2016 was quite a turbulant year for many bankers some people must be asking themselves – “is there a life outside banking?”. I experienced it, at last, myself. So far I have managed to avoid reorganisations and I was suddenly, in a very short period subject to one! We were given 2 weeks notice that we were going to be reorgansied. Two weeks later we had 1 job description to apply for, or not.
The reality is 1. The form of banker’s jobs is changing. They are being asked to be flexible, agile, work in teams, work without bosses…. And 2. There are simply less jobs. The less jobs just has to be. The “traditional”, “old style” banks are having to compete with the fin-techs and online banking boutiques. They need people who are prepared to work on a contract basis and no longer want or need the business model of a job for life. In fact we should not be looking for that either. Being tied to one employer for your whole life, what a shame when there are so many possibilities to earn an income.
During the reorganisation I was shocked at how people reacted. How ill prepared people were – even though some had already experienced 2 or 3 reorganisations – some even within the same year. There was anger, sorrow, a huge sense of loss, dissapointment. The opportunities were not seen. I can fully understand. The greatest annoyance was that YOU did not have the choice. The choice was made FOR you by SOMEONE ELSE. Some were in panic – the time lines were tight and the announcement was in the middle of the holiday period. Not everyone was there for the announcement and those that were there for the announcement were not there for the information.
Ladies and gentlemen of the banking world – are you considering a life outside of banking?
Both the Dutch and British press have been littered with articles about bankers losing their jobs. This is not just an incident called Brexit – it is a paradigm shift. The UK press is talking about losing 35,000 – 70,000 jobs just because of Brexit https://www.thecityuk.com/news/the-impact-of-the-uks-exit-from-the-eu-on-the-uk-based-financial-services-sector/
The Dutch press has reported how poor the results of the “mobility centres” are in the banking world. A recent article in the Financial Dagblad (Dutch version of the Financial Times) reported that after a year 60% of bankers were still claiming unemployment benefit compared to 35% in other industries. https://fd.nl/beurs/1180969/mobiliteitscentra-schieten-tekort They also make a comparison of the main banks, Rabo, ING and ABN AMRO in The Netherlands.
This, even though the banks are pouring money into these centres, training people how to write CVs, supporting training in other industries, etc. I understand it. For 20, 30, 40, 50 years there is a certain lifestyle that you have got used to. Applying for another job will probably come at a lower salary and less job security. Well, firstly there is no job security. One thing is for sure if you go down the job route you need to be prepared to change and keep ahead of the curve to determine your own destiny. Realistically – can you keep this up until you are 67 & 3 months, 68, 70, 80 years old?
What if there was another option? What is needed is not just a second plan but something that leads to a sustainable income. An income that comes in in good and “bad” economic times.
You also need to look at what the possibilities are. Search for industries where there is economic growth, for example health, fitness, lifestyle. Look for opportunities to be independent of one source of income/ one employer. Find something that does not require a huge amount of start capital, something that you can grow. Preferably work with people – noone makes it on their own in this world we need and benefit from each other. Take inspiration from “going against the trend” – do what everyone else does and you will get what everyone else has. Make an inventory of your own skills. Focus on what you enjoy doing and pick out the skills you use for that. Look at your hobbies and see how you can use these knowledge and skills. Use your, your network – that’s where the money is. Make contact with it and contacts with the contacts in your network.
Above all be open to new ideas and oppportunities. Talk to people that you have never met before. Do a few things that you would never have thought that you would do. Be open to keep on learning about yourself.
You will be amazed at what you may come across.