Banking Career Provides Opportunities, Satisfaction

The job market continues to change, due to the impact of COVID and other forces on the U.S. economy. So if you’re a young person looking to start a career, or just get a good job, where do you begin? I suggest you consider financial services.

Banking has a wide variety of career paths depending on your skills and interests.
They range from working with consumers to working with businesses, from financial analysis, to IT and operations, from risk management to auditing and investigations, to name just a few.

According to Bankers by Day, “banking continues to be one of the most challenging, competitive and rewarding careers in the corporate world.” It provides the chance to learn not just about individual clients’ needs, but about industries and the economy.

I learned this right as I joined the Bank. Then, as a twenty something armed with an education in business, I had previously been working in retail. It was fast paced, and I learned a lot. But I was looking for something less “transactional.” Something that would allow me to build relationships with clients and really make a difference. And to grow professionally and personally.

Starting Out In Banking

Seeing that I was dissatisfied, a friend who was in banking suggested its advantages, especially the opportunity to learn new skills and advance in a career. So I got talking to the team and had an opportunity to join the residential lending department. I found that I really liked interacting with clients. And unlike my previous job, the hours were consistent and the atmosphere more relaxed. That’s not to say that the field is boring. When many people think of banking, they think of someone sitting behind a desk or working at a teller counter. But much of my time is spent out interacting with clients at branches and networking in the community.

Becoming A Mortgage Originator

When I had the opportunity to become a mortgage originator – someone who helps consumers understand what it takes to buy a home and sets up mortgages, I was thrilled. This requires a lot of interaction, especially when you’re working with first time homebuyers.

There was a lot to learn, but I was lucky to choose a company that really believes in professional development. This included studying to receive my lending license as well as taking other courses. In addition, my supervisor and colleagues brought me into current mortgage deals they were working on. And, I learned about the relationship between interest rates and the housing market and regional economy.

Success Story

Tompkins also believes in educating the public too. One example is providing online seminars for first time homebuyers. This is especially important at a time of rising interest rates, which often make buying a home harder. Such a bank seminar prompted a potential homebuyer to contact me about a mortgage. She doubted she could purchase a home because of the down payment required, so it was gratifying to tell her that achieving her goal was possible through a program offered by some banks for first time homebuyers. I helped her achieve a preapproved mortgage and now she’s on her way.

Networking And Building Relationships

Banks are also very much connected with other professional groups in the community, which benefits people starting out in careers. For example, as a mortgage lender, the sources of many of my new customers are often referrals from builders and realtors, so I’m invited to attend events hosted by those organizations.

Making A Difference

Since being in this field, I’ve learned that many financial institutions and especially community banks really care about their communities. They’re close to their customers’ needs and recognize the role they play in safeguarding people’s finances and helping them achieve their financial goals. When the customer wins, the whole community wins.

I know that I, and many of my friends, want to work at something that can really make a difference. I’ve found that in my career and at the place I chose to start it in.

Keiffer Pannebaker is a mortgage professional at Tompkins Community Bank, based in southeastern Pennsylvania. He can be reached at Office: (610) 603-7232,

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