Every career presents challenges and rewards to those brave enough to try and climb the corporate ladder. The financial services industry is no different.
There are a few basic steps that you can take as a new financial professional that can greatly increase your chances of success in this lucrative and rewarding career field.
The first thing to know is that success does not just jump into your lap. You must work long and hard at the beginning in order to gain the knowledge, skills, and experience in order to advance in finance. Very useful advice that was given to me as a novice financial adviser was to keep my head down and my mouth shut for two years. This simple mantra gives insight into the thought process of the higher-ups in a finance career. The bosses expect you to not make too many waves while you learn the ropes and gain experience that will make you and the company money.
Second, while you diligently earn your financial stripes for the first few years, study as much as you can in your spare time. Learning does not end when you graduate. The most knowledgeable and professional members in any finance career will be allowed to advance sooner than others. Read books on finance, economics, sales, product specific literature. Learn your target market and have a plan to grow your business. Your company depends on new business to continue to grow, and as the newest member of the team you are expected to generate new leads in addition to your other duties in your finance career.
Also, find out what will make your boss look good. If you strive to make him or her look better, then you will be more valuable and more likely to advance rapidly. Plus, if your boss gets promoted, that leaves an opening for you to slide right into. Keep your boss happy and maybe she will refer you to her old finance position.
In summary, in order to advance in finance, you must stay out of trouble while you learn the industry. Keep the big picture in mind and remember to generate new business. If you stay focused, work hard, know your job inside and out, make money for the company, and have the will to advance in your finance career by expanding your knowledge base through practical experience and continuing education classes in accounting and finance, you will be rewarded in the long run.