Those years at MF Global can't even ensure you a retail job these days.
Former mid-level MF Global employee Dan Whiteford says he has yet to be offered a job after interviewing to be a cashier at Target, as well as an assembly line worker at Chrysler.
“You have to do what you have to do," Whiteford told the Wall Street Journal, who, as a mid-level employee, counts among the group of ex-workers from the now-bankrupt firm struggling to find jobs. After sending out 50 jobs applications a day, many MF Global employees have been told they’re either overqualified for the position they're seeking or not qualified enough.
CNNMoney estimated last year that only about one-quarter of MF Global's laid-off employees would find work in the first part of this year, a reality reflected by a "dour" holiday party former employees held last December. MF Global laid off 1,066 employees almost immediately after the firm collapsed last October.
It's not just MF Global workers that are suffering though; across the financial sector 500,000 have been cut in the 100 largest U.S. cities since 2008, according to Business Journals. Last September, Bank of America announced it would be cutting 30,000 jobs over the next five years alone.
For laid off employees at MF Global and other finance firms, the real trouble may be finding new jobs amid a shrinking industry. As a result, some are attempting to dive into the world of tech startups. One has even become a successful author by writing a parody of the financial crisis based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.
Others on Wall Street are trying to leave the industry by choice. In fact, around 20 percent of young adults that work in financial services are trying to switch careers, according to a recent survey.
Many aren’t fortunate enough to have a choice. One former MF Global employee says he’s had to dip into his kids' college fund while he plans his next move. And younger victims of layoffs at other Wall Street firms have had to move back in with their parents, taking big pay cuts if they are fortunate enough to find new jobs at all.
The experience isn’t limited to the banking sector either. Because most of the jobs created after the recession have been low-paying ones, according to a survey last year by the National Employment Law Project, laid-off professionals in a number of traditionally high-paying sectors are facing big pay cuts.