Following 25 years working in post trade banking roles, an opportunity arose to try something different - FinTech.I did my research. I spoke to those in my network who had successfully made such a transition, those who had tried FinTech and then returned to banking, and those who specialised in recruiting for FinTech positions. I got a lot of feedback – “the pace is rapid, energetic and fun”, “you will learn loads”, “hours can be crazy”, “don’t expect any form of certainty” etc. Then, I took the plunge and joined Fnality a week before lockdown.
So what has my experience been in the last year:
- Collaborative delivery really does work. The company consists of an enthusiastic, diverse, multi skilled organisation unerringly focussed on the goal of establishing a network of global payment systems. No matter what background and experience you have, everyone is encouraged to get involved with all aspects of the organisation. Work is rarely assigned within teams as would be the case in traditional banking departments, instead people step forwards to lead, whilst others step up to support, then for other activities, roles are reversed. This is an approach driven from the CEO down.
- AGILE works when applied correctly. The whole organisation applies AGILE ways of working, and this enables rapid iterative development. We fail fast, learn, improve and repeat.
- Learning is continuous. Everyone is an expert and no one is an expert. What do I mean by this? Each person brings a skillset, experience and expertise to the organisation, but no one is an expert in all aspects of the organisation that they work on. This means the learning curve remains steep ensuring variety and interest.
- Living with uncertainty. When working for a bank, there is a sense of job security (even when unfounded), whereas in FinTech world, the only certainty is uncertainty. This would not be for everyone, but I have found it strangely liberating. Plus, it seems to have the effect of bringing the organisation together as one. The survival of the whole is intrinsically linked with the survival of the individual and vice versa.
- Hours don’t have to be long. Of course, there is a huge amount to deliver in a very short space of time with limited resource, but the focus is on what you and the team produce, not how many hours you spend doing it. Flexibility is engrained in the culture.
So the transition has worked for me. But then I have been fortunate to find Fnality International and be part of the incredible success story that we are building.
Ph. Credits: Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash