March 11, 2022
Christopher D. Maher
Why A Career in Commercial Banking Might be a Cure for the “Big Quit”
For employers in virtually every sector of the United States economy, the Big Quit is a big problem. Also known as the Great Resignation, this trend refers to the tidal wave of employees who have left their jobs, or are planning to do so in the near future. More than half (55%) of Americans in the workforce now say they are either somewhat likely or very likely to look for new employment in the next year, according to the August 2021 Job Seeker Survey by Bankrate.
This talent drain is even more pronounced among the younger workers who will be needed to fill the void left by retiring Baby Boomers. The same survey found that 63% of Millennial employees (those between the ages of 25-40) plan to look for a new position over the next year, while a staggering 77% of Generation Z employees (ages 18-24) expect to switch jobs.
Several factors are driving this massive shift. Many employees got used to working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, and are looking for jobs that will allow them to maintain that flexibility and work-life balance going forward. Low unemployment and strong demand for hiring also have created a “seller’s market” that enables job candidates to be more selective in their work expectations.
But, at least part of the motivation for changing jobs – especially among younger people – is a desire to find work that aligns with one’s own values. According to a 2021 survey by Deloitte, 44% of Millennial and 49% of Gen Z respondents said, “…they have made choices over the type of work they are prepared to do and the organizations for which they are willing to work based on their personal ethics.”
If you are a person seeking a job that fulfills your sense of purpose, I encourage you to consider a career in commercial banking. Businesses, non-profit organizations, and the communities they serve can’t exist without credit, treasury and other financial services. Commercial bankers provide the conduit through which funding flows into their communities – building strong businesses, creating and preserving jobs, expanding the housing supply, and financing vital healthcare, education, and charitable institutions. A recent analysis by S&P Global Market Intelligence noted that America’s community banks held nearly $1.02 trillion in commercial/industrial and commercial real estate loans at the end of 2021. That’s a lot of financial support for local businesses, institutions and communities.
The satisfaction of providing an economic lifeline for your community is just one of the rewards of being a commercial banker. At its core, commercial banking is a business of human connections. It is about forming life-long relationships with clients, getting to know generations of families and helping them grow their businesses. You’ll have an opportunity to be a leader in your community, playing a key role in financing public and private projects that improve people’s neighborhoods and lives. Many commercial bankers also serve on the boards of institutions that shape their communities.
The industry demand for commercial bankers is large, and growing larger. Data from LinkedIn showed that, as of mid-February 2022, there were over 27,000 open positions in commercial banking in the U.S. Careers in commercial banking are not necessarily limited to those with a finance background. Because the work we do touches every corner of the economy – including manufacturing, distribution, technology, communications, retailing, hospitality, professional services, healthcare, education, and human services – prior experience in those sectors can be a springboard for a transition into commercial banking.
At OceanFirst, we define commercial banking as a deep purpose and a potentially exciting and rewarding career. I hope many readers of this post will agree and will consider pursuing a career opportunity in banking.