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We all know it is highly competitive to win that first job, whether on a Graduate Programme or getting hired directly into a specific role at one of the hundreds of City firms that exist in all sorts of sectors.

What you don’t want to do is to put all that effort into getting there and then finding out it’s not for you ! You might think the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ is a bit far-fetched. It is. However a young man I helped start his London Financial Market career was asked at an interview with a broking firm “Sell me this pencil ?”. My man is not a “pencil seller” and was able to spot the signs that this role at this company was not for him. He is now succeeding in a very suitable role with a real career path ahead.      

The firms that have elements of the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ and require some ‘robustness’ are generally found on the Sell Side: mainly Broking firms (not Stockbroking firms) and Investment Bank Sales & Trading Rooms (FX, Fixed Income, Equities, Commodities).

The firms that are least like the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ and require a more ‘subtle’ approach are generally found on the Buy Side: Fund Management /Asset Management  /Wealth Management / Private Banking / Stockbroking.

However worth noting many Investment Banking / Sell Side roles require the ‘subtle’ approach :i.e. Research /Analyst / Compliance /Risk Management /Operations /Information Technology /Human Resource roles.

On the Vendor side; the 200 or so companies that service the financial sector at least all of the following roles exist: Sales / Research/ Analyst / Human Resources / IT Developer / IT Support / Project Management / Business Management / Finance / Marketing. Most of these are not ‘Wolf of Wall Street ‘ roles although any Sales role at any firm is going to require a certain ‘robustness’.

Don’t get me wrong, if you want to be a ‘pencil seller’ or ‘pencil trader’ go out and achieve and perhaps make a lot of money doing so. But worth asking yourself the question “What sort of person am I ?” and directing you job and career search efforts accordingly.

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