Anyone ever return to a firm that laid them off?

Gonna keep it concise but I got laid off from my IB role at a BB back about 2 months ago. Did a few interviews across the street and ended up getting an offer today from this same BB for an ER position in a hot sector.

For what it’s worth, I was actually glad I got laid off cause I really wanted to leave IB and do something in research. Severance has been nice and I’ve been able to relax for a bit too.

Anyways, crazy how things came around in a circular manner. Would you guys accept this offer? Or could you never allow yourself to return to a firm that laid you off, even though it’s a totally different team?

 

In the current market, frankly can’t be choosy esp under those circumstances

I understand the trigger n PTSD that goes with going back to the logo but need to be mature about it

I know enough MDs who quit a brand name disgusted and full of vitriol nly to come back in a few months or years

Soulless industry.. gotto be one as well ..

 

Haven’t been in this position before, so keep that in mind when evaluating anything I say. Personally, I’d take the offer if you like the opportunity. It was the IB division that laid you off, not ER, and it’s not unheard of for someone to move teams within the same company. If you’re confident the bank as a whole won’t experience any more issues leading to layoffs, go for it.

 

OP here thank you for the sanity check above bros.

PTSD is kinda there but money coming into my bank account is better than no money…I’ll prob take it

 

It sounds like the lateral market is bouncing back but slowly. But if you think you won't be able to land a better offer, you could take the lesser position they gave you to pay your bills. Do note that people in your new group may look at you kind of, not the same as if you had come from elsewhere. They may initially assume you were laid off / underperformed in your prior group, and may not take you as seriously or give you as much respect compared to people already in the group until you can prove that you're good at the role, which may take time. Or you could be a rockstar compared to the people in the new group and could outperform them and move up very quickly (have seen this happen a lot when people move to a less demanding role).

 

Yup this actually happens. Have seen it a lot with external hires but especially ones that came from stronger places at the analyst level, and it takes time to re-establish yourself and build trust with the new team. Just how it goes unless you came with a senior banker hire or something which then is more understandable  

 
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I had a friend who during nov of 2020 found a new job internally right after getting laid off in his IB role. He took it thinking he couldn't get a better job, only for the hiring market to bounce back in 2021 and saw all his other friends and peers land significantly better and higher paying roles elsewhere, meanwhile his marketability declined as he took a role in back office, so he had a much harder time finding a new job.

I know right now doesn't seem like the hiring market is strong bc it's December, but hiring may very likely pick back up in a few months given we're near ATH stock market again (s&p 500 only 5% off from ath). The large hiring sprees often only come for a few months as everyone rushes to fill the openings, and I've seen so many people land jobs that they wouldn'tve otherwise have gotten, but then it normalizes again, so you would need to think about your move. I'd say if you already have 2 years and good deal experience that you can speak to, you could wait a little and see what other jobs are in the market by march. The job gaps don't matter as much as you think, and people are a lot more understanding of layoffs nowadays given practically every other person interviewing is out of the job

 

In an alternative scenario, OP rejects this offer taking ur advice and won’t get an offer for another 4-5 months

 

That’s better than taking ER and being stuck there for years. Unfortunately ER positions don’t put kids into PE, and I’ve very rarely seen kids lateraling back to IB post ER, so OP will have to know research is the job he’d genuinely want to do for a while

 

He literally wants to work in research though? What does this comment have to do with anything?

 

Lol it reads kinda like cope though “oh I’m glaaad I got laid off, I’ve always wanted to work in ER anyways, which just happens to be the 1 group that gave me an offer” 

 

Definitely. IB and ER are so separate they might as well be a separate firm (and they're walled off, so really separate...)

Assuming you got caught in one of the bigger layoffs, they're not personal and if you otherwise liked the firm I wouldn't let it ruin your view of them - sounds like a great opportunity and interesting role. Can't be that choosy in a tough environment 

 

Remember to read the documents they gave you when you're departing, esp. anything you signed. You might have to pay back part/all of the severance if you join the same company in x months (start counting from the last day of gardening, not the day you stopped working). Should be able to at least get some regulatory amount (like YOE x latest monthly pay), but need to say bye bye to any "leaving incentive" on top.

 

Yes I’m aware of this luckily given the specific terms I won’t be repaying anything

 

Curious to know how you did this as in a similar position. Want to switch to ER now.

Did you apply for the role through an opening or recruiter or did your firm reach out? And did your new team question why you got laid-off (RIF or performance)?

Thanks! And congratulations on your new role 🙂

 

Got offered an IBD role after leaving an AM role at the same BB. There was a gap of a few years where I did IBD somewhere else

Didn't take the offer, also technically didn't get fired from the AM role but things were rocky thanks a toxic POS manager.

Would have loved to go back and rub the IBD position in their faces (no one on the AM team was technically smart, just toxic and were really good at playing politics), but I had a PE offers and took that instead.

I fully disclosed my prior employment. Probably helped that IBD thought that AM division was a joke, I'd proven myself in another place, and I had a super senior, veteran heavyweight at the AM division be my referee. Dude used to be the boss of one of the IBD divisions before "retiring" to the AM division and was highly respected by IBD.

 

Have heard anecdotally from recruiters that many places are expected to begin hiring more over the next few months. 
 

If you’re interested in staying in high finance and going the ib -> pe route, it may not be a bad idea to wait a few months. If you’re just looking for a job that pays the bills and you don’t fall behind on rent, then the ER job is fine. But seriously if you have some savings or live with roommates you likely won’t be worse off by recruiting over the next few months compared to taking some ER job that you were pushed toward out of pity 

 

Look man you can succeed in any role, and plenty of people in ER make bank at the senior level. That said, you have to truly know for sure you want to be in ER. Don’t just feed yourself cope like “I’ve always been about the ER life” if that’s not actually why you went into IB for .. going to ER is probably a better move at a more senior level, also these teams have less job stability than most ib groups 

 

If you had a normal to decent experience and just were part of a wave of layoffs, then just recruit for another ib shop.
 

You’re from a bb so you can swim downstream to a decent mm, you can probably restart as an a2 or even go in as an a3. I’ve heard of people who were laid off by EBs who went downstream and moved up a year at the mm they joined. 

 

It really depends on how good the er group is and how much it pays. ER can pay a lot at the senior level, but OP has to be confident that his group would have good upward mobility and comp progression.

 

I've been working in ER for 3 years. A few caveats about the field from what I've noticed:

Stability is worse than IB: ER sees significantly more frequent and larger proportions of job cuts than IB. If you think the economy is not going to get better, then now is not the time to join an ER team

Exits: more limited, no PE opps, very rare to get back into IB. Have gotten some looks at varying places but difficult to land offers. Most people move to buyside ER (which has been significantly shrinking over the years), investor relations, and a few go to hf for research

Hours: still fairly long and you have to wake up at the crack of dawn every day, you'll still frequently work 60-70 hour weeks, sometimes more, and its still very modeling intensive and possibly even moreso than IB.

Pay: much lower than IB and this becomes progressively more noticeable over the years

If I had to do it over again, I would have chosen to go to IB after uni rather than ER.

 

I work in corporate strategy and never worked in ib before so it may be different, BUT

I had a colleague in my group who was laid off but transitioned to another group in our company, I think he stayed in that other group for half a year or a little more before getting laid off again.
 

Essentially the demotion was just kind of a formality rather than an actual job offer in the sense that it gave him time to sit around in an easier group to look for another job while a reason to pay him less. He eventually found a better role and left on good terms

 

Why bother with ER? Try doing corporate development or strategic finance - interesting roles but much fewer hours. 
 

Or consider asset management, generally heard good sentiment from people working in that field

 

Congrats - I think it is part of cycle we are in. I have seen MDs who were with the firms for more than 20 yrs and got laid off. There should be not any ego / PTSD on why you were let go.

I would take the offer and ER does open doors for you at AM, L/S equity and there is no such linear path to PE or any sector / group. 

 

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