Robert A. Rosmarin of New Rochelle waits for the Manhattan bound Metro-North train at the New Rochelle train station on Dec. 29, 2010. (Mark Vergari/The Journal News)
Editor’s Note: Robert A. Rosmarin of New Rochelle is one of six bloggers working with The Journal News and LoHud.com as part of our Jobless Recovery series, which began in Sunday’s print editions. The 12-part series examines the job market and the impact unemployment has had on the Lower Hudson Valley. As the region climbs out of the recession, some sectors and businesses are expected to grow. Read stories of survival and learn about opportunities over the next 11 Sundays in The Journal News. Read more at LoHud.com/joblessrecovery.
Robert A. Rosmarin
I agreed to this participate in this project as I know what’s it like to be unemployed. I have worked in the Financial Services sector of Wall Street for almost 20 years. Having been the victim of layoffs several times in this sector, I know it’s rough finding employment. Back in the “old days” you were merited based on how hard you worked. In today’s world, it’s about having a piece of paper stating you went to college for 4 years. With the fall of several large financial giants (Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, Washington Mutual, etc.) there have been thousands of people displaced and left jobless. They have had to rely on tapping their life savings, refinancing their mortgages, using money from their 401(k) plans and borrowing from family and friends to make ends meet.
In my last full time position, I was employed for five-and-a-half years as a Pricing Manager at AllianceBernstein. I started there as a Pricing Analyst and worked my way up to Assistant Vice President. On Dec. 9, 2009 I was unexpectedly laid off as my position was “eliminated.” The severance package wasn’t anything impressive. It equated to 12 weeks including a measly $12,000 bonus before taxes. I felt hurt and cheated given that I busted my back for this company for five-and-a-half years. I wasn’t given any fair warning from my manager that I was in risk of losing my job. I confided in him whenever I had a concern or issue. I had known this man for over 10 years as he was my manager when I worked at the Chase Manhattan Bank. In the end this is what I got.
So my search for work began again. I filed for unemployment benefits as I knew that it might take a while to find a job. I sent out my resume whenever I saw a position that might fit my skill-set and experience. I went on interview after interview only to be shot down as I don’t have a college degree There was a woman at one employment agency who told me, “If you don’t have a college degree, you will never have a chance of ever getting a job.” In today’s world she was right. Looking at statistical data, people with a four year degree can’t even find a job. If they do, it’s entry level. You need a master’s degree or a Ph.D. to get a job making decent money.
I was out of work for six months when a former co-worker called and asked if I was still looking for work. He set me up with a temporary position at the company he’s with presently. It was something that I could put on my resume and keep it fresh. The only positions they did have were entry-level and nothing in my range. I was better off working as a temp as it paid more. The downside was there were no benefits. So I worked the job for six months until it ended on the last day of December 2010. I have been actively searching for work well over the past year. I have been on several interviews but without the college, it’s tough. You are competing with two dozen other people out there for the same job. It’s a dog-eat-dog situation. If an employer interviewed a younger person with a degree knowing they can pay them less as opposed to hiring someone that’s well seasoned and have to pay them more, guess which one they’d chose? It’s all about saving dollars and cents in today’s economy.
Corporate America has no governing rules. They can go to the government and ask for a handout as they did when the mortgage crisis began in 2008. They were able to borrow money and then pay it back. What did they do in return? They outsource jobs to third world countries as it’s cheaper to employ people overseas. White-collar jobs have no security as they are not unionized. The government does nothing to penalize these large corporations either. The government says the recession is over but clearly the number of unemployed people don’t lie.
Every once in a while I will have a friend or former co-worker pass me a new contact at an employment agency I also return the favor when I can. Recently I gave one of my former staff members at AllianceBernstein a lead on a great job and he got the position. He starts his new job today and I’m happy for him. I believe that one good deed deserves another. Maybe I will get some exposure by doing this article and blog, maybe I won’t I don’t expect my phone to be ringing off the hook and my email filled with dozens of job offers. If I can get a couple of good leads and get something I will be happy.
About the writer
Robert A. Rosmarin of New Rochelle has had several jobs as a price analyst on Wall Street despite never having gone to college. He was laid off last year from AllianceBernstein and then got a temporary job that expired on New Year’s Eve.