Working in finance can be a lucrative career path. After all, money makes the world go round, and whether you like it or not, money directly (and indirectly) impacts your life. What happens in the financial world is incredibly influential and can change a person’s lifestyle within a matter of hours or days.
Because the financial world will continue to exist, it is therefore an extremely good career path to take, especially if you enjoy working with numbers and helping companies thrive. With so many departments and divisions, you will have many job descriptions to consider too. Considering a job in the finance industry but unsure on where to start or how to secure one? Keep reading this guide for advice on how to break into and become part of the financial world.
Earn a Degree
Studying for and earning a degree can help you land an executive job at a prestigious company. Many business owners will look for applicants and professionals who have a relevant degree so that they know the person has a base understanding of the financial and business world. Of course, the most obvious choice of degree is business studies, but a degree in mathematics, computer science, physics, economics, data science, engineering, and other relevant topics can also be beneficial and help you stand out.
If you wish to further your chances of getting a job in the finance industry, you should heavily consider studying for a master’s degree. A masters degree can help you gain hands-on experience as you learn about the most up-to-date and relevant technologies. You will be taught relevant case studies by business professionals who have a wealth of experience in the business and/or financial industry, and meet likeminded business professionals (other students). Aston University offers a business analytics master’s degree course that can be taken and completed online, meaning if you are already a working professional, you can balance studying with other responsibilities.
Build Your Skills
You can gain the necessary skills by studying for a degree; however, you can also build a skillset by gaining experience from the real world and outside of a classroom or textbook. Interpersonal and problem-solving skills are essential, and while you can learn these from a degree, you should consider gaining work experience by offering your services to a company. Work experience is a great and practical way to learn from real-life business executives and business leaders who you one day aspire to be. They will be able to teach you how they counter certain common business issues and how they balance a business’s finances.
Ideally, you will want to have a degree in a relevant field as well as skills you have acquired from real life experiences. This will make you a great candidate for most job openings in the financial world.
Building a strong and reliable network of business professionals with serve you well. However, this can take time to do as you will want to build a bond with them that is professional, but also genuine. There are many ways you can network, and you may even have networked without realizing. It is always a good idea to look at your list of friends and family and see whether they have connections that could be of use to you.
You can network and meet new people:
- Through acquaintances/existing friends: You may have a friend or family member who works within the finance industry and who has connections that could be useful to you. Asking them to introduce you to someone who could help you break into the financial world could make a whole world of difference. However, make sure you are being personable and not too forceful when asking to be introduced or have your friend/family member set up a meeting.
- By using social media: LinkedIn and Twitter are useful social media platforms that can help you meet likeminded business professionals who have similar interests to you. You can use social media as a means to get to know them better and build a rapport with them; however, you need to ensure that your social media profiles are professional. You should also refrain from ‘spamming’ them too much. Liking, commenting, and sending a direct message are all good ways to gain their attention, but trying to contact them too much and with information that is irrelevant can have the opposite effect.
- By attending conferences: There are many events that take place worldwide (although many are currently virtual due to the coronavirus), and this presents you with a great opportunity to speak to business professionals in the financial world. Not only are conferences a great place to learn and gain insight in the financial world, but it is also a prime time to speak to business professionals who may be in the same boat as you, as well as key speakers who are there to present their thoughts and ideas. Remember to learn the best way to introduce yourself so that you can make a lasting impression on them.
Build an Online Presence
Building a name for yourself online is a great way to get yourself noticed. Having a website that shows your skills and experience, as well as a blog for you to discuss the latest financial news, can help you stand out. Linking your blog posts with your social media accounts such as Twitter and LinkedIn can also help you get more noticed. Coming across as a knowledgeable industry leader can improve your visibility and chances of being seen by business leaders who are within the same field as you. What’s more, an active blog showcases your passion and dedication for the finance industry.
Breaking into any industry isn’t easy. The best way to get a foot in the door is to earn the correct qualifications, gain hands-on experience and build business relationships with professionals within the financial world. By doing all this, you are improving your chances of being seen and selected for the role you are aiming for.