Ok everyone … this is “straight from the horse’s mouth”. Caroline and I recently coached Michael, who was laid off from a top financial services firm about 5 months ago. He just landed a great job with another top financial services firm, closer to home, and exactly in his sweet spot. I asked him to describe exactly what he did in his own words because I wanted to share it with you …. read on!
I was laid off in early November so from that time until after the New Year I did a lot of networking and research. I revised my resume, went to a few events and got familiar with all of the websites. Given the time of the year there wasn’t much traction until the middle of January (as to be expected). During this time I had to figure out what I wanted to do.
For me, I looked into working in the finance department of a non-financial services company, management consulting, and technology sales. I tried to be broad and stay away from Wall Street but my goal was to go into private wealth management.
Toward the end of January I came to the realization that unless I was 100% focused on what I wanted to do my interest and passion wouldn’t come through in what was going to be competitive interviews. At that point I said I’m going to exclusively focus on PWM…regardless of the market, what friends say, what CNBC says will be a hot area, etc.
From then on it was a matter of making a simple spreadsheet and logging every call, e-mail, and social meeting. This forces you to do something everyday. In addition, you need to do all the research you can. I knew granular items on how each firm was different, read through profiles on the web of the successful people, knew what training and tests were necessary, etc.
I ultimately got my job through networking. I worked at Smith Barneyin 1998 and I reached out to the VP I worked for and who had transferred to UBS. I found him through searching on the FINRA website which firm held his series 7 registration. The last time we spoke was about 3 years back and he heard of a spot and referred me onward.
1. Have a good “story” or elevator speech
2. If you run out of contacts you’re not looking hard enough. There are tons of companies and people to call on. I read a Bloomberg article, reached out to the journalist whose e-mail address is on the bottom, and he put me in contact with someone. I painted a room while I was off and found out that Benjamin Moore is headquartered in NJ and had two open finance roles.
3. Researching and networking is one continuous loop. The more you know about an industry the better you’ll know where to find the people and when you do make a connection they’ll be more apt to help since you’re “on the ball.”
Hope this helps!!
Filed under: career coaching, elevator speech, Financial Services, Goldman Sachs, Laid off, networking, organized search, Wall Street, Wealth Management