In my long experience, this is one of the quietest Augusts for years. There is, literally, nothing going on. People who aren’t on holiday are watching the Olympics. And people who aren’t on holiday and aren’t watching the Olympics have no appetite for the recruitment process.
With luck this will change when the dust settles in September. Without luck, it won’t change for a long time. Maybe not until 2013. Maybe even that is optimistic.
In the happy event that hiring does resume in September, there’s still be no assurance you’ll get a new job before Christmas In my experience, hiring nowadays is taking twice as long as it used to. I’ve been in situations where – having found someone they really like - banks have taken 9 months to a year to place them in the new role.
There are also an increasing number of incidences where banks will interview a candidate 4 or 5 times, declare that person's wonderful, and then decide to put the hire on hold because they’re hopeful someone even better will be made redundant from a big house soon. This is a real problem at the moment and is something that seems to be happening increasingly frequently.
Meanwhile people who are in investment banking jobs still are increasingly disillusioned. They’re getting fed up with being paid less than they were and an increasing number want to leave the City and maybe come back when things improve. However, they need to realise that the job market is tough and isn’t going to get any better. If you work in investment banking you will at least earn 2-3 times the amount you can expect in most other professions: things may be bad, but as long as you're working, they're not that bad. Honestly.