The real problem with a job on Wall Street right now

SAN FRANCISCO – You might have heard that Wall Street doesn’t pay what it used to.

That’s likely true, but according to a survey of over 1,000 banking employees by strategy consulting firm Quinlan & Associates, the number one of source of dissatisfaction isn’t compensation. In fact, pay doesn’t even rank second.

Instead, promotions (or the lack thereof) are more important to most of those working in finance. In total, 37% of respondents said they were extremely dissatisfied or dissatisfied with promotions (PRM in the chart below). In a related area, 34% said they were dissatisfied with mentoring (MEN in the chart) at their current employer.

That’s not to say that there aren’t those who are worried about their compensation (CMP – 32% dissatisfied), but rather that other issues take priority. In fact, when it comes to extreme dissatisfaction, a lack of networking (NET) and the hours of the job (HRS) factor above pay.

“Career development as a category is the biggest driver of job dissatisfaction,” the report said. “Believing that their career is not progressing and feeling that the employer is not investing in their skills through training and education foments dissatisfaction among employees and catalyses the search for new opportunities.”

The report said:

“To address this, greater transparency around promotion criteria is needed. KPIs used to evaluate employees must be made clear and banks must think more strategically around rebalancing their top-heavy employee hierarchies to address the ongoing promotion bottleneck facing increasingly disenfranchised mid-career executives. Instituting a culture of meritocracy also necessitates committing to non-standardised, performance-based promotion timelines across all employee ranks.”

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