Saturday, June 2, 2012

My team mates

There was one interview opportunity in 2009 that I still remember.
One of the question strike me and I realize that it is something very important to my life and my career.
The job that I applied was a consumer banking, branch sales. 
Today, I still think that the banking sales is the toughest job that I have ever done. 

The stress is not only come from the fuzzy/lan si/moody/demanding customers. As a middle man, we have to deal with the various internal team. Getting approval from superior, pass the case to internal credit department, verify the documents, check applicants' credibility, financial capability then only you get the official approval from the bank. Wait, you still have to fight with your competitors. Whenever other banks is "pumping the water" 俗称“开水喉”,then we have to ta-pao and pray hard everyday. Because the customer will choose the best and lowest rate. Of course, there will be only 1% of 100 customers will buy your good service. Pray harder then. 

If you work in branch, then the compliance and service is the headache part. We have to fill in each and every form properly. No "liquid paper" on the form, no cross, no amendments, and it could reach 20 pages for a case submission. If you miss a part, sorry, the case will bounce to you and re-do again.

And if we are handling the investment part, the call to investment team is a killing one. You gotta make sure that to book the price for your clients on time. Sometimes, their call is always in busy/no pick up. Because they place in  HQ and to serve the nationwide sales staffs. Imagine that 20 sales staffs call to 1 or 2 lines at a good time. If you missed the price that promised to clients and caused them lose money, please prepare for the complaint letter.
That is why I still respect those who are still surviving and able to achieve the target by weekly, quarterly or yearly target for many years. That include my hubby too:)

Back to the interview experience. There were one HR manager and a lady, branch manager in the room.
As we all understand the stress and challenges to meet the sales target, she asked:
" How do you deal with the stress from your boss, especially she/he chase you for target?"
In fact, I didn't think of this question seriously before. For my experience, just do it and don't think of it. But suddenly when this question come to me, my colleagues cross my mind. 

I replied:" Meeting the sales target is a challenging part, but when you have a team of great team-mates, that support each others, that will help me to release my stress and keep going."

Yes, this is what i learnt and agreed until today. While I worked in Standard Chartered bank, I had a tough period of catching up the new products, follow the investment trends, fierce competition between the banks (the good time before the fall of Lehman Brothers), lots of compliances and training to meet and etc. I'm grateful that I had a great team-mates from all departments to help each others. We have to meet a branch target and personal target every week. Whenever my colleague cant meet the target, I will cover her; whenever I'm trouble, they help and advise me; when I'm sick, they accompanied me to clinic. 

Because of the supportive culture, I managed to achieve on Excellent grade on weekly sales target and I was ranked top 5 in the region for Europe trip. (* I was offered a management job by my client later on and met the two most important mentors in my life. Will share more in next few posts.).The glory is not alone, it's a team effort.
We laugh, we help, we eat and share together. That's how we spend our stressful day everyday.

If you carry the sales target yet you still have to fight among the internal colleagues, I don't think we can survive for long. 

I'm glad that I have them in my life and my career. :)

A group of Fun SCB ex-colleagues! :D

Of course, not to forget this gang of Malaysiakini crazy team-mates too. :)

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