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THE INSIDER: Forget changing jobs, you’re better off staying with the same employer

If you want to get ahead in investment banking, are you better off slogging away with a single employer or transferring to a competitor every few years?

The answer, historically, has been transferring. Given the possibility of moving for a 20-50% compensation uplift, getting a guarantee, and inflating your title, the benefits of moving were legion.

Over the longer term, however, each job move you make will deliver a diminishing marginal uplift to your compensation. Each time you change jobs, you will become more expensive; this will naturally lead to a decay in the relative increase you can expect next time.

Equally, each time you move on, you will crystallise your market value, plus a premium. Prior to the subsequent move, it will be necessary to justify that premium. And this could prove difficult if you’ve joined a firm with a weak franchise, where your best efforts have minimal effect.

Every job move you make is therefore exposing your future compensation levels to serious downside risk.

This being the case, do you really want to take the chance of moving? By staying with a single employer you can build personal equity in a single institution. In a world where promotion to the senior ranks has become much more democratised, this is likely to prove invaluable. Without that equity your name has little chance of making it through the various committees which decide upon promotions and job opportunities.

And the same time, as the ratio of MDs to non-MDs increases, banks have become less willing to allow new hires to make the all-important leap from VP to MD. If you’re moving to a new bank and hoping to break out of the VP-trap, forget it.

In future, the most perspicacious bankers will stay with a single employer for a lot longer. Regular three year jumps are history.

Comments (16)

  1. Nonsense. Next.

  2. Agreed with Basil. Next.

  3. absolute rubbish – using jargon to hide the fact that he know nothing

  4. self-contradictory rubbish

  5. Moving is fun. Bigger packages, new commute, new assistants… Always a bigger dog in the next place on the list…

  6. Tosh. You know nuuuuuthing!

  7. Pathetic.. no logic at all

  8. nonsense

  9. This “Insider” is probably “inside” HR, thinking that a bit of stealth propaganda can help him making his job easier holding out unsatisfied stars in his firm.

  10. Wrong! If one is thinking about changing jobs, one should proceed and change jobs. Why do people bother writing articles attesting of a conditional ‘monopsony’ inflicted by employers to the modern financial professional? Due to the scarcity of work development and lack of opportunities? How can one build personal equity by being wasted on a job within a firm that gives one not the right “pull/push”? This model disconnect one always receives from NON financial expert, non-attestable opinion, is really getting on my nerves. Please stick to your day jobs.

  11. Well will be trashed but I will agree with what the guy said. Moving has limited impact and real leap are usually done within the same company. Once in a new layer, it is difficult (of course there will always be possible to find some counter example) to move to the next one by changing.
    I’m interesting how many people did move to MD by changing place ? I mean really getting a MD title they did not have before directly in their new place.
    Might be wrong. Just my 2 cents…

  12. What that guy says is true if you thinK on a long term basis. Trouble is, this website is awash with students and would-be investment bankers who have no clue of finance and are compensating obvious frustration with agressive bullsh…

  13. changing jobs is just fun, brings fresh air into one’s life and opportunities ,risks which might not exist where you are till the end of your life.. there and this is for risky and entrepreneurial types, not for cogs in a machine. Can’t even imagine staying in 1 job for more than 3 years!

  14. Two words: gardening leave.

  15. I agree with this article, so some extent. I’m at a point where I’m too senior/expensive for most external moves to be immediately profitable. Also, I only know of one person who got promoted to MD as part of taking a new job. Getting a huge title increase is rather rare. I’ve been in the financial services biz since 1986 and have seen much.

  16. Haha, the comments on this article are very funny! Can you stay in one place and get to the top in this day & age, where every man and his dog is getting “experience” and “diversifying skillsets” left right and centre?

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