Today’s format is going to be different in comparison to my typical three to five paragraphs of insight. I have been pondering the questions that I have been asked over the last three months. Most of them come down to one or two ideas. First thought boils down to the question, “Is now the right time for me even to be thinking about making a move?” While the second asks, “What is going to happen to our industry?”
Our Industry’s Future
I’ll tackle the second question first. Public finance, according to everything I’ve read and spoken to professionals in our field about, will continue to be in demand for at least the next three to five years. With the minimum expected rate of issuance increasing yearly, the demand for public funding will increase to meet the COVID-19 environment. Public funds will and continue to be raised as there are current and future proposed bond issuance being scheduled. Now that we know that our industry is going to continue growth and solve the financial needs of our country through the issuance of municipal debt, you then have to ask yourself, “Are you ready for making a move, should the right circumstances arise?”
Your Future In The Industry & Making A Move
To determine that, I thought it was best to put together a checklist of questions you should ask yourself to prove you are a strong candidate in our current marketplace. The intent of these questions is for you to become comfortable with the type of professional you are in the field of public finance and to be able to place a value on your contribution. Most times I would recommend that you never answer a question with a simple yes or a no; however, this checklist does call for that gut-level response. Once you see your controversial answers (less obvious) those are the ones that you need to further evaluate before making a move.
Questions To Ask Yourself To Determine On Whether Or Not You Should Be Making A Move
☐ Have you been in the field of public finance for over five years?
☐ Have you been at your current firm for at least three years?
☐ Have you been provided the resources that you need to do your current position?
☐ Are you being mentored if you are a junior banker or a legal associate?
☐ Are you being groomed for a more senior position at your current firm?
☐ Do you have the right platform if you are a banker? Or the right tax support if you are a bond counsel?
☐ Is your firm dedicated to their public finance practice?
☐ Do you have confidence as a banker that your clients will follow you? Issuers for bond counsel?
☐ Do you rely on your business card to bring in business or on your own merits?
☐ Are you properly compensated for your efforts and contribution that you make to the bottom line?
☐ Are you being conflicted out as a bond counsel? Or stepping into another banker’s territory?
If a preponderance of these questions causes you to think about making a move, then we ought to talk. If on the converse, then you should feel incredibly grateful that you are at the right firm at the right time. As we know these are interesting times, to say the least. To have a firm that is treating you the way you want to be treated during this time, do not even think about looking at other opportunities. I can promise that the grass is not always greener on the other side. You should continue to build your character, reputation, and skills as a public professional at your current firm.
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.