One of the safest and high-paying jobs on Wall Street is now turning into a nightmare for many. Wall Street is experiencing some of the most brutal job cuts since the 2008 recession. Trading businesses have been affected the most. Banking revenues have taken a huge hit because of a failing and rather depressing IPO market. With the first quarter of 2016 being overall nightmarish, the financial reports are claiming the livelihoods of the very employees who have worked hard for the company. Every major bank name from Bank of America to Goldman Sachs are announcing massive layoff plans.
Bank of America Braces for Big Cuts
Uneasiness spreads as Bank of America announced plans of laying off higher-than-usual employees in both its capital markets and investment banking operations. The last few months have been devastating for the financial health of the company and the results have finally taken a toll on its employees. Officials have not yet confirmed the number of employees who will be handed pink slips, but rumors are that the job cuts will be more than 15 percent. This is much higher than the usual 5 percent of employees that are typically fired annually in investment banking.
Besides poor financials, the company has also made some drastic structural changes that eliminate the need for several job postings. The regulations have also become tougher and the company has prominently shifted toward electronic trading, again eliminating the need for manpower.
Credit Suisse Enters Next Round of Layoffs
When Credit Suisse recently cut 4,000 jobs as part of its major restructuring, we thought this was it. Unfortunately, the bank announced that it would be laying off an additional 2,000 employees as part of its cost-cutting plan to recover from the financial slump in investment banking revenues. Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s second-largest bank, hopes to save roughly $821 million with the job cuts. Most of the job cuts will take place in New York and London.
Chief Executive Officer Tidjane Thiam was on a high-defensive mode as the bank reported a loss of $311 million in the first quarter. “I’m aware that I’m not very popular right now,” he said. “It’s not my job to be popular. I’m trying to do the right thing.” Alongside the 36 percent cuts in staff bonuses in the Global Markets division, he announced that he also asked for his 2015 bonus to be slashed by 40 percent.
Swiss Bank UBS Also Bows into Pressure
UBS recently announced that it would be laying off 300 employees out of its estimated 5,000-strong staff working in several front and back office positions. By slashing down 6 percent of its investment banking jobs in Europe, the company hopes to recover profitability by cutting costs.
Goldman Sachs Latest to Join the Fire Brigade
The latest bank to announce job cuts is Goldman Sachs. The recent IPO drought has taken a toll of trading and investment jobs at Goldman Sachs. The company warned that instead of slashing 43 jobs that were initially thought to be redundant, now it will be cutting 109 jobs. The layoffs will take place starting May through the end of 2016. The New York-based banking giant intends to terminate 5 percent of its fixed-income staff.
CEOs are now trying to cut costs by cutting heavy compensation packages and limiting the number of people getting hired. Seldom do we hear that banks are expanding and increasing their headcount.
You’re Fired: A Survival Guide
1. Stay Calm: Do not panic and do not go into self-pity. It’s easier to think through the crisis if you do not panic.
2. Don’t Become Bitter: Don’t do or say anything bitter about your company. Protect your reputation and don’t be hostile.
3. Don’t Agree to Severance Terms Immediately: Companies will rush you into signing exit documents but do not sign them on the spot. Go through them with a lawyer maybe and try to negotiate for a better deal for yourself.
4. File for Unemployment: Make yourself eligible for the benefits.
5. Cut Down on Expenses: Your dependable monthly paycheck is halted. Cut down on expenses and focus on savings.
LinkedIn Basics When You Get Laid Off
1. Update your headline: The phrase that comes directly under your name needs to be updated. If you lose your job, you cannot put in that title, so change it to what you see yourself as. Be clever, but also project sincerity.
2.–Update personal info: Change your work contact info to your personal one. Change your picture too if need be.
3. Update work history: As hard as it is, put an end date to your previous job.
4.–Refresh your summary: Think positively – think of this as a new opportunity to portray yourself. Make your description a lot more powerful and explore other avenues.
5. Expand your network: Add connections, but don’t add anybody and everybody – it will only look desperate. Use this time to connect with prospective employers and colleagues. A good connection is the reference you can get.
By Priyam Vora