Finance is one of the most misunderstood industries. Information conveyed through movies, news reports, online articles and other sources do not always contain facts or convey the entire story. For this reason, we are setting the record straight about some of the biggest misconceptions about working in the finance industry.
You Need a Finance Degree
Although education is important, many workers come from IT, art, or other non-finance backgrounds. Being able to understand and explain complex subjects is only one core requirement for working in the industry. As long as you have or can acquire financial skills, along with emotional intelligence and people skills, you can transfer other skills to a variety of finance positions. You also can participate in training opportunities and continuing education to enhance your skill set.
You Need an Extensive Network
Your network does not have to include connections from Ivy League schools or powerful people in the finance industry. What matters more are your education, credentials, strengths, skills, experience level, and networking ability. For instance, you can use your professional and networking skills to gain an internship that may lead to a full-time job. Once you have a job, you can begin networking with your peers and later move to professionals at higher levels and ask them to mentor you.
You Have to Work for a Bank or on Wall Street
The finance industry covers a variety of geographic locations, work environments and company culture. You could work for a large or small firm, long-established company or startup, or other range of organizations. For instance, if you work in fin-tech, you may be employed by early-stage disruptors, mid-sized companies or large corporations. The businesses may include tech lenders like OnDeck or payment companies like Square. Also, as an investment banker, you could work in almost any state. Although higher-paying jobs may be near financial hubs like New York or London, many banks are moving to remote locations such as Tampa, FL, or Providence, RI, to provide employees with a different lifestyle.
You Lack Work-Life Balance
Any career will be demanding and time-consuming when starting out. You may decide to be a banker, trader, portfolio manager, compliance analyst, research specialist or other professional and still have a life away from the office. Your level of work-life balance will depend on the profession you choose and the financial institution or organization you work for.
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