Having worked in banking for twelve years, Dean Kerr from Wallington made the switch from finance to funeral care, after experiencing toxicity amongst the banking world.
Working as a Cashier for two years and later as a Consultant for ten, Dean relished in the ability to meet new people and to truly help them financially. Talking of his time working in banks, he said:
“When I worked in finance, I was able to really help people, which I absolutely loved. I ensured that every one of my clients were treated with respect and that I gave them the best possible service I could.
“Unfortunately, not everyone in that industry felt the same way. Some people weren’t as invested personally in our clients, and this made me feel like it was the right time to move onto a new and more compassionate career.”
At the beginning of the year, Dean was casually flicking through job adverts when one caught his eye – Funeral Director with the Co-op.
“I hadn’t had a single thought about going into the funeral industry, but something about the advert really caught my eye and spoke to me. I felt I would be able to use similar acts of empathy that my previous consultancy job at the bank required. I would be able to sit down with struggling families and clients, and help or guide them into deciding on a solution.”
Whilst Dean had the interview for Funeral Director at the Co-op Funeralcare Purley in February, by the time he started working in the role, lockdown was well under way.
“It’s definitely been strange changing, not only my job, but also my career in such uncertain times. However I am so relieved I made the switch as I couldn’t be happier working anywhere else.”
Whilst Dean has welcomed the career change, even in these uncertain times, he appreciates how difficult these times are for bereaved families:
“I really feel for those who have lost loved ones over the last nine months. With all the ever-changing restrictions and different rules depending on location, it makes what is already a difficult time for families, even harder. It’s extremely tough to see families affected in this way, but I will always do what I can to try and help.
“I’ve really loved building up a rapport with our clients and talking to them about their loved ones, which most are eager to do. I often even attend the service if the family is happy for me to do so.
“Yes, making such a drastic career change was a little intimidating at first, but I would recommend it to anyone who’s thinking about it. Funeral care has shone a new light on what I once thought was a dark industry, but it is in fact the warmest and most rewarding work imaginable.”
Anyone interested in a career in the sector should visit: https://jobs.coop.co.uk/