Student SGH? Me? I chose that nickname as I was setting up this blog in February 2009, because being a student was one of main social roles I would perform then and the easiest to put clearly into words. As someone rightly noticed, some time ago I graduated and no longer can call myself a student. Unlike many of my peers I have not struggled to find a job after I finished the studies, I do not work on "junk contract" (umowa śmieciowa), I have a permanent job. Someone said I am a banker. I think this sound misleading. I do not deal in high amounts of money, I just analyse credit risk, my job is to assure a company should be able to pay back the money it wants to borrow. I have worked too short to get it wrong at least once. I earn relatively well, though I was recently told my salary accounts for only 60% of average salary on my position in the whole industry. Unlike most of my compatriots, I have savings, given my age they are quite ample. I try to make even more money by speculating on stock exchange; sometimes I win, sometimes I lose. Plus the only asset I have is a car - a gift from my parents on occasion of graduating from SGH. And last Sunday I voted for Platforma Obywatelska because I was convinced, as almost 40% of voters, that things were quite alright.
Should I have remorse?
I something amiss in the short confession above? Let's dissect it.
Unlike many of my peers I have not struggled to find a job after I finished the studies - The whole debate can boil down to one question - is it true that a man's key to success lies in his own hands. Who are those young people who cannot get a job? Can anyone put together a profile of an unemployed graduate? What did they study? When choosing what to study, did they assess job prospects for graduates? During their studies did they engage in any student organizations? Did they do internships during summer holidays? What did they do to raise their qualifications? What earnings do they expect when entering the labour market?
It was a twist of fate that I work where I work. I partly owe it to luck. On Easter Monday last year I put in my application to Grasz o Staż contest. I cracked a three-page long case study and sent it, not holding out much hopes to be qualified to the next stage. Then out of the blue came a horribly tough interview at a bank. I was given ten minutes to prepare financial analysis of a company on a verge of bankruptcy. There was no space for luck, I had to prove my knowledge. I got in, what I later achieved was thanks to sheer hard work. And I never complained about my salary, employer's requirements, etc.
I do not work under a "junk contract" (umowa śmieciowa) - I cannot see the point in the fuss about junk contracts. For young people who still study they are excellent - no need to pay social security contributions, effective tax rate for such contracts for students is below 15%. Plus they offer more flexibility to both parties to such contracts...
I have a permanent job - now a different story. Despite having some job security (not only in contractual terms, but also at work, where I feel no one is going to lay me off), I am not creditworthy for banks. I do not plan to take out a mortgage, but if I wanted I would not get more than 140,000 PLN. This is... great news. The fewer people deserve, in banks' view, to be granted a loan, the more property prices fall and the sooner I can buy something for cash.
Someone said I am a banker. I think this sound misleading. I do not deal in high amounts of money, I just analyse credit risk, my job is to assure a company should be able to pay back the money it wants to borrow - maybe the case is that English does not distinguish between bankier and bankowiec (not to mention examples of rencista and rentier). I am a bankowiec - someone who works at a bank, but not someone who earns zillions and not, as many people tend to think, foist loans upon helpless clients. My job is to foster the bank's interests. In very simple words, my role is to check and analyse, which company will have capacity to repay a loan, which not, and to justify why. I do not rip anyone off and if a company does not get financing, it is not because I have it in for it. My employer pays me for taking care of quality of its portfolio, so I simply do my bit as good as I can.
I have worked too short to get it wrong at least once. But the economic slowdown is nearing and we are taking steps to prepare for it. One day I'll make a mistake, and I think this will be a valuable experience. One best learns from one's own mistakes...
I earn relatively well, though I was recently told my salary accounts for only 60% of average salary on my position in the whole industry. Many of my peers have inflated expectations regarding their starting salary. This one of main reasons why young people have problems on the labour market. My take on this is that they should, as I did, accept low salary at the beginning, and with time, through aforementioned sheer hard work, prove they deserve more. During the internship I had in summer last year I got paid peanuts, in February I started a three-month probation period over which I was paid more, than I got another pay raise and now I have no reasons to complain. I believe with time, provided the crisis does not spark off for good, my salary should go up again.
Unlike most of my compatriots, I have savings, given my age they are quite ample. - I do not understand why in this country people who are thrifty are at best scowled at. Being good at managing one's own finances is a virtue. Being able to amass some wealth, instead of squandering money does reflect well upon a man. Why those who save are punished, while those who borrow and live beyond their means are taken care of, helped out, etc.?
I try to make even more money by speculating on stock exchange; sometimes I win, sometimes I lose. - and those who buy and sell risk are now assaulted as well. Speculators are to blame for potential sovereign defaults? I know market participants are often insane, their decisions are driven by emotions, herd instinct, irrational, but after all many speculations are based on fundamentals (betting if Greece, Italy or Spain go bust is not unfounded) and on every speculation someone loses. Every speculator is sooner or later beaten in their own game. The only rule in that game that has to be obeyed is that no one should be bailed out. Once you take a risk, you should lose all hopes that anyone will give you helpind hand if things go wrong.
Plus the only assets I have is a car - a gift from my parents on occasion of graduating from SGH.. Yes, I do have remorse, when I pass by people tinned like sardines in a bus. Now I feel like shutting up.
And last Sunday I voted for Platforma Obywatelska because I was convinced, as almost 40% of voters, that things were quite alright. - and I voted for 'evildoers', 'traitors', I opted for the 'further downfall of Poland'. But for over a year I many times glanced at political decisions taken in Hungary and I am grateful to Jarosław Kaczyński for reminding me why I did not vote for his party...
Waiting for some waspich comments to crop up. Feel free to bash me!
Maybe next week about Wall Street occupiers...
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