Wanna sell cupcakes?

Layoffs in financial market hurt city BY HEIDI EVANS DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER Sunday, September 14th 2008, 4:00 AM Joshua Persky gets his résumé out there. Stapleton/Reuters Joshua Persky gets his résumé out there. For five years, Jessi Walter was a Wall Street warrior, clocking 12-hour days at Bear Stearns, traveling to Europe and working on billion-dollar deals. Until June 2, when she got laid off. “I remember watching the news on TV and learned that the company was going bankrupt and JPMorgan Chase was going to buy us,” Walter said. “I couldn’t believe it.” Once a fresh-faced vice president for credit strategy at Bear Stearns making six figures, Walter, 27, is now making cupcakes. Rough times on Wall Street have put more than 76,000 workers in the financial services industry out of a job, experts say. And with Lehman Brothers on the brink of collapse, another 12,000 New York City employees could join their ranks. So what are these once high-flying financial whizzes doing now? Some are still looking for work. Others have embarked on new careers, hoping they can build back or do even better. For Walter, who lives in Greenwich Village, it meant starting her own business called Cupcakekids! (cupcakekids.com), teaching 2- to 16-year-olds how to cook, bake and eat healthy. “It’s kind of a big leap of faith, an adventure,” said Walter, who has sunk $20,000 of her savings so far into the fledgling company. “I’ve always loved kids and food, and so I put two of my passions together,” she explained. Walter began doing birthday parties around the city and will start teaching classes and hosting cooking parties at P*ong restaurant on W. 10th St. later this month. She is also talking to schools about bringing her classes onsite, and plans to start her own line of kids’ cookware and recipe books. “I miss the camaraderie of always being around people in the office and bouncing ideas off them, but it’s been a refreshing chance to do something new,” said Walter. “I also get to wear jeans and T-shirts, no more suits.” Others who have been given the pink slip are still struggling. Laid-off investment banker Joshua Persky was forced to give up his upper East Side apartment with a pool and doorman and eventually move in with his sister after he got axed last Christmas. He became world famous when, at the urging of his wife, he walked up and down Park Ave. wearing a sandwich board that read “Experienced MIT Grad for Hire.” “It hurts to be laid off,” said Persky, 48, whose wife took their two small kids to Omaha to live with her parents until he finds a new job. “I liked the work. I liked the paycheck.” Although he got a ton of publicity, and received hundreds of e-mails and calls from around the world after his human advertisement, Persky’s job search has been slow and frustrating. “Meetings take weeks to arrange,” he wrote on his blog Oracleofny.com. “In the current environment, no one is in a rush to hire.” http://www.nydailynews.com/money/2008/09/14/2008-09-14_layoffs_in_financial_market_hurt_city.html

nice article. but should we feel bad for this persky guy? he has money in the bank