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Life after Wall Street

 Many brokers have left Wall Street after the recent investment banks collapse. Probably in the range of 300-500,000 people have seen their jobs disapperaring or on the brink of extinction, due to the recent bank losses. In this blog, will try to share what happened with those lives after they left Wall Street.

Of course it is not easy. When your average earning, as a trader, is around $113,000 per year, and when you are extremely specialized and find difficulties in even describing your job, remaining withoput it can be tough.

The web is now full with offers from those ex-rulers of the financial world. A facebook group called Wall Street Networking now features thousands of announcements – most of them for jobs related. And groups of ex-employees, like the LinkedIn ExecuNet, is awash with spontaneous jobs applications from former bank executives. Should you have a fantasy with an investment banker cooking or shopping for you and should you spare $50,000/year (+success bonuses) for this indulgence, you have plenty of meat to choose from.

Other ex-investment bankers are now competing shoulder to shoulder for the remaining jobs. An announcement for a hedge-found executive featured thousand of applications in one day, despite the “low” salary ($150,000 per year, a fraction of the amount which was asked previously). And this hedge fund job comes with undisputed claw-back clauses, by which if the person leaves the company in 1-2 years he/she will have to pay back all the benefits immediately.

Of course, for survival you got to do what you have to do. Our survey has revealed that among the most common sources of making money in this “transition period” is to sell some of your precious assets. You like it or not, if you want to pay your mortgage you might need to sell your designer handbags which now occupy useless shelf space in your closet at BagAmbition. Or you might interview for television and complain for your fate on public’s advertising money (although I wonder what you could sell in the ad breaks of such an interview – maybe cheap funeral services or sniper guns for your former bosses).

Other people try to laugh in the face of recession. Doitinvest has researched those fantastic boys and girls who still have the power to laugh in the face of the financial crisis…and yes, they are full of nice solutions. You can click ads to death on various sites and earn some money (although this is of course in the breach of any google, yahoo or msn terms of service for those advertisements). And risk to have your ip banned, but who cares when you are jobless? Other home-starte-able businesses include selling from home (over the internet or door-to-door) various stuff people don’t actually need, contests with prizes in sports cars (you have to take a second job to pay the fuel) which again raise some sites’ rankings on google for free, or train yourself in how to be a better online slave for others (in some sort of pyramidal game). Yes, the world is full of opportunities, especially for those who promote them via the social media sites.

Other people face the reality as such and turn to the basics of a daily life. Bllomber reports on Bryan Gunderson, a professional creating structured-equity investments until he lost his job at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Now he’s learning the subtleties of Purple Hooters.

After collecting his last severance check in August and getting no offers from more than 100 resumes he sent to friends, companies and employment agencies, the 25-year-old graduate of Loyola College in Baltimore decided to go to B-school — for bartending. And successful he was – since after attending the New York Bartending School in Manhattan he managed to find a lower paid job – but yet one who allows him to pay his mortgage and go ahead with his life.

At the final exam, students in bartending must mix 20 drinks in less than 10 minutes and pass a thorough written test. Very simillar in nature with what they did previously, indeed. And very different from the times when “Two years ago, there were days when I would go to Wall Street and meet up with two different headhunters and they would literally offer me more than 10 jobs apiece,”, as an interviewed .

So, after all, there is hope after the crisis. It’s important though not to loose your guts and accept that life, after all, is not only about a laptop, fancy-name financial instruments or a 24 hour-connected Blackberry.

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