Changing Jobs in Compliance
The decision to change the bank I was working for as an AML-Compliance Specialist was extremely difficult for me. Besides the fact that I am a stable “Taurus” and generally feel comfortable when the earth is not moving around me, I also felt at ease doing my job in an environment that I knew very well (the procedures, the systems and the people).
Thus, for a long time I rejected all new opportunities, although I felt that I definitely needed a change. Until one day when I decided that it was time to see and learn another AML-Compliance perspective. Of course, as a classical “Taurus”, I had many second thoughts and questioned my decision daily, until the very last moment. The day I left my previous job with my personal belongings was the day I felt professionally handicapped. “I was so good at what I was doing. I knew all the procedures by heart, I knew the system and thus I could give a good, professional opinion in my area. It will take a lot of time to reach this at the new job. Why did I do it???”.
The first day came – with no laptop, no access to internal information and surrounded by “strangers” – definitely professionally handicapped. I was provided with the internal procedures of the department and, equipped with a large coffee, I started reading…
Besides the differences in wording and the differences in some flows and responsibilities, nothing was actually new under the sun. It was the same transposition of the regulations and laws that I already knew so well. I soon started to feel more at ease and even noticed some “soon-to-come improvements”.
Day 2 continued in the same manner, with a smaller coffee.
Day 3 came with a laptop and thus, full access to internal information and emails. It was also the first day I started issuing opinions in my area of work. As long as I knew the regulations and laws applicable to my area, I felt comfortable doing my job, even if I was in a different environment, with different procedures, systems and people.
The current status
I am currently just 1 month old at my new job and still have so many questions. However, they concern mainly the applications we are using, the persons I need to contact if I need something and other “administrative” things. I feel like a Sherlock Holmes trying to figure out where to find all the reports that I need and I am constantly wiped with a new application where I need access in order to do something … anything (big bank :)).
But I am actually able to do my job well because I know the ABC (the regulations, the laws, AML typologies, the approach of our supervisory Authorities, etc).
This article is not a manifest for changing jobs. On the contrary! A good Compliance Specialist knows its organization very well in order to do her/his job well. And this can only be achieved by working in that organization for a long period of time. A change should be made only when you really feel that you need it in order to grow, professionally and personally.
The future is “change”
This article is a manifest towards knowing and learning beyond the internal procedures and policies. I believe that a good Compliance Specialist (I emphasize Specialist) is curious and continuously learning. A good Compliance Specialist reads and understands the applicable laws and regulations, trends, typologies, information materials from the Authorities, etc. and generally goes beyond the easy way of sticking to the procedures.
If we know the ABC of our profession, we will be able to do our job and not be professionally handicapped, no matter the changes around us. And there are so many changes around us, besides a simple change in jobs – digitalization, new products and services, new regulations, new AML/CFT trends and typologies, etc.
It is difficult to remain informed and up to date while being constantly bombed. We are bombed with current and new tasks, with additional requests from our Supervisory Authorities, with demands from different internal departments which need to launch new products/services or give a loan to a customer and need an urgent opinion on International Sanctions, etc. However, especially in “war-like conditions”, keeping informed is a must.
The only constant is change!
By Andreea Tampu, ACAMS
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