Young & Recessioned: Jason Jeansonne -- An Engineering Degree Gets You Work At A Movie Theater

It was a rough experience. I was pretty depressed. I had really planned to stay with this company, to make it work out.

The whole time I was in school, they always told us that now was the best time to be a chemical engineer. There was the whole baby boomer generation that was going to be retiring.

I started looking for engineering jobs, but there weren't a lot. At all. After a couple of weeks, I started broadening it pretty wide. I'm a chemical engineer, so I started looking for lab jobs and anything kind of related to chemistry or anything related to chemical engineering.

The first three or four months, I didn't hear anything from anyone I applied to. Zero response. Near the end of the summer, I got some real interviews. Most of them were from lab jobs. But I'd get down to the final couple of people, then just not get it.

I started working as a projectionist at the movie theater, as just a minimum-wage job, just to get some kind of income. I had been called back from Target and a couple different places, but Cinemark just accepted me first.

I had been working at a movie theater since high school, so it was pretty depressing to graduate from college then go back and do what I had been doing in high school. It was motivation to get something better.

I got a job at Exxon, and I'm working there right now. I'm not doing engineering work, but I'm a technical writer there. I'm writing training manuals. It's a good job, and I'm happy with where I'm at. It's something I could see doing long-term.

It is rough out there, and it took me almost a year. But as long as it can be bad, it can also turn around just as fast, and you can be back in the saddle again.

Got a tale to tell about being Young & Recessioned? E-mail Paul Knight at


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