First the good news: being fired from JP Morgan is far better than being fired from a less admired bank like Deutsche and if you’re one of the scapegoats for the $2 billion clusterfuss, I hope that places the advice I’m giving in the right context.
Nietzsche is your friend
This hasn’t destroyed you. If at interview you use it as an example that you have experience of dealing with tough situations, it will make you stronger. You should be saying things like: “What I learned was…”, and “holding things together was tough, so I…”. In other words, demonstrate that this expensively gained experience has made you more useful and that you don’t fold up and die when things get tough.
Do not cast blame
Saying “I told them it would go wrong” not only makes you look like the sort of person who not only whinges, it also makes you look the kind of person is who isn’t listened to. If JPM wouldn’t take heed of your opinions why should anyone else?
Risk is good
You may have to accept a position that you see as less than idea. Ironically this may well be in risk, which is currently hiring more strongly than anywhere else. The fact that you’ve seen risk management go wrong and that you’ve been wrongly overruled has value.
JPMorgan is good
Branding from your previous employer helps. Yes it does, really, OK not as much as a few weeks ago, but do not under any circumstances start bitching about your previous employer: it makes you look bad.
Your CV is not good
Don’t just stick your JPM time at the top and hope. Demonstrate that you have skills that are relevant to the market today and do not lie. Frankly you have something of entertainment value and some managers will get you in just to see what you’ve got to say. This is hardly flattering, but you trade the market you get not the one you want.
Dominic Connor is a director of QF Search and author of “When it hits the fan, careers in interesting times”