As banks attempt to diversify their workforce, "returnship" programs are all the rage. - If you need to meet a goal of having 50% female employees in five years' time, it helps to tap-up all the women who've left the industry and who might want to come back again.
This doesn't mean that banks are not choosy about who returnships go to. Speaking at last week's Women Returners Conference, Tace Heuston, the head of talent management, international, for JPMorgan's asset and wealth management business, said there's an art to making it onto the returnship programs, and that it involves embracing your time out of the industry.
"I want to see your career break on your CV," said Heuston. "I think it's really important for you to own that." We all have choices, she added, and if you've taken the option to take time out, you should be prepared to talk about it constructively.
Tace said you'll also need to talk about your career before your break, and to give an indication of what you might be interested in for the future. "Tell us about your strengths, your skillset, what you're thinking of doing," she said.
Speaking at the same conference, Helena Fernandes, the head of EMEA campus recruitment and internal mobility and diversity recruitment at Credit Suisse, said the best returners are articulate and clear about their skillsets. You need to spell out any skills you acquired during your break, said Fernandes. You also need to explain why you want to come back and to highlight your transferable skills.
"We don't make the assumption that you want to come back to the same role you did previously," Fernandes added. "- We have people that have made quite significant changes." One former debt capital markets (DCM) banker returned to a role on a tech project and now works in audit, said Fernandes. "I can tell a host of other stories like that."
While transferable skills are important, it's not recommended that you pitch your returnship application at whichever division will take you. Brett Hemmerling, EMEA campus recruiting manager at Moody's, told attendees that it can be confusing for recruiters if candidates apply for roles that don't have "cohesion." - "Don't apply for any and all opportunities," he cautioned.
It's also unwise to set about stipulating your need for flexible work before you've even got a place on a program. "I would get my foot in the door first, that would be my advice," said Heuston on the optimal moment for discussing flexibility in a new role. "Have the discussion with your manager when you join."
If you're thinking about resuming a lapsed banking career, various banks are pushing their returnship programs right now. JPMorgan, for example, has a "reentry program" for associates and VPs in sales and trading. Goldman Sachs has just opened applications for its 2022 returnship program. The first is a 15-week program beginning in March 2022 which offers the possibility of a permanent JPMorgan job at the end. The second is a six-month program allowing individuals to "explore the opportunities" at Goldman Sachs.
In both cases, applicants need to have been out of the market for two or more years.
Photo by Maksim Romashkin from Pexels
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