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"If your resume shows you job hopping for higher pay, I will not hire you"

I meet a lot of people now who are frustrated with their pay in banking. After a challenged bonus year, many are looking around for higher compensation elsewhere. Be warned that in doing so, you are undermining your career in the long term. 

If your bonus is down this year, you should not be surprised. Your manager should have prepared you for your number, and you should understand that it is either the result of your own performance or of the performance of the bank as a whole. 

In both situations, this is something that can be changed over the next year.

The worst thing you can do, is to leave or to threaten to leave for a 5% pay increase somewhere else. As the manager of a team, I do not want a bunch of mercenaries who will hold me hostage. Equally, if I see that you're someone who job hops every few years, I will not hire you in the first place. 

If you're jumping ship all the time, it tells me you're not loyal. If you're threatening to leave for money, it makes me want to screw you on the next bonus round and then to see you go. I don't want to have someone like you on my team. You are not the only person with your skill set.

The person I want to hire is loyal and cares. They care about the job and they care about the team. They're not just in it for the pay. I want my people to succeed and to feel fairly compensated, and I will fight for that. But if I see someone crying about pay every year and shopping around to get more elsewhere, I will avoid them. It cannot be heads you win and tails I lose. You cannot hold me hostage to your bonus disappointment. I will not play that game.

Michael Cook runs a trading desk at a US investment bank 

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AUTHORMichael Cook Insider Comment
  • Ki
    15 March 2024

    What a terrible boss.

    Newsflash, bud, this is a contract.

    We're not friends. We're not family. I am selling my time and energy for a salary.

    If you refuse to be competitive, then I'll find someone who will.

    Funny how managers and bosses talk about loyalty all the time until they kick you out the door without notice so the CEO can report an artificially inflated. stock price that quarter.

    Avoid bosses like this like the plague. He does not have your interests in mind.

  • an
    11 March 2024

    Boomers who failed upwards and made 600k at age 24 are now upset that young bankers will leave if you don't pay them a fraction of what you made. We've had enough of useless management.

  • Mi
    10 March 2024

    Loyalty is a two-way street. Happy workers are productive workers. If you don't recognise those two facts, perhaps it's time to retire or find a new career path that doesn't see you in a leadership position?

  • Fa
    10 March 2024

    So people should be loyal to their boss, make money for them, and not care about their own financial well being. We don't work for the salary, we work to make our bosses happy, thats how good employees think ahah

  • Sa
    10 March 2024

    Oh, wow, let me tell you a) I leave banking because of people how you describe yourself, stuck in a fantasy world b) I dont know how you got promoted, but unfortunately IB promotes people to manager's role who have zero "people skills" and who just mostly are very political and had coffee with the right people. c) I was loyal and nearly got stressed out because people around me were incompetent but were promoted as per b) above and, in many places, if your title, lets say, Senior Associate, you cannot challenge status quo or a VP because average VP in a non revenue generating teams remain there and dont leave IB tier 1 banks because they are not geniuses or traders or sales so they are stuck in their little world and very defensive. Any challenge is a threat to their little ego as they are now in their year 10 as a VP. But VP is a a VP, one VP listens to another VP's one side story and then only one experience gets into a job performance evaluation/ review where a challenger gets the lowest mark and when this Senior Associate was great at his work, great with traders or sales, effective and etc, non revenue generating teams VPs are sad so at the bonus team- it is the same story- great work, great results, but this VP did not like you- end of story. Any BS.. Lastly, unlike Birmingham or whatever Councils ( sarcastically) where people are "loyal", private sector is different, people can be made redundant at any time. Moreover, reasonable turnover is good, with fresh blood and generating new ideas, so what is your complaint? You dont want to keep IB or any private sector in a stale position?

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