The Jump, a series for the soon to be graduate or someone facing a life move, is comprised of two stories of my close friends making the jump to new cities with no definite plans or certainties of what was to come. The only thing for sure, they would pursue their dreams and ambitions all out. Kyle Watkins, one of best friends moved to Houston, Texas after completing his Finance degree in Ohio with no job lined up and not exactly sure what realm of finance he really wanted to work in. His story describes his discovery and development phase in Houston.
Corey Scott, another one of my best friends moved to New York to spark his design and start up career, again with no job lined up and no place to live in the most dynamic city in the world. The two stories ring out the importance of keeping faith, pushing forward, and not having to have it all figured out. Sometimes you just need the curiosity and courage to venture into the unknown.
Part 1: From Fired to Hired and the Process
My journey to a successful career began late in 2011, just a few months after graduating college when I took that leap of faith and relocated from Cleveland, OH to Houston, TX. Although, I did not relocate specifically for a job, it was still a unique opportunity for me that I couldn’t turn down.
Having a very successful, entrepreneurial uncle here in Houston was going to be my key to making a lot of money. He’s very well known, has many connections with people in high places, etc. Almost any young, naïve person like myself at the time, would probably think “oh man this is going to be easy, all he has to do is put me on and I’ll do the rest”. Uh, yeah…as I go on you will see it didn’t quite go as planned.
See, my uncle’s major KEY(S) were all about professional growth and development. Meaning, formal/structured training programs that would allow me to grow and learn and not have that added pressure of “performing right away”. Me, who cares I was just trying to make money RIGHT NOW and didn’t really care about anything else. Being young you tend to want everything NOW, NOW, NOW and not want to go through the process.
Within a couple months I had already landed an accounting job as an auditor (side note: I strongly dislike accounting). Now, for the reasons above (professional growth & development) unc unc was not too fond of me taking this particular job. Partly, he wasn’t sure my accounting skills were where they needed to be, but even bigger than that it was a smaller company just making ground in the Houston area and he knew I wouldn’t get the necessary training and attention I needed. But hell I’m grown, it’s my decision and all I see is $$$ plus I just graduated with a finance degree. Therefore, I have basic accounting knowledge and I will just learn the rest on the go, easy right? That was my mentality. Let’s just say that I only lasted three months until I was given the boot.
Now, shit just got real!! How am I going to break this to my family when they were all so proud of me? Yet, one of my biggest fears of all wasn’t telling mom and dad or even becoming just another statistic in regards to unemployment, it was telling my uncle believe it or not. Although I knew he would continue to support me, still he’s “Mr. I told you so” he already didn’t think I was prepared for that job in the first place, obviously he was right. Definitely, was not trying to hear that.
Needless to say the next few months was a struggle. Applying for countless jobs, temp agencies, a handful of interviews with no luck and family starting to get frustrated with me as they didn’t think that I was putting in the “necessary effort” it took in finding a job. Pressure just continued to mount and mount. It was almost becoming a reality that I would have to move back to Cleveland, which was something I really, really, really did not want to do. I mean how would that look? Not even a year and I am already back and everyone asking “oh what happened” and having to explain myself…..nah not an option. As cliché as it may sound I used that as motivation to simply, not give up. My mentality definitely had to change and it had to change yesterday, and the day before and the day before that.
Finally, that opportunity presented itself in August 2012. I was let go from my previous job back in March 2012. The struggle and having that opportunity clearly was all a part of the process, that same process I did not want to follow in the very beginning. Spent a year at that job and that, along with God’s plan has led me to the success I am currently enjoying in the oil industry which is currently the largest and one of the most lucrative industries in Texas as well as a main hub nationally and globally. From this point forward it’s only up from here professionally.
I tell this story because we all go through things in life that WILL hinder the ultimate goal. I learned and am still learning that hardly anything in life comes easy, we have to work for it. Don’t feel you have to do everything on your own and don’t just listen or not listen to advice being given. Find ways to execute and put to action, ask questions. All things I did not do early on.
In conclusion, even when you are achieving success remember the process never stops and without those obstacles, you wouldn’t become the person that God intends you to be.
J. Cole --- “There’s beauty in the struggle, ugliness in the success”
Written by Kyle Watkins