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7 Things a Happy Banker Should do Every Morning

Published on Monday, 09 Nov 2015

Working in the banking industry is known to be a stressful and challenging profession. Burnout is a common occurrence that peaks in bankers between ages 25 and 44. In countries like the United States and Hong Kong, the burnout rate can extend into the mid-50s. Depression, anxiety, feelings of unfulfillment, and other signs of burnout are caused by a combination of grueling hours, the lack of work-life balance, and demanding managers and/or shareholders. 

Those who succeed are often seen as adrenaline addicts or people who obsess over money, but what if they know something other bankers don’t? 

Here are the seven things a happy banker should incorporate into their morning routine in order to help them successfully navigate the pitfalls of the profession.

1. Exercise. The benefits of a healthy and active lifestyle have long been reported for good reason -- it really does make life better! While many people find it too difficult a task to wake up earlier to fit in a workout before starting their job, the strenuous activity helps release endorphins which energise the body, elevate your mood, and help you manage stress so that you can focus on the day’s work. If you truly can’t find the time to fit in a full workout routine in the morning, stretch and complete a few reps of jumping jacks and push-ups to get the body and mind going.

2. Eat a healthy breakfast. No matter the circumstance, every banker really should make eating breakfast a part of their morning routine. The advantages of eating a smart, healthy breakfast include improved concentration to tackle even the toughest problems, better endurance to help survive the long hours, and a kick in energy levels to help jumpstart the day. Remember, in order to reap these benefits, you should avoid eating sugary and fattening meals for breakfast and enjoy fresh fruits and whole grain cereals instead. 

3. Dress for success. Dressing and looking the part of a happy, well-adjusted banker goes a long way to help improve self-esteem and the way others perceive you. Check yourself in the mirror each day before you step out of the house to make sure you look presentable. Even if your office has a relaxed dress code, showing up for your 10 am meeting in jeans and a sweatshirt doesn’t reflect a serious professional. Always ensure that your attire is, at the bare minimum, clean and wrinkle-free. Tuck in your shirt. Comb your hair. Keep a clean blazer at the office in case of any last-minute meetings that may arise. Personal hygiene is always important as well.

4. Build self-confidence. Working in the banking industry is tough and the competition is fierce. Come up with a confidence-boosting mantra and remind yourself of your competence and ability each day on your way to work. This will help you feel ready to take on the world and give you the mental edge you need to excel in the workplace. Anytime you start doubting yourself or feeling down, repeat your mantra and get your head back in the game.

5. Have a plan for the day. Going into work each day, you should have a good sense of how your day will play out. In the mornings, consider all the things you need to complete during the day. Even if you don’t keep a detailed calendar of every minute of your day, and certainly there’s no requirement to have such a rigid schedule, knowing what needs to be done and having a plan on how to finish it all in time is the primary means to be productive.

6. Smile. Try to always start your day off positively and the easiest, fastest way to a more favourable outlook is with a smile. Studies have shown that even just one smile, whether forced or naturally-occurring, can decrease stress levels, boost your mood, and make others around you feel better. Smiling also makes you seem more approachable and trustworthy, which in turn can make your colleagues more likely to turn to you for leadership and direction in the workplace.

7. Have a vision of your long-term career plan. One of the surest ways to a happy and productive life is having a goal for the future. Envision where you want your career to be in the next five to ten years and use that as motivation whenever you need a reminder of why you wanted to work in the banking industry in the first place. Knowing where you want to go will give you the drive you need to figure out how you can get there.


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