Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Shifting Sands in An Uncertain World... What's Next? Bschool or Startups?

I had a great time with my colleagues tonight during dinner. Interesting and insightful conversations are times to treasure. Eventually we hit upon the current financial crisis. We discuss how this would affect the current workforce. All the layoffs on Wall Street and HP's announcement to cut 24,600 jobs over a three year period we assumed would spark a move towards increased entrepreneurship, business school applications and independent consultants. Some people might consider wholesale career changes and move into education or the nonprofit sector.

I remember when I was graduating from college in 1993. It was a tough economy and the job market was tight. Many of my friends looking for finance and corporate jobs were scrambling. Luckily I was seeking a position in government after graduation.

Then I recalled 2000 when the market crashed to end the dot com boom. Over the next few years, the market tighten to a worse degree than in 1993. Even the top five bschool graduates had difficulties getting jobs. Placement rates hovered around 50%-60% vs. the typical 95% rate after 6 months of graduation. Wall Street went through multiple rounds of cuts and people were rapidly moving out of Silicon Valley.

Now we will enter another difficult period, which could be the most severe I ever experienced in my life. Maybe the most severe that many of us will go through. I assume another major financial institution will collapse in the U.S. and a few overseas. There will be a restructuring of the global financial system and it will be messy.

I got to my hotel room and came across Fred Wilson's post, "Leave Wall Street, Join A Startup", which is a great move. I visited the "Leave Wall Street and Join A Startup" site after reading his post, but most of these jobs weren't relevant to the majority of people at those firms. Anyway, this crisis period might become a boom for some people professional and personally. I hope that most people will survive and do well through all of this.

More from TechCrunch, "The Mess On Wall Street: Four Trillion Dollars Down The Drain"

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