How to kick-start your career in finance

The UK’s finance industry and the professional services sectors that support it employ 7.3% of the British workforce, and there are many more people who want to become involved in the industry. If you’re one of them, enhancing your CV in order to stand the best possible chance of jumping the queue and securing your first finance job is essential. Here are some top tips on how to get your burgeoning finance sector career off the ground.

Education 

For some financial professions, such as investment banking and accountancy, receiving a certain level of education is essential. Those who want to secure a graduate level job in finance will need a degree, sometimes in a subject such as economics or maths – but sometimes also in fields that boost problem-solving skills, such as history. But if a degree is too expensive or time-consuming, there are other options. A free foundation certificate from LSBF for those who want to take the AAT Level 2, meanwhile, offers a cost-effective way to get into a profession such as accountancy. Moreover, with many part-time study options available, starting your professional journey in finance won’t necessarily be prohibited if you’re a busy working parent or carer, either. 

Customer service skills 

No matter what stage in your finance sector career you’re at, there will always be some steps you can take to give yourself the best possible shot at getting your career off the ground. If you’re planning to enter a customer-facing role, for example, it may well be worth practising confidence-enhancing behaviours, such as a positive tone of voice and a polite, authoritative manner. These are the things that shine through in an interview scenario, so it’s a valuable investment of your time.

Mental arithmetic

Some positions in the finance sector require that you undertake numerical tests before you can begin in your role. This is definitely the case, not only if you’re going into finance at a graduate or head office level, but also at the more junior levels. If you want to become a personal banker with a major High Street bank, for example, it’s probable that you’ll need to take some arithmetic tests in order to ensure that you can make speedy calculations on behalf of the customers who trust you to manage their cash. For that reason, practicing your mental maths skills is essential: it’s possible to do this in between working, studying, child minding or any other tasks you’ve got going on, though, so don’t feel like you won’t have the time.

Working in finance is a career choice that many people find rewarding. From the appealing career progression opportunities the industry tends to offer, to the many different entry points it has, there are many reasons why a finance sector job is a smart move. In addition, by following the tips outlined here, you can give yourself the best possible chance of success when it comes to applying for roles.