Stuart Gentle Publisher at Onrec

Considering a Career in Finance? Here's What You Need to Know

Working in finance can mean any number of different things. The range of careers on offer is much greater than most people realise. If you are considering a career in finance, here’s what you need to know beforehand.

Internships Are Invaluable

Internships are an excellent way of gaining experience within a professional field. Businesses will often pay for your work as an intern. Because of this, an intern can earn a living at the same time as learning how to do a job. An intern's salary is not going to be anywhere near that of a full employee. However, there are numerous perks to an internship beyond financial compensation.

For one thing, an internship gets your foot in the door of a potential future employer. You don't necessarily have to go and work for the business that you intern within the long run. But many people find that this is the best option available to them. A company that already knows who you are and, more importantly, trusts you, is going to be more likely to give you a job later on.

Working as an intern will also enable you to gain first-hand experience of the specific role that you are thinking about pursuing. If you aren't able to work in your desired position as an intern, you may still be able to work alongside someone who is in that role. A front-row seat is the next best thing to doing the job yourself.

Who Are You?

So far, we have skirted around the most important consideration for anyone pursuing a career in finance. There is no shortage of jobs in finance for you to choose from, but the sheer number of careers on offer can make the process daunting for some people. The best option for you will depend on your existing skills, knowledge, and experience, as well as what your hopes are for the future.

The first part of the process of deciding on which career to pursue is to assess where you currently are. Any degrees or other qualifications that you have to your name will determine which jobs you can consider. But you don’t have to be limited by your existing skillset. Nothing is stopping you from pursuing a new degree or other qualification if that’s what you need to go after your dream job.

It isn’t just your academic status that you should be thinking about though. All of us have a wide range of skills and talents that we can call upon. If you feel as if you don’t have much to offer, don’t be disheartened. We can pretty much guarantee that you have more talents than you realise. It often isn’t until you sit down and think about it that you understand how many skills you actually have.

In addition to providing an academic summary, your CV should also convey something of who you are as a person. If you are genuinely passionate about any job that you are applying for and you know how it will help you to achieve your goals for the future, it is easy to write an enthusiastic CV. Most people know to talk about their individual qualities as part of their personal statement in their CV. However, it is one thing to list your qualities and quite another to demonstrate how those qualities are helping you to achieve your personal and professional goals.

It is well worth taking the time to define who you are and what you want from your career before you start applying for jobs.

Who Do You Want to Be?

Once you are confident in your understanding of who you are right now, you then need to consider what your aspirations are for the future. Your long-term goals will play an enormous part in determining your job satisfaction. If you are taking on another dead-end job that does nothing to move you towards the future that you want for yourself, it will be hard for you to muster much enthusiasm for it.

On the other hand, if you select a job that makes you feel like you are advancing as a person and heading towards your long-term aspirations, it is easy to stay motivated and happy. Lots of people settle on a career in finance because they want to be able to apply what they know to help other people make the right decisions about their futures. If this sounds like you, there are plenty of jobs in finance that will allow you to help other people.

For example, Portafina is an FCA-regulated business that provides pensions advice to clients. Working for this type of company will help you get the expertise to exceed in your cv. But also, there are many Portafina Jobs that revolve around helping people to choose the right pension plan. Choosing a pension plan is the kind of decision that can make a big difference to someone’s life in the future. Whether you are advising clients directly or not, you get the satisfaction of knowing that you are positively contributing to improving their future.

Who Will You Work For?

Once you know what jobs you are going to pursue, you then need to start thinking about which employers you want to receive your CV. You should have clearly defined your long-term aspirations. Having this information will make it easier to find a business whose method aligns with your own.

There’s no such thing as too much research when you are vetting potential employers. Choosing a prospective employer is a big decision; you want to make sure that you make it the right way. As well as using Google searches, you can also find a lot of information about what it is like to work for an employer by scouring social media.

Working in finance is very different from how most people imagine it is. Lots of people assume that a career in finance is all about numbers, and there isn’t much of a human element to it. However, working in finance can enable you to make a real difference to other people’s lives. If you take the time to find the right job and the right employer, a career in finance can be incredibly rewarding.