Why Can't I Freakin Get A Job?- Is it me or the job market?

bleeve21's picture
Rank: Senior Chimp | 18

only posting here because I love the complete honesty of the responses that these forums provide.

i went from trade support (middle office role) at a BB to a start up trading firm/hedge fund so that I could get out of Operations. i initially came in as a junior trader (a prop shop feel), then i chose to move into an analyst role. i learned a lot about the markets so no matter what people say i do not regret making this move over from a BB.

the issue is that my current start up firm is so unprofessional. they claim they are a hedge fund but they definitely don't operate like one. to be honest, it's actually a start up internet company that provides financial content. they operate as more of a trading firm so there is no real room for an analyst here. i have to teach myself everything (took IBI's financial modeling course) and my analysis isn't used by the firm for investment strategies- my work is simply to add content to our site.

long story short, i want to/should get out of here as soon as i land another job that i want. would like feedback on: 1) how much time/effort am i wasting by being at my start up internet/trading firm as an analyst 2) where can i go from here? i've been actively looking for junior analyst jobs (IB, research) for roughly a year. how come i can't get anything? wtf, i went to an ivy league with an acceptable gpa and degree in engineering.

Comments (11)

May 3, 2011

Have you considered business school?

May 3, 2011

Are you at Cani Financial Advisors?

May 3, 2011
sofib09:

Are you at Cani Financial Advisors?

no, not cani.

May 3, 2011
bleeve21:
sofib09:

Are you at Cani Financial Advisors?

no, not cani.

OK...your experience sounded like a scam shop down in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

But like everyone else already mentioned, networking is the way to go. Most employers see hiring as a pain in the ass, so if they can just ask one of their current employees if they know someone and go off of one of their recommendations, they'll go for that instead of running a formal hiring process. At least, this is how it works in the smaller to mid-sized shops.

May 3, 2011

It sounds as though your approach is misguided. The days of just applying to jobs online via sites such as efinancialcareers.com, are fading away. Your best bet is to go through recruiters, attend networking groups/functions, cold email, etc. You actually have to put forth a considerable amount of effort. Looking for a job is akin to having two jobs for those that are currently gainfully employed. This means that it should/will be exhaustive. For those that are afraid to network/reach out to people you will have a tough time.

"Cut the burger into thirds, place it on the fries, roll one up homey..." - Epic Meal Time

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May 3, 2011

Just to echo what vandremc said, networking is key. Not sure what exactly you are looking for but when you find a position that you want to target on a site like onewire, indeed, efinancialcareers, or a company website, you should use your contacts at that company and approach them through email going forward. Sure its exhaustive but your success rate will be much higher.

May 3, 2011

Dude, consider b school. get in deep on the GMATs, essays, and position yourself for a top school for the class of 2014. You'll be able to move into an associate role at a BB post MBA no problem.

Still I Rise

May 3, 2011

Bschool is a foolish move without a clear and sober analysis of your debt situation.

You should not go to B-school if you will graduate with student loans that would be difficult to manage if you wind up getting your old job/salary back. Spend a couple years working.

May 3, 2011

appreciate the prompt responses. i am looking into B school. until i actually get admitted, i would like to be at a job that adds value to my resume.

thanks for reminding me about the necessity of networking. i definitely agree that the traditional way of applying is no longer working, not in this market at least. i've been trying to network with alumni- hard to go past the "i'll forward your resume to some contacts" response. am i networking correctly? i feel like i am "dropping" contacts- a couple back and forths and things end there.

Best Response
May 3, 2011
bleeve21:

appreciate the prompt responses. i am looking into B school. until i actually get admitted, i would like to be at a job that adds value to my resume.

thanks for reminding me about the necessity of networking. i definitely agree that the traditional way of applying is no longer working, not in this market at least. i've been trying to network with alumni- hard to go past the "i'll forward your resume to some contacts" response. am i networking correctly? i feel like i am "dropping" contacts- a couple back and forths and things end there.

It's tough to say whether or not you're networking correctly because I can't observe your behavior. But I will say this. Networking is very much like hitting on women. The guys who are cool, composed, say all the right things are usually the ones that get invited into the apartment. If you're too pushy early, it can be you and a bottle of vaseline in your own apartment.

I'll give some insight into how I network. First, I always network. It's like a second language for me. I don't "name drop", "card drop" or any of that consistently, but I do have a pretty good personality and I always look for conversation with people. Second, the key to networking is to network before you need/want a job. That's what one of my mentors taught me. Every single contact in your phone, you should never go without speaking to at least once every 4-6 months (text is okay as well). That's my rule of thumb. Third, know EXACTLY what it is that you want to do, even if you don't know what you want to do. If I'm talking to a guy who runs a portfolio analysis team, I will find a correlation between my past work and what he does to build a link even if my background doesn't necessarily say that. You need to establish a connection. I let them talk as much about themselves as possible (another key), and quickly surmise how I can mold my work history to what he or she currently does. DISCLAIMER: You need to be very well read on damn near every aspect of finance in order to be very successful at this. I read the WSJ/Financial Times cover to cover every other day/every other 2 days. It's a fantastic habit and one that I recommend to people. It keeps you sharp and "employable."

The last thing I'll share is this. Until you a have a drink or eat a meal with a man/woman, there will always be that gray area you cannot break through in order attract people as true advocates on your behalf. At least that's been my experience. There is something about breaking bread with a person or having a drink that just opens a new gateway. When I meet a contact, we talk, exchange emails (< 1mth), talk again in 1-2 mths, then I do whatever I can to meet for coffee, drinks, food and just shoot the shit. We may not even talk about anything work/market related for more than 5 minutes. The rest of the time? Everything from sports, books, cars etc.
Post that, I gradually let them begin to ask about my career. If you need a job, that is the time to voice your desire to go an alternative route and then let them steer the conversation. You multiply this by a handful of prospective contacts, and you can see how this can be effective.

Sorry if this method is too long for you, but the people who can truly help you, you have to forge a relationship with. (I'm not talking about recruiters at all in this email. Some of them are great people, but I tend to treat most recruiters like one night stands) I hope this helps.

"Cut the burger into thirds, place it on the fries, roll one up homey..." - Epic Meal Time

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May 5, 2011
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