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Why it’s risky to switch jobs when you’re a VP in a bank

Are you being blocked from moving up?

Are you being blocked from moving up?

Cast your mind back to last week, when we ran a cry for help from a VP level quant developer who was stuck in a job that seemed to offer no hope of promotion and no chance of getting a pay increase. He wanted to know whether it was advisable to move into a new role in search of a promotion,

One week later, a reader has come in with the following invaluable advice. Summary: only switch jobs as a VP in the direst of circumstances.

“The promotion to MD is very political. You move from a role where you have to produce/deliver, to a role where you manage: making sure people below you are working in the direction set by the clients (business, trading, etc..). Usually there is only on MD per team (sometimes co-heads but this is unstable) so to go up, you either need to evict your boss, or you need to hope that he or she is also moving up (if he is good that could happen but most of the time they have also hit the ceiling themselves).

The problem is that your boss will never promote you to the same level they’re at (obviously they want to stay your boss). So then you need a sponsor at MD-level or above, who behind closed doors will defend your case and show the rest of the world how much better things would be if you were to step up to MD. This is why promotions to MD are harder to obtain, and the reality is that a lot of people just stay where they are for a very long time…
Change job only if someone above you will always undermine you when your name is on the promotion list. If you change jobs, you’ll have to start from zero again, proving your worth to the rainmakers above you.”

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