Can I Still Make A Move This Year?

Is it too late to make a move this year? Here's what you need to know.

Questions start coming in this time every year regarding the timing to make a move.  With bonus season looming right around the corner, candidates ask me, “Can I still make a move this year?”  The answer of course depends on where you want to move.  This blog is going to explore the exit strategy that is appropriate as we round the end of 2023.  However, this year the question is more complicated than usual with the unforeseen exit of a major player in our public finance space.

To Make A Move This Year, Consider Timelines For Hiring

Can you still make a move this year? Generally speaking, the time to plan a move is before the last quarter of the year.  It is still taking anywhere from thirty (at the quickest) to ninety days to even one hundred twenty days with some firms from the first interview to the start date.   Also, if you have any sort of garden leave, that has to be factored in as well. This could add anywhere to an additional thirty to ninety days.  The larger bulge bracket firms and banks definitely take the longest time to get one started.  Why?  Their human resource department and legal department will weigh in on the entire process, and they never see the time crunch to get someone hired as crucial.  While the smaller institutions will tend to move faster in general, but not always.  With issuance being down this year and projected to be the same next year (unless interest rates are lowered), they are being more judicious in their choice of hiring.  This translates to a longer due diligence cycle on their part.  Municipal advisory firms will tend to move faster as most of those firms, with the exception of one or two behemoths, will move quicker in their hiring process.  With the above as a guideline, here’s what we are recommending once again as we close in at the end of the year.

Do You Leave A Bonus Behind?

If you are expecting a bonus to be paid, don’t leave the money on the table just to make a move this year.  You worked hard and another thirty to sixty days to wait at this time in the year is not that long.  With the holidays quickly approaching and the end of the year drawing close, finish with your current firm and be ready to make a move after you receive your coveted bonus payment.  However, that does not mean you stay idle in this part of the year.  In fact, it’s the exact opposite.  Now is the time to fully engage in the process.  Take the interview, and go through the process, which now will consist of numerous interviews and hopefully one or more trips back to corporate headquarters for you to finish your due diligence.  If things are heading the way you want, finish the interview process,  get and sign your offer, and wait for the bonus to be paid in 2024.

Are You In Demand To Make A Move This Year?

If you are not currently engaged in the interview process, the likelihood that you will be hired before the start of next year is getting tighter and tighter.  Don’t lose hope to make a move this year!  There will be firms that will still move extremely quickly if a banker in demand suddenly is available. I do recommend that if you are that banker in demand, do not play the field.  Find the right firm and stick to only dealing with that firm if everything is feeling right on both parties.  For the right displaced banker, there is still a possibility to get hired and started before the end of this year – if there is no bonus or any other compensation that one is waiting for.  Firms at this time of the year are not willing to make someone whole by paying an expected bonus, so do not have that idea in your planning process.  But if you think that your bonus is going to be negligible it may make sense to get hired and beat the pool of displaced bankers currently in the marketplace.

This year is definitely different, so plan accordingly. We are here to help you manage that process as always.


You don’t need a resume to chat with us! If you would like to discuss your options, please reach out for a confidential conversation at 760-477-1284 or email at [email protected]. He can also be reached on LinkedIn. Harlan publishes a blog every Thursday here. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter here, which is a compilation of our weekly blogs, so you never miss one. You can find our listing in the “supplier and services” section of the Red Book under the title of “executive recruiting.”

About Harlan Friedman, JD & Founding Member, H. Friedman Search LLC. Harlan is a thirty-year veteran Public Finance Banker turned recruiter who specializes in the placement of all levels Public Finance Bankers, Healthcare Bankers, Municipal Advisors, Compliance Officers, Issuers, and Bond Counsels.