The headline – Need A Job, Will Take Anything – in a Wall Street discussion forum grabbed my attention and piqued my curiosity.
I wasn’t looking for the site, I stumbled across it while researching something else. But there is a payoff towards the end of this thread I think you might find interesting.
The author is an early career finance professional, two years out of college, with some work experience with the federal government. We’ll put all of the direct quotes from this thread, both from the author and those who respond, in italics.
- I need a job badly and at this point I’m willing to do just about anything. I’ve been out of work for a year and I don’t know what to do – every single one of my strategies has flopped. So long as it’s legal I’m willing to consider just about anything. Otherwise I’m going to try and get a job at McDonalds – I figure it’s better than sending out more resumes to black hole career sites. If anyone has any leads let me know.
There were several earnest responses.
- PM me with a quick overview of your background or post here (two sentences, one education, one work). Depending on your background I think I can at least get someone above and beyond HR to put eyeballs on your resume, the rest will be up to you.
The response from the author.
- Education: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 3.5 GPA triple major in math, stat and econ. 180 hours of coursework (120 is a normal course load). National Foundation Fellowship in game theory as well as a consulting position in the department of statistics.
- Federal Reserve: I worked for two years as a research analyst at the Federal Reserve in the Emerging Markets Section of the International Finance division. I put together presentations that my economists wrote that went to the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee). I also forecast GDP for Emerging Market economies as well as maintained and wrote some of the excel structure that kept my sections forecast programs running. Did ad-hoc research during down times with other section economists.
Then there were several responses along these lines.
- What the ____. How do you still not have a job?
The author again.
- I know everyone probably thinks I’m omitting something or maybe have some serious hidden flaw, but I just think I suck at job hunting. It’s sort of like prom all over again, except with people who wear loafers and cufflinks.
A couple of posters then went back to his work experience and asked what happened to the fed job, and how he managed to go an entire year without any work.
- My Fed job was a two year term job. Undergrads are cheap and they rotate them out so people don’t stay there forever (government jobs can create situations where people will retire at their desks – there were some obvious abuses they were determined not to see repeated). As far as going a year without work, it’s been a comedy (or tragedy) of errors. I could tell you stories.
- Anyway, at this point being out of work for a year has essentially made me unhirable, I’m afraid. This is sort of my last appeal before I go and get any retail job I can find. I don’t know what to do other than go into Manhattan and asking door to door if anyone is hiring. It’s all I’ve got left.
After one poster admonished him for using the online site as his “personal search function,” he then suggested he 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat.
He also asked if the author was getting interviews.
- If there’s a way to apply for a job online I’ve done it. I’ve linked to and sent private messages to tons of people in the financial community on linkedin. No dice. Although I now have a 1000 friends or so which is crazy. I’ve had about 12-15 interviews I think. I’ve lost count. That includes phone interviews but not necessarily phone discussions. My last set of interviews were 4 2 hour interviews after which they said they didn’t want me. My favorite was that the interviewer wanted to know who my ‘hero’ was as if this were some sort of qualification for a job.
This goes on and on for three solid pages. This next response, the last one we’ll highlight, is sort of the kicker though. You’re going to love this person’s advice.
- Wow. sucks man. Sorry. Economy must be pretty bad. That said, you have a solid background. Only thing to say is persevere and keep looking. Same thing happened to a friend of mine, graduated from Oxford with PPE but could not find a job. Worked at a bookstore for two years before he got a break. Works at the IMF now. Keep at it.
- Temp work is your best bet. Something relevant will surely be found.
And several others responded similarly. So on May 30th, in a sea of finance professionals and Wall Street money grubbers, the best advice for this earnest, eager, young professional looking for work was to go to a staffing agency. Cool.
Oh, one more thing. They also suggested he take the “Looking for work, will do anything” line off of his LinkedIn profile. Kind of desperate sounding, huh?!