What to Know Before Starting a Career in Finance

Fresh-out of high school and unsure of what you want to do for the rest of your life? Or, are you already working and in a career, but want a change? If so, you may have considered working in finance. Finance can be a lucrative career, but that doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for you. If you’ve been interested in pursuing finance as a career, here are a few things to consider.


It’s who you know, not what you know

These days, getting a job almost anywhere is about knowing the right people. But that sentiment is especially true in finance. Knowing the right people is much more likely to help you succeed than being the smartest person in the room. Develop close relationships with your coworkers and supervisors; you never know when you’ll need to lean on them for a position. Even if they can’t help you secure a new job, they have valuable, hard-earned knowledge they may be willing to impart to you.


The industry is always changing

Finance changes as swiftly as a river. New laws and regulations are continually emerging. The market could crash or soar at any given moment. Getting involved in an industry that changes as rapidly as finance can be scary. You need to be constantly learning, and relearning your position. If the market crashes and a recession begins, you may be out of a job. You have to be prepared to roll with the punches.


Past success doesn’t guarantee future success

Just because a strategy worked well for you in the past, it doesn’t ensure it’ll work well for you in the future. Because the industry is always changing, your methods have too also. It is not a career where you can get complacent; you must always be on the cutting edge. Clients will notice if you’re trying to coast off of a past win.


Not the right industry for everyone

Finance is a high-stress career. It involves lots of late nights, weekends spent working and on-call, and high stakes. If the downsides of the industry don’t scare you, or even excite you, it may be worth pursuing. If the only reason you’re interested in a career in finance is the chance you’ll become a millionaire, but aren’t prepared to put in the necessary work, you may want to consider another path.