Children often dream of the coolest job rather than the practical one: astronaut, artist, dolphin trainer, or the next Steve Jobs.
But the job that garners the greatest admiration doesn’t always bring success as an adult, says Anthony Scaramucci, the founder of SkyBridge Capital and host of the television show Wall Street Week.
“I say this to a lot of kids,” Scaramucci said in an interview with Skiddy von Stade, CEO of recruitment firm OneWire.
“I was so insecure coming out of law school, that I wanted the coolest job. I wanted to go to that cocktail party at Harvard Law School and tell people I’m working in real estate in the investment banking area and I’m the coolest guy because I got the coolest job. And so the problem with that is that it was the worst job for me.”
Scaramucci pointed to the story of his hiring, firing, and rehiring at Goldman Sachs.
The first hiring: Scaramucci landed that job he could boast about when he joined Goldman Sachs’ investment banking unit after Harvard Law School.
Unfortunately it was not meant to be. He was fired in February 1991 and handed an $11,000 severance check.
“I was absolutely terrible at the job,” Scaramucci recalled. “And so Goldman had a good management structure back then and so what do you think happens to you when you’re terrible at a job? You get fired.”
“I was horrified,” Scaramucci said.
Scaramucci reached out to his network for help.
“There were no cell phones, so I had a roll of quarters and I was putting the quarters in different payphones in midtown calling friends or whoever to try to get myself a job,” he said. “And then somebody I called said ok there’s a job opening at…,” Scaramucci paused.
“I was like ok, you’ve got to be kidding me,” he said.
But less than two months after he was fired Scaramucci was back with Goldman Sachs, though this time, on the banking giant’s sales division. Later, he would become the banks vice president of wealth management.
And in hindsight, Scaramucci says the whole ordeal was a humiliating, but great wake up call.
“It was a big resonating lesson about you got to do the things you like to do, and don’t get sucked into the hype or the social status of certain things,” Scaramucci said. “Focus on things that are fun and you’re comfortable doing — you’re comfortable in your own skin, you know?”
Watch the full OneWire interview below and subscribe to the series to get new interviews as soon as they’re posted.