Grow your career in financial services: 7 essential strategies for success!

Are you looking to grow your career in the financial services industry? Whether you’re just starting out or aiming for a higher position, professional growth is crucial.

Here we will explore seven essential strategies for success in growing your career in financial services. From developing key skills to networking and staying updated with industry trends, these strategies will provide you with the tools and insights you need to thrive in a competitive world.

Ways into financial services

First, let’s take a quick look at some ways into the financial services field. Financial services is an important contributor to the UK economy and there are over 1 million financial services roles available. If you are looking to start a new career in financial services or are thinking about a career change there are several ways you can enter the financial services industry, including:

  • Work experience and internships
    Many companies offer work experience and internship schemes designed to help prospective candidates gain first-hand insight into the pressures of working in financial services and to understand the skills needed to succeed. For larger institutions these schemes are formal placements lasting anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Try looking at company career websites for details or approaching smaller firms directly to learn about opportunities.
  • Graduate schemes
    If you have recently graduated from university many companies provide fast-track schemes or training specifically designed to get graduates up-to-speed quickly before being offered a permanent role. You do not always need a degree in maths, business or finance but most applicants will be expected to have at least a 2:1.
  • Apprenticeships
    Not every financial services role requires a degree, and many professionals build strong careers without going to university. A great way to start is an apprenticeship which offers you opportunities to learn and develop your skills while earning a salary.
  • Connecting with a specialist recruitment agency
    If you are considering a career change or have substantial experience in another field, shifting into a financial services career is possible. Coming into financial services from other careers means you bring valuable skills and expertise with you that employers are looking for. A specialist recruitment agency such as Davies can help you find the right role that matches your skills and provide advice on crafting your CV and excelling at interview.

If you do decide to pursue a career in financial services or you’re already working in the sector, it’s important to understand, what professional growth entails, how to grow professionally and take the next steps in achieving your goals.

What is professional growth?

When discussing professional growth, many think it entails enrolling in training courses or obtaining new qualifications or certifications. However, these activities fall under the category of professional development. Professional growth refers to how you utilise what you have learned to advance your career, by accessing new opportunities, securing a promotion, or being entrusted with greater responsibilities within your current role.

7 strategies to grow your financial services career

Grow your financial services career by following these seven strategies:

1. Set your goals
Sit down and make a list of career goals you’d like to achieve. Separate them into short-term goals like taking a lead on a project or giving a presentation, and long-term goals like gaining a promotion or working for a big-name organisation. Then list the steps you need to take to reach each goal. Follow the SMART method to help you create relevant, achievable goals.

2. Be proactive in seeking opportunities
Once you understand the steps you need to take you can be more proactive in seeking out opportunities to make them happen. For example, don’t wait to be asked to take charge of a presentation or lead a project but put your name forward in advance.

3. Connect with a mentor
A mentor can help you with trustworthy professional advice and guidance. Not to mention discussing your goals with others is a good way to hold yourself accountable! Great mentors can be colleagues, managers, or people outside your organisation who have succeeded in ways you would like to achieve. Some organisations run mentorship schemes, or you can approach someone privately.

4. Build your network
A strong professional network can give advice, alert you to new opportunities and provide feedback on your growth. Develop your network by staying connected with old colleagues, and make new connections by joining a professional body, attending conferences, seminars, and events and by being active online in professional spaces like LinkedIn.

5. Stay up to date on industry news
A financial services career requires you to keep your knowledge on procedures, processes, and regulations up to date. Make sure you read up on any internal processes and stay informed on government regulations and changes regarding compliance.

6. Hone your power skills
Power skills such as communication and problem solving are as important to professional growth as technical expertise and formal qualifications. You can find opportunities to develop these skills in your everyday role as well as more formal skill building programs.

7. Track your progress
Make sure you track your professional development progress through performance reviews and Professional Growth Plan (PGP) and by regularly coming back to your goals and assessing your progress. Growth can be hard to see if you aren’t keeping track which can lead to frustration and doubt. By tracking your progress, you can see how close you are to meeting your goals, find areas for improvement and keeping pushing forward.

Financial services can be a rewarding career. By focusing on your goals, proactively seeking opportunities to improve your skills and take on new responsibilities, you can take the steps you need to build a successful financial services career.

For more career advice and to find your perfect role contact Davies today!

If you are just starting your financial services or insurance career you might want to check out Davies Academy here. Alternatively, if you are an established professional looking for your next role, we can help, just complete the form here.

Our dedicated consultants are on hand to offer you support in identifying the right job opportunities and give you tailored advice to maximise your job search.

Paul Johnson

Senior Vice President - Talent

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