Contrary to popular opinion, not everyone employed in the financial sector is an intern or recently graduated from college. This is good news for those who are looking for a career change later in life, believing that their life and work experience wouldn’t be welcome in banking. While it is true that banks recruit young, looking for sharp minds that can be conditioned to the style of work and atmosphere within this work sector, there are ways to make yourself appealing to recruiters
When are You Too Old for Banking?
According to Muzaffar Khan, a once a trader with Barclays, now a mentor to students interested in finance, most entry-level positions in banking are awarded to students and recent graduates between 20-25. While there are exceptions to the rule, he cited, few can get in once they are outside this age bracket. A “headhunter” for M&A further elaborated on this point, stating that employees in their 30s would be less likely to be managed by managers younger than they are and take on the crippling workloads often given to entry-level employees. There are areas, however, where age isn’t as constricting a factor for employment. Khan went on to state that those in their thirties or older can find appreciation for their experience in operations and technology. Experience outside of the finance sector is valued here.
Too Old to Use an MBA?
Obtaining a post-graduate degree may bolster your chances to get noticed during a hiring frenzy, but some complications can be found with this approach. Few MBA graduates in the United States are over the age of thirty. According to the same M&A headhunter, on occasion German students will have achieved their MBA over the age of thirty, but the years prior were usually spent in a different sector of work.
A method of achieving an MBA, followed by Lloyd Blankfein’s sons, involves working in your desired field of banking after achieving a bachelor’s degree for several years, then returning to a university to continue their post-graduate education. The combination of youth, education, and experience must be balanced in order for the applicant to come in under the age of thirty and still seem appealing on paper. While applicants can be over the age of thirty, bringing with them a decade or more of experience, they will stand out, but perhaps not for the reasons intended.
When is it Time to Stop trying?
In a fast-paced employment sector like finance, layoffs are a possible reality one has to prepare for. Consultants on the issue have found that finding new employment and age have a strong correlation. Things get even more complicated if one has had a senior or managerial position and are looking for a similar role with a different bank or firm. But, according to the M&A headhunter, these rules according to age are overwritten by one thing: contacts. An employee, irrespective of age, who has a good working relationship with clients and people employed in the financial sector places themselves as an indispensable asset.