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Careers/Job Impact This forum is for adults to discuss how AD/HD affects work and career.

View Poll Results: Should I spend my unemployed time focused on:
Finding a job working under someone 2 66.67%
Finding an entrepreneurial pursuit where I work for myself 1 33.33%
Something else? 0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 3. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 01-05-19, 03:09 PM
lpchicago lpchicago is offline
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Not sure how to move forward with career

I'm a 43 year old male. Below is an over-detailed timeline of my career:

1> Landscaping ... high school / college > outcome: very good , made a lot of money for my age
2> Retail sports store ... during college > outcome: fired for insubordination
3> Public accountant ... two years post college > outcome: poor performance reviews , disliked job, quit to pursue finance career
4> Small investment bank ... 2.5 years > outcome: rocky start then hit my stride and really enjoyed for ~1.5 years ... feel apart though and got fired along with two other co-workers (during rough patch in economy / firing was partially my fault and partially due to the economy, enough to claim laid off) - developed good mentor relationship
5 > 9 months of unemployment -- had to move back home
6 > Turnaround consultant at national consulting firm (brought to firm by mentor from last firm) ... 2.5 years > outcome: terrible first year (poor performance review and very close to fired ), switched groups and had a good second year , last 6 months were a disaster again / worked under person who could not stand me ... applied to grad school during last 6 months and got into a handful of great schools
7 > Full-time grad school ~1.5 years (went dead broke by end of school but had best time of my life)
>> DIAGONOSED FOR ADHD during next position, began taking Strattera + monthly therapy (still do both 10 years later) <<
8 > Prestigious investment bank on Wall Street ... 6 years> outcome: decent first 3 months then a disastrous 18 months (nearly fired again ) then a turnaround and acceptable performance for next 1.5 years, rough 5th year with really bad performance review and closed out 6th year on a high note (obviously lots of ups and downs in this job + managed to accumulate some savings)
9 > Hedge fund position 1 ... 2.5 years > good start (first 6 months), rocky 2nd year and acceptable finish (PM retired and I was transferred to portfolio manager role in different fund at same firm)
10 > Hedge fund position 2 ... 9 months > mixed start and decent finish (very independent role, little oversight ... only 2 down months out of 8) -- firm liquidated due to an insider trading issue unrelated to me in any way -- unemployed briefly for a few weeks before getting a call for next position
11 > Hedge fund position 3 ... 2 years > brought over last minute to join group of portfolio managers and top executives from last fund to prestigious mutual fund to begin a new hedge fund unit > terrible first 6 months (head of group established his dislike for me very quickly and let it be known that I had a lot of proving of myself to do / had little interaction with person at last firm but enough for him to establish an opinion about me ... good next 12 months - had very strong performance in 2017 and was in the upper 20% of the PM's (was told throughout year I was doing poorly, was behind and in year-end review that I disappointed ... confused by this, but anyway) ... investing performance feel apart during final 6 months and was suddenly fired in Aug. 2018 - third PM to be fired (common in this type of hedge fund) but first of the original group to be let go ... abrupt firing, no real warning but never established a good relationship with head people - director of research never could stand me (really messes with my head)
12 > unemployed / job searching 3 months
13 > project work for large company I used to cover as an investor ... 2 months > outcome: suddenly fired during holiday season (not much reason provided but I have a feeling it was because I didn't check-in during XMas week -- not sure how much of this is my performance vs. the project getting scrapped but naturally not feeling great about it)

So, there you have it. The full detail provided on purpose to demonstrate thoroughly the type of career I've had. Some really high highs (the investment bank I worked for is one of the best in the world) and some really low low's. Some patterns seem to show but perhaps nothing conclusive enough to design a strategy around.

Now, I am unemployed on benefits . I have some savings but definitely not enough to retire on. I live in NYC, which is very expensive. I have a one year old and a wife who has been struggling to get her start-up off the ground (zero income ). Our fixed costs are relatively low for NYC but we definitely need to cut them substantially more and will be trying to sell our apartment and move out of NYC this winter.

Career-wise, I have had issues working under almost every supervisor but the one mentor listed above (whose has a child w/ severe ADHD as an interesting side note) ... As I get older, I seem to lose interest in things easier, I'm very distractable, anxious and generally live in a state of frustration. Despite trying my best to monitor my impulsiveness, I just can't help to cut people off, blurt out thoughts, get overly passionate / aggravated, say things I shouldn't say, express to much feeling or thought ...etc. I've done everything in my power to become organized but it's impossible. For some reason, over the last 10 years, I've begun hording information, especially about investing. I default to searching for good info but never seem to get done processing what I found. Some people I've worked with have said I'm one of the smartest people they've ever worked with (I generally think they are just patronizing me, and perhaps some are but then these same people will ask if I want to do entrepreneurial endeavors with them, go through ideas with them, etc. - confusing). Other people think I am a complete worthless idiot and openly show it -- unfortunately, I put a few of my ex-managers in this category. I've always been in the upper decile in creativity and can think about things in ways others cannot. On the other hand, often others can process information at much quicker speeds with a lot better accuracy. In general, I feel that on a 0 - 10 scale, I work daily with a pattern that looks something like this: 1,1,4,10,10,1,1,1,1,1,3,8,1,1,1,10,10,10,1, 1, 1, 1.... when I hit the 10's it feels great (to me at least) but then i just default back to the 1's. As a obnoxious person who sat next to me (who didn't like me) once said: "the more I'm around you, I realize you aren't dumb and lazy but I'm really not sure what you are..." I've found this accurately characterizes a lot of people I interact with. As for pay, you may think - wow, a lot of years in banking, consulting, and investing ... this guy has to have some good coin. Unfortunately, I never got very good bonuses compared to others and luck has it that I somehow I ended up earning pretty much just salary for almost every year I was an investor. Living in NYC on salary alone is not easy.... so, all my savings came from three just o.k. bonuses as a banker less my wife and my grad school loans paid back.

So, with all of that out there (sorry about the negativity, I'm just being open and honest + giving you perspective into my frustrations)... I feel I have two choices moving forward career-wise: (1) keep lowering my asking price until I finally find a bid for my skills (I've sent out ~500 resumes in past 5 months + scoured my network -- all with practically zero success in gaining any traction). Try everything in my power to make the position work. However, in the back of my mind, I just feel that positions 14, 15, 16, 17, etc. will look like 12 and 13 ... as I'm getting older, people just don't have the patience anymore + it does seem like my ADHD symptoms have been growing worse over the past few years for some reason. Also, I'm not all that certain, given my history, ADHD, etc. that I can ever count on job security anywhere anymore ... or (2) risk a substantial amount of my savings and purchase a franchise or a small business and try to compound capital on my own. This appeals to me more but I'm not sure where to even start with becoming an entrepreneur. Also, I fear losing most of my savings. With a wife and son, I need to find stable income so an entrepreneur to me is not defined by things like writing blogs, etc., it would mean opening up a small store or something similar with the intent of growing it. As for investing ... the 500 resumes I referenced above have all been towards investing jobs. Unfortunately, once you blow up as a portfolio manager, you are done. Only a few of us blow up without ever making much money.

With all of that out there.... any recommendations, advice, commentary, cautions, etc? I've been seeing help for this for many years but it doesn't seem to really help me answer these big questions.
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  #2  
Old 01-06-19, 10:42 AM
acdc01 acdc01 is offline
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Re: Not sure how to move forward with career

My personal opinion is you are in absolutely no position to start your own business right now.

First, a business is always a risk even when you have a solid business plan and believe your probability of success is high. In your case, you say yourself you have no clue where to start and don't even know if you will succeed.

Second, you and your wife cannot both be taking financial risks on businesses that might not make money at the same time. Someone needs a stable, secure income coming in to support the family.

Don't start a business imo unless you have a solid business plan you truly believe is highly likely to succeed AND you can financially afford to take that risk (i.e. you and your wife decide together that it's better for you to start your business and have her take a stable, secure job that feeds the family). Your wife may be more suited to a regular job than you, I'm not sure. But that is a decision she would have to agree with.

Are you saying in your second to last paragraph that you are thinking of switching to a portfolio manager job (a job adjacent but not exactly the same as your current one)?

It sounds like you are already predicting failure and that you'll "blow up" in it and won't be able to find another job in that field or go back to your old career? Are you saying it's likely you'll make a significant amount of money even if you do "blow up"? If you think you can make enough money that you can afford to be close to retirement or just get no brain part-time/temp jobs for the rest of your life before blowing up, I'd do that if it's not too much suffering for you.


Otherwise, what do you think you can do that you would be happy and succeed in? Are there certain jobs, like maybe ones where you'd be directly helping people or animals, that would keep you motivated and doing well for your entire career? Or maybe ones where you don't have to socialize with anyway and people skills aren't as important.

I didn't vote fyi. I don't feel like I know enough info to choose between those options. Plus if your situation changes slightly, like you come up with a solid business plan that is highly likely to succeed AND your wife gets a stable, secure job that makes enough to support you guys - well then my vote would change.
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  #3  
Old 01-07-19, 08:37 AM
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Re: Not sure how to move forward with career

Do you have a 4 year degree? Some community colleges will allow you to teach finance classes and such if you have the knowledge. You will be an adjunct and probably be paid by the class but it can turn into something. I do not know how old you are. Sometimes being older and experienced is better than young and inexperienced. I do not think you should start a business now unless your idea is so unique it will suit an unfilled, ongoing niche. Like uber did. I think its possible you may need to take a job that you are overexperienced for. Nothing is wrong with that. The guy at Mcdonalds works just as hard, maybe harder than some executive jobs.
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Old 01-07-19, 12:36 PM
lpchicago lpchicago is offline
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Re: Not sure how to move forward with career

Thanks for your thoughts. Just to clarify on the portfolio manager comment, I was a portfolio manager for the past few years and I blew up already. Unfortunately, in investment management, once you are a PM and get fired, there is little to no options left for you in the industry, it's a one shot must kill career.
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Old 01-08-19, 01:03 PM
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Re: Not sure how to move forward with career

Quote:
Originally Posted by lpchicago View Post
Thanks for your thoughts. Just to clarify on the portfolio manager comment, I was a portfolio manager for the past few years and I blew up already. Unfortunately, in investment management, once you are a PM and get fired, there is little to no options left for you in the industry, it's a one shot must kill career.
Sorry about that. Sounds like a cutthroat, stressful field. Hope you end up in a better situation.
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Old 01-17-19, 02:17 AM
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Re: Not sure how to move forward with career

I voted to work for someone else. Can you assist your wife with her start up? It could be both of you running it one day. You didn't say if you were on meds but I might look into adding them. Your work history is somewhat like mine only I don't get fired but have been very close. Firing isn't as common in the human service field I work in and I've been in unions or the work was temporary.
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