Of rare breeds and buy low, sell high

The entry requires a tad of boring back story before I can get to the point:

The Series 7 (S7) exam is the exam that allows someone to legally give investment advice. My current employer doesn’t offer stock, so the S7 isn’t a necessity. They do, however, maintain the license for me. The Series 6 (S6), the S7’s much nicer younger sibling, is all that’s required. Things are moving in the direction of us becoming a full service broker dealer (i.e. offering stocks, options, etc.) rather than our current menu of annuities and mutual funds. Fascinating, I know. The S7 is 260 questions split into 2 sections with a 6 hour time limit. There’s a required 30 minute break between the two sections. The S6 is 100 questions with a 2 hour time limit. See what I mean about being the nicer younger sibling? I already have my S7, so I’m off the hook. Everyone who only has an S6 will need to upgrade to an S7 at some point over the next year or so.

My supervisor has his study materials for the S7 on order. I gave him a few tips on what to have a solid understanding of before going into the test. I studied several hours a day, five days a week, took a 4 day crash course, and still only passed by 1 point. Granted, I was new to the industry and working from scratch, but it’s still a test that requires a lot of time and effort to be able to pass. My biggest piece of advice was don’t get cocky just because he’s been in the industry a few years. When he asked me a few weeks ago why I was studying options strategies, I told him I wanted to do something remotely work related that might help me later on. If we are moving in the direction of going full service, there are exams I want to take that are entirely options based. Having those licenses would offer a ton of opportunities because they’re fairly rare. I’m currently a rare breed and I’d like to keep it that way. In short, I’m more than a little territorial.

I commented to someone else that by helping him out, he’ll owe me one later on. Why can’t I just offer advice because I can without expectation of anything in return? Help a brother out? Why should I expect something back in the first place? Well, we’re not friends. I’ll help my friends out for free, but you’re not my friend, so you better pony up, either now or in the future. Is that the kind of person I really want to be? It’s one thing to say “I’ll owe you one” knowing full well that you’ll return whatever favor because you want to. It’s entirely another to say “You’ll owe me one” and expect something in return whenever it suits. I could have refused to even offer the advice in the first place. I could have just kept it to myself. Instead, I told him what I’d learned from my own experience.That doesn’t mean he’s obligated to share something with me when I ask for it. (My advice was completely unsolicited. It came up in conversation).

I take a great deal of pride in the fact that I passed all four of my exams on the first try. Part of me feels like if he starts passing the same exams I have, first try or otherwise, then he’ll get promoted or selected or what have you over me. Again. He was hired after I was. He didn’t have any licenses when he came in. He doesn’t have a college degree. He skipped every entry and mid-level management position. I know I’ve said it before and I certainly don’t want his job (too much dealing with the great unwashed. Ew.). I don’t like feeling that my experiences, licenses, and ambition are being totally ignored and under used. I was able to tell another manager who isn’t currently in my chain of command about those issues. He consented that it’s a frustrating position to be in. If I give my supervisor tips and he passes based on what I told him, then I’ll feel like I screwed myself by helping him. After four rejections in as many months, it stings to think that I could be party to him still having a leg up over me. There’s probably another rejection looming. I interviewed for an internal position two weeks ago, a decision was supposed to be made last Friday, and I’m 99.8% sure I’ll be passed over for that one, too. Then I’m still left where I’ve been for the past 3 years doing exactly what I was doing when they hired me with no real options to move.

It’s normal to be frustrated. It’s normal to be upset because I know I walked in with much stronger credentials. Yet someone who, on paper, was inferior to me moves up faster than I could ever hope. While he and his supervisor have harped on how my attitude is holding me back, I honestly don’t think that’s a large part of it. Everyone I’ve interviewed with said I gave a solid interview. There’s just always been someone who edged me out. I’ve been second choice at least three times. The hard part is trying not to let it get me down.

Beth (Hailey’s doesn’t give a fuck younger sister), pops up with her opinion that I should just say “fuck you” and genuinely try to find something different. I know for a fact I could get paid more. I know I could find somewhere that would actually use my credentials to their true advantage. I wouldn’t be a rare breed any more, but I also wouldn’t be constantly frustrated and annoyed because I’m not being challenged at all. Hailey, on the other hand, is all about “What’s the point? You’ll just get rejected again anyway”.

I can sit in the mud and sulk all I want. Eventually, I’m going to have to get up, rinse myself off, and keep moving. My core is all about being able to get up again. I’ve survived a hell of a lot worse than being stuck in a rut at work. I’ve been in a sexually harassing work environment. At least my supervisor isn’t walking up behind me at my desk and touching me without my permission. I survived getting fired for a completely bullshit reason. I can survive this as long as I keep getting up and keep showing I want to move forward. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself.


Of rejection letters and next contestant please

Today is a “keep your chin up” sort of day. I know these are super First World Problems, but nonetheless:

I was officially rejected from a job I interviewed for a few weeks ago. I can’t say it was a huge surprise. When they didn’t get back to me within a few days, I figured I wasn’t in the running any more. It still stings to see it officially communicated, though. I know I’ve said it before, but I feel stuck. I don’t exactly want to wait around for someone above me to be promoted, retire, or die. When I was promoted last December, my old boss told me not to expect anything for another 2 years (read-end of 2016). It really is a double edged sword. The culture is really great. I’m generally happy with where I work. I’m frustrated because I’ve literally been doing the same thing since they hired me 3+ years ago. I’ve expressed my interest in learning more, but it’s fallen on deaf ears. While they’re letting me take another test, they were pretty straight up that I get paid too much to put it to any use. Thank you?

My car has also been having issues. Since it’s been really cold around here, I’ve had issues with the accelerator. I’ll hit the gas pedal and nothing will happen. After stomping on it a few times, all of a sudden it will work and I’ll go zooming off. Not exactly safe, especially going through residential areas. I finally decided to get it checked. I’ve been going back and forth with the manufacturer and the mechanic I saw last time. Depending on what the mechanic says, I may have to call the insurance company. I texted my boss to let him know what was up. I know tone of voice is INCREDIBLY subjective in writing, but I got back what I felt was a reply eluding to the fact he didn’t believe me. Dude, why would I lie about something that’s a very obvious safety hazard? If I were going to make up a story about my car, I would have said I got a flat tire or the battery died. Not that I can’t get the damn thing up to speed and when I do, it’s immediate and sharp. I’m already looking into getting a new car. This one will be paid off in July.

Really what’s happening is I’m second guessing myself constantly. It’s about the only consistent issue I have stemming from the abuse. If something doesn’t work out or I don’t get a reaction I’m expecting, all of a sudden I look at my actions and try to figure out what I did wrong. If I’m still doing the same thing at work, what have I done wrong to keep me there? If I got rejected from another position, what didn’t I do that would have given me a leg up? Hell, if Boy is abnormally quiet, I start racking my brain for something I could have said or done that was wrong. Everything that doesn’t go the way I want it or think it will go is because I did something wrong. Things can’t just happen. It’s a direct result of something I did wrong. I recognize that I do it and try to keep it in check. I try to remind myself that the world doesn’t revolve around me. If if I do screw up, it’s not the end of the world. No one is going to die because I put my foot in my mouth or I was a little more abrupt than I intended. I know when I’m doing the best I can with what I have and that isn’t something worth second guessing. I know when I’m half assing something. If I am, then I probably earned whatever happens. If I’m doing my best and it doesn’t work out, that’s not my fault. I shouldn’t blame myself. That’s painfully easier said than done.

I an epiphany yesterday. I was in the rowing class, mind you it was my third attempt EVER, and the teacher came over and corrected my form. My first thought was “Why don’t I already get this?”. Um, because you just learned it, girlfriend. The perfectionist in me walked over, slapped me in the face, then walked away. It’s amazing when you finally understand something about yourself on a practical level and not just a theoretical level. I’m a raging perfectionist because perfectionists never do anything wrong and therefore I don’t have to worry about what I may have said or done because I pulled it off perfectly. There’s no reason for anyone to be upset with me or for me to be concerned with what I did. I did the same thing in dance. I would look at other dancers and wonder how they managed to get it better than I did. Oh right, they’ve been attending class 4 or 5 days a week when I show up as it suits me and my schedule. It’s not right or wrong or positive or negative. It just is. That’s okay. I guarantee that the other people in the class be it dance, rowing, or spin aren’t looking at me thinking “Wow, she really sucks. Why is she even in here?”. I’m in there for one person. Me. Even if she is a second guessing perfectionist.

Hope everyone has a lovely weekend full of fun and games.