So, how do you get to be what you want to be when you grow up?

by .

So, this getting a job business, what do you need? Well, literacy and numeracy help. Being a team player can be useful. Work experience tends to mean you meet people who can run a business. Except in Investment banking, when almost no one can. All good advice, but how do you get the job. I mean, get the job.


I used to own a headhunting firm, where my main job was advising, for free, my now old investment banking friends on how they got jobs after the almost inevitable redundancy. Difficult, what else can what else can an investment banker do except be an investment banker?


Now it’s their children, whose approach tends to be an unscripted panic, and a realisation, finally, that they should have worked harder at school, and at least have made some effort at university. So the initial conversation goes something like this;


‘So, what do you want to do?’

‘Investment banking’

‘OK, there are 6,000 different jobs in an investment bank’



This really happens, so what is the solution. Well, in my case, Dad sent me to see a couple of ‘merchant banker’ friends, and the job appeared. This works no longer. Firstly, because Dad probably won’t know any now. And secondly, his intervention in the process now would be hugely damaging to its chances of success. The jobseeker needs to be a bit better informed in this day and age. They need to have a rather more specific idea of what they want to do. This means a process is required. Everything needs a process. Cleaning your teeth needs a process. Without one, you could poke an eye out.


Here, for what it is worth, is the Loyd process of finding out what you want to do and how you go about doing it. The first thing anyone needs to remember is that a parent is, as a rule, less than useful at helping and, if it tries to, it tends to instil in the searcher an unshakeable urge to do as little as possible for the rest of its life whatever the cost might be. This mental affliction tends to accompany the physical one of a raised middle finger. Anyway;


  1. Buy a Black/Red note book. This process does not work if done on a computer (you might not agree with this, but you do need a print-out, if you use a computer);
  2. On page 1; write down what you are good at; communication; maths; people; whatever;
  3. Page 2; what you are bad at; working in the city; offices; big organisations;
  4. Page 3; what do you want your life style to be. City, kids privately educated, Ferrari means a vet’s career in North Yorkshire is probably out. Living in Docklands? A country vet may not be ideal;
  5. Page 4; Set out Plan A; the first idea of what you might do, showing;
  • How it fits with the criteria on Pages 1, 2, and 3;
  • Which companies do it (research required here);
  1. Page 5; Set out Plan B (Plan A seldom works in life, look at the divorce rate); ditto Plan A;
  2. Page 6; Plan C; ditto.


The theory behind this process is as follows;


  1. You have a written record of where you have got to in the process;
  2. You can amend/update whenever, as opposed to waking up at 3pm, having a great idea, then forgetting it;
  3. You have something to read and think about;
  4. You have something to go through with someone else;
  5. The process will give you the semblance of progress, even when there is very little. There will be such moments, increasingly in this world, I suspect;
  6. When you have done this, you will find that there are many people who you can turn to for advice and help. But, as I know from experience, it is very hard to help someone who has no idea what they want to do;
  7. Then you add Page 7, which is a diary of whom you are seeing to discuss this; and
  8. ……….pages thereafter of each meeting and what is said. There will be very few meetings that do not result is some relevant idea/suggestion.


Maybe the answer will be to start your own business? Here the approach is somewhat different. You need three things;


  1. A business plan;
  2. A business plan; and
  3. Money


Same rules apply, but a parent might come in more useful.


David Loyd, 26th May 2016.

David Loyd is Director of International Market Management and friend of Jericho.

Written in response to May Jericho Notices.


Sign up to be kept up to date