I put a lot of life into banking. I joined the industry soon after I graduated and I spent the next 35 years working non-stop for some of the top U.S. and European banks in Europe. I was at the top of my game and ran whole business areas. Then, after over three decades of working 24/7 I decided to rest.
Fundamentally, I wanted to spend more time with my family before the kids grew up too much and to travel to some places on my bucket list. Naturally, I was anxious about the future and concerned that I was doing the right thing, but I told myself that it would be ok. 18 months later, I'm not so sure that it is.
The world seems to have changed in the time I was away. As someone wrote on this site last week, there are fewer jobs out there. People also seem to be closing ranks.
I have a big network and I'm starting to reach out and to be humble about the fact that I'm looking for a new job. Surprisingly, almost no one is responding. Very few people seem to want to stay in touch or genuinely help. Hardly anyone even sent a friendly text. Not even a, "Hey, what are you up to?"
This is a shame I guess I should have known it would happen, but during my career I had several hundred people working for me and I did a lot of some of them. Those people are blanking me too. Yes, this is an alpha industry with some big egos, but we're also humans here.
I'm not the first person this has happened to. I have friends who've experienced similar treatment at different points of the cycle. One minute you're everyone's friend and then you leave the industry and no one calls you for months.
I guess this is normal human behaviour. People are holding onto their jobs and there is a culture of fear out there. It's all about protecting your turf in a declining money. The pie is shrinking and there's less money to go around. Like it or not, there's less kindness too.
Camillo Zerbo is a pseudonym
Photo by Anthony Tyrrell on Unsplash
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