3 mistakes banking newbies should avoid

May 19, 2016 3 mins read
3 mistakes banking newbies should avoid

For many people, banking is the favorite industry and every year newcomers from different backgrounds start their career in the banking industry. However, to achieve success in this industry, the more important thing is to critically pick out valuable information instead of accepting suggestions of the experienced people without any further probing. Many successful bankers instruct newbies with exactly the same wise words they learned from others several decades ago. However, this type of good advice might not be suitable for everyone.

Some advice is too general, some too cliché and some will even mislead you into incorrect decisions in your career. In order to help you distinguish the correct from the incorrect more clearly and to be sure what is suitable for you, some pieces of common career advice are analyzed in detail below:

1. Loyalty will be rewarded

Many senior professionals will say to newbies, “Work hard and you will succeed one day.” This is encouraging and many people work at the same company for years, some over ten years or even longer. It cannot be denied that, in that way, you may get the opportunity for internal promotion and enhancing your status in the company. However, it varies from individual to individual and depends on the company culture. A former employee of Goldman Sachs, Graham Ward, holds that the investment banks today pay more attention to training and retaining talent, but don’t believe in words like “the employers care for your best interests”. People are moving around, business is changing and expanding and the economy is continuously transforming. Your destiny is to be decided by you. You can get a free ride, but you cannot sit in the same car for a lifetime. When it is time to break up, you should follow your mind and heart and take action.

2. Seize every social opportunity

Social contacts exist everywhere in the banking industry. Whether you want to get to know a new acquaintance on the internet or through the introduction of friends, or establish a banking relationship circle outside the company, the most common suggestion is to maintain a habit of social contact and you will benefit a lot from it. Many will tell you to meet as many people as possible. However, excessive social contacts may not be useful and the quality of social contacts is more important than the quantity. Though you have gotten to know hundreds of people, only a small number of them are really going to be helpful in your career development or even your personal life. As the saying goes, “Birds of a feather flock together”. You must learn to make friends with whom you think alike and from whom you can learn and get assistance in different respects.

3. Salary is not the only motivation for changing jobs

From my perspective as a financial services recruiter, our banking clients are interested in candidates who change jobs only for a much higher salary. Salary is still one of the key motivations for changing employersfor many people in the financial services industry. Compared with other industries, pay in the financial services industry increases more rapidly. Job hopping is one of the ways to continue salary increasehowever, it is not always effective. Among the candidates that I have met, some who changed jobs for money felt regret soon after they made the jump to another company. It is hard to adapt yourself to the culture of a new company and integrate completely when it is not right. You need to rebuild your internal network and build rapport with your colleagues. Additionally, as you are in a bigger job and your salary has therefore increased, management will have higher expectations for you. Therefore, while changing your job, consider all the factors comprehensively instead of putting money on the first place. Only in this way, you are more able tofully embrace the change that is needed for a better career development.

Grace Su's picture
Grace Su
Senior Manager | Financial Services Recruitment