“It is Perfectly Normal to Find Banking Boring.”

A letter to the advice column in the Financial Times:

I work in financial services. My hours are reasonable — 8.30am to 6.30pm — the stress is manageable, my colleagues are all likeable, and I am paid extremely well to do a job I think has no meaning and makes me feel extremely bored at best. Am I just another entitled idiot for thinking I am wasting my youth? I want to quit, but I am scared I will end up just as bored, and working with more annoying people while earning three times less.

The answer from the FT is interesting. It acknowledges that working in a bank is boring (“It is also perfectly normal to find it devoid of meaning.”), goes on to suggest some survival strategies, and then suggests canvassing friends for the low-downs on non-financial jobs.

None of this suggests total rat race escape but you wouldn’t expect that from FT of all creatures. That’s what New Escapologist is here for. But it does provide a linear thought process that comes after the initial boredom diagnosis:

1. Make a competitive game of your career, doing well and trying to get promoted. If that doesn’t work then:

2. Lower your career expectations and embrace the boredom like a Zen Master. If that doesn’t work then:

3. Buttonhole others to learn about non-boring jobs with an eye to applying for one. If you’re still bored in your new job (the FT does not suggest this):

4. Come up with an escape plan.

Or, y’know, just come up with an escape plan anyway. It’s probably not the nature of the job that’s grinding you down but the whole idea of a job. But it might be wise to make sure that’s the case.

★ Tired of the everyday grind? Pre-order the New Escapologist book today.


Robert Wringham is the editor of New Escapologist. He also writes books and articles. Read more at www.wringham.co.uk/about.

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