Most people begin a career in finance because of their passion for numbers and statistics. They like digging into details and giving logical meaning to subjective details. However, they soon began to realize that finance is a highly competitive field.
Thousands of students have bachelor’s degrees in accounting and finance, making it challenging to penetrate the market. At the same time, the integration of FinTech is making it arduous for fresh graduates to step their foot in the industry. After all, some are afraid of change, whereas others lag the skills needed to keep up with the changing finance world.
So, the question is how to stand out and have a successful career in finance? Simply put, your bachelor’s degree won’t cut it. You have to get additional certifications by taking up different finance-related courses. Likewise, look out for emerging opportunities in the industry while keeping an eye on market trends. And above all, brush up on your soft skills as technical expertise isn’t enough to lead a successful work life.
If you wish to unearth more about this, keep reading. Here we have highlighted five ways to ensure career enhancement in finance.
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Get More Certifications
Undeniably, a major in finance might seem enough to learn the ropes, but you have to look beyond the basics. Today’s finance industry is emerging with new technology, innovations, and practices. And to keep up with this, you have to strive hard and open your doors to learning. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean you have to get another master’s degree or opt for a Ph.D.; a few certifications will prove worthwhile.
Perhaps, you can opt for Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or Certified Financial Analyst (CFA) exam. If you don’t have time to attend classes, you can use Wiley CFA exam prep kits to study. Additional certification will differentiate you from others, allowing employers to see you as a more skilled candidate. Besides this, all these certifications are available at the state level, making them readily accessible for emerging finance students.
Capture Development Opportunities
Most students don’t think of working before graduation, devoting all their time to studies. It might strike as a wise approach, but it can deprive you of professional experience. While pursuing education, keep an eye on development opportunities available to you as a student. It could be an internship opportunity or a training program. It will familiarize you with how things happen in a professional setting, which is crucial for learning and growth.
Additionally, proactively take advantage of development opportunities at your workplace. Whether you’re a junior or an assistant manager, attend meetings at the managerial level. Understanding how senior colleagues work and make decisions can help you navigate your career and climb the professional ladder. And lastly, catch up with your line manager to define clear objectives and goals throughout the year. It will ensure you are on track and willing to take more responsibility.
Expand Your Network
Many students believe finance to be an enclosed field with limited exposure. That’s nothing but a myth. Today’s finance field is dynamic. From FinTech to Blockchain, emerging technologies have changed the dynamics of this industry. And for you to keep up with these trends, networking can play a substantial role. The more people you know and interact with in this industry, the more knowledge you will get from the business world. In turn, you can recognize potential growth prospects.
So, how do you expand your network? Preferably, start by getting in touch with your old colleagues and friends working in the same field. Likewise, attend conferences and events to catch more attention of business professionals. They always have insights into the market and prevailing trends, helping you learn new things about the industry. Besides this, you can also ask your mentor to recommend people so that you can build a solid network.
Speak the Language
Often, students have an incredible resume, but it fails to leave an impression. So, isn’t it viable to make an impact with your interview? Most financial organizations want people who can speak the language that attracts investors and retains lenders. That means applicants must convey strong financial acumen with regulatory knowledge. After all, the finance world is running solely on the international financial reporting standards (IFRS).
In addition, candidates should also convey their skills in analytics and Excel to build the employer’s confidence. For instance, if you’re good at Excel, name a few things like Pivot table and VLOOKUP that you can use on software. Using such Jargon will help the employer understand what you’re capable of, demonstrating a diverse skillset. Hence, understand what the organization wants and mold yourself accordingly.
Develop Soft Skills
Truthfully, your technical skills will help you step your foot inside the door, but soft skills are what help with career progression. Employers these days want to see how you work under pressure, with diverse teams, and whether you’re the right fit for the organization. That’s why you must work on your professionalism, including being reliable, a team player, and a business partner.
Further, get involved in the social aspects of your job using your interpersonal and communication skills. It will help you pick invaluable advice from colleagues who can assist you during different career stages. Believe it or not, these soft skills can act like steppingstones for people looking for success in their early careers.
The finance industry is exploding with new opportunities, but it is solely for people willing to embrace the change. Employers look for individuals that can readily adapt to evolving dynamics. In addition, they want someone who offers more than technical skills. Therefore, you must become a master of your field, build a solid network, and get additional certifications. These defining factors can prove immensely favorable for your career, helping you flourish.