Austin Gunter's Blog

November 23, 2009

Two Jobs in a Down Economy

Filed under: Uncategorized — Austin @ 9:57 pm
Two Jobs in a Down Economy

Two Jobs in a Down Economy, Is that greedy?

One of the more challenging things about graduating college in 2009 was finding a job in a down economy.  Our economy’s outlook was so severe that even George Martin, St. Edward’s University President, spent most of his graduation address on some hard facts about the reality we faced once we walked the other side of our stage, diploma in hand.  He didn’t pull any punches.  By flipping our tassels to the “college graduate” side of our caps we were stepping into an uncertain future.  Our diplomas might be worth very little on today’s job market.  We looked around at each another, decked out in our robes and new clothes, each of us started thinking, “grad school looks more appealing” thoughts, and, “getting service-industry” thoughts, and, “living with mom and dad” thoughts.  None of us knew where our jobs were going to come from in the coming months.

I’m six months out of college now.  Three of those months I spent in limbo.  But since the week before my birthday in August, I’ve been working two jobs at Austin-Area start-ups.  I’m in the minority of my classmates.  Even my valedictorian with the double major is working at a burger joint, I hear.  I consider it a blessing.  I’ve been getting paid (not much, but seriously) to work and LEARN how to start a business from people who are actually doing it.

I’m working as a part of a small sales team to do market research while we open the sales pipeline at company called Conformity.  Conformity has made huge leaps in Cloud-Computing security.  They have developed a platform for Identity and Access Management across multiple Software as a Service Applications, like Salesforce and Xactly.  This ability is a huge deal for a publicly traded company that must adhere to federal SOX compliance standards.

I also work for Tech Ranch Austin, the entrepreneurial accelerator that is going to network Central Texas Entrepreneurs and create value through education and bootstrap resources.  The Tech Ranch was started by serial Austin entrepreneurs, Kevin Koym and Jonas Lamis.  They started the Ranch as a way to involve themselves in as many local start-ups as possible by providing one-of-a-kind resources to accelerate ventures as a compliment to the Venture Capital model of start-ups.

How did this Writing and Rhetoric major get jobs at start-up companies?  I have no idea. I do know that my rhetoric classes have come in handy working with Don, my sales manager, as we constantly refine the sales and marketing pitch.  Surely my passion for communicating has made me an asset at Tech Ranch.  My writing degree has made me the go-to guy for certain kinds of content at both places.  What I do know is that the education I’m receiving at the hands of two sets of entrepreneurs is laying a foundation for future ventures that I may start.

I’m not sure where I will end up yet.  But I’m sure that my future will materialize shortly.  At the moment, I’m too busy to worry about it too much.  After all, I have two jobs to work.

Hope this helps.



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