What happens when you lose your job in an investment bank? And what happens if it was a really important job in an investment bank and you’re now off to do something less prestigious and possibly undefined? Do you change your profile details to reflect your unfortunate change of circumstances? Or do you simply leave your old profile up as if nothing as changed and as a testimonial to how important you were in the past?
If you worked for Barclays, you’ll go for the latter.
Witness the LinkedIn profiles of Bob Diamond:
Or Skip McGee…
Or Eric Bommensath…
Needless to say, none of these men are in these jobs any more. Bob Diamond left Barclays back in July 2012, but doesn’t seem to have got around to updating his profile despite heading his Africa-focused investment firm Atlas Merchant Capital. Skip McGee ‘stepped down’ in April 2014, but hasn’t had a chance to update his online presence either. Eric Bommensath is still at Barclays, but he’s not co-chief executive of the corporate and investment bank – he was made ‘Head of Barclays Non-Core’ business back in May. He doesn’t seem to have had a moment to update his credentials since either.
What does this say about job titles in banking (or at Barclays in particular)? That they’re elastic on the way up, but sticky on the way down. That people don’t like broadcasting a demotion, especially on social media. That leaving an old job title up years after it was relevant can act as a sort of testimonial (or tombstone) to achievements past. At least that’s what it looks like from here.