I’ve quit. After over two decades working in risk roles for some of the biggest names in the financial services industry, I have resigned with no role to go to.
I’m not sure what I’m doing next, but I don’t intend to work for a large corporate in the finance sector again.
I made big personal sacrifices for my career in finance. I have two children, who are now teenagers and I spent much of their childhoods working long weeks. When I work, I am wholly committed. I regularly work 15- or 16-hour days and put in more time at weekends. I enjoy the job and I do what’s necessary to get the work done.
Now, though, I am through. I am fed up with working in an industry where progression through the upper ranks is about politics and posturing rather than productivity. You don’t need talent, you need good communication skills and an understanding of how to network. The top levels of financial services firms are full of people who don’t do much work, but who have an excellent understanding of how to play the game.
This isn’t me. I know that I am smart and talented, and I’m interested in doing my job and then playing the politics. Too many women in finance find themselves punished for the same reason: we all have a little bit of imposter syndrome and we are all working incredibly hard to do well in our jobs and neglecting the posturing that’s really necessary to progress.
I’m fed up with it. Leaving is scary: I had no time to build hobbies while I was working in finance and I don’t know what I’m going to do next. My children still need me though, and I welcome the chance to spend some time with them at this formative point in their own lives.
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