It’s hardly unusual for prospective investment bankers to get a bit anxious or nervous during recruiting season. The uncertainty that comes with waiting to launch your career can cause a fair amount of trepidation — even under optimal employment conditions.
And as anyone who follows the news can attest, global conditions are hardly optimal. Politics in the U.S. remains deeply polarized, free trade is under attack and the United Kingdom just surprised many observers by voting to leave the European Union — a move that some have called the biggest geopolitical event since the break up of the Soviet Union.
Given these conditions — and the larger market uncertainty they’ve inspired — aspiring bankers can be forgiven for feeling even more stressed than usual.
Yet what do you really need to know to get ready for fall recruiting in this brave new post-Brexit world?
Let’s find out.
Brexit may give investment banks a boost…but overall conditions remain sluggish
While England’s decision to bail on the European Union may lead to increased trading business for investment banks as a whole, don’t count on it to salvage an otherwise challenging year for the industry. The Wall Street Journal reports that industry revenue could be down more than 30-percent over last year. IPOs, in particular, are mired in a serious slump, featuring the lowest first-half volume in seven years.
Even if Brexit is a net positive — and that’s very much up in the air at this point — investment banks are going to be driven by cost containment moving forward. Aspiring bankers should be cognizant of these industry-wide challenges when navigating the recruiting process, as banks will seek candidates who can deliver demonstrated value in a period of growing cost consciousness.
If you’re interested in working in the U.K. banking industry but aren’t a citizen, you should still be OK
One of the most significant changes associated with Brexit concerns worker mobility. Under the rules of the EU, workers of member states are given freedom of movement between countries. With the U.K. possibly pulling out, foreign workers in the U.K. are now facing an uncertain future.
Given that London is perhaps the financial capital of the world, this is a development with major ramifications for the banking industry. Yet aspiring bankers with their eye on the London job market shouldn’t worry too much. The U.K. has a points system used to evaluate non-EU workers, and bankers — who are typically highly skilled and well-compensated — are guaranteed to score near the top.
If you’re interested in working in the U.K., don’t let Brexit uncertainty change your plans.
If jobs do flee the U.K. thanks to Brexit, here’s where to look
The Brexit vote has already caused London to shed a significant number of banking jobs, so it’s a good idea for aspiring bankers to keep an eye on the markets that stand to benefit should more job losses happen. JPMorgan, for example, has already told its workers it plans on moving an unspecified number of jobs from the U.K. to Europe in the wake of the vote.
Cities such as Dublin, Paris, Madrid and Frankfurt are all logical landing spots for banks seeking to relocate jobs. Prospective bankers should take note of this and act accordingly.
With today’s world seemingly more uncertain than ever, those still in the recruiting cycle can be forgiven for feeling some added anxiety. Yet by paying close attention to the latest global trends and developments, aspiring bankers can adapt accordingly and enhance their odds of landing the perfect job.