I’ve always valued the insights of the Angry Retail Banker community. My ARBonauts (you guys) always have great things to say in the comments sections of all my articles.
I came to you all once looking for career advice and was overwhelmed by the responses. Stuff like that is part of the reason why I’ve been copying the Millennial Revolution blog by stealing their Friday Reader Cases, responding to emails from people seeking career advice from me.
Yesterday, a job opportunity has been offered to me by a recruiting agency who saw my resume online.
It’s not a job offer. Just an invitation to go through their interview process.
But I’m at an impasse as to whether I should go for it. On one hand, it offers some great opportunity to finally get out of retail banking and enter the AML world. But on the other hand, it’s a temp job that offers a huge step back from a lot of what I have at my current bank.
Opportunity and risk.
So I wanted to bounce the job perks and setbacks off of everyone and get a collective second opinion. Should I take this temp position?
There’s Always Pros And Cons
Of course, I need to talk a bit about the position before I can go forward, as well as my current situation.
I just recently made an announcement that I got my CAMS designation, which is the premier certification in the world of Anti-Money Laundering. However, while I’ve gotten a couple interviews, I’ve been shut down at every turn.
Just like I did before I got my CAMS in December, I’ve been throwing resumes out there left and right. And getting no response.
I think I’m more likely to hear back from a job I apply for if I turn out the lights in my bathroom, spin around three times, and shout the position title.
I’ve actually been working with a recruiter from a major employment agency lately that’s been trying to place me in full time jobs that pay at least $60,000/year (which would be the ideal for me). But right now, all their attempts have been falling flat.
But this one called me out of the blue after finding my resume online (I had posted for positions on their website over the past few months) and talked to me about this position.
The pros of the position include:
- From what I can see, the position is within my circle of competence. I can definitely be trained to do this position, which is an entry level position.
- It pays $4/hour more than what I am currently getting.
- While most temporary contract positions are as long as six months and sometimes as little as three weeks, this is a one year contract with the possibility of extension. In the AML world, it seems that a lot of entry level positions somehow require you to have at least a year’s prior work experience in the AML field (making the term “entry level” very misleading on their part), so this is pretty big for me. And banks seem to prefer temporary workers to fill their AML Departments rather than full time employees.
- No customer contact. Even putting that to the side for a second, it seems like this position is more or less exactly what I’ve imagined an AML position to be.
- 401(k) and medical/dental/vision plans.
- Only 35 hours per week! I won’t actually be living in the office like I currently do at my bank (where I’m routinely there 10-11 hours per day).
The cons, however, include:
- Temp position with possibility of extension. A 12 month contract is not permanent employment. I guess this is better than the 3-4 month positions I’ve been offered in the past, but can I really afford to be unemployed at any point now that I’m in debt?
- With the position being only 35 hours per week, my base annual salary comes out to only $2,000 more than what it is now. And considering my meager overtime, commission, and bonuses, I might actually be making less money pre-tax at this new place than I am now! Yes, that is with significantly less hours worked, but the numbers are still the numbers. Unfortunately, my HOA fee doesn’t go down each month just because I’m working less hours.
- They mention nothing about 401(k) employer matches. Now that doesn’t mean they don’t match, but they just didn’t mention anything.
- While I can get medical, dental, and vision through the company (I think it’s with the same insurance company I have now), they don’t contribute at all. Premiums would be 100% my cost and taken directly from my paycheck (which is what I have now, except my employer also pays a portion of my premiums). For the most basic plans, we’re talking about $200/ bi-weekly paycheck.
- No paid holidays. No paid vacations. No paid sick days. No pay unless I’m there working.
- My commute will be anywhere from double to triple what it is now. I will be looking at about 90 minutes on the trains each way and will actually be crossing state lines. I know my shift would be seven hours per day, but I do not know my actual schedule (maybe a lot of these are questions I should have asked before furiously typing this post).
So that’s where I’m at now. I’m at an impasse because, well, honestly I see this as too much of an opportunity to pass up. At the same time though, the setbacks are immense and some of them would be immediately disqualifying on their own.
There’s opportunity and risk here. This is a chance to get into an AML position with a position that will still be there for the rest of the year and not disappear a couple months from now. It’s a chance I can’t pass up.
But at the same time, I’m giving up some of the best benefits I’ve ever had to work in a place where I might be taking home less than I am now. Might be taking home less, sure, but still a possibility. With a mortgage, can I really afford that?
Sure, I rarely get sick and call out or go to the doctor (though I really do need to make a doctor and dentist appointment). And yes, I have used CIT Bank to help build an emergency fund. But will an AML position paying me $60,000 and up really just magically appear because I spent a year at this place, spending three hours each day crossing state lines on the trains to get to and from work?
Well, we’re not really there yet. All that happened was that a recruiter reached out to me in order for me to go through the interview process. I may interview and get turned down, rendering all of this moot.
But I wanted to get everyone’s take on the options before me, as there is a great amount of opportunity and risk in front of me. Should I take this temp position?
Readers–What do YOU think!? Should I go forward with the interview process and take the position if offered? Or is this not worth my time and my current job? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!