How to avoid being fired before you even start

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I’ve likely read 20 advice pieces on what people learned from being fired. None of them have been particularly good, and those that added some value weren’t all that relatable to people on Wall Street. Sallie L. Krawcheck, the former president of the Global Wealth & Investment Management division of Bank of America, broke the mold with a new op-ed published on Wednesday.

The piece, likely more helpful for people fired from managerial roles on Wall Street, doesn’t pull any punches. In fact, she opens the article by essentially discarding the notion that she was simply moved aside via a restructuring initiative under incoming CEO Brian Moynihan. “It sure felt like I was fired,” she wrote. Here are a few of her more illuminating points.

  • Face Time Still Critical: In a time where phone calls are now considered a rather personal form of communication, Krawcheck reminds readers that face time still matters. As the head of the brokerage unit, Krawcheck worked in New York, hundreds of miles away from the company’s headquarters in Charlotte.  “It’s hard to be part of the inside jokes when you’re not there or you aren’t having the few minutes swapping stories while grabbing a coffee between meetings,” she said.
  • You Need Allies: Much of the op-ed focuses on Krawcheck’s view of herself as an outsider. Her inability to crack the inner circle of the company appeared to have contributed heavily to her demise, even in what is known to be a rather meritocratic environment. She said the wealth business at the firm was ahead of budget and gaining market share when she was shown the door. “I lacked a real sponsor at the senior leadership table,” she said. A stark reminder that succeeding on Wall Street is still a great deal about having more friends than the other guy or girl.
  • Culture Matters: Taking a role at a firm with an evolving culture isn’t a bad thing, Krawcheck suggests, but be wary of companies without a clear idea of what that culture will become. “I knew there was no real alignment of values when I found myself second- and third-guessing my comments in management team meetings before I made them,” she wrote.

Check out the full post for more of her thoughts.

Expectations Tapered (eFinancialCareers)

Fewer Wall Street bankers anticipate seeing a bonus increase this year than their U.K. and Asian counterparts, according to a new survey from eFinancialCareers.

Germany’s Nice This Time of Year (Reuters)

The European Central Bank will need to hire 770 banking supervisors within a year, plus 230 support staff. The ECB is considering private sector employees, but you’ll likely need to be willing to move to Frankfurt.

Getting Active (Business Insider)

Two successful New York hedge funds – Ader Investment Management and Cumberland Associates – are joining forces to create a new fund that will employ an activist strategy. Get ready for more public calls to replace CEOs, as if we haven’t had enough of those already.

Bad Getting Worse (FIN Alternatives)

Another day, another piece of tough news for SAC Capital employees. It turns out six teams of traders were cut this week, not six individual traders as had been reported earlier. However, the firm said it doesn’t expect to make any additional cuts before the New Year.

New Precedent Set (NY Post)

A judge has ruled that the wife of hedge fund manager George Sykes will need to pay for her own litigation expenses as part of her high-stakes divorce, breaking a precedent in which the more affluent of two divorcees pays for the costs associated with the settlement. Amanda Sykes had run up an astounding $700,000 in legal fees in just two months.

EBay Mafia (WSJ)

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Everyday I’m Hustling (Reuters)

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Buzz Around the Office

Criminal Negligence (MSN)

A Romanian man who helped steal $24 million worth of art from a Dutch museum is considering suing management for their poor security measures. He claims the museum made it too easy to steal the paintings, which are still missing by the way.

List of the Day: Rookie Mistakes

If you have just graduated, beware of these common resume pitfalls.

  1. A lack of quantifiable accomplishments.
  2. No action verbs.
  3. Excluding GPA.

(Source: Business Insider)

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