WHEN YOU LOST YOUR JOB IN OCTOBER 2008, COMPETITION IN BANKING MUST HAVE BEEN FIERCE. True. And with unemployment, misery doesn't love company. In a pile of resumes, it's all too easy to be overlooked for a job you're ideally qualified for.
HOW DID YOU SEEK AN EDGE? Professional networking is extremely important. I made contact with people I knew in corporate banking 15 years ago. I made contacts through LinkedIn. That was very important.
BUT NOTHING HAPPENED FOR MONTHS? There was a wholesale reduction of banking jobs. I started by contacting international banks, where I got the standard "We're not hiring" reply. After six months, I became a lot more flexible and began looking at jobs at half my previous salary.
HOW DID YOU FINALLY LAND A JOB? I'd been in relationship management for 15 years but had some background in credit risk. So to double my chances, I did a resume for each. Someone with whom I had worked at Lloyds referred me to the hiring manager at CIT Group about a credit-risk job. I had actually applied for the job online, but it was the referral that made the difference. I started there in June.
CIT? THE LENDING COMPANY THAT RECENTLY FILED FOR BANKRUPTCY? Right, though it wasn't in such bad shape then. Working for CIT was actually wonderful.
SO WHY DID YOU LEAVE? I'd taken a 35% pay cut to work there, and the company's problems were growing worse, so I kept on looking. A former client of mine at JPMorgan Chase referred me to the hiring manager at HSBC Bank, where I started September 30. It's my ideal job: I'm responsible for global relationships with large custodian banks.
HOW DO YOU THINK THE FINANCIAL SECTOR IS DOING? We're in recovery mode, but I think it's going to be a slow recovery.
HOW HAVE YOUR PERSONAL FINANCES CHANGED? My wife and I are much more careful about spending and about keeping a cushion of money in reserve. For example, our kitchen needs to be redone, but we're holding off on that.