Back to the Nest


I have always been proud of my independence and ambition. I never thought for one minute that I’d ever consider moving home. Senior year of high school was the last time I lived with my parents for more than a few days at a time – recently, however, I’ve made a guest appearance.

There is a nasty stigma surrounding the notion of grown children living with parents, or at least there used to be.  After college, it seemed most of my friends flew right back to that comfy, cheap nest when the job field didn’t extend an offer with the exact firm in the exact field with the exact salary that they wanted.  I, on the other less frugal hand, took an internship that didn’t pay me nearly enough to afford my studio apartment in West Philadelphia (or life, in general).  I was technically living under the poverty line, but I saw stars -both literally and figuratively- during my stint with the Philadelphia Eagles and the brand recognition was too impressive to pass up.

After the honeymoon phase wore off, I realized that student loans were steadily pouring in and I was making less than a cashier at Burger King. Something didn’t add up. I started the stressful and totally disheartening task of finding a new job. Finally, as if the stars had aligned perfectly, a contact I had met through Twitter had an opening with an agency – bada bing, bada boom – new job.

Unfortunately, after three unpaid internships throughout college and countless loans, the damage was done. Even with my new salary and benefits, there wasn’t a way for me to save and continue with my lifestyle, which was already less than extravagant.  Calling my parents for help was the absolute last thing I wanted to do. As I said, my independence has long been what drove my ambition. Fortunately, they both recognized my struggle with poverty-ridden pride and offered for me to move home temporarily – I added “temporarily.”

I have given myself a hard deadline of June 1, 2012. I will have a little nest egg saved and I will be back on my own. Giving myself a timeline is the only way I can mentally prepare myself for my independence being taken from me. I wanted to do it all on my own, but as GenYers, we need to realize when a battle is lost. With the economy in distress, our debt, the country’s debt, our parents’ debt – all forces are pushing back on us.

My advice is not to become discouraged if you must move home for a few months. Of course, the hardest thing for me is taking my own advice.

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Mom Knows Best – Son Knows More? Who is a Better Hire?


The status of our economy has certainly had its hits, both big and small. Even the tiniest hit hurts – it tightens wallets, wreaks havoc on budgets, but more often than not, obliterates pride. Accountants with 15 years of experience are taking ad spaces out in the classifieds – women with a bachelor or master are babysitting for spoiled brats whose parents have yet to feel the economic blow. The economic condition is affecting spending habits, but more importantly, is responsible for a waning sense of worth.

Professionals with 10 years of experience are competing with entry-levelers for positions – this should not be happening.  It is not fair to either party. Recent grads are bringing to the ring vast knowledge of emerging media, new tactics and fresh lessons; seasoned pros are representing traditional knowledge and present impressive track records. Both are capable, in their own sense, of completing the job adequately.

So what ends up happening? The seasoned pro gets the job over the fresh-faced graduate, but will quickly grow unhappy with the reduced pay and revoked responsibility.  For a person who has spent the past 10 years closing deals and launching campaigns, the thought of merely monitoring placements and analyzing coverage may induce a slight gag reflex.  A position like this could provide key training to an up-and-coming young professional; instead, it is being given to an overqualified individual who will undoubtedly leave the position after a whirlwind tenure.

I am not criticizing organizations for choosing the candidate with several more years of experience, but perhaps quizzing candidates on innovative trends may produce surprising results. In this new economy with fewer positions, I firmly believe that the hiring process should undergo a makeover.

Who Is Best?