The job search market is neither for the faint-hearted nor for anyone seeking an easy ride into a professional career in finance. It requires building a solid foundation if you are starting out or consistently improving yourself if you are already in the industry.
Nigeria’s finance sector, like others around the world, over the last decade, has seen a lot of growth and technological advancement. Staying complacent is a recipe for career stagnation. No matter your level or place in the industry, here are some top finance career tips you should implement today.
Networking is a vital step for any professional looking to build or building a finance career. Like Porter Gale says: “Your network is your net worth.” Build meaningful career relationship and seek out mentors to guide you towards a fulfilling career path as well as taking you to the next level.
Useful information from your mentor(s) and others in your network can help fast-track your career growth while avoiding pitfalls along the way. Prioritise your relationships. It is important to find mentors that you can be of value to. This will make the relationship beneficial for both parties.
Career Coach and IT professional, Abisoye Faari Akinola is a great advocate for following the money as a career tip. This does not literally translate to directly chasing money or the next best paying job; everyone wants that. Rather, it means that your career decisions should be based on where the money trends are going. If you want to take a training, does it translate to skills needed by your present or future employer?
Having a career in finance means you should always be on the lookout for industry trends and policies that will determine them as this will drive needs for talents to fill such positions. By doing so, you’ll always stand a chance of getting that promotion or next job.
Artificial Intelligence, a more globally connected world and the rise of Fintech (computer programs and other technology used to support or enable banking and financial services) means the future holds major shifts for a finance career. To be successful while making your entry or already building a finance career, you have to always improve your skills to stay in the highly competitive industry.
Technology will create and replace jobs; a lot of which is currently exemplified by United Bank of Africa’s ‘Leo,’ Diamond Bank’s ‘Ada’ and Stanbic IBTC’s ‘SAMI.’ These chatbots are carrying out, with great efficiency, tasks that were previously delegated to human staff, which requires professionals or fresh graduates in the sector to invest in improving their soft skills. Such skills include emotional intelligence, negotiation and critical thinking to name a few while other industries required training and certifications.
Interning is a great way for fresh graduates can kick-start a finance career. This helps you test the waters and discover what finance career path you want to go on. It also offers you an opportunity to start seeking mentors and connecting with the right professionals for your network building.
In our age of new and social media, your career can benefit from building your social proof. You can use social proof to demonstrate your personal brand, achievements, career goals, passion, work ethic and more to make yourself more visible to organisations looking to hire.
Final Thoughts on Finance Career
Many professionals have gone on to have fulfilling finance careers and many are still at it. Let your passion guide and motivate you. If you find these tips helpful, we will like to hear what other tips have helped you succeed in your finance career.