Honestly it is feeling hopeless

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I am really starting to feel like the world and life is a nightmare at this point.

I worked at a boutique investment bank for close to 2 years, until I was laid off last year so the boss could give my position away to his buddies music major kid - analysts are a dime a dozen nothing personal he told me when I went to pick up my stuff. Alright, that sucks especially a month from bonus, but can always pick yourself up and dust yourself off and find something else right? So I did, moved to a new state to start a corporate finance job. Not too bad, pride still a bit wounded but it'll work out.

Fast forward to March of this year, Covid hits. I lose the job in the first waves of furloughs and a month later get notice to return my equipment because it's permanent. OK, that sucks but no worries unemployment can help - wrong. They won't pay out because I haven't worked here long enough, and back home won't pay out either for last year.

OK, that's awful. Well, strong resume and work experience I should be able to get another gig somewhere and my frugal nature gave me some savings that should last through this thing, right? 5 months and over 500 applications later for all manner of jobs I am grossly overqualified for to be rejected for the most asinine reasons and I have no leads and now officially living off debt only at this point. I had one part time job at a Trader Joe's until they cut half of us with round two of lockdowns, that's it - no family left alive or friends willing or able to help.

Finally reached my breaking point today with the last job lead drying up at the 9th hour and having to give my dog away because I can't afford his medicine anymore. I've been optimistic and struggled for such a long time and I thought after college it'll be better and I can make a better life for myself than how I grew up but now it feels truly hopeless.

I don't know why I'm posting here, maybe I just had way too much to drink tonight or maybe to know if I am alone in this nightmare or has anyone else have their life go up in flames from all this?

Comments (62)

 
  • Prospect in ER
Jul 22, 2020 - 1:53am

Dude, I know it sucks, but don’t give up! I can tell, you’ve got your shit together and you’re a positive person... timing sucks and it might take another 500 resumes, but you’re gonna get something, and something good. Next job might not be your ideal one, but it’ll get you on your feet, and you’ll go from there... be sad and pissed for one more day, then get a shit job to pay your bills, and in spare time get back on the computer and start firing off resumes... don’t expect it to happen in a week or a month, but keep applying, keep preparing your interview answers to stay sharp and within a year, you’ll have the kind of job you want... just hang in there!

 
  • Prospect in Other
Jul 22, 2020 - 2:04am

Don't give up man! The story of it coming easy isn't one that gets told. Feel you and I'm going through something similar. Believe theres a plan for you. I'll leave you with this to hopefully make the journey better.

"It was at times a long, difficult road. But I'm glad it was long and difficult, because if I hadn't gone through hell to get there, the lesson might not have been as clear."

 
Jul 22, 2020 - 3:18am

That broke my heart, man. Wishing you the very best and may you be reunited with your dog soon.

Array
 
Jul 22, 2020 - 8:20am

Hey, I do a lot of trolling/shitposting on here but I'm going to be 100% real with you.

Most college students are f*cked. Think about it. A majority of applicants at mom and pop business shops had their internships cancelled. Most people doing internships from home are doing mindless nonsense and have no behavioral-question-type of in-person interaction with others. And even bulge bracket firms are not guaranteeing return offers to everybody. AND, within the first few weeks of colleges opening, schools will close again, and back to Zoom we go (all it takes is one kid to catch coronavirus and they'd have to shut the whole school down). So most people coming out of college in the next year will have zero meaningful internship experience or college coursework to discuss. You graduated BEFORE all of this happened, so you have legitimate, in-person experience that would put you MILES ahead off most, if not all, recent graduates.

This may not be a solution you're excited to hear, but there are many essential businesses (e.g. Target, Wal-Mart, Amazon, etc) hiring for management/team-lead positions so if worst comes to worst, you could probably very easily score a $50-65k/year position as a warehouse operations management trainee or an assistant store manager at a big-name store.

Go to Indeed.com and type in "Grocery Store Manager" and I'm sure you could find a decent paying job in an essential industry.

 
Jul 22, 2020 - 3:21pm

how did you follow up on those 500 applications

how healthy is your network

how were you as an analyst

have you done resume review/interview prep

@WallStreetOasis.com" may have some ideas/products that could help

 
Aug 7, 2020 - 8:46pm

why did someone MS you wtf

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

 
Jul 22, 2020 - 4:08pm

Would suggest avoiding the resume stigma of low-paying jobs (feel free to do one for cash, but don't mention it or put it on your resume). It's not right but it's the way the world works

Corona has made job hunting an absolute mess, keep faith in yourself and your skillset - keep a healthy mixture of "what can I improve on re. resume/cover letter/etc" and "I can only control so much - I do my best and work my tail off, but the cards will fall as they fall." Remember that it truly is a numbers game.

Sending positive vibes - would recommend looking for more boutique banks

Array
 
Most Helpful
Jul 22, 2020 - 6:05pm

This reminds me a bit of a guest I had on the WSO pod who worked for 2yr at a toxic boutique getting like $1k/mo, barely enough to live because he just didnt have any other options and wanted to get that experience. that had a positive ending and yours will too if you keep going...

I'm surprised that with IB on your resume (if you actually had some deal expereince) that you are not getting more bites for actual interviews...but it could be because 1) we are in a horrible time for hiring (duh) 2) because you're applying to online positions instead of hearing about offline/shadow jobs = 70+% of jobs are filled with no job posting ever...think avout that 3) something is off in your application. could be lack of follow-up, your resume, interview skills, etc... my guess is it's more likely #1, but if you can improve on #2 (networking more aggressively 60+hrs/week) and #3 making sure everything is in tip top shape (resume + interview skills) I'm sure you will get bites.

We have financial aid now for the Elite package and you'd qualify but I wouldnt even go there...I'd look at a resume review/mentorship. Happy to do it at cost for us if you ping support and just mention this thread (make sure ur email matches the email in ur account).

Wishing you luck!
Patrick

ps - what about using some of the finance/excel skills you learned in IB to help consult for small companies in your area that are still in business an my need some help?

 
Jul 24, 2020 - 10:37am

Red627, @WallStreetOasis.com"

Patrick, hope you don't mind me offering this, but OP, can save WSO support some time and Patrick some money by PMing me- I will do it for free. I am on both the resume review team and the mentor team and have helped numerous individuals both through WSO and on the side spruce up their resume and be able to put their best foot forward. I have two years of IB and almost four years of corp dev/corp fin experience. Red627, PM me your email and phone number, and we'll get it started.

As far as advice for anyone else...I would highly suggest staying mobile. That means, always be on the lookout for new opportunities and ways to pivot your career. I started my career off at a "no-name" boutique and while I owe them everything for the opportunity they gave me (let's be honest....I was only there because no large bank wanted me), they are not places to build a career. The chance of making partner or MD at a "no-name" boutique is about zero, and even if you do, you will never have the resources that a larger bank's MD has to build and maintain his/her book of business.

 
Jul 22, 2020 - 6:15pm

Don't feel too bad. You're up against a ton of senior applicants in most cases. I am not sure how many juniors realize just how bad it is right now for them in-terms of applicant pool changes...

For reference I started a new search for a role we are looking to fill and the quality of applicants jumped 2x - 3x over what I was previously getting. Have former executives at well know companies applying for roles that they would have laughed at a few months ago.

It's simply a different job market and the reality is that it's much harder to find good jobs now that it was pre-COVID. Don't let that get you down though... Put in the hours and hopefully you can change your luck. All you need is one yes.

Good luck.

 
Jul 24, 2020 - 4:50am

M_1, would you say it’s the same for investment jobs? Sounds like what you were describing is for a portfolio hire. In investing roles, are you seeing the quality of candidates jumping up 2x? If so, when do you think job market will normalize again? Thanks!

Array
 
Jul 29, 2020 - 6:55pm

Definitely. I've been running a search for additional analysts since January. Hired one intern in Q1 and I'll hire another shortly but I noticed the candidate quality has jumped a lot. I feel really bad for kids coming out of school right now...

 
Jul 29, 2020 - 6:51pm

Total agree on the candidate pool change. For the same senior analyst position you are applying, you might be competing against quite a few junior associate/manager level people who lost their jobs. For a chill corporate finance analyst role, you might be competing against a bunch of other IB, asset management, FAS people too.

Keep your head up, and don’t give up !

 
Jul 22, 2020 - 8:20pm

I don't if this will be helpful, but in the meantime, why not look at back-office jobs at some of these financial services/finance firms? At least, in the meantime, it'll pay your bills and you can always start looking for the next gig in the meantime

 
Jul 22, 2020 - 9:09pm

Hey man:

Echoing a lot of what people before me said. Completely know and am in a similar situation. Lost my job after being with company 4 months due to a merger and past 2 out of 3 jobs was ousted due to unique scenarios respective to the company.

First off, know it is not you and not blaming yourself. Sh** happens that you have no control and the worst thing to do is be very hard on yourself and put only blame on you. I know it’s easier said then done, as I’ve been in dark places mentally in the past but you have to attack each day and find inspiration. I do this by staying occupied, whether taking classes or work on modeling and listen to podcasts. I personally listen a lot to Jockos Podcast, big fan of military to start but he interviews countless people who have been in worse situations that I can’t even imagine where to begin and absolutely crush it later in life.

Secondly, I know I need to work on this myself but being creative with getting your name out there. Millennials, such as myself, are focused on applying online and having limited face time. In times like these, I think it’s best to tackle different approaches such as going to the firm directly and either standing outside the building or going to the respective floor if you can and handing out resumes. Yes, it’s COVID, but I feel if you do this over and over there will be an MD/VP in there to get away from working from home and will appreciate you having the guts to make this sort of attempt. Food for thought.

Lastly, know people whether on this forum or elsewhere are here for support. Don’t be conscientious or afraid to reach out to friends or myself to just talk through it.

Know it will work out, keep head down and focused.

Array
 
  • Intern in IB - Ind
Jul 23, 2020 - 9:39am

Jesus sees you and would love to walk with you through it.

Array
 
Jul 23, 2020 - 11:23am

Keep your head up. Cut all unnecessary subscriptions, eat beans and rice, get a library card! Please do not turn to drinking alone during this rough time.

Pull out that LinkedIn Rolodex and start messaging/calling people for coffee dates. You have this time to network like hell and learn. Feeling sorry for yourself will pull you down. Start meeting and keep filing out applications!

You have a strong community here, too!

  • Hannibal
 
Jul 23, 2020 - 12:35pm

I’ve never commented on a post here, but felt compelled to say something positive. as far as advice, I think the other posters have given some great feedback worth listening to. know that you matter and people care about you. I wish you the best of luck. I agreed that your story does remind me a lot of Rockys. hang in there. and let us know how it goes.

 
Jul 23, 2020 - 1:18pm

Look - shit sucks. Almost everyone on WSO has been there in some form or another. I remember the difficulty in finding work when I was laid off from my first job because of the GFC. I'm not going to give you job advice or financial advice, because everyone who has posted has said nothing but good advice.

Instead I wanted to focus on the mental health side of things. This is a rough time. It sucks. I mean, truly, it sucks. The first thing I would suggest is taking 3-4 days to clear your head. Turn off your phone, your internet access, tv, etc., and take a few days to realize that you still have your health, that you're in a shitty situation because of things beyond your control, and accept that you can only control what you can control. It has to be the first thing to do to take control of the situation. It won't necessarily help over the few days you disconnect, but you need to center yourself in order to push forward. From there, spend a day looking at your approach so far, and come up with a list of things you can do to improve your search. I won't reiterate points that have been made already on this regard. And from there, put the pedal to the metal.

Second, get in to a routine. Routine will help you organize the day and give you the structure your missing. Structure helps keeps your mind straight because you know what tasks you have on your calendar to do. It'll help you be more efficient with your time as well. This means waking up at the same time, showering and getting dressed like you would if you were going to work, etc. It's part of the mindset you need to have to push past the breaking point.

Third, do not neglect your physical health. As awful as the situation is, if you can spend 45 minutes a day taking a walk outside, it will help calm your mind and make you feel better in general. Having a physical outlet for stress relief will make things a bit easier. Instead of feeling trapped indoors all day, you will have an outlet for the stress by spending time going for a walk or run. The physical effects of releasing endorphins will also help improve your mood a bit. It'll make things easier to overcome.

 
Jul 23, 2020 - 1:19pm

hang in there! I resonate with your post and have gone through something similar a few years ago.

assume you are looking for banking jobs? from what I understand investment banks are barely hiring (not just US but also globally) now because of the pandemic and lockdowns. don’t know when headcount will come back, but it’s likely just a tough job market you are facing...get some cash job and wait for this shit to end - probably early next yr, but deal flow is great now

 
Jul 23, 2020 - 2:36pm

I lost everything. Worked on a restaurant tech startup for a year, had a term sheet signed for $1M seed. Covid ended that, and our business.

Been trying to expand my options, get a job to cover me as I’m now dead broke, and people do not want to hire former entrepreneurs. Fucking sucks.

Don’t have an answer to your woes, but I feel your pain.

 
Jul 23, 2020 - 6:24pm

After a horde of Chinese soldiers completely shutdown the MacArthur advance in the Korean War, Dean Acheson the secretary of state at that time was in a very bad place. One of his friends George Kennan sent him a letter which contained the following sentence: "In international as in private life, what counts the most is not really what happens to someone but how he bears what happens to him"

This is a lesson stoics have been teaching us for ages, our response to life is our decision to either accept or reject what we cannot control. This is the power that allow us to keep moving forward vs wallowing in self pity.

I do not know you yet I have 4 dogs I love, and you having to give yours away broke my heart.

I hope to offer you some perspective as I myself have rejected candidates for being too overqualified. What the other side is thinking is either this guy is going to ask for too much, he will not like the job, or he will bounce as soon as he can. The rejections occur purely at the resume reviewing stage, which is why your best bet of getting a job is to manage to get an interview or networking chat where you can explain your situation, and this won't happen if you just send a resume.

 
Jul 23, 2020 - 10:35pm

I'm glad you had the courage to write this. I think admitting that this is not working will be the first step in improving your situation. While I don't know what parts of your process are not working, I think it's helpful for you to think about how you can convert those resume drops into leads.

I do know from my experience as I became more "mid-career" resume drop just wasn't enough and I landed my most recent job exclusively by aggressive networking. I did do a resume drop at first and I know as a matter of fact that the HR glanced past it. It took 2 ( ! ) persons handing my resume to the hiring manager and 8 months of recruiting process to land the job eventually.

 
  • Analyst 1 in IB-M&A
Jul 24, 2020 - 8:55am

I’m very sorry to hear this, it absolutely breaks my heart and I know it could happen to any of us (and might still, as we head in to 2021).

I can’t offer much help unfortunately, but if you’re looking for something to make ends meet I know some of our BO ops teams are hiring. You’re obviously super overqualified for that kind of thing, but it would get you back to somewhat familiar footing, in a bank, and the right networking could propel you to FO later down the line. For reference, I’m at a US BB. Feel free to PM me for more clarity.

 
  • Associate 1 in Consulting
Jul 24, 2020 - 8:55am

I’m so sorry to hear your about your situation! All the advice offered by people on this thread is apt and I really hope you understand that you will pull through this.

What I have noticed is that management consulting is a bit more resilient to this particular downturn and is likely to see more recruiting going forward - most consulting firms honoured all offers made and have started recruiting again. It might be a career change and not something you considered but you can look to move back into finance after things settle a bit. From what I’ve read, your background would be a good fit.

I’m sorry I can’t offer you anything other than advice but I sincerely wish things turn around for you soon.

 
Jul 24, 2020 - 9:48am

Hey man, I've never really posted here in years. This is the first I remembered the title of this thread to go back to my computer, find it, and post a reply.

I was in a similar spot maybe a month ago. There was a lot of uncertainty involved, but guess what, I found something 3 months later. You'll find what you're looking for, just keep cranking. And if you need to talk about it, you can always DM me and we can talk over the phone. Someone else helped me once and I will do the same.

 
  • Analyst 1 in S&T - Other
Jul 24, 2020 - 12:32pm

Get laid off due to covid-19 as well. Depressed and frustrated as fuck. But keep pushing through mate because things will defo be better. Don't give up.

Array

 
Jul 24, 2020 - 1:45pm

Disclosure: Long post

Thank you for being open and honest about your situation. It takes a lot of balls to put up a post like that. When I think about my career, most of the opportunities that came my way (good or bad) came out of left field. It is much easier said than done, but I feel that in times like these it takes a little creativity (and definitely a lot of luck) to get anywhere. When I was in college I continually was rejected from internships as plenty of other students had higher GPA's, and frankly I had some polishing to do on the interview front. Instead of applying for internships on the school website over and over again, I decided to Google "investment banking + [city where I went to school]" and "private equity + [city where I went to school]". I ended up scoring a couple interviews at very small firms and offered to work for free in between classes. Getting the experience and this type of story resonated with interviewers the following semester when I was going for full time IB offers. I ended up landing an IB Analyst job at a pretty big bank out school.

The sheer volume of people applying for the same jobs on Indeed and LinkedIn is probably unfathomable. Additionally, some of those jobs may not even be real (in that companies may have forgotten to take open positions down from their website). I think it's worthwhile doing some searching online and seeing if you find a small bank looking for some help. Even if it's at a reduced rate or just an internship, it may be worth considering. I would also cold email recruiting firms and see what opportunities they may have.

I also think that you're probably being passed on some of these jobs because you are indeed overqualified. I'm sure some companies seeing IB on your resume automatically think "we don't have the budget for his salary expectations" (even if they never ask your salary). People jump to conclusions every day and they are often wrong.

Although this has nothing to do with Finance, I think this personal anecdote is relevant. My best friend from high school has been working in LA in the film industry since college. Right out of film school he landed a job as a junior agent at a major talent agency. Within 2 weeks he met a big time producer who was looking for someone to help him manage his day to day work and look over projects. My friend quit his high profile job to work for this guy. Within 6 months the producer went to work for another network and my friend was on his own. He was unemployed for almost a year. He eventually found a job at a very tiny production company and had to take it for the money. He made $36k per year and no benefits....in LA! After 2 years the partners broke up the firm and he was back on his ass again. With $15k in credit card debt, no job, and a pandemic, he had virtually nothing going his way. Last week he called me and I could hear some excitement in his voice. A guy that he knows (whom he met through friends of friends) wrote his 3rd script and big production company picked it up. He asked my friend to help him cast the movie and raise financing. My friend got a big name actor attached and as of now it looks like the film is actually going to get made.

I have two main points: never, ever, ever give up. Believe in yourself, know your worth and you can get through anything. My second point is that, like me, the biggest opportunity in my friend's career came from (at best) a random acquaintance (or as I said above, came out of left field). The unknown is disorienting, complex, and most of all....it sucks. If anyone says the unknown is exciting they are lying to you. The "known" constant here, though, is that we know it'll work out. Many people in this community have experienced similar things. Even I have. As long as you're resourceful, you'll be right where you want to be in terms of career, wealth, etc. You'll beat this. We all know it.

 
Jul 24, 2020 - 4:13pm

I've been in your shoes. Sometimes life can be a real swift kick in the dick but the most common trait among successful people is perseverance (grit), even when it seems all is lost and pointless. Life goes in waves and it sucks now but things will get better. But things won't get better by chance. You have to take ownership, of everything. It's ok to blow off some steam and take some time to regroup, but make sure you get back on the horse and stick with it.

 
Jul 24, 2020 - 6:14pm

I know when I was in that situation there was no amount of “advice” that made me feel any better. I attacked the recruiting problem at every angle I could think of, and any angle anyone in my network could think of. I know that I felt like no one wanted to hear my sob story anymore, and I don’t know how I would have made it out of that mental rut if not for my loved ones and family. All the advice here is superb, but taking some time to disconnect and just aimlessly walk around where ever you live till you don’t know where you are anymore may help. I know that how one person deals with their problems isn’t transferable, and especially doesn’t seem so when everything is spiraling and you’re loosing your mental sanity; but sometimes just disappearing and wandering till you can wander no longer helps. I know that I wish someone reached out to me and said “I care about what you’re going through and I’m here to listen” because sometimes that all you need. Job part aside, if you just need someone to talk to feel free to reach out. Sometimes having a (new) shoulder to cry on can make the suck a little less horrible. Also, there are a lot of agencies who would help with your dogs medical costs, I know I’d rather starve than give my dog away. Happy to help with figuring that out as well. Things will get better, but in the words of Keynes in the long run we are all dead; so I know that “advice” doesn’t make this shit feel any better but sometimes a helping hand can. Dm me if you ever feel like you need to talk, we all have to be there for each other during times like this. Wishing you the best and hope your dog is okay.

 
Jul 24, 2020 - 7:44pm

I recently graduated in December and had about 30 job interviews between January and Mid March. Got led on by a firm for a month with 10+ rounds of interviews before rejecting me. Had two interviews since the lockdown. Both went nowhere.

Do not qualify for unemployment, a stimulus check or any sort of assistance. Have 70 dollars in my bank account. Had to get rid of my car because I couldn't afford the payments anymore. At least you have relevant full time experience. All I have is a lot internship experience and currently applying to roles I am overqualified for just for experience.

 
Jul 24, 2020 - 7:53pm

I cant even begin to imagine what that is like. Really puts things in perspective. Idk if anything I say will help but I'm wishing you the very best.

Dayman?
 
Jul 26, 2020 - 9:44pm

We all have been there, I was sleeping on a friend's couch for more than 6 months, struggling to making my ends meet until someone decided to take a bet on me.

I work at an accounting firm in nyc and I know the valuations department is hiring, PM me if you are interested. Happy to do whatever I can in my capacity. Stay strong man, you have got this.

Array
 
Jul 31, 2020 - 8:17am

Trust God through Jesus....He works wonders....I was once at my wits end some years ago owing to the 2008 meltdown. Just by retracing my steps to my aker and speaking to Him from my heart....the story changed....I have seen others go through same and come out strong.....You will come out strongf, only look to JESUS.

 
Jul 31, 2020 - 11:27am

Been there. Years ago I was living in a remote mountain state, trying to break into Wall Street during the depths of the recession. Failed Level 3, then left my retail brokerage receptionist job to take a role at a start up financing firm. That job fell through in weeks. Went through a month of misery trying to find a new job before crawling back to my receptionist position. They cut my minimal benefits and only gave me part time doing the absolute worst work. I had to clean out a rat infested storage unit of client files that had been burglarized. One day I even had to shit in a box in the storage unit. Rock Bottom. Hang in there

 
Jul 31, 2020 - 11:30am

Apologies if any of the below suggestions are obvious or repeats from things already written above but here are a few things I've picked up during my recent job search:

  1. Use a word resume instead of submitting in PDF. Although most submission sites say you can use either, a number of applicant tracking system (ATS) software systems can't read PDF or at least not as well.

  2. Similarly, don't have your information in tables because ATS struggles to read information in tables

  3. If you are applying to jobs outside of the finance world, make sure your accomplishments can be understood by someone outside of the industries (e.g. using CIM, teaser and other industry specific words won't mean much to people outside of finance)

  4. Either update your cover letter and resume for every single role to include major buzzwords they use in the posting or have a few different versions that are focused on a couple different types of roles

  5. Reach out to someone at the firm directly when submitting an application

  6. It is easier to use your strengths to get a role at a firm and then pivot once you are employed (e.g. if you want to get into strategy but have a background in M&A, apply to Corp Dev roles and then try to gain strategy experience once you are in the firm)

At the end of the day, it sounds like you have had it rough but try to stay positive. Make sure not to come across as bitter in your interviews and focus on positive takeaways from these experiences.

 
Jul 31, 2020 - 12:41pm
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