If you’re looking to advance in your finance career, the time is now. With a constantly shifting economy and a flood of millennials entering the workforce, looking for ways to catapult your professional development is essential. There are a variety of ways to catapult your career in the financial services, so consider the following strategies to make the most of your chosen profession.
Understand Your Goals
Consider the reasons you want to advance your career. Are you looking for a position with higher earnings? Perhaps you feel you’ve become stagnant and you’re hoping for a challenge in your next position, or you desire to take on a leadership role. It’s important to understand your own motivations before setting your goals, as it will help you carve out the path that best suits your needs from the onset.
Take On New Responsibilities
Your job responsibilities aren’t limited as laid out by your employer. Instead of sticking to what’s expected of you—doing the bare minimum—consider branching out and getting involved with other projects in different departments of your organization. Taking initiative to branch out from your job description is sure to get you noticed by your superiors. Supporting as many people as possible in your organization will help streamline workflow, alleviate issues and reworks, and speaks volumes about your work ethic and dedication. When looking to branch out, remember to be vocal. Let colleagues know you’re looking to get involved; if it’s recognized that you’re willing to pitch in, various departments are more likely to approach you. This is an easy way to take advantage of growth opportunities and stand out among your colleagues.
Don’t Ignore Your Soft Skills
You can be a wizard with numbers, but if you can’t get along or relate with your colleagues and superiors, you’ll find advancement harder to come by. It is important to work on your soft skills. Even though understanding the financial responsibilities and having the analytical skills down pat is key, don’t underestimate the importance of communication skills and leadership ability. Employers look to promote individuals that are truly the whole package, so consider the ways you can brush up on your soft skills and improve your relationships within the office.
After you’ve received your degree, don’t give up on education. To remain competitive in the finance industry, you need to be committed to continued education. One way that continued education means lucrative advancements? Certifications. No matter your niche, there’s a certification that could see you earning more and accessing better employment opportunities. Consider taking CMA review sessions to pursue your Certified Management Accountant position if you’re looking to advance into a leadership position in your company. Perhaps you’re interested in becoming a Certified Public Accountant; take advantage of CPA review courses and get started today (the average candidate takes around 4 years to complete the CPA program, so time is of the essence). There’s no limit to the types of certifications you can pursue, and depending on your desired specialization, you’ll find a variety of opportunities.
It’s all about who you know, and for finance professionals, networking is essential. Join local associations to get to know those in your field, and attend networking events put on by these associations to make the most of the opportunity. Consider attending training sessions to improve your own skillset and expand upon your relationship with industry peers and leaders. Stay abreast of recent trends and access the latest developments and industry news through finance seminars to ensure you’re always aware of the changes happening in your field.
There’s no limit to the ways you can advance your finance career. Consider the opportunities available to you and employ these strategies to set yourself up for professional success.