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06-22-2023 Newsletter: Navigating Layoffs in Investment Banking


Even PE associates are getting let go

We’ve had dozens of laid off investment banking analysts and associates reach out to us for how to navigate a tough job market. More surprisingly, a handful of private equity associates have also reached out about being laid off or being put on performance plans in a tough market. From Goldman Sachs to Morgan Stanley to Citi and beyond, it seems like even the biggest banks are being impacted by reduced deal flow. Below are 7 steps to take if you’ve been laid off.

Laid off recently? Let’s talk.


1. Leave on a Positive Note

Wall Street is a small industry. There’s no point in getting mad or holding grudges with your employer. The best thing to say is “thank you for the opportunity” to folks you worked with. Try to find 1-2 people at the firm who can advocate for you during reference calls or point you in the right direction with job referrals.


2. Calculate Your Runway

Ideally your firm has given you severance to the tune of 2-4 months. Some firms will also continue to pay for health insurance for a couple of months post separation. If you firm hasn’t done this, we recommend tactfully requesting them to do so. Next, calculate your monthly expenses and how much you have saved up to determine your runway. Treat recruiting like your full time job and you should be able to convert an offer within 3 months.


3. Update Your Resume

You probably haven’t worried about updating your resume since starting your banking job. Now is the right time to take a step back and update your resume for all the deals and projects you worked on. If you need help getting started, try this experienced analyst resume template.


4. Identify Long Term Career Goals

You made it into investment banking, maybe with exit opportunities in mind. Now is a good time to re-evaluate what you want from your career in the next 10 years. Do you want to be a career banker?

Or maybe you feel you have enough experience and want to jump into an investing role at a hedge fund, private equity firm, or VC fund. Even still, your banking skillsets are transferrable to working in a variety of business functions, including corporate development, business development, strategic finance, or FP&A. All of these options have a tradeoff between long term compensation and lifestyle, so think through what you want carefully.


5. Reach Out to Headhunters and Start Networking

If you’ve never spoken to headhunters before, now is a good time to get acquainted. If you’re already spoken with headhunters in the past, maybe about PE recruiting or otherwise, now is a good time to have a “reset” conversation to give them an update on your recruiting needs.

It is super important to go into these conversations prepared, especially after having been laid off. You do not want to give the impression you were let go due to subpar performance. Many analysts are getting laid off due to a bad economy, lackluster deal flow, and bloated teams from over hiring during the bull run. Any detail you can add to your situation, such as your entire team being let go or your MD leaving the bank that support the macro factors is helpful, and any factors in your control such as positive reviews or references would help your case.


6. Master Deal Walkthroughs

Once you have all your deal experience on your resume, take a step back to review all the deals you’ve worked on. When working on a live deal, it’s hard to synthesis everything you’re working on to view the bigger picture. You’re often just focused on executing the task at hand by tight deadlines. Deal experience is crucial. While recruiting for internships or on-cycle recruiting relies on aptitude and your potential for growth, experienced hire recruiting relies on what you already bring to the table TODAY.


7. Capitalize on Opportunities

Prepare yourself for success by conducting mock interviews and fine-tuning your skills, ensuring you make the most of any opportunities that come your way.

If you’re currently facing layoffs or seeking assistance with your job search, our team of OfficeHours coaches is here to help. We offer personalized guidance and support to help you navigate the challenges of the job market. Fill out this short form here to schedule an introductory call with one of our coaches (subject to availability).

Remember, despite the current market conditions, opportunities still exist for those who are well-prepared and proactive. Stay positive, remain focused, and take the necessary steps to ensure your career remains on track.



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