What’s the best path to securing a job in financial services?
Good with numbers? Analytical mindset and love problem solving? Looks like financial services might be the career for you. But how to get ahead and on the right path for a job in that industry? Here are five tips.
Get those grades
It should almost go without saying, but whatever sub-sector you decide to go into (and we’ll get to that), you’re going to need some qualifications to show that tenacious financial mettle. Maths is an obvious one, from high grades at GCSE and A Level. Any successful career in the industry requires a little creativity too, so English is also a must. A degree level of education isn’t always essential, but often preferred.
There are, however, alternative industry standard routes geared more towards the vocational side of academia. There’s a range of professional bodies that deal in the education and awarding of practical, recognised qualifications in accounting and finance. Institutes such as the Chartered Insurance Institute, the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment, the Association for Accounting Technicians or BPP University all provide excellent accredited stepping stones towards recruitment in financial services.
Narrow your focus
A “career in finance” is a good starting point, but to truly make a journey, you’ll need to be aiming towards a tangible destination. Research the different facets of the financial industry and see which appeal to you. Financial services is a vast industry that encompasses a huge range of options within it. From the solid traditional careers of insurance and banking, to creative accounting with opportunities in venture capital or private equity, there’s a wealth of difference in the approach you’ll take and choices you make.
Get an internship
An internship is one of the best ways to learn the financial ropes, make firm ties with the right company and in all likelihood, ensure a lasting relationship with a potential employer. Find the employers who offer career paths to match your ambitions. Whether you’re an undergraduate or school leaver, many financial services companies have formally structured placements than run between 8-10 weeks. Some even come with pro rata salaries. Check the company’s website for ways to apply or approach them personally for any opportunities.
Be commercially aware
An important factor in succeeding in financial services is the ability to keep up to date with the here and now. The markets are subject to turbulent changes, so it pays to keep abreast of how the economy is performing. Any employer is going to need someone who keeps a finger on the pulse of the global markets.
Approach a specialist recruitment consultancy
Here at Cathedral Appointments we specialise in career opportunities within financial services. Employers from across the West Country come to us to secure the best talent for their employment vacancies. And because we know what it takes to carve a rewarding career in financial services, we can help to guide you on the areas of financial services that you may be best suited to based on your current skill set, ambitions and experience. Pinstripe suits optional!
Sounds good? Get in touch via our website and find your next career move - Cathedral Appointments - Financial Services Jobs.