Is a bank PO job better than a software Job?
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What made you move from an IT job to PO?

Firstly, I wanted to do an MBA from a premier B-School but my future seemed to be very bleak with the scores that I secured in my CAT exams. Also, after the interview experiences with IIT Kanpur, IIT Madras and IMT Ghaziabad (2012-2014 batch), it became very clear to me that my chances of getting selected in those institutions were grim. Secondly, my job at Tech Mahindra was not promising enough. Hence, I started looking at Bank PO.

How does a job as a Bank PO compare to working in an IT company?

1. Time: As a PO, you are the first to reach the branch and often have to leave last. I am sure that could also be the case with most IT professionals but I had fixed working hours from 2 pm to 9:15 pm. You have no lunch hour in a bank (in Gujarat at least) and the day can end any time between 6 pm to 9 pm.

2. Work Environment: In an IT company, you usually have a good ambience with air conditioned cabins and a peaceful work environment. You work in front of your PC with earphones plugged into your smartphone, with the playlist on. In a bank, you won't be listening to anything other than noise. In an IT firm, you will have a cafeteria and a fixed time for lunch but in the case of PO stationed in a branch (not in a big city), there is no ‘lunch-time’ or provision for food. So, things are bad.

3. Salary: My CTC at Tech Mahendra was 3.85 LPA and after all deductions, I got an in-hand salary of Rs. 29500 every month. CTC in the bank was 5.56 LPA but my in-hand salary was Rs. 25000-Rs. 26500 every month. With the monthly compensations, the salary would usually round off to Rs. 34,000. In IT, you can radically increase your salary by switching but such is not the case with banks.

4. Risk Factor: In IT, you deal with software and if something goes wrong today, it can be fixed tomorrow. In banks, nothing can be left for tomorrow. Everything needs to be completed the same day with little scope for errors. Any discrepancy and you have to pay for it from your wallet. The amount can be as small as Rs.10 and can be as big as Rs.10,00,000, it will be taken from you. People have lost their jobs in banks, quit in the middle of their career because of such policies.

5. Leaves: Being a ‘Sarkari Naukri’, banks should win hands down in this department, right? Wrong, IT wins this round too. You have 5 working days in IT; in banks, its 6 days. In banks, leaves are usually credited to your account on January 1 of every year. Although it may sound good but the catch is for those of you joining in April-May, you won't have a single leave in your account till next year January 1.

6. Status: In IT, no matter how bad a person is, he/she must behave. Conversations are in a decent tone and in a dignified way. In banks, customers will thrash you with indecent language. People will treat you like absolute garbage because nationalised banks have gone down the ‘Customer is God’ lane, which will make you feel like an absolute scum out there. Any complaint lodged will not be closed till the customer gives in writing that he was satisfied by the action taken.

7 .Transfers: Transfers in banks will be random and if you join a nationalised bank, then transfers can be anywhere in the country. Female employees generally get a preference in choosing a branch.

8. Job Security vs Satisfaction: Jobs in IT firms are relatively unstable. But banks give you job security and yes, there is no one that can take away this job from you. But in the end, I tend to ask myself one simple question ‘Is this how I wanted my life to be?’ And I get a big NO as the answer.

Laxmi Jan 26, 2017