It’s funny watching people get calls from recruiters. They start looking all nervous, get up from their desk and sprint to the nearest meeting room to take the call, whilst simultaneously, vigourously reducing the volume button in case anyone can hear the earmark of the recruiter….the British accent. I’m not sure if this is true, but I feel like every recruiter I talk to has a thick cockney accent, which is potentially exacerbated by the fact that they are selling something to me. Further the worse the job opportunity the thicker the accent. Sometimes you expect to see them standing outside the bank in the middle of a street on a soapbox, shouting about their “wares” with a megaphone. Maybe its from over-watching of Geordie Shore but I just think the cockney accent is inherently a dodgy salesperson’s voice – selling cheap jewellery, fake ties on the street or investment banking job opportunities. I guess it’s just a voice that I associate with crap I don’t want. Regardless I guess I can’t criticise them for what they’re trying to do – after all when the bank’s HR team is so grossly incompetent that they think “career development” does not fall under the realm of “HR” then it’s nice to have at least one person vested in your career.
Anyway I must sound a bit bitter about it all. But I guess when you invest so many hours into a firm there is a sense of attachment that you can’t shake. So much so that sometimes I feel that talking about leaving the bank feels like I’m talking about a break up. Just two years ago when you got together, all you could think about was life with this firm and potentially growing together, getting married through a 100% stock bonus. Then suddenly it starts to fall apart. He starts emailing, calling and messaging you 24/7, you withdraw from contact with your friends because you have to spend all your time with him, he becomes clingy, needy and just downright annoying. So you decide you have to dump him. In your exit interview, you’re thinking that whilst it would be freaking awesome to go out in a blaze of glory and berate him, you’re better off not burning the bridge and trying to remain just friends so you say “I just need to focus on me and my goals right now”; “I was so young when I met you in uni”; “it’s not you, it’s me…no actually it’s you”. Finally he lets you go. You take your “kids” (ie. copies of your template models that you built) and you depart hoping to never have to run into him again across the board room table.
But then of course there’s the next stage which is deciding who the “next boyfriend” is going to be. I think key risk here is continuing your bad dating cycle and choosing someone that may be hotter but continues to treat you badly – ie. you go to another investment bank. I’ve seen a few people fall into this trap. They try to justify the new guy saying “oh but he pays me more”, but at the end of the day, he’s still the same shit guy with just a better after shave. I think best advice here is to get out and try someone different, like corporate development or even better stay single and start your own business. Just whatever you do, don’t keep going back to him. He’s never going to change.