What career goals should I set myself as a Finance professional?
Once you sign on the dotted line and become a fully fledged employee of the finance sector, it is natural for you to start looking towards the future to discover what opportunities exist for you to scale the dizzying heights of the industry.
Simply being in the position to even consider what path your career may take is an accomplishment in itself. With more than three-times as many job applicants as there are job available in the finance sector you have done well to ward off competition from your fellow applicants.
How far you progress in your career - and the time it takes you - is dependent on how motivated you are to keep your skills and industry knowledge updated, and the route of entry that you took to get where you are now.
For instance, if you are entering the sector fresh from university, most graduate training programmes provide the opportunity for fast-track career development, with many trainees moving into a management position at the end of their training before eventually progressing to a senior management role.
This is particularly the case in banking where a graduate will invariably reach Branch Manager level sooner than a colleague who entered the profession via the shop floor as a Bank Cashier, for example.
Even if you don’t have a degree yet have ambitions to climb the career ladder, the opportunity still exists for you to advance into more senior roles, albeit at a slightly slower pace.
Ultimately, career progression without undertaking further professional study will be sluggish at best. From NVQs in Retail Financial Services to Master’s in Business Administration (MBA), there are a number of accredited professional qualifications that the industry strongly advises you to study for which will enhance your career prospects.
As with any industry there is always more than meets the eye when you eventually dig deeper. Some things about the finance sector will be exactly how you imagined. Some will be worse than you expected and some will be much better.
The trick to knowing whether you have made the right career decision is to recognise where your interests and skills lie and if the job you are doing matches your requirements. And if they don’t, there are a wide range of other options available to you in finance sector where you can easily make a smooth transition from one field to another.