Inside views on the jobs market
A time for change
We asked Joshua Persky, a former investment banker who blogs about his search for work, to offer some advice to others facing unemployment.
You may have seen a photo of me wearing a sign-board, “Experienced MIT Grad for Hire.” My goal was to hand out some resumes, generate a few new leads, and find a job. Instead, I became world-famous for being unemployed. OK, I’ve had my 15 minutes of fame – for the past three months – and my publicity is still generating more publicity.
Apparently, my creativity, bravery and transparency paid off — well, almost. I am still unemployed, but I am working on several start-up venture deals, speaking with some very interesting people from Europe and Asia, have a few interviews lined up, and have several other leads moving forward. I’ve also started a blog www.oracleofny.com to document my search and keep in touch with people around the world who are interested in following my story. Who knows where it will lead? However, I am open to change.
I had expected to get a new and perhaps even better position in financial services two to three months after losing my last job, but instead Bear Stearns collapsed. Most of the large investment banks and commercial banks announced they were writing off billions of dollars and firing thousands of people. Then it was summer, and meetings took weeks to arrange. Everyone seemed to be traveling or on vacation. Currently, the situation is even worse. Lehman is gone. Merrill is gone.
My advice to unemployed bankers and all working-challenged financial services people is to look elsewhere as quickly as possible – and be creative. It will take years for the financial services sector to recover. Tens of thousands of unemployed bankers are now chasing a few job openings. I have learned the hard way these past nine months. It is time for a change. I am still applying to financial services positions and hoping for the best, but my focus is now on business development and selling my transferable skills which can be applied to a wide variety of industries. If possible, start your own business!
Because I am willing to think and act outside the box and willing to change careers, I am speaking to a doctor in Japan who needs help managing his cancer research clinic and disseminating his research and life-saving techniques throughout the world, and I am in touch with the CEO of an international furniture manufacturer based in Europe and Asia who needs a representative in the USA.
As the bard said:
Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
There’s a battle outside
And it is ragin’.
It’ll soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’.
- Bob Dylan “The Times They Are A-Changin’”