Why on earth would a graduate or school leaver choose banking or accountancy etc over broking as a career? They've presumably made the decision that they are going to go for some kind of career in finance so why choose the dullest and ignore what could be the most interesting?
As I say, this isn't a new question but it really struck me last night. I was at an industry dinner and found myself sitting next to a broker who had been in the business for a good number of years. We were just chatting away about the usual stuff that gets discussed at these kind of dos and he casually mentioned that he had spent a lot of time in Iran - enough time it transpired to really get to know the country and its people. Enough that he could confidently say that the Iran that we see through the prism of media bears little resemblance to the one he knows. Very interesting stuff and not many people have the experience to make that judgement.
Later, he mentioned that he also spent a lot of time working in South America. In fact, he said he didn't realise how much he had travelled until he went on "that Facebook thing" where he was invited to select and show every country he had been to - 42 in the end.
Which brings me to my point. What other financial services industry could offer that? Perhaps people just aren't aware of the potential? Now of course not every job in broking is like this but this gentleman not an exception. His story mirrors that of others I have spoken to over the years. Jobs like his exist so why don't the school leavers and graduates hear about them?
I can't for a minute believe that armed with all the facts and possibilities of a career in broking, anyone would choose number crunching in accounting over the far more exciting possibilities that broking offers. Unless of course the individual in question has a fetish for numbers and spreadsheets. That's different.
We should be harnessing these exotic career stories more effectively and putting the well-travelled broker in front of graduates. Rather than let them drift off into retirement and obscurity we should be encouraging them to tell their stories to the next generation. It wouldn't revolutionise the market but some kind of semi-formal association which has the sole aim of selling the industry to graduates and school leavers would certainly make a difference.
There are so many great stories out there that it's a shame they are only ever heard in the bubble of the industry. We need to get these stories out there and let them show broking for what it really is - potentially one of the most fulfilling and rewarding careers in finance.
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