Welcome back. We trust you all had a good time and weren't too afflicted with the lurgies that emerged over the break. We're starting the working year on a cheering note, with the following advice on how to inveigle your way into a new position before Christmas comes around again.
1) Swallow your pride So you used to be something big in the bulge bracket? Get over it. If you hold out for a new role at a comparable institution, offering comparable status and comparable cash, you could find yourself hanging on until Father Christmas manifests himself to Kylie Minogue. Although some boutiques are clearly struggling, 2009 will remain all about smaller players picking up the castoffs from bigger competitors. Go there, or go nowhere fast.
2). Open your mind Jobs are not going to be easy to come by in the next 12 months. In order to find a new one you will need to be creative. Think very laterally about how you can apply your talents. Unearth roles and business opportunities that others out of the market won't have thought of. For example, you could be helping redundant hedge fund managers to trade from home, or looking at growth areas like derivatives valuation. Failing that, you could always switch to stand up comedy.
3). Cut your costs Needless to say, it will be a lot harder to be flexible about your career aspirations if your outgoings are predicated on a six figure net income. Be strict with yourself. According to this month's Tatler magazine, trophy wives are having their allowances cut. Less disruptively, the cost of schooling can be reduced by choosing institutions like Christ's Hospital, which charge fees in line with income.
4). Remember your friends As we noted at the end of last year, some people out of the market appear to be being reemployed on a contract basis at quite acceptable daily rates. These jobs are not advertised. Their existence is transmitted by word of mouth amongst acquaintances.
5). Do your due diligence When you haven't worked for several months, it's easy to clutch at whatever comes your way. However, if the role you're applying for hasn't actually been signed off, you could waste a lot of time for no good reason. The same applies if you join a non-core team which is being downsized. One unfortunate reader last year lost three jobs in a row.
6). Keep your chin up You may not yet have the job you aspire to, but you still have your health/family/sanity/Ferrari. Failing that, there's always the 2012 Olympics to look forward to.