Today’s finance professionals are entering the workforce at a difficult time. New technology and currencies are rising, the market is in flux, and the economy is increasingly global, making it difficult for them to settle into their careers.
To feel grounded, these workers might consider seeking guidance from a seasoned pro. That’s why we asked the experts of Forbes Finance Council for their best advice for young executives in their field. Here’s what they had to say.
1. Commit To Continuous Learning
The rate of change—driven principally by technology—is unlikely to change. My best piece of advice is to commit to being a lifelong learner. Keep up with the changes in technology, politics and economics, and use the change as your opportunity to differentiate. – Robert Roley, SS&C
2. Get Familiar With Blockchain
Study blockchain, both technically and philosophically. The internet had a profound effect on the front of the house, where customer interactions occur, but it had less impact on the back office, where smooth operations are vital. It is here blockchain can create tremendous efficiencies, and the proper application of it from a business perspective will be a key driver in the success of your career. – Maryanne Morrow, 9th Gear Technologies
3. Join Professional Organizations And Take Courses
Take time to understand the full industry landscape, and look beyond popular jobs with attractive starting salaries. Then, learn as much as you can. Join organizations like the CFA Institute or the CFP Board to connect with mentors, read about areas you’re less familiar with and take programming courses that may help automate parts of your role, ultimately scaling your growth and visibility. – Sonya Thadhani Mughal, Bailard, Inc.
4. Step Outside The Finance Bubble
Listen to the world—history, new tech, politics, neuroscience and unrelated industries. What is everyone up to? Keeping your ear to the ground doesn’t just keep you in the know, it also layers your perspective. You can use that to help you “see” in a new way. Nothing helps growth more than a willingness to learn. This is where innovation begins and where your differentiator will come to light. – Faith Keith, Leverage Retirement
5. Take The Lead On Your Company’s Digital Evolution
Everyone knows automation is rapidly transforming financial services. A key way new finance professionals can help their organizations is championing this evolution toward a fully digital DNA. Automation requires a complete mentality shift, but its added capital efficiency and better customer experience is a requirement for enterprises to stay competitive in today’s day and age. – Jeremy Almond, PayStand
6. Focus On Building Your Skills And Your Network
Finance is an industry where opportunities to learn are immense. The skills learned through the industry are applicable across a wide range of other careers. As a new finance professional, you should aim to constantly build your skills and professional network, which are the two most important aspects of your career. They can help you lead a successful long-term career. – Atish Davda, EquityZen
7. Define Your Specialty
Find the area that attracts you the most and specialize in it. Don’t try to be a jack of all trades, master of none. If you like to work with doctors, then focus your expertise on how you can best serve doctors. If helping retirees reach their lifelong dreams fulfills you, then focus on the retirement code. Whatever area most intrigues you, specialize in it. – Justin Goodbread, Heritage Investors
8. Know How To Build And Sell Your Experience
People pay for experience. Most people don’t care where you went to school, how well you did or if you were you an athlete. They want to know what you know as it relates to their needs. Work on as many varied projects as you can in your field and build up that experience database so when a client comes along with a particular need, you’ve been there. That’s the confidence most clients want to see. – Chris Tierney, Moore Colson CPAs and Advisors
9. Actively Seek Out New Knowledge
My best advice for new professionals is to seek as much knowledge and experience as possible. Use all the tools available to you. The internet is a huge knowledge base where you can learn an infinite number of things. Knowledge is power. It’s important to put in the hours to learn and experience as much as possible. – Andy Khawaja, Allied Wallet
10. Keep An Eye On Your Cash Flow
Executives can’t be blinded by money when it first hits their account. Instead, they should treat it like it’s not there and create a nest egg for their business. You need six months of capital at fixed spend for things like rent, payroll, internet or anything your business needs. Variable spend is more easily controlled. – Sal Rehmetullah, Fattmerchant[“source=forbes”]