what do you do? 

I’m in a crowded bus on the way to the great North, north of the city that is, to meet up with my partner who’s off to Hongkong tomorrow over the weekend. I wish I could surprise him with tickets to join him myself but a guy can dream. 

I have been spending too much brain power at work over the recent few weeks as am currently trying to get a grip on a new process that was given to me. So far the results have not been stellar, and I am beginning to think that they are starting to have regrets on why they hired me in the first place. So much for not meeting service levels over the past few weeks, right after I was awarded with a commendation after an efficiency project for my former process. 

And that brings me down to work. What do you do? When you get asked the question, what do you say? How do you begin to explain your job to someone who doesn’t know anything about it? In the same way, say it’s career day at your kid’s school and you were invited to speak to junior high school students on your career, howwoudl you begin your talk? How would you describe your job/career in such a way that the students would find it interesting? Well, is it interesting in the first place? 

I bet you would never have had an idea that people were actually hired for the things you currently do before you got hired. Apart from the standard careers like doctors, firemen, etc., at least those people you would have a pretty good idea of what they would do at work, you have seen what firemen do and you would have gone to the doctor once or twice as a kid.

But I work in a bank. Does that make me a banker? What does a banker do? I would never have imagined as a kid that I would work in a bank one day, much less have any sort of idea what working in a bank meant. I would imagine them holding money, lots of it, and keeping money. Money goes into a bank so people wouldn’t spend it. And then when they are ready to do so, they take it out of the bank. Hmmmm. That doesn’t exactly would like what I do right now. I have been working in several financial institutions for the past 13 (?) years and I have yet to see actual money in the office. One office I worked for was even paperless in a sense.

So again, how would I describe my work/job concisely and accurately to someone who doesn’t have a clue about trade financing and markets?

I’ve thought about it over dinner and realized something. The job title. When you’re young choosing what you want to be when you grow up, you’d always come up with the same worn-out answers for the generic careers, and I don’t mean generic in a bad way, generic because it’s widely aspirational (?), commonly looked up to, or known. I have yet to meet a kid who wants to become an FX trader or compliance officer.

So what’s the point of this again? I’ve completely lost it, I’m sorry. Oh, yes: what do you do? One could start to answer the question more sensibly by making comparisons with other types of careers jobs which are more relatable than the title risk and product controller. Security guard. I’ve heard that on one training session before. I am like a security guard for trades. Hmmm. Close enough.

So what do you do?

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