Thanks WSO: Mid-Career Non-Banking to Top Performer at Top BB
I have contributed to this particular forum in the past and I thought I'd write again because this year I received a great promotion and I also received the highest possible ratingsand I have WSO to thank for a lot of that.
I went from being a mid-career professional with no banking experience, but I did use some of the knowledge gained on WSO to pass all of my interviews and work at a top BB. Here's a collection of my WSO postings to give you an idea of my experience:
Some of the things I've learned:
- Do what you love. I know, I know, that sounds cliche. But I am currently in a role where I work with things I'm passionate about and it shows in my results. I have achieved top bucket ratings the last few years even though my work feels effortless. If you go into finance/banking because the money and bonuses sound amazing then you will surely fail. When you stop chasing money and titles and do what you love, guess what happens? The money and titles come back to you because you are doing some of the best work of your life and it will shine through. I'm grateful to be in that position right now.
- Slow is fast. This is perhaps one of the best things I ever read on WSO. A poster wrote about how mistakes are embarrassing and expensive in terms of time. So you should tell yourself "slow is fast" and make sure you slow down your thinking and do things carefully. I use this advice on a daily basis and it has avoided me from being embarrassed in front of my MD. Take your time, do things right.
- Make your bosses look good. My entire focus every day is producing quality work that my Directors and MD can use. Period. If you make them look good, they will rely on you and make you a bigger part of the team. That has been my formula for success and it has brought me nice bonuses and a huge promotion (with the equally huge jump in pay) and it's something that I will continue to do. Doesn't matter what level you're at, always make your bosses look good.
- Life is not banking/finance. I always get concerned when I read postings on WSO from young people desperate to get right out of school and into IB. Bonuses! Six-figures! Travel! NYC! etc etc. There's more than just one path to succeed in life. Don't take it so hard if you get rejected from those job applications. I promise you that your life won't be ruined just because you interview! I was nowhere near a bank career and already in my 30s when a banking recruiter came calling and they made me a very nice offer to join them. Of course, that still took preparation on my part. Keep yourself ready with people that will write you recommendations and take care of other things like always keeping yourself ready for a drug test (drugs are bad, ok) and doing the best work you can so people will speak well of you. Maybe finance will happen for you right after college, maybe it won't. Either way, you'll be fine, keep your head up.
- Life is not exit opps. By far the dumbest postings on WSO are the ones that ask about recruiting and exit opps in the same posting. How about you ask about what it takes to do the best job you can in the role instead??? How about you work your butt off to get promoted so that you don't need exit opps to begin with??? I think the right attitude is to do the best job you can, each and every single day that you're employed. If you're looking for recruiting help but also thinking about the exit opps at the same time, then you've already lost, stop wasting your time.
I'll stop there before I sound like a rambling old man. I'll consider answering questions if there's any posted below.