 min before my day officially starts and leave 15 min after the day ends just because I know it will make me look good and not eager to leave at 6pm sharp. If anyone is interested, I'm working for

Www.msco.com

Loving it thus far
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Old 12-23-2012, 04:35 PM   #22
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A little YouTube video of the Boss

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