Professionally, the last year or so has been a complete clusterfuck.
I got promoted in June 2014, got demoted last November, quit that job in April to do a “lucrative” internship, decided to not take that internship 2 days before it was supposed to start, was unemployed for about 2 months, and got rehired at the same bank but at a center that’s about 30 minutes away.
Holy shit. Just typing that was exhausting!
I felt like I’ve been completely screwed by the company I work for. I felt betrayed. I felt stabbed in the back. Everyone that I vented to chucked it up to just “corporate” doing “corporate things.”
Whatever you want to call it, it’s been a tough pill to swallow.
Why did I stick around for as long as I did?
Because I graduated in May and I thought that degree would be the golden ticket to a better-paying job in the Finance industry. That that would make all the corporate bullshit, stress, and frustration I’ve been through worth it.
I remember starting my “graduation countdown” at around 200 days. I’d tell my co-workers how many more days I’d have to stick around before I could say “fuck it, I’m out.”
It’s all that kept me going. The entire time, I thought that I was fortunate and lucky that I’m be getting out of the shitty work environment that we were all facing. Corporate had no clue what they wanted to do and it pissed off everyone. My best co-workers either retired early or jumped ship. Most of our customers couldn’t close their bank accounts fast enough. I didn’t blame them. They were pissed. We were pissed. And stressed. Those were dark times but my degree was my golden ticket to greener pastures.
Or so I thought…
My last day at work was the happiest I’d been in a while. April 20th was the magical date. I rolled over my 401(k), threw out my name tags, and vowed that I’d never, ever return in my wildest dreams.
The internship was a no-go but surely, I could get another position in Finance. After all, I now had the degree to go with the experience.
Game. Set. Match. Right?
I can’t even tell you how many positions I applied for. I applied for local positions, positions in Portland, Chicago, North Carolina, and even in Europe.
Not a damn thing.
So I did the one thing that I vowed to never, ever do; I went back. Some strings had to be pulled but hey, that was “corporate” being “corporate.”
And I’ve been back for a couple of months now.
It was supposed to be a short-term thing. It was only supposed to last until I could move onto bigger and better things. Looks like that’s starting to become a common theme, huh?
Besides my short-lived promotion I’ve only always been a Teller. I’ve had this complex that this would all be a short-term thing; that it was just another stepping stone in my career.
That’s what everyone else thought too.
I was pissed that I was still only a teller. I was frustrated that I wasn’t further along in my career. I was jealous of my friends that had cooler titles and bigger paychecks. I was embarrassed that I wasn’t in a better place.
I’ve felt like a failure. This was really the first thing that I’ve ever failed at in life and I had an extremely difficult time dealing with it. I mean shit, I was depressed. It was so bad that I didn’t even want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to think about the future because it felt like I didn’t have a future.
I was having the world’s greatest pity party for 1.
I was miserable. I was angry.
I had a chip on my shoulder. I didn’t think life was fair….that poor me had to keep on being just a Teller. That I suck too much at life that I can’t get a job anywhere else. That I wasted 8 years of my life pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree. After tons of sacrifice, I finally achieved my goal with hopes that it would be my golden ticket to a better job.
All my hopes and dreams were riding on the fact that I thought that this was how things work. To say I was disillusioned when it didn’t work out this way would be a huge understatement.
In fact, I’ve been so salty about the situation that I had plans to publish a post called “What I Really Learned While Wasting 8 Years on a College Degree” yesterday. It was nothing more than a negative rant.
But you know why I didn’t?
Because I finally decided enough was enough. I’m finally done being bitter.
I realized that no one owes me anything. I realized that people get screwed over all the time. I realized that people get knocked down everyday but what makes the difference is how they get up. Or if they even get up at all.
I realized that it happened and that I need to move on. I realized that I can’t let this little set back determine the rest of my life.
I realized that I had no need to feel bad about myself.
I realized that I need to focus on what all that I have; not what I don’t. I need to be more grateful for everything.
I realized that I’m better than this.
I realized that I’ve already accomplished some pretty epic shit so far in life.
Hell, I’m not even really supposed to be here. I was premature by about 2 months. I was so small that I spent the first couple of weeks being alive in an incubator because I couldn’t generate enough body heat on my own.
I realized that my life doesn’t suck. Whatsoever. I’ve made a damn good life for myself being the son of immigrants to the United States. My dad left everything he knew about life back in Germany and took the leap to start all over in a foreign country. It took balls to do that.
It took balls for me to get through elementary school while being made fun of for my “Chinese eyes” and being called a “Nazi” by ignorant little assholes.
I was a business owner at the age of 18 when I decided to quit school to help my dad start a vintage motorcycle shop.
I was the only one of my friends to actually chase my childhood dream of playing professional soccer. Very few people in general do shit like that.
Sure, it took me 8 years to get a Bachelor’s Degree but it’s not like everyone has one of those. They don’t have the dedication or perseverance to do something like that. Hell, hardly anyone in my family has a Bachelor’s degree. That took some balls.
I bought my first house at the age of 24. I got married to my wife at 25. I have the greatest Pug in the world. My parents are incredible. My extended family is full of support too.
I have a 401(k), I have health insurance, I have a reliable car, and I can speak 2 languages.
People would kill for this shit.
I have so much more than so many people around the world have.
I might have a job I hate, but I have a job. I have something that I get paid to do and I use that money to survive and enjoy a pretty cushy lifestyle. It doesn’t get better than that.
I’m working on a plan to leave that job eventually. I’m intelligent enough to make it happen. I have all the characteristics to become “successful” in whatever I choose to do in life but there’s a time when potential has to turn into something concrete. There’s a time when taking action has to be added to the equation.
That time is now.
I’m done feeling sorry for myself. I’m tired of being depressed. I’m over being negative. I have so much to be grateful for and I need to start showing it.
I’m finally done being bitter.
That’s the right attitude to have, Marc. A lot of people out there like to feel sorry for themselves because it makes them feel better, but unfortunately, it also doesn’t get them anywhere better. You’re taking the better route by sucking it up, appreciating what you have and preparing yourself to kick ass in the future. After all, how many truly successful people do you know out there that feel sorry for themselves?
Probably not many!
Good on you, Marc. Keep it up!
How many truly successful people do I know out there that feel sorry for themselves? None. That’s a good way to put things into perspective.
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This is a great post! And you know what’s going to motivate you into self employment? A job you don’t love. Maybe if you weren’t “just a teller” you would have less time on your hands after work and a bigger reason to stagnate. As it is, you’ve got all the makings of a great launchpad!
Lots of truth in that. If I actually got one of the jobs I was trying to land, I would have had to do lots of studying and commuting. There wouldn’t have been much time for anything else. Noooo bueno! It’s really been a blessing in disguise.
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That was an excellently positive rant. I’m glad I read it.
Glad you enjoyed it!