Ah, FinTechs. Minting more millionaires than ever. Bill was a senior executive from Morgan Stanley, Citi, and a couple of other top shops. He took a package and decided to find a new and exciting career. He was tired of playing the Wall Street game with senior managers with sharp elbows.
He thought about the corporate world, but FinTech was on his mind. He gave me a call, and we put together a customized strategic plan. He’s now a major competitor to Robinhood!
When you’re in your 40’s looking to break into FinTech, age alone is a challenge. As I have written about in my 4 part Article “Making the Move from Wall Street to FinTech“, age is only one of the many challenges Wall Street professionals have in their transition. Furthermore, we all know the potential job positions shrink as we get more senior.
Most Wall Street professionals have never spent a lot of time working directly with developers. Not working with developers is a particular challenge since FinTechs, as a general rule, have developers at the heart of the operation. You will work with them, folks in their 20’s and 30’s that skateboard to work.
Finally, how do you find the right job where you can leverage your transferable skills?
First, think long and hard about what your real value add is. Then network on LinkedIn with professionals with whom you share a commonality to find out where the market thinks you belong. Combining what you want to do with the knowledge of what the market wants you to do will dramatically speed your job search.
You will then have a map to follow the Lucky Charms rainbow to the Leprechaun’s pot of gold.
Once this strategic work has been done, then you can turn to the more tactical steps of tilting your resume and LinkedIn profile towards the positions you want. Network up a storm and you will find something.
My client’s challenge
Bill was a senior pro at Morgan Stanley. He excelled on the compliance and regulatory side and had many contacts at NY Federal Reserve/SEC, etc. Coming from large investment banks, he was used to a hierarchy, a pretty rigid one at that.
Finally, his experience with developers was nascent since he spent his time with business unit heads and government officials. He certainly didn’t know Python well.
My client’s solution
First, Bill and I discussed that you never want to be the first Wall Street pro in FinTech’s door. When FinTechs mature to a point where they need senior professionals, the time it takes them to cross the bridge to hire the “grey hairs” in the room can be very long. Let someone else blaze the path.
Apple was famous for not inventing products, but for perfecting them after another company spent millions educating the market. Bill reached out and contacted many pros he already knew.
He also reached out on LinkedIn to those pros he shared a commonality – from Morgan Stanley, Citibank, and his university – pros he never met before. This warm reach out yielded many valuable calls which validated his intended role and FinTech he would enjoy.
It took Bill 6 months to land at a hot FinTech. As said in that famous movie “Good things, sometimes, take time. Stick to the fundamentals. That’s how IBM and Hilton were built. Good things, sometimes, take time.”
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