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"I'm over 45 and I can't get a finance job paying more than $100k"

I'm 46 years old and I've worked in both investment research for three major investment banks and a couple of independent research firms. I've worked across client services, sales and marketing. I'm good, but no one wants to hire me. Not on real money.

Finance has always been ageist but it's gotten much worse. I can remember when the bias was in favor of experience. - About 30 years ago, they'd only want to hire 45 to 55 year-olds for their expertise. Now they only want to hire 22 to 32 year olds because they're desperate for millennials who know all about coding and bitcoin. - And because those millennials play hard to get by preferring to work for technology firms, banks want them all the more. 

Meanwhile, us seasoned Wall Streeters who understand the business and have ten to twenty years of work left in us are ignored because all we know is 1) how to talk to clients without looking at our smartphones every 10 seconds, 2) how generate ideas for clients because we have lived through numerous business cycles and scenarios and 3) how to create relationships with clients via the many relationships we have cultivated over time.

Yes, you can always become a 'consultant' and yes, I've tried that. But consulting gets lonely. Initially I was hopeful about getting a new full time job, but both HR departments and executive recruiters have now stopped responding other than, the "we've received your resume" in the beginning of the process.

The only area these firms will even talk to you about a full time job is if you're applying to be a, "financial planning professional." This is code name for "senior asset gatherer," and is less about developing client relationships and more about how many dollars you can extract get from your extended family tree. Hardly any of these financial planning positions pay over $100K and it's essentially like starting all over for us when we were all getting out of college aeons ago.

So, don't listen to banks when they say there's a talent shortage. We're all here waiting on the sidelines. Personally, I will give finance the rest of this year to take advantage of my ability. If nothing happens, I'll move into another industry. Starting over won't be easy, but at least it will be refreshing.

Timothé Bonnot was a Wall Street sales and marketing pro for 25 years for a few major investment banking firms and is still hoping to return

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AUTHORTimothé Bonnot Insider Comment
  • Br
    6 June 2019

    You're too lazy to learn the skills you need for the jobs you want. If you spent a little time learning new skills, you'd have a job paying well over 100K quite easily. Also, your attitude sucks. You get zero sympathy from me.

  • St
    6 June 2019

    Wow, to have such discontent for the future generations is not a good look. From this quick read you can tell that clearly Jay had no ability to grow or adapt to the ever changing economy and the world of finance. The last 5 years, let alone the last couple decades has ever increasing rate of change and if you cannot adapt you will fall behind which means you aren't worth more than 100k a year.

    Maybe learn some new skills, or abilities. Dont take the stance that all employees over 29 are not being hired. Crazy!

    Clearly the people being hired on Wallstreet are the cream of the crop, so lose your stereotypes of millennials and their constant smartphone use. Clearly these big companies see a lucrative opportunity in these employees and not every young riff raff can code.

    Stop living in the past or you will be not worth hiring in any industry.

    If I was an employer Jay would be the last on the list. Less experience and a good attitude is way more valuable.

    Good day.

  • Hu
    6 June 2019

    Maybe it's time to wake up to the fact that you were born into the greatest period of the modem American economy and now that growth has slowed, your inflated salary, entitlement, and ego are becoming apparent as the generations who were born without that robust economy have learned to out perform you. Your entitlement is off the charts - how about you learn to improve to compete like the rest of us?

  • Je
    Jeffery Hill, MBA, CEO
    6 June 2019

    Seriously, this can't be real. Why not just start your own firm or become an agent with a copy that offers more than just assets under management. I know tons of insurance companies that will pay your what you feel you are worth (because you'll earn it).

    It sounds like you are Credibility and experience but for some reason you are waiting on someone else to validate that for you. Pssshhh, please do yourself a favor and start your own. Sure it could be scary but what do you have to lose?

    Join other social organizations for camaraderie and fellowship if you are feeling lonely. I am personally involved in 6 and if I added in my online communities that number scales about 20!

    In this day and age you have the ability to create or become whatever you want. If coding and bitcoin is keeping you from getting the interviews, answer much time have you spent in learning about it? How many classes or books did you pick up? How many courses did you take. start there.

    This talk sounds more like a millennial than a boomer, and i'm a millennial smh. I hear your frustration but you act as if you don't have the power to control the narrative. Worst case scenario, just reinvent yourself for the next 20 years or find a way to retire early.

    Personally, five of the past 10 years since joining the financial services industry I have focused on creating my own economy. I will be be someone who has to work until my mid 60s. I'm only 36 and have reached retirement status (from an income standpoint) before and will do it again.

    Why might you asked...because to took my own advice and reinvented myself so I know it's possible. Good luck and if you need a mentor/coach, i'm here to help!

    Jeffery Hill, MBA, CEO
    Top 100 in Finance
    Hill Financial Group Inc.
    AMOIG (Add me on IG) @Jeffhillspeaks and @hfginc

  • 50
    6 June 2019

    I'd be happy with AN OFFER of any kind just to be working. I have no expectations anymore especially not down here (S. FL). Yes, I'm certain its my age. Why would a hiring want to hire me if the team's age-range is 25-40? Yes I can get a financial advisor role, but as the author suggests I do not have a large network here of family and friends, am not into sourcing my own leads or cold calls, and not willing to work on commission.

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