How to Succeed in Finance

There are many young professionals who are entering the world of finance and they have a lot of hopes and dreams. The harsh reality is only a small percentage of them are going to succeed in finance jobs.

Succeeding in Finance

The industry is very dynamic and there are some rules that you have to invest a lot of time and effort in learning that can change in an instant without someone telling you about it.

Below are some tips that will go a long way in helping you on the way up, no matter where you end up, whether it is hedge funds, private equity, investment banking, or other fields. The list isn’t exhaustive, but it is going to help in planning the strategy to help you succeed in finance.

The early bird catches the worm

This isn’t phrased the same way as a tip, but it means you need to start preparing for a career in finance as soon as possible. It is best to start it before you graduate. If finance is your passion, you don’t need to delay choosing a degree that gives you an edge and choosing the right subjects like economics, business, accounting, and finance. This is the case if you are interested in getting a high-paying investment banking job. A good way of brushing up on finance skills is through an investment banking training course.

When you are studying at the university, don’t just settle on the minimum required before you graduate. Take part in extracurricular activities because it is going to help your resume. Adding this can make you feel like you are missing out on life, but these extracurricular activities might be the ones to tip the scale when the potential employer is going through a lot of applications.

You shouldn’t limit yourself to what is required by the class; find books on your own and start following the financial press because it gives you a good understanding of the trends in the world of finance, which tends to change regularly. You will also be up-to-date with the lingo used in the industry.

Diversifying your internships

When you are at school, look for internships in financial institutions. There are investment banks offering summer internships which give you a chance of getting first-hand experience and get practical knowledge that you wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else.

You should try to take as many and diverse internships as possible. You should try asset management, investment banking, and hedge funds, so you will have a good understanding of where you like working. Internships are also great for your resume.

Getting your foot in the door

You have to land a job first before you can have a successful career in finance. Go for events that let you meet recruiters. Seek them out yourself because it shows initiative. You can go for finance boot camps because it will help in updating your network and modelling skills. Every opportunity should be used in making valuable contacts because it can help you land a job in finance. Such contacts are also going to help you when you want to switch where you work.

Your internship can help you land a full-time position, especially if it is somewhere you would like to work. If you are in an organization you don’t like, you can still use that time to make contacts which can help you later in your career in finance.

Finding a mentor

Once you get the job, what you should do is find a mentor. There are no rules on who needs to be a mentor; it can be your manager (if you are working as an associate or analyst), an investment banker, or someone who has been at the organization for some time. It is best to choose someone who has influence in the organization.

A mentor is going to advise you and also make suggestions by looking at your personality. A mentor is a great tool because they can help in gaining credibility in the organization. You will find it easy to move up the corporate ladder when your time comes.

Building your own financial network

It is important to grow your professional network in addition to having a mentor. Go to industry events and target the right people. When doing this, it is important to remember that networking is a two-way street, which means you should be in a relationship where one party feels like they are benefiting from it too.

Once you have an established network, keep in touch with the people even if you feel like you don’t them currently. You will have an easier time reaching out to them later when you need them.

Reading between the lines

While in the ideal world, succeeding in any industry depends on your knowledge and abilities, in real life, politics plays an important role in every organization. There are things like the personalities of superiors that have a big impact. Learning to read into the dynamics in a given institution is important and you can develop soft skills.

When all is said and done

There isn’t an ultimate guide that is going to help you succeed in the world of finance.  The good thing is just like with any other job, putting in the work and believing in yourself is going to give you amazing results.

Deny Smith

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