Reflecting On Your Present To Find Your Future

Here's how you know if it's time to leave the industry of public finance or just your current company.

How are you feeling about the industry of public finance and/or your current company?

The one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has given us is time. Time for us to reflect on what is important in our lives. As it relates to this article, it has also given us time to reflect on our economic situation. I am confident in making that statement because more and more people ask me, “What is the future of public finance? Especially in hiring trends?”  I first respond by asking the individual to reflect on his/her perspective and thoughts about public finance. Secondly, I give my opinion on how I am extremely confident in the industry of public finance, more specifically that it will continue to thrive in the coming years.  I use the hiring of Bond Counsels as my bellwether indicator, and the hiring of Bond Counsels is afoot.

The Possible Subtext Of That Question:

“What Is The Future Of Public Finance?”

There are times that I believe I hear someone’s lack of commitment to the industry of public finance when speaking about the future of it. Particularly to their own company and position they hold. Most people in our industry are fervently dedicated on both the banking side as well as the legal side. This is evidenced by the advancement in age of many bankers and lawyers that are still choosing to work every day. During this time of reflection, I believe it is worthwhile and important to measure your own commitment to this industry and/or to your current company. These are two separate schools of thought: the industry and your current company. Let’s address them separately.

The Industry Of Public Finance

The commitment to the industry of public finance is either in your blood or it’s not. If you view this just as a job or a source for a paycheck, the industry may not be right for you. It may be during this time of reflection that you should look at new opportunities. I know public finance bankers as well as bond counsels have numerous transferable skills, which is unlike many other professionals who are locked into what they must do. If you find yourself in this position, please reach out to me as I am now offering a professional transitional coaching experience.  Ascertaining your transferable skills become paramount in a new job search. 

Your Current Company 

If you find that you are committed to the industry of public finance (which I hope you still are as I have been for over thirty-five years) but are questioning your company and/or their commitment to you, then this also causes further reflection. The reason for your angst may not just be your company but may be your desire to make a move. Numerous people will reach out to me throughout the year and tell me about their concern about the company: possibly being sold, closing or whatever.  I always reiterate that those are not a good enough reason to make a move. Fear of the future needs to be totally evaluated when thinking about a pending move. However, when I hear a potential candidate say to me, “My business is being inhibited because of…. the lack of platform, the lack of commitment by the desk to my particular area of expertise, or just lack of commitment to public finance in general,” then a move is warranted.

Next Steps

At this point it is critical to determine exactly what type of banker or attorney you are within the industry of public finance. By understanding this you will be able to determine if a recommended firm could be the right fit.  Then, and only then, should you agree to take a preliminary interview with the new firm. Do not simply take an interview to “kick the tires”. Take the interview if you are only serious about making a move. The adage that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence generally does not hold true.   In closing, you need a serious reason for engaging with a new firm especially during this time. Why? Because people are getting hired faster. Firms are looking to fill their voids as they increase hiring to meet their needs based on their internal analysis of this “new” marketplace.


If you would like to discuss your options, please reach out to me for a confidential conversation at 760-477-1284 or email me at [email protected]. He can also be reached on LinkedIn

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 level Public Finance Bankers, Health Care Bankers, Municipal Financial Advisors, Compliance Officers, Issuers, and Bond Counsels.