Tuesday, July 08, 2008

A First Hand Look at Wall Street Layoffs

The old saying goes that you never feel a recession until it hits you .....

I haven't seen this much good talent that has "become available" on the Street in quite a while. I am humbled by the level of talent that I have interviewed lately. I have recently had the privilege of having a number of "heavyweights" sitting across the interviewing table from me, including a number of people from competing firms who never thought that they would be ever be interviewing at my company.

If you are reading this blog, and you have recently been let go from your firm, then you may take some small solice in knowing that there are a lot of fantastic people out there in your position ... so, don't take the fact that you have been separated from your company as an insult on your level of talent and expertise. Unfortunately, this is the nature of Wall Street. We over-hire in good times and over-fire in bad times. If you have great technical skills, then there are many opportunities for you outside of the financial sector. Look at the list of interesting positions over at the Joel On Software site.

I have been through a number of these cycles.

I was developing trader workstations at Goldman Sachs in 1987 when the "Crash" hit on October 19, 1987. A large number of us were gathered around the Quotron terminal, laughing hysterically as the Dow dropped 500 points, watching our holdings evaporate. Little did we know that Oct 19 was one of the best buying opportunities in history.

My software company, Magma Systems, was going full steam in 1992 when that recession hit. To tell you the truth, I did not even notice the recession, because we were selling a niche product that did extremely well, but the economy recovered from these hiccups.

I was with my wife in Brazil and Argentina in 1998, at the height of various currency crises, and we recovered from this.

I was in New York on September 11, 2001, and this unfortunate day happened right in the middle of the DotCom bust. 2002 and 2003 were some of the worst years I could remember on Wall Street. We over-fired, and then starting in 2004, we were going like gangbusters again.

I view this as an opportunity. This is a period in which IT departments on Wall Street can assert themselves, and come up with really innovative products to support the business. From adversity comes opportunity. I am ever the optimist.

©2008 Marc Adler - All Rights Reserved.
All opinions here are personal, and have no relation to my employer.

1 comment:

Richard Jennings said...

I have found lots of high paying jobs on employment sites -


There are some $100 and $200K jobs posted on these sites!