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Old 31.03.2012, 00:37
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Do's & Don't in a new job (in finance)

Next Monday, April 2nd, I start my new job in one of the big finance corporations in Zürich.

While I am familiar within many atmospheres I would like to get your insight on DO'S and DON'Ts in the financial environment.

First impressions stick to one's image (and may eventually determine your future evolution in a company)

Topics to:
- Dress code
- Commute / not commute
- Image mgmt vs social status (e.g. wearing rolex or not, etc)
- Use of personal accessories (Ipad's, sport equipment)
- Work times
- Integration into company events (sports, etc,
- openness to strangers / office neighbors/ new colleagues / upper mgmt, etc
- personal hobbies good to openly speak
- conversational topics to choose / avoid
- ...
- ...


Of course, every environment is different but you experiences will really be interesting to read!
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Old 31.03.2012, 00:37
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Re: Do's & Don't in a new job (in finance)

Welcome to the forum.
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Old 31.03.2012, 00:42
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Re: Do's & Don't in a new job (in finance)

Don't fart in the lift.
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Old 31.03.2012, 00:48
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Re: Do's & Don't in a new job (in finance)

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Don't fart in the lift.
Unless you can blame somebody else :P
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Old 31.03.2012, 13:31
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Re: Do's & Don't in a new job (in finance)

Welcome to the forum! A little background info about yourself would be helpful, perhaps where you're from and a bit about what your professional experience has been thus far

Anyway, I've spent some time on Wall Street, though my career is and has always been in the legal profession. I have not had any experience in finance here in Switzerland, however. So, best of luck to you and read on for my recommendations (in red) below in response to your queries:

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Next Monday, April 2nd, I start my new job in one of the big finance corporations in Zürich.

While I am familiar within many atmospheres I would like to get your insight on DO'S and DON'Ts in the financial environment.

First impressions stick to one's image (and may eventually determine your future evolution in a company)

Topics to:
- Dress code: Since you haven't told us what kind of position you will take up in this finance corporation (e.g., manager, director, team leader, etc.) or what department (e.g., private banking, client services, project management, IT, etc.) it varies. A lot depends on how much client contact or exposure you have, how much interaction with senior management, etc. If that's the case, dress conservatively and businesslike (suit, tie, button down). But if you're in IT, for instance, business casual would be fine. Still, on your first day, it's better to err on the side of dressing up until you see what other people are wearing and then you can adjust accordingly.

- Commute / not commute: Assuming you don't live next door to your new office, could you please clarify? Do you mean whether to drive or take public transport? Or should you ask if there's an option to telecommute?

- Image mgmt vs social status (e.g. wearing rolex or not, etc): Unless you're really young and just out of college, in which case you could be perceived as some spoiled rich kid, go ahead and wear the Rolex and carry the LV bag

- Use of personal accessories (Ipad's, sport equipment): Only on your breaks/lunch hour. Otherwise, you'll be seen as a slacker.

- Work times: Depends on what your job is. Be prepared to start VERY early (some of my friends working at UBS start @ 07:00) and work till at least 1800 or 1900. I know some people even work weekends.

- Integration into company events (sports, etc,: Yes, it's a way to show team spirit and your openness to integrating, and it's also an important conduit to networking and getting to know people. If you're invited to apéros and coffees, go.

- openness to strangers / office neighbors/ new colleagues / upper mgmt, etc: Smile, make eye contact, be courteous and polite, but not over-friendly and don't reveal too much information about yourself. ln the beginning, listen more than you talk so you can learn. Also, there's a lot of handshaking going on businesses here, more than I've seen elsewhere. It's part of the culture, just go with it.

- personal hobbies good to openly speak: Not until after you've been there awhile. Just keep things to yourself in the beginning, and don't offer to Facebook friend everybody. FWIW, I've FB friended only a handful of people at work, and those are the ones that I am also friends with outside of work, and it took time to build those friendships.

- conversational topics to choose / avoid: Religion, politics, Swiss bashing (even harmless complaints about having to recycle can be perceived negatively)
- ...
- ...

Of course, every environment is different but you experiences will really be interesting to read!
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  #6  
Old 31.03.2012, 15:39
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Re: Do's & Don't in a new job (in finance)

One other thing I forgot to mention, but it's important.

Again, not knowing where you're from, what kind of business experience you have or what your customs and practices are, I have to mention that here in Switzerland, eating meals at one's desk is generally frowned on, even in international companies. That said, it does happen in some offices depending on how the people in the team/dept. feel about it and whether or not there is a company policy against it.

I'm aware, for instance, that at UBS, a memo was sent around stating that employees were forbidden from eating at their desks because many people find the smell of food objectionable. In my former company, in one dept. I worked in, people were against it and didn't do it; in another dept, nearly everybody ate at their desks and there was no problem. In my current place, nobody cares. So YMMV

Drinking coffee, tea, water, of course, are okay, as is having a cookie or croissant, but that's about it. Booze is in order at apéros
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Old 01.04.2012, 11:36
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Re: Do's & Don't in a new job (in finance)

Thank you so much !
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Old 01.04.2012, 12:07
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Re: Do's & Don't in a new job (in finance)

Next Monday, April 2nd, I start my new job in one of the big finance corporations in Zürich. Zurich F...

While I am familiar within many atmospheres (operations division of automotive, chemicals multinationals) I would like to get your insight on DO'S and DON'Ts in the financial environment.

First impressions stick to one's image (and may eventually determine your future evolution in a company)

Topics to:
- Dress code: Since you haven't told us what kind of position you will take up in this finance corporation (e.g., manager, director, team leader, etc.) or what department (e.g., private banking, client services, project management, IT, etc.) it varies. A lot depends on how much client contact or exposure you have, how much interaction with senior management, etc. If that's the case, dress conservatively and businesslike (suit, tie, button down). But if you're in IT, for instance, business casual would be fine. Still, on your first day, it's better to err on the side of dressing up until you see what other people are wearing and then you can adjust accordingly. I will be evaluating the financials & risks of client's operations (limited exposure to clients themselves, afaik)


- Commute / not commute: Assuming you don't live next door to your new office, could you please clarify? Do you mean whether to drive or take public transport? Or should you ask if there's an option to telecommute?

- Image mgmt vs social status (e.g. wearing rolex or not, etc): Unless you're really young and just out of college, in which case you could be perceived as some spoiled rich kid, go ahead and wear the Rolex and carry the LV bag
Being used to more informal environment, I would not like to look like cheap!! Should I extend my wardrobe ?! Should I go for branded items?


- Use of personal accessories (Ipad's, sport equipment): Only on your breaks/lunch hour. Otherwise, you'll be seen as a slacker.


- Work times: Depends on what your job is. Be prepared to start VERY early (some of my friends working at UBS start @ 07:00) and work till at least 1800 or 1900. I know some people even work weekends.
That's the tricky point! While image mgmt above seems doable, managing of expectations may be a serious issue! Should I work from the very beginning long hours ? Should I take my reasonable time to learn my tasks? Should I already perform at 120% or should I go to 90-100 with some margin for going up and causing a positive impression ??


- Integration into company events (sports, etc): Yes, it's a way to show team spirit and your openness to integrating, and it's also an important conduit to networking and getting to know people. If you're invited to apéros and coffees, go.

- openness to strangers / office neighbors/ new colleagues / upper mgmt, etc: Smile, make eye contact, be courteous and polite, but not over-friendly and don't reveal too much information about yourself. ln the beginning, listen more than you talk so you can learn. Also, there's a lot of handshaking going on businesses here, more than I've seen elsewhere. It's part of the culture, just go with it.

- personal hobbies good to openly speak: Not until after you've been there awhile. Just keep things to yourself in the beginning, and don't offer to Facebook friend everybody. FWIW, I've FB friended only a handful of people at work, and those are the ones that I am also friends with outside of work, and it took time to build those friendships.

- conversational topics to choose / avoid: Religion, politics, Swiss bashing (even harmless complaints about having to recycle can be perceived negatively)
- ...
- ...

Of course, every environment is different but your experiences will really be interesting to read!




Quote:
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Welcome to the forum! A little background info about yourself would be helpful, perhaps where you're from and a bit about what your professional experience has been thus far

Anyway, I've spent some time on Wall Street, though my career is and has always been in the legal profession. I have not had any experience in finance here in Switzerland, however. So, best of luck to you and read on for my recommendations (in red) below in response to your queries:
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Old 01.04.2012, 12:10
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Re: Do's & Don't in a new job (in finance)

Why not do what most normal people do, turn up observe and ask questions!! If you need to ask an internet forum then you are already doing the wrong thing.
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Old 01.04.2012, 15:41
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Re: Do's & Don't in a new job (in finance)

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Zurich F...!
I know a person who works there and I've understood that the dress code is suit for everyone - no matter if you work with clients or not.

Might be mistaken but I work in a company where some people don't even wear socks during summer but everyone thinks it normal that people wear a suit on their first day.. so suit up :-)
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Old 01.04.2012, 16:56
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Re: Do's & Don't in a new job (in finance)

And no buttoned-down collars - much like global taxation, US is the only nation to find it "fashionable".
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Old 01.04.2012, 20:12
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Re: Do's & Don't in a new job (in finance)

Gel your hair back; you'll have that ex McKinsey / consultant look. It'll also help us to spot you at parties.
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Old 01.04.2012, 21:42
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Re: Do's & Don't in a new job (in finance)

Come on dont forget the most imporant thing
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Old 03.04.2012, 00:22
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Re: Do's & Don't in a new job (in finance)

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Next Monday, April 2nd, I start my new job in one of the big finance corporations in Zürich.

While I am familiar within many atmospheres I would like to get your insight on DO'S and DON'Ts in the financial environment.

[...]

Of course, every environment is different but you experiences will really be interesting to read!
Oh very easy! for every new job on day 1 I simply pick and act one of the roles explained here:

http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Office_workers

This strategy never fails, over time you always get promotion (don't ask me how it works it just works like that!):

http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Dead_Man_Walking

Next interview, upon question why your CV shows 20 jobs in the last 5 years you use the classical "I seek personal continuous growth through confronting the challenge of change management every three months which also provides a holistic approach to my career path"

And always, ever, forever: be authentic, be A MAN

http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Male
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