CHOOSING A CAREER / JUL. 04, 2015
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The Downside of Pursuing a Banking Career

The banking industry plays an important role in the economy. It not only facilitates the circulation of money, but it also renders investment analyses and decisions for people looking to increase their wealth. In the labor market, it is a hot destination for banking, business, economics and accounting professionals. While pursuing a career as a banker affords you the opportunity to help people access a host of baking services, it comes with a number of disadvantages.  

See Also: How to Battle Burnout in the Banking Industry

So as you gear up to landing a banking job, you surely must want to know what you are getting yourself into…before it’s too late. Keep reading.

Long Hours

If you are looking for a profession with flexible work, then banking is not for you. As banks seek to gain more customers, branches – especially those in cities- are resorting to opening till late. This means more work for employees. According to an article published by Bloomberg, young bankers spend as much as 90 hours a week on the job. Although the hours reduce as one gains experience and moves up the banking ladder, the faint-hearted may not stay long enough to see better days.  

What are the implications of working long hours? For starters, your work-life balance will be almost as bad as that of an off-shore oil rigger! You will have little time to reconnect with your social life. Secondly, you will have little time to pursue advanced academic or professional qualifications and stand a chance of taking your career to the next level.

Health Problems

Bankers, especially investment bankers, are an ambitious lot. The prospect of making northwards of $300,000 a month makes many of them roll into high gear. While the big money craving may explain the long hours they are willing to put in, many are unaware of the potential health problems lurking around the workplace. Recent research performed by the University of Southern California established that young bankers are susceptible to insomnia, heart palpitations, alcoholism and eating disorders.

Even then, not many bankers rise to the top where the big bucks are harvested in plenty. Increasing inability to manage ambition can lead to depression, anxiety and even worse, suicide. Warren Buffet once said that Wall Street is a place where people ride in a Rolls Royce to seek advice from those who take the subway. Is it coincidental that suicide rates are high among Wall Street bankers? You be the judge.

Tight Regulations

Since the financial crisis of 2008, banks have been hit with regulations from all corners. Consequently, bankers are faced with a plethora of rules which they must adhere to. Along with a strict professional code of conduct, many beginning bankers find it hard to freely and effectively discharge their services. The work is even tougher for bankers who transact money across international boarders, as they have to comply with the laws of foreign lands too.

Robberies and Corn Artists

Although security is often heightened in and around banks, they are still attractive to robbers. According to the FBI, there were 3,961 reported case of bank robbery in the US alone. As such, this profession exposes you to violent incidences that could end in disaster. Even if you are lucky enough to escape a robbery, you may still fall prey to con artists who use you lapse in concentration to steal lots of money. Although you are innocent, you may be suspended for several days to give room for investigations. We have all heard stories of bankers rotting in jail for crimes they didn’t commit. Haven’t you?

See Also: Why the Banking Industry Promotes Dishonest Behavior

These are some of the negatives of working in the banking industry, particularly as a banker. As always, be sure to carefully evaluate the pros and cons of the career you wish to pursue, and determine whether it is worth a try.

Are you planning to pursue a career in banking? Have these downsides changed you view of the profession? Share your in the comments section below.  

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