Book Review: The Wall Street Professional's Survival Guide
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Survival is a realistic goal for many professionals in what has become the most challenging job market since the 1930s. But most financial professionals want more. Their cultural and personal goals are to move forward and upward. For those who are unemployed, worried about their jobs, or want to be in a place with advancement opportunities, Roy Cohen's new book, The Wall Street Professional's Survival Guide: Success Secrets of a Career Coach, will prove invaluable.
What makes this book an essential resource is the use of case studies and examples from the author's many years as a career coach. Cohen offers detailed and instructive descriptions, and presents specific steps to solve the career problems outlined. The strategies are applicable across a wide spectrum of the financial services business—from banking to prop trading to sales and operations. This is the nitty-gritty, hands-on world that we all can relate to.
Some of the career problems Cohen describes are the result of mistaken career choices. Many, however, are the result of a turbulent business that is in constant change, under pressure for immediate results. Wall Street is geared to quick decisions and short transaction times, and is run by managers with zero loyalty—other than to today's profits. Even the most qualified professionals live with the prospect of job loss, so learning to look for the next job is an essential skill.
Nonetheless, the finance industry has also learned to reinvent itself, to quickly move to the next good product area. Successful people on Wall Street follow this pattern. While the industry is extremely cyclical, the demand for financial services remains strong.
If asked to recommend just one career book, I would recommend Roy Cohen's The Wall Street Professional's Survival Guide.