I think gone are the days when one would have 1 employer for his whole career. Thus, regardless where you decide to go, you just have to make yourself cope and adjust to what employers need and what kind of employees they are looking for.JR8 wrote:I take it as a good sign that I haven't outright put you off yet!nlr3169 wrote:Thanks a lot for the very detailed reply. Need to do lots of homework before taking the plunge. That sacking, pink slipping and closing divisions etc are really scary.
Not that I was trying to, more a case of giving an insight that might be a little hard to come by elsewhere. That's something you might find, you'll see and hear a lot about the glamour and possible 'riches', but... who likes to discuss the negative aspects of their career, unless they're already mentally en-route for an exit. There's an expression, 'an hour on a trading floor is 57 minutes of utter boredom, and 3 minutes of sheer terror', just, most people won't tell you about the 57 minutes
My time was also perhaps unusual in that it spanned across what were repeat global shocks to the financial system, the £ being forced out of the 'ERM' (precursor to the Euro), the Russian Crisis, Asian Crisis, and the aftermath of 9/11, which was it for me. Off the top off my head in total these shockwaves seemed to occur each three years: 1989/92/95/98/2001. In more recent times they seem to have been far less frequent, but one shouldn't ever discount such things happening again. Hence my conclusion that banking is not a 'career', in that it isn't something someone does for life, and the longer you stay in it, the tougher the fight to remain in it becomes.
So with that in mind if it is something that you decide you wish to do, you might consider the scenario of two young bankers:-
a) Lives 'up to his salary', i.e. he earns a good income, and spends it. He's driving a Porsche by 25, takes 5 exotic holidays a year, and dresses sharply, Hermes ties, hand-made suits, Gucci loafers. He has a flat in a desirable part of town, that fits his routine 10-12hr working days. He gets engaged and his fiancee wants to start a family ASAP. She owns her own place too, but neither would suit a growing family. So they both sell-up, and together buy a large old house out in the suburbs. She's now the wife of a successful banker, and together 'they're going places'. Pretty soon, her shoe and haut couture buying habit rivals Imelda Marcos. They have one child, and another is on the way, and despite his income they soon begin to feel that money is tight. Feeling the financial pressure he takes to working longer and longer hours.
Then one morning, out of the blue, his career is over. And his wife's lifestyle and social-circle with it. She divorces him for someone else who can keep her 'drip' of money and status pumping. Since they have children, she gets default custody, plus she gets the right to live in the marital home, with him forced to leave. So in say 10 short years he's lost his career, wife, children and home.
b) Same kind of job, but must have been brought up with different values. He wears off-the-peg suits and $20 ties. He drives a 10 year old Toyota Coupe. One day during an aside you hear that he earns more than the President of Ford-Europe, but looking at him and chatting with you you'd have never have guessed it. He's also married, with two children, and his wife shares his quite modest approach to spending. He doesn't 'live up to his income', and instead continues living pretty much as he used to, or perhaps how his parents did/do. Realising that career storm-clouds will roll in one day he saves most of his income, so he'll be well able to weather a storm when it arrives. Eventually it does, he loses his job, but together with his family they survive, get through the economic rout, and some time down the road he gets another job, perhaps down a different path, but due to his prudent approach, he has discretion over which direction to take.
Those two were amongst my former colleagues, and perhaps represent opposite ends of the spectrum. It's a cautionary anecdote I suppose. If you do get into banking/finance and do ok for yourself, try to remind yourself that nothing in most careers is forever; but especially so in that career. Have a plan-B worked out before you need it.
I agree those days are long gone. It's not only the idea of one employer, it's the idea of a career for life in just one industry that's also gone (from many industries). That's why I believe that once you're well settled into your first career, it's always wise to be thinking about where you might choose to go next ... if the needs comes.Finfin wrote:I think gone are the days when one would have 1 employer for his whole career. Thus, regardless where you decide to go, you just have to make yourself cope and adjust to what employers need and what kind of employees they are looking for.
In the olden days, they used to have a battalion of accountants closing each month's books.
yvrpinoy wrote:Hello All,
Qualified accountant here from Canada (7 years post qualification experience and MBA). After living in Canada for 25 years (rain, snow and all) I would like to move to a much hotter place. I visited Singapore in 2010 and loved it. And so for the past two years I have been toying with this idea of moving to Singapore. Recently, I have been looking at job sites and it seems that job prospects has improved. Do you agree?
Most of my post qualification experience is with the government and non-profit sector. I understand that most of government jobs are for locals so I won't be targeting this sector. However, while I believe my skills are transferable to any industry, the private sector employers might think otherwise so this is what is holding me back. Also, I am concerned about age discrimination as I am already in my 50s.
If offered, I am willing to accept mid-level position but with my qualifications I am concerned that this would pose a problem getting employment pass.
Any thoughts from the members will be greatly appreciated.
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