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10 things I wish I knew when I started out in finance

Source | Linkedin | By|Richard polton

1. Start as soon as you can

I was 25 when I joined the finance industry, but I wish I’d started sooner. If you’re interested in this career path, start as soon as you can. You might not even need to go to university (I didn’t, and it worked in my favour).

2. Finance is not that complicated

Finance has a reputation for being overly complicated, but it’s not nearly as hard as the stigma suggests. You don’t have to be an A-grade maths student, you just have to be willing to learn. If I can do it, anyone can do it.

3. Develop your soft skills

Soft skills – such as communication, teamwork, and problem solving – will often get you much, much further than technical skills alone. Why? Because the better your emotional intelligence, the better you will be able to work as part of a team and be a good leader. Most of the successful leaders I know have higher EQ than IQ.

4. Choose a niche that suits your strengths

Consider which area of finance will play to your strengths. For example, if you’re adaptable, resilient, and a strong salesperson, you’ll probably thrive in a sales or client-facing role (even though these roles can be volatile at times). However, if stability is important to you, you might do better in a long-term compliance role. Compliance is experiencing huge growth at the moment, and there will always be compliance jobs even with the rise of AI and RegTech (read a little more about RegTech here)

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