GUEST COMMENT: When it hits the fan at RBS

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Dominic Connor

If you’re reading this, I guess you don’t care any more. So, what can you do?

Firstly, don’t take it personally. As both a headhunter and someone who has had real banking jobs I can state for a fact that the correlation between your ability and being shafted is essentially random, but if you let it get to you, then local government beckons.

Networking: I hate to admit but a good % of jobs go by word of mouth. Make sure you exchange phone and email contacts with everyone you can: it never hurts to be known and doesn’t hurt for references either. Organise leaving drinks, make sure you go to those of other people, even if you don’t feel like it. You aren’t being dumped into a great job market, it doesn’t take much to make a big difference.

Security at RBS aren’t entirely incompetent, so the obvious ways of taking your contact list with you are a bit risky. It's best to write them down on paper.

Get cards printed: few things look as sad as RBS business cards with old details scratched out. Given that departures will be spread over time make sure your colleagues have them. Telling them it’s OK to give your details to scavenging headhunters picking over the rotting corpse of RBS. If you’re worried about being pestered get a free SIM with a disposable number.

Rewrite your CV from scratch, don’t just add a new paragraph. Form a list of every damned skill and experience you have, wait a week, and then do it again because unless you’re a complete waste you can’t remember everything at one go. Given that your ejection from RBS is not a secret get it checked by other people in the same boat. Not only does peer checking get you a better CV, it shows what you can do to someone else who might pass you on for a job.

None of these things are guaranteed to dig you out of the hole RBS dumped you into. It might be some time before you restart and one of the saddest ways to fail an interview after a gap is to give the impression that the time was spent watching daytime TV. Therefore, discipline yourself to learn something, even if it’s just Excel VBA which no matter how bad things get can often help you keep the bills paid and is better than the word “unemployed.”

Dominic Connor is a City Headhunter and author of “When it hits the Fan, career tips for interesting times”