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GUEST COMMENT: My three bits of advice to avoid ending up in a career disaster zone like me

I’m looking for a new job. Over the past year I’ve met recruiters, spoken to friends and trawled the web to no avail. Here are the three big mistakes which I’ve made and you should avoid:

1) Avoid stagnating in the same firm

Now that I’ve been working (hard!) for almost five years in the same company, it should not have been too difficult to get a job offer. But alas, I have not even gone to a single interview.

Why? Well, because what I have done over the past five years has added little value to where I want to be. This is especially so in the current “middle child” phase of my career – I’m either too junior or too experienced for the roles that would get me ahead. I either take a plunge in salary and start from the bottom, or stay until the next recession knocks everyone around like a game of musical chairs.

2) Everything you do must boost your resume

In hindsight, this one seems so obvious. But in five years, I never paid attention to my CV. You must ask yourself everyday whether the things you do at work are actually doing anything to add value to your resume, in case you find yourself in the job market.

3) Be a fisherman, not a fish

I have met several recruiters recently. I’m not out to dish dirt on them, but I wonder whether I am the one casting for jobs, or if I am the one on the hook.

After talking to one particular recruiter, I keep getting forwarded emails from colleagues who have received a one-line email from him about how this particular job would be up their street. But more often than not, these positions are not even in the same field as the recipient.

If that’s the way that recruiters get contacts, I wonder whether that’s how they treat resumes coming their way. Perhaps they just throw them up in the wind, with many landing in the reject bin. I would have expected some greater pride in their job. It is important, therefore, to find a recruiter who doesn’t treat you like a fish.

So, here I am, still on that quest for the promised land of a better job. Will I find it soon? I’m not quite sure. But I’m taking what I’ve learnt and I’m trying to do things differently now. If I get there, I’ll let you know.

Comments (13)

Comments
  1. please dont let us know..

  2. Interesting article. As for me, since may I have been looking for job opportunities in London in either the financial services or banking industry. Currently I am working in Italy as a credit analyst for a bank and after almost 3 years I think it has arrived the time to make a change to my career. So far I have sent my cv to some banks and recruiters in London with no success. Do you think that to get a job in London I should quit my current job and move to London? How is the job market in the UK currently?

  3. I’ ve ended up in very same situation as yours. Too long stay at a place that seems to be a dead end with little prospects for satisfaction, decent money and far away from my area of interest. Good luck and do let us know if things change.

  4. I dont want to know either

    Gone to the buyside Reply
     
  5. “Talking to friends” …? It does not sound as if you had truly communicated with anyone in the last 5 years… Your average intern is more IB-savvy than you sound!

  6. You say “I would have expected some greater pride in their job.” don’t that’s a mistake. You might get professionalism from firms that define themselves as search firms but that’s it. After submitting my CV to a recruitment firm, I presume it got uploaded and then got an email about a job from someone else in the firm for AML/Compliance, which has zero to do with my profile. Though must admit the email looked more personalized at first glance. Good luck in your search.
    As for Merion, keep your job and search rather than resigning moving and looking. btw, if you have a credit analyst background seen some postings in the UAE….

  7. What job do you do? That is the most important thing… There are jobs out there but only in certain functions and sectors…

  8. It is tough. I’ve been looking for months now and still nothing. Well there is but companies have become VERY picky. They want to pay you half of what you were earning before. What i don’t get is this. The crisis will smooth over (ok it will take 3-4 years or so), so whats the point in offering a job paying half to some one knowing that when the market picks up that they will move on? all that training, all that time wasted! Some times its a questions of right place, right time….so it could happen sooner than 3-4 years.

  9. @Karl – the fact is that there has been a structural change in London market , and for that matter, most advanced economies. The crisis ain’t going to smooth over!

    Ex- Investment Banker Reply
     
  10. Liked the article. Unlike the typical advices you get to find here

  11. @Karl: In the absence of prrof to the contraryy, assume banks know more about the recruitment market than you.

  12. There are poor homeless people around the world dying from starvation. All they ever dream off is a single plate of food. And, this is what you come up with..! You selfish ba****d. Shut up and get on with it.

    Devils Advocate Reply
     
  13. @Karl: Dude, what you say is absolutely correct. I realised that 2 years into my career after my graduate period. I’m in semi-quant role so the job issue is not as bad as the FO guys. I moved to my current company lured by the 60% increase in pay but I havent learnt much that i can talk about in an interview. I have been self-studying to expand my skill set.
    Its probably not relevant for FO but in my role I think its foolish to remain at one place for more than 2-3 years unless you’re learning new stuff. I’ve saw some veterans made redundant in both banks i worked for. In my view, they had been in the company for so long that they didnt have much transferrable skills.

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