Trading Places

Inside views on the jobs market

A time for change – part II


Last December, Reuters reported how one innovative New Yorker’s desperate search to find a job had paid off big. Joshua Persky, known to many as the “Sandwich Board Guy,” found employment at accounting firm Weiser LLP in midtown Manhattan. Persky, who wrote for Trading Places about his search for work last year, explains how he ended up leaving Weiser to start his own business:

When I received the offer from Weiser, my wife and I were ecstatic. I had been unemployed for 10 months. We had quite a sincere Thanksgiving celebration in Omaha where she was living with our children, but they decided to remain in Omaha to finish out the school year. It was difficult to leave my family, but I returned to New York to get my feet on the ground and focus on my new job as Senior Manager, Valuation & Corporate Finance.

When I started working in December, I was treated to a second round of viral publicity and became a feel-good “Happy Ending Holiday Story.” Whereas before I had been the “Face of the American Economy”, a “Sign of the Times” and the “Sandwich Board Guy,” suddenly I was an inspirational and extreme job hunter who could give expert job hunting advice – and I did:

Be creative.
Be open to change.
Get professional help.
Redo your resume.
Figure out your brand and sell it.
Don’t give up.
Get your family on board.
Be patient.
Lower your expenses as much as possible.
Do what you need to do to keep your spirits up (exercise, eat right, meditate and/or pray).
Don’t lose hope!

Preparing for the worst while giving thanks


Turkey and the trimmings may be some workers’ only comfort this Thanksgiving. With news earlier this week that more than 225,000 jobs may be axed in New York’s already battered financial industry over the next two years, the mood of uncertainty hanging over Wall Street seems unlikely to dissipate anytime soon. Heck, it’s almost enough to make you lose your appetite.

But gloomy projections aside, there’s no shortage of ways to prepare for the worst. Online professional networks are an increasingly popular tool for job-seekers. As Reuters reporter Tarmo Virki writes, “The economic crisis slamming firms across the globe has sparked a spike in usage of professional networks . . . as people hedge against losing work and laid-off employees seek jobs.” Such sites can provide valuable networking opportunities and alert you to new job openings. LinkedIn, the industry’s leader, netted 25 percent more new users in September than expected, and has seen its membership leap to more than 31 million from 18 million at the start of the year.