Banking career is overrated and ambiguously too demanding and depressing at the moment. The effect of interest caps in now being felt in Kenya and the president admits that the economy has slowed down. Is there overregulation that is inhibiting competitive market forces that are forcing employees out? I say that because I took the bold step in which most of my friends were indifferent. I handed in my resignation.
A little history from four decades ago
Banking careers were the most boring jobs in the seventies until someone invented the mortgage-backed securities (bonds). The mortgages were bundled together and sold as derivative assets which were then traded in the stock market, and then banking jobs started to sprout as among the elite careers on the planet. Bankers were making large sums of money through bonuses out of the sales they made. Then wall street became famous, and every brilliant student took the bus to wall street.
Banking job in 2017 isn’t attractive anymore. This is especially so after the financial crises that have rocked the world since the great recession more that six decades ago. 2008 financial crises which brought heavyweights to their knees prompted a heavy scrutiny and oversight in the financial sector. The Federal government had to bail out some firms with taxpayers money. That was in the US.
Some guys predicted the crisis and they bet against the housing market that there was a bubble and it was going to disintegrate. They made away with billions crippling some of these institutions.
Here in Kenya
Back home here in Kenya, a couple of months after a Yale-educated governor rose to power; two banks were under receivership. I remember a customer coming into my desk and telling me, “Moses, I see Chase has been closed.”
That was a bit erratic from him. I thought he was just trying to be funny. And then Ali, a colleague, rushed into the banking hall asking me for the remote control. I ask him why. He said there is some breaking news brother. He switched the TV to one local station and there it was, boom, stranded customers with their monies stuck inside.
After a spate of other corruption-related behaviors of some politicians and bankers due to banking-related fraud and illegal activities such as money laundering, a career in banking is diminishing in value. Long-serving bankers are opting for entrepreneurship and business. Very few are seeking elective office because feel there is little difference between the two.
Although in some law abiding countries banking can be seen as a lucrative career for beginners. But in countries with less regard to the law like ours, the demands of a job in a bank maybe depressing. The devastating effect of the brown envelope can mean that you unwillingly lose your job for being a porn.
Which Career best Suit Me?
I have asked myself that question several times. There is no universal answer for that, and I don’t think I hold the key to your success. In fact, there is no key; it’s an open door. Get into what you enjoy doing and create a career out of it. Which society or club were you involved in while in high school? Did you like it? Do you think you can do it now?
I was admitted to do a course I didn’t like very much. But I decided to coil something out of it especially after a few years of experience in the corporate world.
But I remembered that in high school I spent time together with friends creating stories for journalism club, and now I realize maybe I was meant to be creating stories. Stories about business and finance because that is what I love doing. And sports too.
It is imperative that you consider what you enjoy doing. That particular thing that you will never get tired of doing. That thing that you can do without the motivation of money behind it. That is the best thing that you can do.
There are those who were build to do business; there are others who are good with wood work, there are those who are drivers and driving fascinates them, there are cooks whose don’t mind living and sleeping in the kitchen. Whatever thing you do, that is the best career for you. Even football. And by the way, career footballers are some of the highly paid individuals on this planet. Imagine being paid to kick leather woven substance around.