From $150,000 a Year to Starbucks

Good Luck!

Mandi Woodruff of Business insider has an article that really caught my eye. It’s titled How a Former Currency StrategistWent from $150K/Year to Serving Lattes at Starbucks.

This article really brought back memories for me-for years I went around the country giving Rollover seminars to folks who had just been down sized, laid off or cast aside.. It’s during this time that I learned how much more clever and flexible women are when they are laid off!

So, let’s talk about the unfortunate story of Kevin Cronan, 38 years old. He was a currency strategist for a major Boston investment firm making $150,000 a year including bonus. He had a college degree, 22 months of severance pay and 15 years of experience under his belt-no sweat, he would get a new job right away…

My take: guys always think this way! We are born to believe that we are the lead dog, and sometimes we rest on our laurels and don’t pursue advanced degrees, keep a strong network and most importantly; have a plan B

Cronan said:

I thought, I can’t believe I’m not gonna find a job before this money runs out.

My take: Most men really believe this-we are wired this way. What the hell-I made $150,000 a year, I can do it again!! But notice the fatal mistake Cronan made-he was positive he was going to find  a comprable job in the same industry and probably at a better salary. This is the classic “MO” for about 98% of all the men that I counselled after they were laid off! Women, on the other hand, would not wait around for the same job; they tend to be better networkers and a lot more flexible in their career options!

Back to Cronan: he had a couple of close calls, but he kept running into the same wall:

When they do hire, companies are going after people with two years of experience or freshly minted MBA’s and they’re paying them nothing and a lot of people who are mid-career like me, there really is very little out there.

My take: I think Cronan’s assessment is very true, but consider this; if you really are a hot currency consultant why not start your own hedge fund? Or, put some buddies together and do your own thing if you really are good… I’m just curious.

Back to Cronan: Cronan was used to blowing $200 on swanky steak dinners each week, but the further he sank into unemployment, the more he turned down invites. He said: It’s hard to maintain contacts because a lot of the social contacts were over meals, cocktails, playing squash and golf, Money is always a factor.”

My take: Right on! It’s very hard for guys to say: Dudes, I’m on a budget and can’t blow $200 bucks tonight but let’s have coffee next week-I want to keep in the loop. Most women have no problems clearly articulating this to their female friends-guys, we struggle with this!

Back to this train wreck: When his savings were all but gone, he made the difficult decision, hmmm, can you guess what it involved? Of course, tapping into his 401-k. This subject has been beat to death so I wont pursue it but consider this; a plan B should have been implemented long before tapping into the 401-k. But men, we just aren;t that flexible and practical. Women on the other hand would be thinking I’ll take a job, any job!!

Back to Cronan: Now his severance pay had run out, he had pawned his fancy watch and he goest to Starbucks, not for coffee but for a job. He also tends bar to supplement his income-Ouch!! This poor guy is like a deer in the headlights.

My take: His self talk is not good, he’s lonely and depressed. Imagine asking a lady out for drinks and saying by the way, can you pay? That’s not how it works most of the time in today’s society. Men’s ego’s are very much tied in to Money.

Cronan really has a very uncomfortable and unprofitable situation and my heart goes out to him. It feels to me like he’s not going to get back in this industry but hopefully he will find a new passion and find a way in to that industry. He has taken a very brave first step by working at Starbucks. At least he has some benefits, has a sense of community and now knows that he could go back into another job at an entry or mid level position without his pride killing him!

Good luck Kevin Cronan!

Are women more flexible than men when it comes to geting laid off?


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