5 things not to do as a junior banker

There’s obviously scope for making mistakes at the start of a career in any industry, but there are some lines that you probably shouldn’t cross. Here’s our lowdown on the five biggest pitfalls for you to avoid at the start of your career in banking.

1. Avoid getting your hands dirty

At the bottom of the pile, it’s easy to look for the glamorous options and only hold out for the deals which look like they’re going to be exciting and fun to be a part of. Don’t – often the deals which look less exciting are the ones where the real profits are made, and you should be looking to benefit from being part of successful deals, not ones which sound good.

2. Pick sides too early

Don’t just decide there’s one managing director or supervisor who’s going to be your mentor and stick with them, you’ll limit your exposure to different sectors, and deny yourself the opportunities of being varied and broad in your experience. Take your time, find out what you’re best at and what you enjoy and then build on that once you’ve made a thought-through decision.

3. Go over the top at work drinks

Obviously there’s going to be times after work where you’re going to go for some drinks with the rest of the team. This is fine – it’s nice to let your hair down a bit and get to know your colleagues on a more personal level. Be careful however, and especially careful when you’re out with senior colleagues – with your new income and a deluge of company-paid drinks, it’s easy to get it wrong. Don’t be that person.

4. Missing opportunities to grow your network

You’re going to have to work hard and concentrate on the tasks at hand, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be taking opportunities to get to know people both inside and outside your company, and grow your network to enhance your opportunities for both promotions from within, and external offers in the future.

5. Moving around too quickly in your career

There’s a possibility that over the first few years of your career, you could be offered a raise by moving to a different company. Obviously you should be considering each of these offers in terms of your career, but your first few years are a learning process and it’s possible that your long-term aspirations would be better fulfilled by remaining where you are. Make sure you’re completing your training to become an expert in your field, and the offers, opportunities and pay rises will keep coming.