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!

Looking for a job? A Wall Street recruiter tells it like it is


Richelle Konian knows a thing or two about life on Wall Street, both from her experience working on it and now for it. After leaving a career in management consulting, she cofounded Manhattan-based recruiting firm Careers on the Move, which helps hundreds of job seekers find work in a seemingly impossible market. Her most recent success story? Finding a job for the poster boy of unemployment, the “Sandwich Board Guy” (aka: Joshua Persky, pictured above.)

Konian doesn’t paint any rosy pictures for 2009, but insists that jobs exist for those eager to do their homework and embrace change. “In this type of market, you have to figure out ways to set yourself apart, and you have to work that much harder to get to the place you were previously,” she says.