Layoffs are hitting Wall Street. Here's what you can do to land on your feet if you lost your gig.

It’s almost Friday, and thank God for that. Dan DeFrancesco checking in from what is a solemn New York after some brutal job cuts (more on that in a bit). 

Before we get into it, a story I recently highlighted on someone adding five inches to their height via surgery was quite the hit. So I’d like to flag this piece detailing the risks that come with leg-lengthening surgery, according to two surgeons.

On tap, we’ve got stories on when bankers can expect to hear about their year-end bonuses, a new class of partners at an $17 billion hedge fund, and a rundown of the best places to work (in case that’s suddenly relevant to you). 

But first, dark days on Wall Street.

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A man pauses outside of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on January 15, 2016 in New York City.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

1. Layoffs loom large.

There’s no sugarcoating it. Yesterday sucked.

Two of the most high-profile firms on Wall Street — Goldman Sachs and BlackRock — made job cuts that impacted thousands of workers. 

The cuts at Goldman were deeper, affecting more than 3,000 employees, or about 6.5% of the bank’s global headcount. But that doesn’t lessen the blow for the roughly 500 roles eliminated at BlackRock, which represents less than 3% of its global workforce.

Insider’s Hayley Cuccinello, Carter Johnson, and Emmalyse Brownstein got reactions from some of those who were let go.

And it’s not set to get any better. 

The big US banks will begin reporting Q4 and year-end earnings on Friday, and the news isn’t expected to be good. As a result, we could see even more layoffs in the coming weeks. 

All of that is to say, after a good run of things on Wall Street, the tide is starting to turn. 

So what do you do now? I called a Wall Street recruiter to pick their brain on advice they’d give to those who just lost their jobs. And while this person’s focus is more on the buy side, I think the general advice they provide still applies across the industry. 

Whether you’ve just lost your gig, or are worried you could be next on the chopping block, here are some tips:

1. Find your niche

No one wants a generalist these days, the person said. Expertise is what firms are looking for now, so lean into any specific areas you have a background in. Play up any niche talent you might have. And if you don’t have one, work on getting one. 

There are subsectors of subsectors these days, so it doesn’t hurt to be able to go deep on a topic. There is a lot more benefit to knowing a lot about a little than a little about a lot. 

So don’t worry about being esoteric. It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re limiting your options. In fact, you might be improving them. 

2. If you’re young, consider going back to school

Have you been regretting not getting that secondary degree? Now might be your chance. 

While it’s true some application windows have closed for business schools, there is still time to apply.

I’m not here to debate the value, or lack thereof, of getting an MBA. But if you’ve just lost your job and don’t have a ton of viable options, that could be a smart path for your to take, this person said. 

For everything you could possible want to know about getting an MBA — from weighing the pros and cons to how to put together the best application — check out our ultimate guide.

3. Get back in as quick as you can

This might be the hardest bit of advice to swallow, but it could also be the most important.

As appealing as it might seem to use this as a way to take some time off, that’s probably not a good idea. 

Maybe that means consulting for companies as you look for a full-time gig. That’s not an ideal situation, but at least it keeps your foot in the door in the industry. 

And while you might also view this as a chance to relocate to a so-called Zoomtown, understand that might be a tough sell for your new employer, this person added.

Finance firms, for the most part, want people back in the office, this person said. Getting used to a WFH setup will only make it harder to get back in the swing of things when you do land a new gig.  

For more on BlackRock’s job cuts, click here.

And click here for more on the reactions inside Goldman Sachs at the job cuts.

In other news:


2. More bad news for bankers: Bonus season is here, and it’s going to be brutal. The nation’s biggest banks are set to announce year-end bonuses. We’re got a rundown of when Bank of America, Citi, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, Morgan Stanley, and Wells Fargo will let staffers know. Here are the important dates.

3. Balyasny mints a new class of partners. Finally, some good news. This newsletter was starting to be a drag. The $17 billion hedge fund added seven new partners in what is only the third time the firm has expanded its partnership. See if you owe anybody a congratulatory email.

4. Wells Fargo is pulling back from mortgages. The bank had previously hinted at plans to reduce its footprint in mortgages, which was once a key revenue driver for the firm. More on why Wells wants out of mortgages.

5. You’ll never guess what we found under the couch cushions. FTX has managed to recover $5 billion in assets. Meanwhile, getting charged with wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering hasn’t done wonders for Sam Bankman-Fried’s social life.

6. Wall Street did not have a good showing on a list of the best places to work. Big banks were nowhere to be found on Glassdoor’s list of the top 20 employers according to US workers. But there were some familiar names that did make it. Check out the entire list here.

7. Wanted: Someone to run Citigroup’s wealth business. Jim O’Donnell, the bank’s global wealth-management chief, is changing roles as the bank looks for a new head, The Wall Street Journal reports. More on Citi’s leadership shuffle.

8. Inside the Dell family dynasty. The PC company Michael Dell founded made his surname a household name. Here’s how some of his family members have followed in his footsteps in the tech and venture investing worlds, including one former Goldman partner.

9. The Wall Street Journal is making some cuts. Layoffs are expected to hit the paper, making it the latest media company to be hit by the layoff bug after a difficult 2022 for the industry thanks to a pull-back of advertising and rough economic conditions. Here’s what we know so far.

10. This is not a drill: Girl Scouts’ cookie season is upon us. And before you sign up for a pallet of Thin Mints or Samoas, you might want to read up on a brand new flavor. More on the newest enemy to your New Years’ diet.

Curated by Dan DeFrancesco in New York. Feedback or tips? Email, tweet @dandefrancesco, or connect on LinkedIn. Edited by Jeffrey Cane (tweet @jeffrey_cane) in New York and Hallam Bullock (tweet @hallam_bullock) in London.