Essential Tips for Changing Jobs: Especially if you are pursuing a career in support functions, planning to change jobs on a regular basis, such as once in every two or three years, can be a judicious strategy for advancement. This includes both changes of position or responsibilities within a given firm and changes of employer. An alternative and complementary strategy is that of redefining your job.

Rationale for Changing Jobs: Broadening your experience across job functions will enhance your value, and help you in surviving layoffs. This is particularly true inWall Street firms, where relatively thin staffing in support functions places a premium on an individual’s ability to multitaskacross disciplines. Also, in today’s business environment, with mergers, downsizing, and other upheavals, it is increasingly rare for people to spend an appreciable length of time with a given employer. Partially as a result, the stigma that used to attach to “job hopping” (frequent changes of employer) is very much diminished today.

Moreover, there is an increasing trend among employers to treat long-term, loyal employees (what few are left, that is) as if they lack energy, ambition, and perhaps marketable skills as well. Otherwise, per this line of reasoning, they would have obtained better-paying, more responsible jobs elsewhere. When such long-term employees find themselves out of work due to layoffs, they may have some difficulty getting hired elsewhere because of this mindset.

Thus, in today’s world, it actually may be a high-risk strategy to stick with one employer for a long time, even if you have that opportunity.

Finally, changing employers is traditionally the fastest path to securing a significant hike in pay. Most firms tend to have restrictive rules on the rate of pay increase available to existing employees, even those changing jobs or gaining promotions.

A recent survey offers useful insights into the motivations behind prospective financial job changers.

Caveats on Changing Jobs: If you are the sort of producer who controls your firm’s relationships with a group of specific clients, most notably a financial advisor, you should be very careful about changing firms.

First, shifting their accounts to your new company will be burdensome to your clients. A significant number may prefer to remain clients of your current employer rather than endure these transitional problems. Other clients may have their primary loyalty with your current firm, rather than with you. These are some of the key issues in retaining clientswhen changing firms.

Second, there may be legal or contractual impediments to your bringing existing clients along to your new employer, such as those imposed by the Protocol for Broker Recruiting. These impediments must be explored in detail, with appropriate legal help, before considering any such move.

Changing Jobs Internally: Changing jobs internally, within the same firm, has key considerations of its own that you ignore at your peril.

Case Study: Career paths are often the result of unexpected circumstances and the changes of job and employer that result from them. Follow the link for an extended case study.

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