Financial Services Workers: Three Reasons for Optimism

Last Updated Sep 22, 2008 2:27 PM EDT

  • Optimist InternationalThe Find: If you're just starting out in financial services (or even if you're a good number of years into your career), you could be forgiven for being less than sanguine about your prospects, but one business school dean has told financial sector hopefuls that there is room for optimism.
  • The Source: Comments from Dean Glenn Hubbard of the Columbia Business School passed on via the Public Offering blog and the FT Management blog.
The Takeaway: After the carnage of last week, how could anyone find cause for optimism? Hubbard, however, thinks he's found three reasons to see rosy prospects for the battered sector - at least in the long term.
  1. Old people: "An aging society puts pressure on the demand for a whole variety of financial products and services. This isn't as well developed as it should be in the U.S. or the U.K., let alone in many emerging economies, and the number of return income vehicles, insurance products and so on will increase."
  2. Developing economies: "Many of the big emerging economies are improving their domestic demand, which will generate a huge demand for financial services as they exit from the state provision of services to the market."
  3. Globalization: "Anyone who says that the financial sector is going to shrink out of business has not been through these cycles before."
But just because things aren't 100 percent gloom and doom, don't think recent grads and those in the early stages of their careers can skip working on their own attitudes. To better align your thinking with the new realities, Hubbard stresses those old stand-bys: flexibility and keeping things perspective.

The Question: Financial services workers, which is the wiser choice: to abandon ship and try a whole new career or to keep paddling away upstream?

(Sign for Optimist International by Kevin, CC 2.0)

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    Jessica lives in London where she works as a freelance writer with interests in green business and tech, management, and marketing.