5 Mistakes to Avoid in a Banking Career

So, you’ve made it into the industry, whether that’s on an internship or into a full-time career. Congratulations! What you need to do now, though, is continue to grow and learn, and that means avoiding potential pitfalls along the way – here’s some things to avoid and why they should be steered clear of.

Closing Yourself Off

Starting in a new office with new people is great, but you’ll be spending every day with a small group of individuals. In reality, a company is made up of many constituent parts, and interdepartmental relations are absolutely key to show that not only are you a good and consistent worker, but that you can get on well with a variety of people and that you can help resolve issues that are bigger than your own. Further up the chain, different departments intermingle and become more closely linked, so this marks you out as a good candidate for someone who will move up the career ladder.

Being Too Work Minded

Obviously don’t spend all your time discussing last weekend’s football scores and what happened on Corrie last night, but being able to display that you have a personality and interests outside the office help people warm to you and connect with you on a personal level. Manage this well, show your friendly, open, warm side and people will want to work with you, and that goes for your bosses too, who will help to make your life easier if you do the same for them by hitting targets and delivering the goods time and time again, whilst still being able to hold a conversation.

Selfish Behaviour

This might seem a bit strange in what is considered to be a dog-eat-dog world, but research has shown that the path into leadership is opened more to those who take a valued and genuine interest in making other people successful alongside themselves. To quote Drake – “it’s good to make it, better when your people make it with you.” Basically, overly selfish people are hugely undermining to a conducive working environment because nobody wants to be in a team with them – strike the balance between being competitive and doing well for yourself without trying to push anyone down.

Misplaced Loyalty

It’s great that you get on with your boss so well, and it’s also great that they’re seemingly first in line for a big promotion, but that doesn’t mean you should put all of your eggs in that basket in terms of you moving up the ladder – make sure that you’re not being seen as being in anyone’s ‘camp’ because in such a fast-moving industry, things can change very quickly, and anyone can become a casualty if the wrong people fall out of favour. Spread your friends and acquaintances out, be polite and courteous to everyone, be willing and able to help out whomever asks you for assistance (not just the ones you like!) and you’ll be well placed no matter who wins the roulette at the top of the tree.

Misjudging the Curve

The ‘steep learning curve’ of the junior banker is well known in the industry – for all the benefits you get, you have to work extremely hard to keep on track at the beginning of your career. What this means is that your opening few months will become a whirlwind of knowledge that you learn very quickly, which can make you misjudge your position. Everyone is in the same boat, and despite the competitive edge that quickly becomes apparent, don’t get ahead of yourself – it will come in time; don’t push too hard, too quickly! It’s a game where you can all succeed if you battle through together, so help each other out and make sure that you’re grounded early on to stay in control of the situation.