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Are you feeling stagnant in your current position? Are you looking for ways to take your finance career to the next level?

The time has never been better. Millennials and their younger counterparts are poised to flood the professional sector, meaning employment opportunities will become more competitive.

In order to gain a competitive edge, it’s important to strategize around the ways you can advance your career in Finance and within your current position. Keep these tips in mind and put yourself on the road to success.

1. Consider Your Motivations

To best understand how to proceed in your career, it’s important to take time to sit back and reassess exactly what it is you want to achieve. Are you hoping to make more money?

Perhaps you’re more interested in taking on a management role. Maybe you’re looking for a position that allows you to move internationally and experience a new place. Whatever your reasoning, make sure you understand exactly what it is you want before embarking on this journey.

2. Get to Know Industry Peers

Networking is important in every industry, and that’s true of the finance field. Get out there and network with industry peers to improve your relationships. This could lead to career opportunities, access to new financial resources, seminars, and events, and a better, more comprehensive view of the things going on in the industry.

The more informed you are, the more capable you are. Knowing key players in your field could see you advancing more quickly than you might have otherwise is based on just merit alone.

3. Get Certified

Depending on your career goals, there are a variety of certifications that might advance your career. Looking to make your way into financial planning in your own firm?

Consider pursuing your CFP. Becoming a Certified Financial Planner means proving to peers and the public that you’ve met rigorous professional standards and that you uphold important ethics and principles in your dealings with clients.

In order to pursue this designation, you must complete a college-level program in personal financial planning or an equivalent, along with a bachelor’s degree. You need to complete a financial plan development course registered with the CFP Board.

After qualifying, you must pass the CFP exam, which is administered through a computer and contains 170 multiple-choice questions. You must prove that you have 4,000 to 6,000 hours of experience in financial planning, depending on different factors, and you must also pledge to uphold the CFP’s standards of ethics and practice.

Perhaps you’re interested in becoming a Certified Financial Analyst. The road to CFA certification is somewhat more difficult and comes with its own requirements. You must pass certain education requirements, then sign up for the infamous CFA Exam. This test is made up of three levels that must be taken separately.

Most finance professionals don’t attempt this exam until they’ve put in months upon months of study using CFA study materials, and for good reason—the pass rate is around 42 per cent for the first level of the exam. You must also then put in 48 months of acceptable professional work experience, and join the CFA Institute in order to receive your designation.

Regardless of the certification you choose, those that receive a certified title are often able to access higher salaries and better positions. Consider the certification that might work best for your situation and aspirations. If you think this is the next step you should take to further your career, I recommend Wiley CFA Review.

4. Expand Your Responsibilities

If you want your superiors to take notice of your hard work, consider taking on more responsibilities than those included in your job description. Taking initiative is sure to put you in front of those that may be able to help you advance. Approach other departments and ask where you might be useful.

Support your colleagues in various projects and learn what you can about the different facets of your company. When your employer notices your presence in multiple departments, and you build relationships with your peers, your chances of rising in the ranks increase significantly.

Advancing your finance career is simple with these tips. Reinvigorate your professional life and find yourself in a much better position this time next year! 


Written By
Matthew Stevens is a finance industry veteran, but he prides himself on being tech savvy and abreast of any emerging trends in the test prep world. Knowing the rigors of the CFA exam, he seeks to ease the test prep process for future charter holders. He created Crush The CFA Exam -- an online resource dedicated to helping professionals pass their Financial Analyst Exams.

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