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For many people 2013 is shaping up to be a tough year. Wall Street banks will lay off nearly 200,000 people. Bank of America will terminate 30,000 employees under its expense cutting program “New BAC”, while Citigroup has plans to lay off 4,500 workers. At Barclay’s the plan is to let 3,000 workers go and at Morgan Stanley the proposed job cuts sum to 1,800 individuals. I was laid off a week ago so I know full well how difficult this time period is for many readers. It’s not over. Here are some thoughts on how to move forward in the coming weeks:

  1. Stop the Bleed – You are entitled to unemployment benefits. These will be a huge help in buying time, especially if you have fixed expenses like rent. The first 26 weeks are covered by the state government where you worked. Thereafter, you may still be entitled to receive unemployment benefits but you will have to file for an extension. The claims after the 26th week are paid by the federal government. As long as your taxes are paying for it, take advantage.
  2. The ICU – Just because you’re receiving unemployment benefits does not mean you can afford to be lazy. You’re still in critical condition. Take this time to evaluate what type of job it is you want going forward. Maybe I-banking isn’t for you. Once you know the type of job you want, begin networking. There are a few ways to do this. You can reach out to people in your alumni association that have positions in the companies that you’re targeting and invite them out for drinks/coffee. Alternatively, it might be wise to join a few Meetup groups, which bring together young professionals in your area. However you choose to make friends is fine. Just remember, finance is a relationship business. It will be very difficult to get a job if you act like a hermit.
  3. Recovery and Rehab – If you follow steps 1 and 2 you will be in a strong position for the final push. Your finances will still be in order and people in your network will think of you when new positions open up. This means that your resume will be at the top of the stack. Don’t hang your hat on this alone. Apply for positions that you find on company websites each day. But try and reach out directly to members on the team you’re targeting instead of going through the Human Resource Department. Lastly, broadening your geographic area will help. States like North Dakota, Nebraska, and South Dakota may not have cities as flashy as New York City but they do have some of the lowest unemployment rates in the country. Don’t rule anything out.

For those of you with mouths to feed who are feeling battered and bruised, you’re not alone in this and you have choices. Don’t get discouraged.

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Comments (18)

  • aicccia's picture

    Great Post. With this kind of attitude, I'm sure you'll find a new job soon

    "It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I stay with problems longer." - Albert Einstein

  • treetotree's picture

    I was in a similar situation this summer (2-years of IBD). I tried to look at it as an opportunity to do something else and something that was an obvious benefit to society: volunteer. I ended up as a full-time volunteer for a few months, spent some time in Zambia, and got some really valuable experience. Highly recommended if a) you have a financial cushion b) you have interest in that type of work.

    My specific project was funding diversification. It was a lot of fun, and I basically got to play MD for a few weeks of high-profile pitches)...

    Now I'm working on getting more people that experience by providing those unique opportunities to people. If you're interested, PM me! Best of luck to those that are in that situation---it gets better.

  • AQM's picture

    Hey man, this is a little off topic, but with all these layoffs in 2013, how will summer internship recruiting be affected for the class of 2014.

    Also this might offer a little help, but I think people should be looking outside of the US for job. People might not like to hear this, but honestly the US is waning a little bit, but countries like India, China, even Russia had growth years. One of my friends who worked at Barclay's got laid off in ER, but he found a job in RBC, so maybe look abroad? I can't offer too much advice because I'm just in college, but I just wanted to wish good luck to all!

  • AnalystMonkey2769's picture

    Great post and goodluck dude!

    I don't throw darts at a board. I bet on sure things. Read Sun-tzu, The Art of War. Every battle is won before it is ever fought- GG

  • In reply to treetotree
    rbels001's picture

    That's not a bad idea. My girlfriend spent a few months in Namibia teaching Math and she loved it. She went back to Mozambique last year. What did you do in Zambia?

  • In reply to rbels001
    rbels001's picture

    rbels001 wrote:
    That's not a bad idea. My girlfriend spent a few months in Namibia teaching Math and she loved it. She went back to Mozambique last year. What did you do in Zambia?

    This was in reference to this post

    "I was in a similar situation this summer (2-years of IBD). I tried to look at it as an opportunity to do something else and something that was an obvious benefit to society: volunteer. I ended up as a full-time volunteer for a few months, spent some time in Zambia, and got some really valuable experience. Highly recommended if a) you have a financial cushion b) you have interest in that type of work.

    My specific project was funding diversification. It was a lot of fun, and I basically got to play MD for a few weeks of high-profile pitches)...

    Now I'm working on getting more people that experience by providing those unique opportunities to people. If you're interested, PM me! Best of luck to those that are in that situation---it gets better."

  • In reply to rbels001
    rbels001's picture

    Thanks to everyone for the kind sentiment. I appreciate it.

  • Outsider's picture

    lol @ op, only the non-performers got laid off, McDonald's always hiring, makes me mad thinking about my tax paying your rent

    How big is yours?

  • In reply to Outsider
    whatwhatwhat's picture

    Outsider wrote:
    lol @ op, only the non-performers got laid off, McDonald's always hiring, makes me mad thinking about my tax paying your rent
    kys

  • In reply to whatwhatwhat
    Outsider's picture

    whatwhatwhat wrote:
    Outsider wrote:
    lol @ op, only the non-performers got laid off, McDonald's always hiring, makes me mad thinking about my tax paying your rent
    kys

    kyst

    How big is yours?

  • Wall Street Jungle's picture

    Thank you for posting this. More people will be needing this kind of mentality soon.

  • In reply to Outsider
    marathon218's picture

    Outsider wrote:
    lol @ op, only the non-performers got laid off, McDonald's always hiring, makes me mad thinking about my tax paying your rent

    Outsider: Do you have health insurance? Car insurance? Surely you do. With unemployment insurance, the whole concept is that you are paying into the system while you are employed...so that if you lose your job, you can collect. For the OP to not collect unemployment would be like getting in a car accident or going to the doctor and saying "nah, thanks, I'm better than that" and declining insurance help.

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  • In reply to treetotree
    newox1's picture
  • energyanalyst's picture