"I stopped coding to be a structurer in a bank. It was a mistake"
Last week, I lost my job in a bank. I was quite new to finance and I knew the industry's reputation for job insecurity, but it still came as a surprise.
I graduated five years ago and I began my career in technology. I'm an engineer by training and I started out in an analytics firm coding in Java. This brought me into contact with financial products and when an opportunity came to move into finance, I took it.
I spent the past few years working as a structurer at a major international bank. The job was interesting; the money was better.
When you're a developer, your job is almost entirely about problem solving: it's very dry, very analytical. As a structurer, I was much more exposed to human foibles. You have clients who want things that don't make sense and part of your job is to persuade them to accept a good option. In structuring, you need to be adept at negotiating, able to knock heads together to get things done. You also need to know the law and how to build financial models.
You get paid more as a structurer than a developer. When I moved into the bank, my base pay doubled overnight. Now, I've realized it was a kind of danger money.
I'm not sure what to do next, but I think I'll try for something in technology. The only problem is that I didn't code at all while I was in banking and my skills have atrophied. I also don't know anything about Python, but I'm hoping I can pick it up and refresh my knowledge of Java. Coding is a bit like learning a musical instrument: once you can play something well, you pick up any other one and learn it quickly. At least, that's what I'm telling myself for the time being.
Oliver Moore is a pseudonym
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