A man in a pinstriped suit, blue button-down shirt, and a silk tie stood in front of the Charles Schwab building at 50th Street and Park Avenue. He looked like any other investment banker on his way to lunch, except for the sign he had draped on his shoulders: "Experienced MIT Graduate for Hire." Joshua Persky is unemployed.
"It's a very difficult market," Mr. Persky said. "I lost my job six months ago, and more and more commercial banks have starting letting people off. Instead of sitting at home, writing e-mails and networking, I decided to come out and hit the streets and try to compete a little."
Mr. Persky, whose wife issued a press release to reporters announcing his plan, will be passing out resumes during lunch hour all of this week. Besides graduating from MIT, he most recently worked as an investment banking consultant for Houlihan Lokey. He said he is looking for work to support his five children.
"Our lease is up next week, and the kids and my wife are moving to Nebraska, where she grew up," Mr. Persky said.
He will stay in New York, get a sublet, and continue to look for a job if this week's ploy doesn't pan out.
This is not the first time a well-educated, unemployed person has peddled employers. In 2002, Nadine Orosa, who had an MBA from Wharton and 10 years' banking experience, worked with a group of other unemployed professionals, pushed her resume into the hands of strangers on the streets of Manhattan, and landed a job interview the first day of her campaign.
Yesterday, investment bankers and managers walked by Mr. Persky; some didn't notice him, but others did.
"I handed out a stack of resumes," Mr. Persky said. "I get a lot of smiles, and that's what keeps me going. The reaction has been really nice. A couple of people have shown some interest."