The Guardian’s Joris Luyendijk usually talks to high flying traders or M&A bankers. These are the guys you want to be, who give you insight into a mysterious world.
But as the subject of his latest column points out, these people make up about 5% of the financial services industry. Everyone else is pushing papers and silently making things happen. They ensure that transactions are made and offices run smoothly.
Many of these workers, though, are like the man Luyedijk spoke to in his most recent Guardian Banking Blog installment. They have higher ambitions. This subject never went to a super elite school so he started off at small firms, or in the back-office of large firms. He made it do mid-office before he was caught in a round of layoffs.
But he almost made it all the way to the front — something unheard of in today’s Wall Street or The City. Here’s what he wish he’d done differently to go that extra step (from The Guardian):
“In retrospect I made a number of mistakes. I bounced a lot between banks, thinking this would get me valuable experience. It’s much better to stay in one place and align yourself politically with senior people. Build up expertise so they will think, we don’t want to lose this guy. Make sure you’re not a number. How I wish I had known that, Joris.”
Now that he’s unemployed, the subject looks on LinkedIn a lot. He says it helps him figure out career moves and pinpoint people to contact.
And when he finds out people he knows are caught in a round of layoffs, he also enjoys a slight feeling of schadenfreude, so that’s nice.