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Why our kids don't want to be bankers


Over the holidays, I bought my 13-year old daughter a book titled “The Art of Being a Brilliant Teenager” by Andy Cope. My daughter is already brilliant (no bias of course!) and from the reviews online, the book looked packed full of interesting content covering everything from relationship advice to ideas for future careers. She started reading it almost immediately and loved it.

If you want to be a Banker you need to get used to having no mates NOW and FOREVER!

Then, she showed me the following page about careers:

If you want to be a footballer you to have to be practicing 7 days a week and will have to start playing for your local team. Now!
If you want to be a web-designer you need to start designing websites. Now!
If you want to be in the Army you need to be in the cadets. Now!

Tell me when you’ve got the point!

If you want to go to Uni you need to be working your backside off. Now!
If you want to be a Banker you need to get used to having no mates NOW and FOREVER!

So there it was, in black and white: don’t be a banker kids, or you’ll face a life of loneliness and misery.


Shocked by the innocent negativity of the statement, it prompted me to reflect on who or what is a banker? How has it become such an undesirable profession? And can we ever hope to change this perspective?


Starting with the first question…. what is a banker? For anyone who doesn't work in the financial services industry, a banker covers a wide range of different roles and even whole geographies. Whether you work in investment banking, asset management, insurance or any other financial service related firm – you are a banker. If you work in the City of London or Wall Street, or even perhaps Luxembourg, Frankfurt or Switzerland, you must be a banker.

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