I don’t know if you know this about me, but I’m a banker and yet I’ve still made some highly questionable financial decisions in the past. Truth be told, I didn’t grow up dreaming of becoming a banker someday, instead it just kind of happened.
When I went to college I studied Animal Science, but I decided becoming a vet wasn’t for me. I knew I couldn’t handle the downsides of the job, like dealing with feces and having to witness pet deaths. So after graduation I went to look for a job in an agricultural sector I could find, including ag banking/lending which is where I ended up.
Now, I don’t want to completely bash my job because it definitely has its benefits, including an awesome benefit package, but it’s certainly not my dream job either. Here are just a few of the pros and cons of working a job in banking or financial management.
Pros of Being a (Kind of) Banker
- The job stops at 5 pm and I never have to work weekends. I don’t have to take work home with me and I’m not required to work outside of the “regular” 8-5 M-F schedule. Yes, I have put in some additional hours at times when we were swamped, like the end of the calendar year, but most of the time I don’t have to take the job home with me.
- Most banks and financial institutions offer great benefits, like paid time off, health insurance, dental and/or vision insurance, and a retirement plan. I do love these benefits and though I’m considering self-employment for my future, these are the things that are hard to give up.
- This could be a pro or a con depending on your personality and what kind of work you want to do, but I like that my job is not physically demanding. I don’t like that I sit at a desk all day long, but I’m glad I don’t have to work outside in horrible weather conditions like blowing snow in the winter or 100+ degree days in the summer.
Cons of Being a (Kind of) Banker
- Our paid time off is limited and we have to request approval prior to being gone. I know this is norm for most 8-5 “traditional” jobs, but I wish I could just wake up some days and say “nah, I don’t feel like working today” or “I want to sleep in a little bit so I’ll delay my work day by a couple of hours”. With an office job, I don’t have this luxury because our business schedule is fixed.
- When we do put in extra time we get no paid credit for it. The place I worked prior to my current employer offered our choice of extra time off or extra pay whenever we put in additional hours beyond the required 40/week. My current employer says if you’re salaried, like I am, that it’s “just part of the job”. 🙁
- Sometimes my job is high stress. We have a lot of rules and regulations to keep track of and follow. The best part about these rules and regs is that they are changed pretty often, meaning there’s lots of training to keep up on too. We also have timelines we have to abide by when it comes to lending and loan servicing. That’s a lot to keep track of at times.
I try to keep an optimistic perspective about my job in the banking industry because overall it’s a good sector to work in. Even the cons of working in this industry and for my employer are really not that bad. There are certainly worse jobs to have!
Have you thought about working in banking or finances?