You know you’ve got the potential, but you’re not getting the opportunities to shine in your current position.
You’re being overlooked and you feel stuck in a rut. But not for much longer!
Hema Tank shares her tips on how to show the world what you’re made of and boost your career in the finance sector.
Continue your professional development
Start with a skills check. Are your skills up to date?
If your skills need a refresh or you’re looking for a career change, there are lots of qualifications to choose from in the sector – such as in financial advice and banking. If you’ve been qualified for a while, most professional bodies, including The London Institute of Banking & Finance, offer routes to achieve higher professional recognition – such as Chartered Status.
Or you might want to think about postgraduate education. A masters degree will help you stand out from the crowd – especially if it is tailored to the banking and finance sector.
You can try a pre-masters programme to get a taste of what to expect and decide whether a masters is the right thing for you.
If you can’t afford to take a year out of your career – don’t worry. Thanks to the internet, it’s now possible to take a masters in banking and finance online and to study at your own pace.
As Albert Einstein said, “Once you stop learning, you start dying.”
Spruce up your LinkedIn profile
When was the last time you updated your LinkedIn profile? Have you got a professional looking photo? A good headline? A succinct summary that clearly outlines the benefits you can offer potential employers and people who might want to connect?
Make sure that your skills and experience are always bang up to date and get some recommendations from people you’ve worked with.
And remember, LinkedIn is a professional environment. So reach out to people who will add value to your network and don’t be afraid to turn down requests that won’t.
Make the most of networking opportunities
Get out there! You’re working in the heart of the financial sector so take advantage of any and every chance you get to meet people and make connections.
Events are great opportunities to mingle and make contacts. Do your research in advance. Find out who’s going and think about who you’d like to meet.
At the event itself, if you’re not feeling confident – fake it. Stand tall and introduce yourself. People love to talk about themselves, so if you want to make a good impression, take an interest and ask questions.
Most important of all – be yourself!
Could you benefit from having a mentor?
Another great way to make contacts – and to benefit from someone else’s experience – is to find a mentor.
A mentor can help you identify what you need to do to get onto the next rung of the ladder – whether that’s defining what you want to do next, brushing up on skills, or getting the right extra training.
And the best thing about mentoring is that it’s tailored for you.
Women in Banking & Finance run a mentoring programme, and their website is a great place to start.
Volunteer to get some experience using a skill you want to develop
If you’re hearing a lot about volunteering at the moment, that might be because the first week in June is Volunteers Week which highlights the great work volunteers do.
Volunteering doesn’t just show that you’re public spirited and a team player. It gives you the opportunity to build on key skills and can be very rewarding too.
If you’re not getting the opportunity to develop certain skills at work, think about how you might be able to use them in a voluntary setting.
Many charities need volunteers with financial skills, and not just treasurers and trustees. Charity Job includes posts looking for volunteers with commercial and audit finance skills for example.
About the author
Hema Tank is Associate Dean at The London Institute of Banking & Finance, a leading provider of financial education and qualifications. We’re the only professional body in the finance sector with Degree Awarding powers. We’re a specialist university college providing undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. And we’re an awarding body for professional qualifications in the sector, both in the UK and internationally.