For everyone who didn’t find their dream job on the first try

When I graduated college, there was a lot of pressure to make big decisions, to choose the right path, to triumphantly launch into my career. But let’s be realistic, it’s tough to truly understand what it’s going to be like to take up a specific profession right after college. Assuming you know you want to work immediately after college (instead of the perfectly reasonable choices of going back to school or dedicating a year of service), the options can be dizzying. As a marketing major, I knew I wanted to work in the field, but had no idea where to start.

I ultimately found a role in the mortgage-lending arm of a large financial services company but, two uninspiring years into the job, I realized it was time for a change. I’d love to say that I sought greener pastures after recognizing the disconnect between my values and the mission of the organization, but the truth is the firm was having widespread layoffs (and a government bailout), as a result of the 2008 recession.  Two years out of college and seeking another job, I now knew how to ask better questions. How strong are an organization’s values? What is attractive about the company’s culture? Does the firm invest in its employees? But the most important question of all is this: Where do I want my career to lead, and will this next position move me closer to that goal?

For me, the answers led to joining Vanguard.

I ended up taking a client service role, and a few short weeks into the job, I began to realize how special this company is. As I grew into the role, I found they shared both my dedication to our community and a focus on ensuring I had the tools I needed to be successful. Now, almost 10 years later, it was one of the best decisions I ever made.

Since then, my career goals have evolved a bit. However, each time an opportunity came along, I followed the choice that moved me closer to my objective. (Important disclaimer: sometimes that meant not taking the job, which Vanguard gives me the freedom to do.)

Today, I work in our Retail Marketing department as a project manager, pursuing my original passion from college. On the way here, I have had the opportunity to be a people leader, to get my MBA, and to become a Certified Financial PlannerTM. I’ve worked directly with clients, helping them achieve investment success. I continue to volunteer in the community, helping to prepare low-income individuals’ taxes through Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA).

So it took me a couple tries to find my perfect fit. For many others it might take a few more than that. If you go to work each day feeling disconnected from the mission of your company, feel your work and your skillset are misaligned, or simply want a change, I recommend giving Vanguard a look. Regardless of where you are on your career journey, it might just be that next step towards your dream job.

-Jeffrey M.

If you’re seeking an environment where you can make a difference and develop professionally, check out our career opportunities at

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