The finance industry is like an ocean because there are tons of opportunities and areas. Most of these opportunities have appeared in the last 20 years. So let’s get into details regarding this. A career in finance may look challenging and at the same time, it definitely opens many doors for you. Here is a list of tips to help you succeed in a finance specialist role. While this list is not exhaustive, it does offer a well-defined and tangible blueprint for success.
- Choose the way that suits you best
Let’s consider 3 main categories of finance:
– Corporate Finance;
– Investment Banking (IB).
Each of these categories has the most popular career paths: Audit, Tax and Consulting in Accounting; Financial Analysis, Corporate Accounting and Internal Audit (https://jooble.org/jobs-internal-auditor) in Corporate Finance; Sales&Trading, Investment Banking, Investment Management, Financial Advising in IB.
Considering these opportunities you have to pay special attention not only to your preferences and future projects but also to the average number of working hours in each role.
It is generally accepted that in all of the above professions there are a lot of working hours but still the average 50-60 hours per week in an audit can not be compared with almost 80 average hours per week in investment banking. So, if you would like to keep a work-life balance, and I highly recommend that you do so, take into account the high workload when choosing your path.
- Start at a big company
Remember, that big and well-known company experience is more credible than equivalent experience in a small company. Even if you are not going to build a career in corporate business and want to become an individual finance adviser, it is the best investment of your time at the beginning of your career to work few years in a big company. Such companies usually have large budgets for the training and development of employees. The projects you work on will be complex. In a big company, working with senior staff and leaders, you will have an opportunity to build a huge and strong network. And of course, it is always easier to leave a big company for a small one than to reverse it. Taking into account all mentioned above, it makes sense to start your career at a big company to get this experience for further growth.
- Pass financial certification
Multinational financial certification is indisputable confirmation of your knowledge. Again, the benefit of starting a career in a big company is that usually such companies not just pay for your certification but also help in your preparation for the exams. If you start passing certification by yourself it is important to choose the right one. Certified Public Accountant certification (CPA) is the best for accountants and pretty helpful for tax specialists, Certified Financial Analyst (CFA) is for experts in investments and securities, Financial Risk Manager certification (FRM) will confirm your knowledge in risk management and ability to provide investments advices, etc.
Financial standards and principles are constantly changing. Something that was relevant yesterday may does not make any sense today. So, be proactive about your learning, research the latest developments in finance to be up to date and remain competitive.
- Build your network
Networking is a vital step for a successful career in all industries but is particularly important in the world of finance. HR specialists say that the best candidates for job openings are usually hired per current employes’ references. The good network is also important when you face a complex problem and need related industries specialists to help you to solve it. Again, networking is something that is the easiest to achieve in a big company. Just remember, to build strong relationships every time you should try to give value first.So, do not be afraid of offering your help, introducing your new acquaintance to those who are already on your network, etc.
- Keep work-life balance
To keep proper work-life balance is just as important as hard in the finance sphere. It is critical to ensure your mental and physical wellbeing to handle a heavy workload. Nowadays, employers start to understand that employees are more productive when they are in balance. That is why work from home days are available, sick leaves, maternity and paternity policies developed, etc.
To keep yourself productive try to exercise and meditate on a regular basis. Exercise as well as meditation is an effective stress reducer.
There are many other important tips like to find a good mentor or constantly develop your soft skills, which matters too. Remember, that in the long-term perspective the right mix of knowledge, soft skills, theright network will help you to win. Your path to success in finance can be long and challenging, but following the above-mentioned tips you can avoid some mistakes and speed up.