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Syed also runs a “passion project” called Wall Street to Silicon Alley that holds quarterly panel discussions during which finance professionals who made transitions to the tech industry share their experiences.
“There is no single way to make the pivot,” he says. He high-tailed it away from the city to Charlotte, NC, where the cost of living is lower and he and his family could live off their savings until he figured out his next step.
He warns that unless you are 100-percent committed, you probably won’t be successful.
“Explain why you want to change industries in your cover letter, at networking events and in interviews, because you will be asked,” says Dan Schawbel, bestselling author of “Me 2.0” (Kaplan) and partner at Midtown advisory Future Workplace.
He also didn’t get callbacks on interviews because he had trouble articulating how his Wall Street experience applied to tech.While he considered buying a franchise or becoming a home inspector, Juhasz ultimately picked up a small vinyl cutter and began making signs in his garage.Today he owns Signpost, a thriving 10-year-old sign and graphics business that creates vehicle wraps, banners and commercial signage.But then came algorithmic trading, and he began to see his colleagues lose their jobs. Sure, the stock market keeps rising to new heights, but job growth hasn’t followed in kind; in fact, there are 11,900 fewer jobs in the industry now than there were in 2007, according to the annual Wall Street report from the New York State Comptroller’s office.
Out of the 350 traders at one of his former employers, La Branche & Co., there were 26 left when Juhasz was recruited to work for another firm. Not only that, but post-2008 financial-crisis regulations have also done away with enormous bonuses, while artificial intelligence and machine learning are taking over some of the workload that has always belonged to humans.Success was elusive until someone at a Meetup-type event introduced him to the CEO of a startup who had also worked on Wall Street earlier in his career, and Syed made inroads.