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GUEST COMMENT: I had the misfortune to graduate in 2008 and am now trapped in a rubbish job

Hi I graduated in 2008 having studied Economics at a top 10 university and achieved a 2.1 classification.

I was unable to find a traditional graduate scheme, so took a job with UBS in an operations function (derivatives docs/reporting) and was there for 18 months.

I loved the job and it gave me great experience. However, UBS wanted to outsource my role. Therefore, I left for another graduate scheme at a massive finance firm where I’ve now been working for 6 months.

I hate this job and have had a few medical issues which meant I failed some or the internal exams (the company showed no flexibility)/ They have also announced that some of us may not go onto the next rotations as the business is cutting headcount.

Therefore, come February I could be out of a job and I don’t know what to do.

I don’t want to do another graduate training scheme and am looking at operations roles on companies’ websites. However, I can’t seem to find anything as they all ask for specific experience. I’m part CFA qualified and am flexible regarding both job and industry. I’d really appreciate some advice.

This article is adapted from a Question in our answers area.

Comments (13)

  1. hi
    if you are flexible and part cfa wualified, have you tried any research firms? i know bloomberg is recruiting but then you shud have foriegn languages/ most of the investment research firms do recruit on adhoc basis. i been unemployed for a while and all i did was google small-mid cap companies and do cold calling talk nicely and tell them what you can do etc etc… that will help you atleast to get an interview… and then on keep in touch with them and take it further, thats what i did and landed up ina premier research company as a research analyst. probably try to see the other end of a problem and then you will be relaxed and regain the lost confidence
    please dont loose hopes, bad times dont last long its just testing times and dont loose your patience. pray to god relax and have a healthy outlook for your bright future
    good luck

  2. I was in your exact shoes, graduated fall of 2008, grad scheme with bulge bracket city bank, layoffs and reduced head count had me out of a job, returned to north america and am now working for a public insititution running a USD15bln fixed income bond portfolio. Best thing that ever happened to me, live a much more balanced existence, make six not 7 or 8 figures but am very happy. Gym at lunch, time for the girlfriend, yoga, cooking, jazz etc. Everything happens for a reason. Most city starters are so consumed with success and getting paid they forget that this life is about happiness and balance. Hang in there but give some thought to what it is you really want out of life and i think you will find it is not a ferrari and a chelsea mansion after all.

  3. If you like Operations work then focus on building credientials in that area (project management, IT, etc.) CFA shows lack of career focus. don’t be discouraged by the environment – I graduated into the dot com recession and , yes, it does F up your career trajectory for awhile, but the key is the keep pushing on. Eventually things will get right on track. Certainly, it’s more fun to graduate into a boom environment, but hey that’s life. At least you wont have that entitled complex that so many kids who graduated in the middle noughts have.

  4. go into recruitment?

  5. … said this before, put your CV up on this website, you should get offers within a couple weeks.

  6. .Become a bum and be drunk all day. This will lead to a balanced life without Ferrari and chelsea mansion for sure.

  7. are you at RBS ?

  8. @billyboy No one should have to do that.

  9. stop cribbing .. there are plenty of people who started way before you and had to switch roles during the crisis 3-4 times .. some are still sitting unemployed .. times have changed so stop moaning ..

  10. Sarah, this is not fair, u cudnt manage ur daily quote of 5 stories, so u took a shortcut of publishing a sad story .. next time just tell us how difficult is it to manage 5 stories a day and we would of course understand ..

  11. The simple answer is you are clueless and suck. I graduated in 2008 with zero internships/experience. After extreme focus for nearly 3 years, and 100s of applications, 10s of interviews, and daily networking/searching, i’m about to start in the FO at a T1 hedge fund. Stop making excuses – decide what you want to do, and pursue it relentlessly.

  12. ermm what the heck is part CFA qualified?? If you are a CFA candidate you should know that your either completely qualified, exam qualified rr a CFA candidate……theres no such thing as part qualified.

  13. This is a wonderfully uplifting story of how , when faced with adversity, the strength of the human spirt takes over. You must pick yourself up, dust yourself off…

    …and join the queue made up of all those lost souls wondering what the hell you are doing with your life!

    Welcome to the real world!!

    PS when you are bored of queuing give me a call…. number on application

    or if you are feeling really brave?… go off and fight in Afghanistan for a few years. That should cheer you up

    Desperate headhunter Reply

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