Before you can learn to run you must learn to walk, or so the saying goes. This couldn’t be more true than in the world of careers, particularly when it comes to hatching your career in banking.
A first job as a bank teller (called a Customer Service Representative or CSR in many places) can give you the foundations you need for success in your banking career.
So here are five reasons a CSR position is a great way to hatch a career in banking:
Get to know a bank’s products and services
As a CSR, you’re on the front lines of the bank and should be properly equipped to answer any and all customer questions or queries.
Ryan Jenkins, a recent McMaster grad, credits his banking knowledge to a prior CSR job at a bank. “One of the big things that I learned about dealing with the masses is that most people do not know the types of services that the banks do offer,” he said, adding that he also learned how clients should properly manage finances and shape a bank’s products to their needs.
Develop your teamwork skills
Constant communication with your colleagues is necessary to ensure a smooth work day. Ryan said that he found that a bank is a tight-knit environment where he got to be exposed to other budding professionals. “It’s a great social environment to meet new people and develop your conversational skill set,” Ryan says.
If you value personal interaction throughout your workday, a position as a CSR might be just right for you.
Engage with and better understand your community
Getting a good idea of the banking climate on a smaller scale will build the foundations for learning about Canada’s banking climate and reputation on a larger scale.
Ryan said that the amount learned about the community surrounding the bank was something really interesting to him. “You will meet people from almost every walk of life, you will hear their stories, get to know the regulars and generally develop a solid picture of what makes up your community,” he said.
Become a better salesperson
Generally, the performance of a CSR is measured by the number of products that they refer to customers. Sales skills are hard skills that can make you a desirable employee in many fields, and the emotional intelligence acquired is a soft skill that can help you communicate better with future clients or colleagues.
“Oftentimes this could mean referring a customer to the proper account or saving money on their visa by opening a line of credit,” Ryan said.
The opportunity for advancement
Ryan said that asset portfolios at banks are also extremely well managed and profitable. “There are always development and internal movement opportunities while working at a bank,” he said. This presents opportunity for you to advance beyond CSR roles into other functions within the banking world.