Recently Laid Off - Need Some Advice

Hi all,

Hope everyone is keeping well. I was recently laid off a couple days ago, my whole firm pretty much went under and analysts were let go. But they are being fair in terms of telling other banks that I still work there, wiling to provide references and introductions.

It seems like banking recruiting is dead in the water, especially in Canada and am currently looking at big side opportunities.

Does anyone have any advice to impart? And how can I make a little extra money to pay expenses while I'm searching for a new role.

Thank you

Comments (18)

  • Associate 2 in CorpFin

You are in Canada? What kind of bank this is? I thought things like these didn't happen across the border 

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen

I'm at a regional boutique, yes things like this happen in Canada especially with the smaller banks. A lot of deal volumes are from thematics like cannabis, crypto etc…

Most Helpful
BuysideHustle, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Look, life is a journey and you are going to have a lot missteps along the way - some of which are completely out of your control. Can't be down and blame yourself for something that you had no control over. The people who don't do well in life are the ones that can't get back up when they fail or get laid off and give up entirely.

I went from an "elite" IB firm out of undergrad, to one of the largest hedge funds in the world, to burned out, then to a startup hedge fund which blew up after a few months to unemployed. Felt like I was on top of the world one second and then next moment unemployed feeling horrible. I was upset for a few weeks, then got myself together, figured out what I wanted my next step to be, came up with a plan then spent all my free-time going after it.

You had a temporary setback, now you can focused on whatever you want to do next. Take a week or two to recoup, then get after it. Promise a few years down the line you'll probably think the lay off was a blessing in disguise. Other tips below if interested.

  • Analyst 2 in IB - Gen

Thanks so much for the advice, this really helped me not take it personally - and that people smarter than me went through the same thing.

Thankful that people like yourself are on this website!

BankBoy23, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Wouldn't automatically assume he's smarter 

  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A

This sounds like Eight Capital

Smoke Frog, what's your opinion? Comment below:

If you're risk adverse like me, avoid small, boutique type places and try to focus on large companies.

For your next stop, target BBs or F500 type places. I've found them way less stressful than the smaller banks I've worked at.

As for right now, you were just collateral damage so don't take it personally. I believe it's very hard to screw up running a bank, and these "top" bankers consistently over hire and then fire, it's unreal. They messed up not managing through a down cycle, not you.

I would update your resume, suss out a story about how you're boutique is struggling and has indicated to juniors they should start looking, and start contacting recruiters, applying to job postings and contacting school alum.

It's a numbers game when you are young. Keep applying everywhere you can and eventually something will stick. The tricky part will be deciding whether or not to settle when you get that next offer, depending on your financial situation because it can get expensive without parental support when you're unemployed.

  • 3
  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A

I can relate. I recently got laid off. Four months into starting my full time IB role at a regional boutique. Basically you're thrown into the battlefield without any formal training, get yelled at because you're figuring out how to do a management presentation for the first time in your life. There's no respect for human development. I will make sure to do everything I can to avoid these places.

  • 1
Smoke Frog, what's your opinion? Comment below:


I immediately realized the lucky situation I was in when I was hired as a first year into a large bank. They spent weeks training me, met tons of other first years so had friends and also got to rotate around and experience different product groups.

It was so easy back then to get into a good bank from a target school, my gpa was trash and it didn't matter.

Today, being at a target isn't really a slam dunk anymore. The large banks really push for diversity and different schools, etc.

The small banks just don't give you the training and infrastructure and support you need as a first year.

  • 1
  • Associate 3 in IB - Cov

Can definitely relate. I worked at a regional in Calgary circa 2012. Canadian boutiques are usually tied to one or two sectors (oil and mining) or one product. When the commodity breaks down due to supply/demand issues, the whole house of cards falls down. This has happened to a number of great firms. Ie. First energy > GMP > now part of Stifel

Peters is a reputable firm, but squarely tied to energy M&A. No secret that has been tough and it's a saturated market. The good boutqiues have grown their retail brokerage arms, which provides predictable annuity revenue streams. Pure ECM firms (those that rely on being part of the syndicate in bought deals) will really struggle in this environment. 

This is no doubt going to be a very difficult time to recruit in the capital markets. However, there are many corporates that would value someone with strong modeling skills and capital markets knowledge.

If you're struggling to recruit and just need to secure a job, look into strategic finance/corp dev/capital budgeting roles at corporates. Do it for a while to get some knowlege in the industry of the company and then leverage that to break back into a coverage role focused on that industry. Alternatively, after a year or two you can do an MBA and recruit for roles in the US or TO.  

MBAs who started around 2009-2011 timeframe did very well in recruiting around 2012/2013. Good luck. Just focus on building your skills/network and prepare for the next train to arrive. Won't be long til the current interst rate cycle comes to an end and deals start to happen again. Maybe 12-18 months. 

  • 2
Northern-Gekko, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I am curious to know what bank this is, can you PM me?

  • Intern in IB - Gen

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