Surinder Singh’s Fought All Odds to Become Bank Clerk Despite His Humble Background

Surinder Singh (Bank Clerk )

Insights:

  1. This job may not sound appealing to someone who has big dreams to earn big money. It is for those who cannot afford professional degrees or expensive courses.
  2. The life of a Bank Clerk is monotonously routine. Therefore, it is well suited for people who prefer easy-going life.
  3. Life of a Bank Clerk mostly depends on the branch, department, staff and his manager. A bank clerk job in the city has higher work-pressure as compared to rural areas.
  4. A clerk gets various perks such as Newspaper allowance, leave travel concession, conveyance expenses, hospitalization expenses reimbursement, medical expenses reimbursement, festival advance, and vehicle and housing loans at a cheaper rate of interest.
  5. One gets a good number of holidays. All Sundays are holidays, second and fourth Saturday are also holidays. We get twelve days casual leave, fifteen days sick leave and thirty days privilege leave per year. This is apart from the holidays announced by the government of the state.

Personal Profile

Name – Surinder Singh

Profession – Clerk in SBI Bank

Age – 33 years

Gender – Male

City – Jalalabad

Industry – Banking

Where have you been born and raised?

I was born in a small village Ghubaaya nearby Jalalabad city in Punjab. I belong to a poor family. My father was a laborer. My mother passed away when I was four. As my father couldn’t take care of me, I was sent to my maternal family and was raised there until my 12th. I returned to my village for higher studies.

Who had the most influence on you and how?

As a child, I admired my maternal uncle who was a peon in a government bank. I thought he was very rich. I later realized that there were many other governmental jobs. My school teacher eventually had the greatest influence on me. He encouraged me to study further, which eventually brought me into this field. I remain in touch with him till date.

Please give us a summary of your career.

I completed my 12th from a government school. I pursued my B.A. from D.A.V. College, Jalalabad.

After my graduation, I took coaching for around 10 months for the entrance exam of SBI clerk and passed both stages.

Initially, I got a small branch to work at and the salary was also quite low but within every 2–3 months, I got an increment. After 4 years of work, I got shifted to another branch and also got my first promotion with a relatively higher salary. Within a year or two, I’ll be getting my second promotion.

Which institutes are best for the educational training of bank clerk?

The base requirement is to pass the entrance for which coaching may or may not be necessary.

What is the required qualification for a bank clerk?

One doesn’t exactly need a degree in any particular field. Graduation is necessary though.

But times are changing, so I would suggest that one should pursue BBA, as this will help in building a good base for this job.

How much does it cost to do a BBA?

If you pursue your BBA from a local college, then cost will be 30,000–50,000 INR per year, excluding living expenses.

How much do coaching classes for a clerk’s examination cost?

Coaching classes for the entrance exam can vary from 3,000 to 6,000 per month.

What are the typical entry-level jobs in bank clerk?

Once you qualify for the job, you join as a junior clerk. Within a span of 1 to 2 years, you could be promoted to some senior-level posts. This process goes on for the entire span of time till you get retired.

What is the average salary of a  bank clerk?

A clerk, like me, can draw a reasonable salary, which allows for a comfortable living.

1–5 years’ experience — 20,000 to 25,000 INR per month

5–10 years’ experience — 30,000 to 50,000 INR per month

10+ years’ experience — 40,000 to 80,000 INR per month

What are the other perks of being a clerk?

Apart from the salary, you also get some extra amount and perks for your medical allowance, allowances on fuel, newspapers, cleaning materials and entertainment, loans with lesser interest rates. You are also entitled to buy books for your career enhancement. You get to stay at Bank’s holiday homes at a very subsidized rate.

Please describe your work as a bank clerk.

On a usual work day, I attend customers, make transaction entries, accept account opening forms, make NEFT or RTGS entries, attend customer queries and follow up with concerned department till the problem is solved.

In simple words, a clerk handles customer and does data entry work in the computer system.

I work 6 days a week except for Sundays and the 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month.

What are some of the positives, which would encourage someone to consider clerk profile in banking?

  1. A clerk gets a reasonable salary to lead an easy-going life.
  2. You receive numerous perks such as Newspaper allowance, leave travel concession, conveyance expenses, hospitalization expenses reimbursement, medical expenses reimbursement, festival advance, vehicle and housing loans at a cheaper rate of interest.
  3. In case of emergencies, you can get a very long leave, also called sabbatical. Women get long maternity leave.
  4. The work isn’t stressful, and the timings are reasonable.

What are some of the challenges that you should want someone to be aware of when considering clerk profile in banking?

  1. A clerk’s life lacks creativity and advancement. This would be a disadvantage to personal growth as well.
  2. Sometimes, you are posted to far-off locations, which leads to disruption in your life.
  3. Though the work is monotonous, it requires patience and high focus. You can’t be an unreliable employee as minor errors can cause more havoc than in any other field.
  4. During times when government schemes are implemented, like demonetization, the workload is high and stressful.

What are relevant trends/ skills/ technologies that are currently commanding a premium in your job profile?

I’m not very sure. All the clerks have a similar work i.e., to interact with customers and do data entry work. Any required skill is already taught in the training.

What kind of person would be happy as a bank clerk?

A person who is punctual, polite, possesses good communication skills, one who can sit for hours just to do the same work day in and day out and wants an easy going, stable life would be happy in this career.

Give another choice, what would you do differently as far as your professional selections are concerned?

I always wanted to become a pilot, but that wasn’t easy for at least one like me who really belongs to a poor family. However, I believe in fate and agree with my journey.

What would be your advice to students or professionals who are just starting their journey on a path similar to yours be?

Prepare for the entrance exam with full determination and consistency, then success is guaranteed.

Don’t waste unnecessary time and money on expensive coaching classes, as your hard work is only going to make you successful. All the best!

Liked this article? Dive deeper into banking profession with Mr. Vivek Prakash here.