Maintaining a career in investment banking for a long-term requires certain kinds of traits. Not everyone has them and not every investment banking certification may guarantee this. What do the top investment bankers say about the characteristics to possess or develop to succeed in this grueling industry? Here are the five top picks:
Detached from feelings: As expected without much ado, the investment banking career is never going to be easy on you. Clients will be unreasonable, managers will be demanding, and you will never be sure of your security in the field. But investment bankers are never found to be happy, humiliated, upset or sad. ‘Unperturbed’ is the word to define their mood for the most part of their lives. You have to be sure that you develop a thick skin and not take anything personally.
Great sartorial choices: The people career in investment banking have a great dressing sense. Those who fail to dress nicely are the same people who are not selected to higher positions in their career. Such people are often rejected by their managers. Leave behind scruffy clothes for expensive business suits and see being taken more seriously at work. It’s all a part and parcel of a highly-demanding job. It’s a soft skill not necessarily guaranteed by any investment banking certificate but certainly achievable by practicing and noting other senior bankers.
Involve work with pleasure: Client interaction is not just about work. The relationships with clients run deep. A lot of investment bankers hang out with their clients and families, go to business parties and golf matches together, and socialize on weekends together. It’s more than 70 hours of working per week for professionals in investment banking and they have to utilize whatever time they have to enjoy their lives and do what they feel is the best utilization of their time.
Delegate wisely: If you are on the top echelons of corporate ladder, you have to decide what roles to be given to whom? Moreover, if you have a greater experience, you are expected to have greater skills and talent. You have to decide which tasks are to be done by you and which all to be delegated to the juniors working below you. You have to be their guide and mentor them at every step of their career. Keep getting more skilled with any new investment banking certificate in your portfolio to command their respect.
Persistence is the key: Be prepared for failures along the path. Life is certainly not a bed of roses. More so is the case with investment banking. Keep a finger on the pulse of the industry with the latest information and insights about competitors, about clients, the financial instruments, and the best possible portfolios. Develop aptitude, eye for changing demands of the market, and intelligence to tap into new opportunities that you can leverage. You are required to be energetic, persistent, and consistent in your pursuit to be a better investment banker.