You know the story… you covet the big corporate job… and you get it! But then it grinds you down into the worker-zombie you swore you’d never become. Aargh! Find out why working for a fast-growing Fintech company could refresh your career – and your mind!

South Africa’s Fintech sector is growing faster than the international average, making it a fantastic option for work opportunities. For anyone looking for a career in a dynamic, technology-driven space that’s on the rise, Fintech companies like Electrum can offer a truly stimulating environment. Just see Moneyweb’s article ‘South African fintech in 2018 – what can we expect?’ for a taste of some of the fascinating advances.

“I wanted to be part of a team and produce something impactful…”

Electrum draws on talent from a wide range of backgrounds. Someone with the technical capacity but with experience in another field can often be the perfect fit. A case in point is Neil MacKellar, a former climate scientist, who changed careers mid-stream from academia to software.

“It’s been really exciting being part of a rapidly growing company,” says Neil, who’s now Electrum’s Head of Product. “To be part of that growth and to play a role in influencing how the company has developed has been incredibly rewarding.”

Some love the joint decision-making and non-hierarchical structure

Experienced staff members who’ve joined us from other industries or the traditional finance sector find Electrum’s setup appealing for different reasons. Some love the joint decision-making and non-hierarchical structure; others love that they’re valued for the work they do, not the suit they wear; and most love the particular technical challenges of the work and the fact that they can see their projects come to fruition in our clients’ outlets across the country. Oh, and everyone loves the coffee!

“I wanted to be part of a team and produce something impactful,” says Neil. Organisations differ on how much collaboration happens – Electrum thrives on it. The flat structure of our organisation means that we don’t have the entrenched hierarchies and bureaucracy many other workplaces do, which results in a more creative, fairer environment. “Everyone feels free to express themselves openly,” he says.

…team members can see products they worked on in use every day…

Our policy of Radical Transparency means that the aims and operations of Electrum are laid bare. That way we get the best ideas, keep operations agile and build trust. Not many large corporates can offer this level of participation. In fact, much of the decision-making at Electrum includes everyone who works here, so that the company’s strategic direction is jointly agreed upon.  

Neil found there was much more drive and urgency to projects at Electrum compared to his previous position. We work closely with our clients on projects that are vital to their operations and service millions of South Africans. With clients like Pick n Pay, Massmart, Capitec and Clicks, Electrum team members can see products they worked on in use every day – a part of the job that many of us find very rewarding.

…expect T-shirts and shorts, communal lunches (served up by our fully-staffed kitchen), arcade games and a designer office space.

The professional stimulation of real-world problem-solving is enough incentive to make some people switch careers but there’s something to be said about the atmosphere, too. For someone used to a corporate environment, Electrum’s casual and relaxed feel can be a breath of fresh air. You can expect T-shirts and shorts, communal lunches (served up by our fully-staffed kitchen), arcade games and a designer office space. The environment and ethos make for good relationships – there are plenty of fun outings and after-work hanging out.

Making a mid-career change can be daunting. Neil’s advice for anyone considering a change is not to worry too much about the technical skills the new job requires – there are plenty of online training tools to help you, and your new company should offer you support. “I was surrounded by fantastic mentors who encouraged me all the way,” he says.

His final thoughts are that any motivated person can make a switch if they set their mind to it. “If you feel you identify with the company mindset and believe you can bring value, then the rest will fall into place.”

If you think you might be ready to switch to a career in Fintech, visit our Careers page.

Electrum Payments

Electrum Payments

Electrum provides enterprise software that represents the next generation of payments technology. Founded in Cape Town by some of South Africa’s most experienced and innovative payments experts, we have built the top payments technology team in the region.