Why you might want to work for Google, and other important conclusions from J.P. Morgan's Q3 results

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J.P. Morgan's Q3 results were out yesterday. So were Google's. As places to work, one is looking a little more exciting than the other.

Why you might want to go for Google instead

After yesterday's results were announced, shares in J.P. Morgan fell 4.8 percent, and shares in other U.S. banks declined. Shares in Google, on the other hand, rose 6 percent. Google's revenues are up 33 percent year over year. It is growing, fast.

Equally, Larry Page exuded irrepressible enthusiasm during Google's conference call yesterday, using words and phrases such as "gangbusters," "the team is really cranking," "beautifully simple" and "magical." There was no magical beauty over at J.P. Morgan: Jamie Dimon just said it was "hard not to be cautious" about the outlook for the investment bank.

Google allows you the opportunity to make a real difference (or at least pretends it does and is still able to say so without seeming cynical). Page said they're about creating "products that really change people's lives." Away from banking, J.P. Morgan is trying to "empower individuals and build relationships within local settings to create community engagement and action for social change," but it doesn't sound the same.

Google is also hiring. In 2011, it has hired 6,953 people, and in the last quarter, it hired 2,585 - many of them graduates. J.P. Morgan, on the other hand, cut 1,101 people from its investment bank last quarter, despite the arrival of its graduate hires. Headcount is down by 121 people since the start of the year.

J.P. Morgan is working its staff, hard

While Google employees seem to have a happy, fun time down at the Googleplex, J.P. Morgan appears to be squeezing more out of its investment bankers worldwide - and paying them less for it.

In the first nine months, compensation per head in the investment bank fell 16 percent. However, revenues per head rose 9 percent and profits per head rose 30 percent (even after allowances for DVA [debt valuation adjustment] charges were included).

But J.P. Morgan HAS NOT done badly this year, nor does it have a big redundancy plan

Nevertheless, it's worth noting that for all the pessimism of recent months, J.P. Morgan has not had a bad 2010.

Year-on-year, revenues in all business areas but ECM are up. Revenues in M&A are up a massive 34 percent; in equities, they're up 12 percent. After DVA changes are eliminated, net profits in the investment bank are actually up 30 percent.

Accordingly, Jamie Dimon said yesterday that there were "no major layoff plans," although headcount is likely to go down. Dimon also pointed out that there's a healthy pipeline of business waiting to go ahead when conditions improve.

J.P. Morgan is probably still busting to hire projects people

We've spoken about all the growth in project and change management jobs before. This looks likely to continue.

Dimon said J.P. Morgan currently has 75 "real professional teams" working on "pretty large projects" related to everything from liquidity reporting to legal systems. If you are still adamant that you want to work for J.P. Morgan instead of Google, project management may be the place to go.

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