Everybody must have crossed this question in their mind at least once. What is it like to work in a bank? When one thinks of a bank employee, one imagines a well- dressed busy person working on their computer. Yes, that’s the first picture that comes to mind but there is more than just that. A person who works in a bank has to have a strong aptitude and analytical skills and must be good with numbers and need to deal with all kinds of people. They have to possess great soft skills and must be comfortable to wear formals day in and day out. It is a matter of personal preference to work in a bank. If you think you can handle the work in the banking industry, then this sector is a good thriving one especially in the coming years, jobs at banks are about to increase. So if you want to work in this industry, now is the best time to do so.
The specific work that a bank does includes a wide array of duties. They are involved in selling financial services or managing other staff. The banks mostly come under two categories. One is administrative or customer service and the other one is finance and business. For instance, a bank teller falls in the first category and a loan officer falls in the latter. They also are involved in cashing checks, making deposits, or answering queries regarding the bank and customer’s account-related problems. Loan officers do the review of different kinds of loan applications for businesses or individuals.
There are many roles and titles in a bank just like any other company. Each title has different functions and objectives to follow.
- The experience of working in a bank sometimes depends on the title of the job and the office you are holding to.
- Some of the common job titles of the banking industry are loan counselor, trust officer, and financial manager.
- There are also sales agents to sell investing and banking services. Department Managers, AVP, VP, Managing Director, SVP, EVP, etc.
- Then there are different types of banks like Retail Banking, Wholesale Banking, Investment Banking, Mortgage Banking, Building Societies, Private Banking, etc.
- A bank teller is the most hired job title. This job role involves dealing with customers at all times.
- The duties involve helping customers with their purchase money orders, changing money, or making withdrawals, deposits, and loan payments.
- Banks also have customer service representatives, new account clerks, and even call center representatives.
- Many job titles are working such as administrative support such as receptionist, data processor secretary, or supervisor.
- In the department of paperwork processing and financial records maintenance, your job title will be as a bookkeeper or accounting /credit/loan clerk, or a bill collector.
So, generally, each sector has its demands and criteria or skill sets to follow.
But one commonality is found in all the sectors. Even though every sector is different, banks have a systematic structure that is mostly uniform for all the sectors. The structure is hierarchical and you can say bureaucratic.
- A bank has a proper chain of command.
- They mean business and are bottom-line driven.
There are ROI analyses for projects and budgets to make so you can imagine what would happen if the profit margin does not meet the financial objectives. Banks love accountability and would expect their employees to be disciplined and accountable for their work.
- Do you like to handle lots of paperwork and love to meet lots of people to do status reporting and are big on keeping secrets? Yes, then you will love working in a bank.
The different types of offices at the bank.
- There are these three offices in the bank
- There are front offices, middle offices, and back offices.
- The front office’s main duty is to contact clients face to face.
- Those areas where you don’t contact clients and provide supporting roles are called back offices.
- The middle offices only require indirect client contact. The work role or skills are entirely different in all these three.
- The other thing to remember is the experiences also differ from region to region.
- The experiences of working in a bank in a city are different from a town.
- The town will be much slower and less stressful compared to the city. Nevertheless, the work is more stressful as compared to other jobs even in a small town.
Here are some of the common skill sets you will need if you have to work in a bank.
1. You need to be good with numbers. There is no time to be careless and lazy. You need to have an accurate account at all times. If there is more or less cash every time, you have a high chance of getting terminated.
2. You need to be in your formals all the time. If you are someone who is not comfortable with wearing formals every day at your work then working at the bank is not for you
3. You need to be punctual and must be a person of high accountability. Banks demand that and you need to display those characteristics if you want to thrive in the banking industry.
4. You have to possess a strong work ethic. Those who work at the bank are highly professional and the culture at the bank expects their employees to maintain that kind of attitude.
5. You have to have a pleasing personality with an eye for detail. A person who has lots of patience is required as mostly you will be handling people’s money in dealing with their loans, accounts maintenance, businesses, etc. A careless person cannot be expected to handle people’s finances.
6. You have to be fit and healthy to work in a bank. Depending on your job title, you might stand the whole day dealing with all kinds of customers from the angry, irritated to the hangry, impatient ones. Sometimes you have to deal with their worst attitudes or verbal abuse even or You may have traveling work, the ones that require you to meet lots of clients.
7. You need to have the power to convince people as the work may involve convincing people to take a loan or to open accounts etc. There are so many things a bank does that would require your negotiations skills.
8. You need to have a high tolerance for people. The people you will be dealing with may have zero knowledge about anything from investment to loans etc. You need to help them understand the schemes, loans procedures, etc.
9.Those who work in banks are used to targets, deadlines and are used to working in a stressful environment but the perks of working in a bank are higher as compared to other industries. You may get holidays, or you may be entitled to different types of loans at cheaper interest rates. There are many more perks a bank employee enjoys from disability benefits to health insurance benefits etc.
10.You have to have no judgment if you want to work in a bank, in the sense that you cannot judge the book by its covers. The bank holds different kinds of people’s accounts. Some have multiple businesses but they may come looking like a rag dolls. The bottom line is to treat everyone the same so as not to be sorry later.
11. You may be paid to destroy millions of dollars if you are working in a bank. It is interesting to note that banks will pay $10 an hour to burn up 1million dollars.
12.There is an intimidating thought initially while working at the bank for some at the fear of messing things up. Banks handle large sums of amounts and the potential of making mistakes is always at the back of the mind.
13. You are required to be more vigilant and smart as you cannot afford to make mistakes in the policies and procedures. Responsibility is very high and one needs to keep up with it.
14. Working in a bank helps you to gain experiences that can be used in other sectors, should you decide to move on to another field. The experiences gained are worthy and will have their use in many other industries.
Qualifications to work in a bank.
Even if you have a G.E.D you can work on the bank. However, if you want to work in a higher position then having a degree in banking, the management or a graduation degree is a must for you to work in higher roles. It is good to know that the ABA (American Bankers Association)offers varieties of certificate and diploma programs for jobs at the bank through AIB(American Institute of banking).
Working in the banking industry also comes with its pros and cons. One thing to note about working in the banking industry is that it has a lot of systems and procedures built to avert mistakes. Since it deals with people’s finances, the levels of approval, its segregation of duties, auditing, and levels of security are given the highest importance. So, the fear of making a mistake is minimal. For instance, even if you make a mistake, your colleagues can help you trace it. Working in the bank is for those who love challenges and can keep up with the banking world. It is a great career choice for such people.