We would all agree that most Microfinance Professionals found themselves in this field by mistake, out of no other choice. Most of us just want to make do with the job while searching for “something better”, then years go by, we realize we are stuck, Right? Yes, it has happened to the best of us.
While Microfinance might not be the most desired career like “conventional banking”, medicine, engineering, etc, it is not as bad as it appears, in fact, it is one of the most rewarding careers. When I say rewarding, I am not solely talking about financial reward, but the rewards money cannot buy.
In this write up, I would be highlighting five reasons why brilliant young people should kickstart their career in Microfinancing. There are a lot of benefits this wonderful industry has to offer. Whether you decide to become a pro or switching to another industry, there are loads of transferable skills that can only be gotten from our beloved industry.
Below are just some of the opportunities the industry has to offer young graduates:
In this write up, I would be using the loan officer role as the case study, since loan officers are the heart of Micro lending. Of course, most of these benefits applies to other core business roles within the industry.
You Would Know People:
As a loan officer, you would be dealing with hundreds of clients from different background. It is a great opportunity “know” people. And when I say “know”, I am referring to the literal and figurative meaning. During the course of your job, you will make many valuable acquaintances, and the same time, the nature of the job would teach you to understand human behaviour. You will know the true human nature. You would know what people are going through. You will know life. Your success depends on this. In summary, you would become a profiler. Isn’t that awesome?
You Matter, What You Do Matter
You will be helping the socially and economically marginalized people get access to financial services. These people have no other place to turn to. Your are their hero. Honestly, this is feeling you get on the job, when you realize how much these small loans mean to the borrowers. You will be treated like a King, you will enjoying the feeling. You will love the job, on many days. You are helping your community. Since more than 80% of the economy is made up of MSMEs, you are contributing towards the growth of the economy through the services you provide.
You Will Become a Business Guru:
As a loan officer, you will be assessing different types of businesses, ranging from sales to services, to production. You will be exposed to different techniques employed by various businesses. You will be privileged to know classified information like the profit margin, purchase pattern, purchase place, seasonality, rotation pattern, and more. You might even get business ideas from while doing your job. Isn’t this perfect?
You Will be Street-Smart:
Being street-smart is a highly valuable skill and it is transferable to any industry. As a loan officer, your job requires you to know-the-street. I mean, that is where you do most of your jobs. For example, it was during my job as a loan officer that I learnt where to “legally” renew your car papers within 1 hour with just a phone call. I could register a company within 4 days. As a loan officer, you could resolve complicated issues with different types of affidavit. You just know things, things you might never know if not for the job.
There are lot of International Opportunities for You:
A lot of International NGOs desire people with first-hand experience micro lending experience. If you know your onions, a lot of opportunities exist for you in international development. The international financial inclusion space is rapidly growing, and core experience working closely with the people below the pyramid is highly desired. Personally, Microfinance has taken me to many countries. Microfinance can be highly rewarding if you are passionate and serious about it.
There is a lot to be benefited from a career in Microfinancing. It can equip you with skills for your next job or future self-employment. If you can succeed as Loan Officer, for example, you can succeed at any other job, no matter how tough it is. And if you decide to start your own business, you are all set, because you have acquired the two most important skills needed to succeed: Sales/Marketing and Credit Management.
You would agree with me that starting your career with a Microfinance is not that bad, it is a golden opportunity to acquire life skills.
So, next time, you are invited for an interview by a Microfinance bank, take it seriously.
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