When it comes to your career, money doesn’t always equal happiness. It’s easy to get caught up on the idea that a bigger salary means a more enjoyable life, and this misconception has led many students, job seekers, and even senior-level professionals to delve into certain careers they may not have been ready for.
The popular and relatively lucrative profession of financial services is one career where money is often the motivator for those interested in pursuing it. Maybe you’re dreaming of a Wall Street-sized paycheck or you’re interested in the grandeur of managing someone else’s money. Whether you’re a student or a tenured professional, pursuing a career in financial services requires a certain skill set to be both successful and happy in your career.
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Consider these 6 characteristics of a career in financial services before you dive in:
- Ambitious professionals are likely to prosper. For some, the thought of slowly working through the ranks of a company can seem disheartening. If advancement is one aspect of a career field you’re craving, then financial services is certain to please. Ambitious, competitive, and energetic workers are likely to excel rapidly in financial services. This is due to the fact that organizational structures in this industry often reward top performers through advancements, and advancement is not based on seniority.
- Get more out of your job description. Do you thrive on juggling multiple responsibilities? Many organizational structures within financial services are set up to ensure you will take on a wide variety of work. This is ideal for the individual looking to build a broad range of skill sets and become a multidisciplinary professional.
- It’s perfect for driven individuals. A fast-paced, ever-changing work environment isn’t right for everyone. But for those who truly enjoy the constant race to the finish line, the financial services industry is a place where this kind of drive isn’t just necessary, it’s also rewarded. Financial services is known for its quick pace, which requires you to have constant generation of results, hard work, dedication, smart problem-solving, and the drive to succeed.
- There’s no shortage of challenges. If you’re always up for a challenge and have the ability to quickly adapt to changes, you are likely to find fulfillment in financial services. One of the benefits of this field is that, regardless of what path you choose within it, you’re bound to be faced with challenges on a daily basis. If you’re more than willing to rise to the occasion, adapt, and overcome hurdles, success is certain to be right around the corner.
- All industries need finance professionals. A career in financial services doesn’t mean you’re limited to only working at a small or large finance institution. Your skill sets will be highly transferable because nearly every industry has a need for finance professionals. Think along the lines of accountants, compliance specialists, and investor relations professionals. These are all job opportunities within the finance industry.
- Passion for finance will pad your future. Most importantly, having a passion for this industry is crucial. It can take a lot hard of work before the money really starts rolling in. If you lack passion for what you’re doing, you won’t make it in the long run, but if you’ve got a drive to succeed in finance, your future is set.
You should also be realistic with where you expect this passion to lead you. Hard work will be rewarded, but understand that this isn’t Gordon Gekko’s Wall Street—the industry has significantly evolved over the past several years.
Looking past the money is essential when considering a career in financial services. Those who are passionate and ambitious are certain to thrive.
Eric Stutzke is the Executive Vice President of Finance & Operations at OneWire, the leading career site for finance professionals and creators of Open Door—an exclusive interview series with influential leaders across the financial services sector and beyond. Connect with Eric and OneWire on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Would you consider a career in financial services? Why or why not?