Finance is a diverse professional field but there are several core features of any role in the financial industry that offer attractive benefits. Such advantages apply to anyone considering a career in finance, thinking about taking professional financial qualifications or those already working in such a role and considering their career progression options.
First things first – the essentials are compelling
There’s much more to working in finance than pay and benefits, but let’s deal with the cold hard facts first. A career in the financial industry will typically be well rewarded. Such staff are much sought after by almost every business, large or small, plus not-for-profit organisations and publicly-funded bodies. It’s impossible to identify an overall average salary for a ‘finance’ role because the breadth of diversity in the field is so large.
However, even those starting out in a career in finance will usually be well-rewarded in terms of salary. Progression routes are often well-defined and can be moved through quickly with this reflected in rises up the pay scales.
You’ll be at the very heart of the business and your decisions matter
The key to a successful organisation is how it manages its money. This includes its financial management, planning, and investment decisions. A role in finance is often strategic, forward-looking and involves advising those at the very top of the organisation. Providing information and advice means you will be proactive, have the ability to quickly analyse complex information and be able to provide recommendations that may be crucial in business decision-making.
Finance staff could be involved in raising capital, making investment decisions, controlling the flow of money and playing a key role in business restructuring, mergers and acquisitions. For such reasons, there are numerous examples of directors in big companies who have a background in finance.
Opportunities to obtain qualifications for career progression and personal growth
More so than many other professions, jobs in finance tend to offer, and often require, further study to gain qualifications. If you’re already working in the financial sector you will recognise a typical path that either you or your colleagues have already embarked on. For example, you might work towards Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Level 1 in your first year before progressing to Level 2 and 3 with the aim of achieving CFA charterholder status within a defined timescale.
The same is true for the Financial Risk Manager (FRM) route. Because financial roles can be somewhat technical in nature and require a certain natural aptitude to perform them, promotion is most often based on merit alone. That means career advancement opportunities are excellent for those who progress impressively through qualification pathways, and earning qualifications such as a CFA charter can contribute towards increased earning potential for those working within the financial sector.
Finance careers encompass a range of roles and specialisms
As finance is so integral to almost every business, and the sphere so vast, the opportunities to work in different roles are huge. It is not uncommon for those starting out in a career in finance to experience different divisions within the business before selecting a specialism that they excel in or have a desire to pursue. Finance is a global industry meaning your career will often not even be bounded by role definitions with opportunities to travel and experience different parts of the world.
You will develop a multitude of transferable skills
It stands to reason that those who work in a financial role are adept at working with numbers and will have strong analytical skills plus high levels of attention to detail. But those who progress in a career in finance also hone a host of further transferable skills. They will naturally develop a deep understanding of business and a strong commercial awareness. Effective communication skills are essential, particularly when presenting complex information to colleagues from other disciplines.
Problem-solving is an integral part of any role in finance and rarely is there a job advertised anywhere in the world in any field that doesn’t require such a skill. Indeed, if you were to analyse the attributes that anyone working in finance has to display on a daily basis, it will build an incredible portfolio of transferable skills to present to any potential employer for any future career path.