Or should I say ex-Lehman employees? Assuming that most of you haven’t been fired yet, I’ll drop the ex. I know that a couple of days back, I wished for your company’s demise. That had nothing to do with you. I wished for that because I thought that was the right thing to be done. And the right thing has been done.
I know that you are out of a job, or will soon be without one. And that there are millions of Lehman people out on the street now, looking for a job. You may soon be joined by some people from Merrill, so you may not be alone. However, this is not the kind of thing where one appreciates company – after all that would reduce your chances of getting a job early.
I’m told that a number of you are desperate to quickly get into other jobs. I even heard that some of you are willing to take fantastic pay cuts in order to get employed again. I also heard that some of you are planning to apply to jobs that have nothing remotely to do with banking. i would advise you against doing things like this.
I know some of you have mortgages to pay. Some of you have families to take care of. And by embracing the American culture, you don’t have enough stowed away to take care of this. Some of you may not be allowed to legally live where you are currently leaving unless you find another job soon. Yes, if you are in this kind of a situation, you would do well to find a job early. However, keep in mind that whenever you are looking out, all that matters is your last paycheque. I figured out the hard way a few months back that the job market is Markovian. It doesn’t care for what you used to do. So if you end up taking a pay cut now, you might have to live on a different salary scale for the rest of your life.
However, a large number of you may not belong to the above category. You might have some savings stashed away, or you wont’ have mortgages to repay, and you aren’t really desperate to retain your visa. If you fit this category, I would advise you to hold out. I know you are upset now, but don’t panic. Don’t be in a hurry to find a job. Don’t sell out. Unless there are more large-scale layoffs in the near future – with Merrill having been sold, the chances of this aren’t too high – the job situation is going to get better with time.
Remember that once you are in a job, you will never get a break. You might get your statutory three weeks of privileged leave, but you will never find an opportunity to take a longish break. You will never get an opportunity for a sabbatical. To take some time off and do what you want. Yes, personal experience tells me that it’s really tough to chill when you don’t know where your next cash flow will come from. But given your experience in what was considered to be the best bond house in the world, it shouldn’t be that tough to find another job, when the supply in the market isn’t as bad as it is now. I would still advise you to take a short break, and breathe, and introspect, and ask yourself all the questions you haven’t been able to ask because you didn’t have the time.
You might think I’m crazy to be telling you this, but I think this is what will work best for you. Yes, there is a small chance you might get a good enough job paying well enough soon enough. If you hit upon this, then, you must count yourself lucky, and take it. However, there is a good chance that you may not be able to do this. All I’m saying is that in that situation you shouldn’t panic.
Just one last thing. If you are from Lehman, and are interested in working for a quant-based algorithmic trading hedge fund trading in Indian equity and equity derivatives markets, and based out of in Gurgaon, let me know. Drop in a comment with your email ID. Look up on this page, and you find a tab saying “Contact”. Click on that and you’ll get a form. fill it up including your email id and submit it. You might find someone responding to you in a few days.
Thanks and reegards,