Young and Recessioned: Stephen Rawlings, From Engineer to Part-Time Musician
Today's installment features Stephen Rawlings, a 25-year-old University of Texas grad and aspiring musician who was recently laid off from his job.
I got a job right after I graduated. I did take about a month off after graduation, just to do whatever and hang out. I went up to see my brother who lives in Michigan for like a week or two. I got the job through the career services at [the University of Texas]. I was a mechanical engineer at
I was laid off about a month ago, and there were quite a few people let go. I worked there for about two and a half years. Getting laid off wasn't too much of a shock, because it had been tough times there for awhile. Actually, I can't believe I lasted that long.
I've started looking, but I haven't had a whole lot of success yet. I'm trying to stay in the engineering field, because I do actually enjoy it. I'm just trying to figure out where I want to be.
I figured it'd take a little bit of time to find a new job. I am surprised by the lack of response in general from people I've applied with. Nobody really contacts you back with any sort of urgency.
When I was in school, I never expected to be unemployed. At least you always hope not.
I moved out from my parents' place a while ago, so I'm actually on my own now. I have some savings that can last for a little while. I definitely cut down a lot of extraneous expenses, but I had enough [savings] to where I haven't gotten to where I'm struggling a whole lot yet.
I may have to start looking in another field. It could happen, but for me, I don't really see that happening anytime soon.
Probably the best lead I have right now is going back to
I got busy for a couple weeks, because I'm playing in this music festival in Oklahoma this weekend. The Norman Music Festival. I needed to get a CD put together, so I took about two weeks and just recorded shit as much as I could for that. That kept me kind of busy, and unfortunately out of the job searching, as much as I wanted to be.
Now that I'm not doing anything for work, the music is something good to keep me busy. I usually play a show maybe once a week, or once every couple of weeks. At least that's what I try to do. I've got one next Saturday down in Stafford. I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to do [music] full time. Who doesn't want to be a rock star?
Got a tale to tell about being Young & Recessioned? E-mail Paul Knight at firstname.lastname@example.org.