So I met the Red Scourge for coffee on Friday. As readers of this feature generally know, there are two people I know who are referred to as the Red Scourge. One is, to borrow a phrase from Yeats, a drunken, vainglorious lout who lives in Wisconsin and who is well known for his beer-fueled but ultimately harmless antics. The other Red Scourge is my former co-worker, an innocent looking red haired woman with an abundance of native intelligence, a no-b.s. sensibility and a tongue like a lash. That’s the one I saw.
We both are B of A refugees and we’ve both endured sometimes difficult job searches since the offices we shared were closed earlier this year. Although our experiences since then have varied to some degree, we’ve come to some similar conclusions:
· We both are finding that our experiences are a double edged sword. Banks generally are pretty generous with job titles; while it’s a neat thing to refer to yourself as an “Assistant Vice President,” those words, when placed on a resume, can actually hurt. In most cases, and most places, a VP is a senior leader of an organization; at B of A, VPs are something less than that. Both of us have found that the job title makes prospective employers think you are “overqualified” for a job.
· While business is supposed to be good right now, companies are still very cautious about hiring. We’ve both had experiences where a job that was posted did not, ultimately, get filled. Companies continue to run quite lean.
· We both have very mixed emotions about our former employer. There is no question that the team we had was a great group to work with, but the amount of institutional support we had seemed lacking. It’s still not clear that B of A is committed to the line of business; if they had been, they would have made more of an effort to keep the team intact.
We’re both moving on with our lives, but there are a lot of loose ends. And a few scars that have yet to heal.