While it may take a little hard work to hatch your career in the financial services industry, that effort will be met with great rewards throughout your career.
Here’s a quick list of some steps you can take to position yourself for success as you hatch your very own financial services career. While this list isn’t exhaustive, it does offer a well-defined and tangible blueprint for success, with special consideration for the fast-changing landscape of the finance sector.
Step 1: Network, network, network!
This is a vital step for young professionals across all industries, but is particularly important for those pursuing a rewarding and successful career in the world of finance.
Networking is a central pillar to the work that you do as a Financial Professional, precisely because business relationships don’t follow business – they precede it. In other words, you need strong business relationships to make good business, not the other way around.
For successful finance professionals, a strong growing network is a needed currency. Whether you’re a Personal Consultant, a budding Financial Analyst at a consulting firm, or a Financial Planner with your own practice, you should focus on growing your contact list.
Some tips for building your network:
Be thoughtful, choose wisely
Investing in a select group of people is more valuable to you both personally and professionally than investing in too many people and wearing your social capital thin. Ask yourself, does this relationship bring value to all parties?
Giving is investing
Giving immediately in any relationship conveys to your peers a willingness to sacrifice your time and resources. It also encourages others to sacrifice their time and resources when you need it most.
If business relationships are the lifeblood to good business, interaction is the pulse. The better and more regular the interaction, the healthier the relationship, and therefore the business.
Step 2: Find yourself a mentor
Finding a mentor in the world of finance is the difference between walking to work, and driving there. And just like buying a car, securing a mentor is no easy feat: it requires investing your time, energy and resources but will certainly lead to a successful financial career – and faster.
In finding a mentor, young business professionals should begin by identifying their own career aspirations. Finding a mentor can happen a moment’s notice as you increasingly interact with the business professionals around you: being sure of where you want to be will make it much easier to determine who to invest in.
It is imperative that you benefit your mentor, and remind them of it regularly so that he/she will do the same and feel positively toward getting you to where you want to be. This reciprocity also requires some selflessness. It means being accountable, and sharing your progress, your hard work, as well as the credit where it is due.
Finally, finding a mentor is a long-term commitment. It means not only that you are willing to make it last, but also that you are invest in it, continuously, regularly, and without reservation. Chances are, your mentor also has a mentor and successful career growth is mutual.
Step 3: Strengthen your soft skills
Hard skills are a necessity. Businesses can’t operate without the many technical skills you’ve learned and continue to develop. However, firms, businesses and organizations are increasingly interested in the soft-skills: communication, interpersonal skills, and beyond.
An exemplary command of the soft skills needed for good business gets you noticed off-paper, and will allow you to stand above the competition during an interview or at a networking event.
Organizations within the financial services industry take great care in their searches for new candidates, and are looking for someone who will enhance their image as well as their bottom line.
These skills have lasting implications for success in the industry – and are not only well-suited to launching your career, but also for those aspiring to become leaders in their field.