Working at a bank, a great job and potential career, or a big disappointment?

When scanning your town for a job or possible career, one that might look especially attractive is a bank job. What's not to like about the prospects of working in a bank? A calm, clean and professional atmosphere. No one ever raises their voice. No one seems to be rushed or stressed and even if they are the muffled environment of the bank seems to keep everything at a low volume.  bank teller(76714)There’s also some nice perks with bank jobs. Whether you work as a bank teller, loan officer, supervisor, or branch manager, your work day is limited with evenings free.  You always get Sundays and holidays off, including those smaller holidays when most everyone else is still working. A certain amount of respectability also comes with a job in a bank. You put on a tie or a nice outfit and never get your hands dirty. You have some sense of power, handling large amounts of money, opening and altering accounts, telling people yes or no to important questions and informing people whether or not they will qualify for a loan. As for the work in a bank, it seems to be pretty straight forward; provide friendly, helpful, and needed service to the customers. The plan?  You start out as a teller and over time get promoted up. A new job as a bank teller sounds like exactly what you may be looking for. Looking into of Bank of American careers seems like the perfect idea.  However, there's a reason that you can always find a job vacancy in banks.

The Reality of Working at a Bank

how about a bank jobLike most things, the reality of working in a bank can be a lot different from appearances. Also like most things these days, the real work of a bank teller has gone from providing helpful services to selling, and up-selling services, and with tremendous pressure to do so. In most banks these days you’ll notice that the tellers will usually make friendly suggestions and offers whenever you make a transaction. The teller will speak about how they notice this or that about your bank account and how that it might be beneficial for you to make some slight changes to your arrangement. This isn’t  simply a casual tip from a concerned bank teller, this is a sales pitch to add services and fees to your account. Don’t blame the teller though, it’s not their idea. Instead it’s the way the banking industry is structured these days to make money. Consequently, heavy pressure comes down to bear on the lowly teller to sell extra services as well as push loans.

Constant Sales Pressure

Just how heavy is the behind-the-scenes pressure on the bank teller? The details vary from bank to bank and sometimes even in different branches, but the standard requirement for some of the larger ones is for each teller is to sell at least three new services every day day. That means that among those who come in and make a transaction at their window the teller must get at least three of them to agree to add on a new service, and consequently a new fee to their account. If a bank teller fails to meet the 3-a-day quota, he or she will be written up. If the teller is written up enough times during a quarter he or she will most likely be fired by the next quarter. To make matters worse, a bank employee fired for this reason won’t qualify for unemployment because according to the bank they failed to do what the job required.

bank jobCredit: bank jobThis gives you something else to notice whenever you go to your bank; most of the tellers will not be at that branch for long and after a few months every face you see will likely be a new one and there is always a job vacancy in banks. This is because bank tellers, as well as other bank employees, not only get fired a lot, they also move around from branch to branch, or even to different banks in order to avoid getting fired. Clearly there’s more stress involved in a bank job than meets the eye. 

Getting Promoted

Perhaps, you may think, this is just how a person pays their dues in the banking world, doing the grunt work as a teller until they can work their way up to better positions. Yes there are certainly better jobs to be had in a bank but each position still carries with it a tremendous pressure to sell services, and generally the stress of making sales quotas is greater the higher you climb the ladder. After all, once you’ve been promoted you’re going to be expected to prove yourself worthy of that promotion by selling an even higher level of services, as well as getting people to apply for loans and mortgages. Never mind the fact that so many who do apply for loans will go through days of hectic paperwork and phone calls only to be denied further down the line, the point is to get as  many as possible to apply in order to meet a certain quote of sales. Furthermore, once you move higher up with a job at the bank, it will no longer be enough to simply suggest services to clients who enter, now you have to go out into the community and find ways to sell services and loans to people who are not even clients of the bank.

Still Interested?

How about a Bank Job? It looks like a great job and for some people it undoubtedly is. Some banks in particular may be rather pleasant to look for. However, be warned, that for many, working at a bank ends up being a very short-lived job of incredible stress.