A loan officer assists customers with loan applications for cars, college tuition, and homes. They help determine the appropriate loans for customers and make them aware of the various requirements and stipulations. These professionals can specialize in consumer, mortgage or commercial loans and often work for commercial banks, mortgage companies or credit unions. Some loan officers travel to meet with clients in their businesses or homes.
You can find loan officer jobs through the typical channels of online job boards and community resources. Many banks post information about job openings on their websites, so you can check with banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions in your area. If you attended a business school, you can work with your school’s alumni network to make contacts in the industry.
In a small business, there are not layers upon layers of managerial employees between the regular employees and the board of directors. In fact, the “board of directors” are usually the owner(s) and spouse(s). Often, the person giving job interviews is the owner. The business may have an office manager who happens to be the first interviewer, but once you make it past the manager, you will be interviewed by the owner. And once hired, you get to influence the business with your input because you will usually have direct access to the owner.
Ultimately the owner will make the hiring decision. And owners happen to “think” differently than do employees. Owners have an entirely different mindset – one you will need to understand. Owners usually have a strong vision as to what they want for their business and are independent thinkers who do not like to be told what to do. While many owners started the business as a sideline from their home while “working” at a regular job, eventually owners are willing to leave the security of having a job, the security of being an employee. They often borrow money to start the business in order to make it grow. Many owners will put a second mortgaged loan on their home to acquire operating capital.
The owner will put everything on the line for their business…often working 12-14 hour days in the beginning – maybe doing so for several years. Look at Johnny and Jenny Entrepreneur I mentioned earlier. They have a skill, an interest, something about which they are passionate. The start a business to market this skill, and soon find themselves doing everything – marketing, selling, performing the work, bookkeeping, taxes, making decisions, writing advertising – there are not enough hours in the day.
Thus they have been working in their business rather than working on growing their business. So they hire their first employee to take away some of the burdens. The business grows, and they hire another employee to do more of the work they had been doing, and again, the business grows. Then they hire their third…each employee is really an extension of the owners. Eventually, Johnny and Jenny Entrepreneur are able to concentrate on attracting more customers, and on building the business, which in turn brings in income for them and the employees.
Your job as an employee is to be an extension of all the owner by doing the work they did while building their business. During your job interview, you must demonstrate how you will be a help to the owners, or they will find someone else who will.
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