Financial services encompass a broad spectrum of activities that deal with the flow of money, including deposit-taking and lending of all kinds; financial leasing; investment funds management; financial information processing and other auxiliary services; custodial, depository and trust services; securities trading and exchanges; and other market intermediation. The sector is a crucial component of the world economy, and it’s important for individuals to understand what it involves so they can make smart decisions about their finances.
As the industry evolves, it’s critical to find new ways to engage with customers and build trust. This is especially true for established financial services companies, which face increased pressure to deliver results while also being agile enough to respond quickly to changes in the marketplace and regulatory environment. At the same time, the growth of fintechs and digital giants expanding into financial services as ecosystem catalysts brings fresh perspectives and challenges that can amplify the impact of the disruptions in the space.
Achieving a successful career in the financial services requires a blend of skills and experience. Those with an analytical mindset and the ability to think outside of the box are likely to thrive, and being a team player is a must for most roles in this industry. While many people may have a misconception that a degree in finance is a prerequisite for a career in this field, the truth is that there are plenty of entry-level positions that don’t require a specific degree. Instead, gaining experience and building relationships within the industry is a more effective way to gain a foothold in this highly competitive arena.
For those seeking a more hands-on approach, there are also many roles available that allow for a flexible work schedule. However, it’s not uncommon for people in certain roles to have long hours, so a commitment to this industry can take a heavy toll on one’s personal life. In addition, the reliance on regulations can be challenging for those with a passion for innovation and entrepreneurship, as the rules are often reactionary to negative economic events rather than proactive in helping protect consumers.
When looking for a role that can provide more balance between work and home life, consider a position in consumer or commercial finance, which is more focused on customer service and managing the day-to-day needs of clients. This type of role offers more flexibility and can be more fulfilling than other positions in the finance industry, which are often more transaction-based and less interpersonal. In addition, starting salaries in these sectors are typically higher than those found in other industries, with a potential to climb into the high five figures after just a few years on the job.