The second life of a banker

Work in the commercial real estate industry is an excellent alternative for current and former employees of the banking sector. A dynamically developing, prospective industry, not only in terms of the product itself and investment opportunities, but also human resources, offers many possibilities and breaks patterns. Especially in the case of professional burnout, from which, as it turns out, a significant part of the banking sector’s representatives suffers. Research conducted by Dr. Maria Magdalena Gulewicz shows that 80% of employees feel tiredness and exhaustion. Which does not mean that the only way out is a complete change of your sector.

Doctor Gulewicz looked at the employment structure in the sector, where the number of employees has been falling for more than a decade. The reason is not only changes caused by the behaviour of bank customers who allocate their funds or significant volatility and unpredictability of financial markets in terms of services offered. In addition, the main area of the functioning of banking is currently the Internet. As a consequence of the above factors as well as an increase in the emphasis on labour productivity, since 2008 over 15,000 employees have ended their banker’s career. This represents a 10% decrease. – “It turns out that 64% of employees regularly work overtime, and almost every fifth more than 10 hours more in a month. It is standard practice to work during illness and during holidays, which more than half of the respondents confirms. The main reason for this is the excess work – says Dr. Gulewicz.

A good “banker” is characterised by high task-oriented skills, the ability to calculate risks, excellent work organisation and economic expertise. Operating at such fast pace requires a lot of energy. And what about the idea of “work-life balance”? – “There are also opinions that this is a myth and an excuse for lazy people. I do not agree with such an opinion and I believe that such an approach will lead to a decrease in the effectiveness of employees in the long run. I am also convinced that younger generations of employees will not want to work this way, appreciating other activities outside of work,” – says Dr. Gulewicz and adds: “Poles are among the top nationalities that devote the most time to work (OECD). However, it is a mistake to disturb your balance between work and personal life and allow it to be regularly upset. It entails important consequences – not only for ourselves and our families but for our personal life in general.”

Adam Dubiella, director of the Higasa Properties sales network, who worked in banking for over a dozen years, found a way to achieve a positive change. A few months ago, at the suggestion of his friend who works in private banking, he joined the dynamically growing company: – I felt that I was not able to jump above a certain level. Great people, the team… it’s one thing, but the standardisation of services made me feel that I did not have a chance to show myself. The only thing that I was expected to do was to follow the procedures and standards. I was lacking opportunities for development and perspectives. In addition, these procedures and standards mean that a large part of the time is devoted to administrative issues related to banking documentation. In my opinion, the banking industry has already passed its best years of splendour and the employee market has been strongly consolidated after many mergers. Each of us needs a breath of freshness and I just felt it. It’s a very refreshing feeling – admits Adam, who deeply believes that working in the finance or banking industry is not limited only to Excel tables, reports, numbers and limits. He found a new professional freedom and development opportunity in the commercial real estate sector: – “We follow similar principles on which we base the company’s operations. We share a passion for Japanese culture and a passion for sports. I compete in triathlon competitions, my colleagues run. We know what honour, fair-play, regularity is…. We have already achieved a lot and we are convinced that we can do more, while all the time we keep enjoying our work. In addition, we believe that we have a fantastic idea for the business, so for several months we have been developing it together, and I take care of human capital. The industry’s interest is large and nationwide. This confirms the rightness of our action and the quality of the idea. It’s a good idea to join us – laughs Dubiella.

When referring to the term “work-life balance”, it is worth noting that it is not only about a mathematical balance between the time for work and for private life. It is also about positive emotions and joy of everyday life that can be transferred to effectiveness in performing professional duties. – “Numerous studies prove that disharmony also leads to negative effects on business. Initially, the company seems to be a beneficiary of work-life imbalances of its employees, because they are longer available to the employer. It is difficult to expect creativity and innovation from an overworked employee. The loss of balance affects the productivity of companies and is not without effect on their relationships with clients, often causing their loss” – sums up Dr. Maria Magdalena Gulewicz.

It seems, therefore, that the offer to start a career in commercial real estate meets the current trends. The new dynamic, thriving industry quickly gains in importance. This means that there are not many specialists on the market. Therefore, personal development, acquiring new skills can be combined with the use of the acquired expertise. – “I think that, in a sense, one can feel like a forerunner of a new trend. We feel like that in our team” – emphasises Adam Dubiella. – “We offer guaranteed investments whose profitability is predetermined in contrast to the real performance of funds, which is not always the same as the assumptions. So, if you are looking for the possibility of identifying your own values with the company’s objectives, non-standard work, in addition to a perfect atmosphere, a climate far from corporate standards, and respect, then we invite you on board. Or rather under our umbrella, because that’s what the word higasa means in Japanese” – says Dubiella.

We invite all interested persons to apply to the following address:


* Maria Magdalena Gulewicz is a PhD in economic sciences in the discipline of management and quality, and the author of the book “How to Regain Lost Effectiveness” („Jak odzyskać utraconą skuteczność”), which revises new, bestselling concepts in management and balances them against the Polish social and economic conditions. She works in the Team for Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility at the Ministry of Investment and Development of the Republic of Poland. She is a researcher and an academic lecturer.



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