Optimising financial processes

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What’s The Worst Job You’ve Ever Had?

co betterWere you bad in a former life, were you beaten as a child, do you have no friends or just low self esteem?

You are a Chief Compliance Officer and I spent 2 days with you at the Compliance Week 2016 conference in Washington DC on May 23 and 24.

I learned a lot of things about ethics, training, whistle Blower programs, e-discovery, compliance monitoring, analytics and visualisation, The Yates Memo and various indictments, threats to personal liberty and incarceration in a penitentiary of your choice.

But you seem happy enough, certainly philosophical. Maybe because several of the presenters had served time in federal penitentiaries and were obviously pleased to be out.


But I learned that your job is the worst job in the world. You may get well paid but never enough for the risk.

If everything in your world goes well, you are just an annoying overhead, obviously surplus to requirements. If things go badly, you are responsible for the failure and your employer can benefit from firing you with immediate effect, as described by the General Counsel fired on the recommendation of the SEC so that the employer could claim credit for ‘co-operation and swift action’. Some career!

As the ultimate goalkeeper, it is not possible for you to save all the shots, especially when you are blindfolded. But what does ‘good’ look like when you are the goalkeeper? How many opposition goals are acceptable?

The worst thing about a Compliance Officer is that you have zero impact on the risks themselves (such as aggressive sales compensation schemes that encourage inappropriate behaviour). Worse still, you own the responsibility for the havoc these risks create when mixed with mere mortals.

The final question of the conference was ‘do you see yourself doing your job in 5 years or languishing in jail?’


There are worse things than being fired.


Who wants the worst job in the world?