Career Advice For Women In Banking And Finance

Years ago, most jobs in the banking and finance industry were filled by men. These days, however, the landscape is far different. More and more women have entered the industry, with many of them climbing to the top of some of the leading institutions in the world.

Francesca McDonagh, who heads up HSBC Bank’s Retail Banking and Wealth Management UK and Europe division, was kind enough to sit down with us and provide some tips for women entering the world of banking and finance. Try using these suggestions to succeed at your job:

Identify Your Goals

It is easy to fall into the trap of going about your daily work without thinking about what you hope to eventually accomplish. Even if you are extremely efficient at your job, you won’t get anywhere unless you have a goal in mind. Setting your sights on an achievable goal will help keep you motivated and on track toward making forward progress.

You can set yourself apart from other employees by clearly identifying goals and objectives for yourself and your department. Not only will this make it easier for you to measure how far you have come but it will also make it easier for you to show the progress that you have made to your superiors, helping you to get noticed.

Consider sitting down with your employer and talking about these goals. Letting your supervisor know what you are working on accomplishing can help make it easier for them to notice the progress that you are making. As a result, you may be more likely to get promoted further down the road.

For instance, perhaps there is a particular area of the industry that you want to work in or you want to move up to a higher paying position. Maybe you want to move into a management role. In that case, you could work on developing the necessary skills now by taking on different roles in the workplace. By talking openly about what you hope to accomplish, you can make sure that your current work habits are helping get you closer to your goals.  An example would be a goal of becoming a CPA – well to reach that goal you could pursue CPA prep.

It can also make it easier to decide on changes to your career path as you move forward. When you have a clear objective in mind, it is easier to decide which opportunities to take and which ones to skip. That way, you can stay on track toward your long-term objective.

Decide Who You Want To Work For

A lot of times, people only think about their position without putting any thought into the person who is going to be their boss.

When applying for jobs or new positions, be sure to not only think about the type of work that you will be doing but also the people that you will be working with. Ideally, you should choose a position that is managed by a person who motivates and inspires you. You are far more likely to excel in your job when you like your boss.

Although this isn’t always possible, it is definitely something to keep in the back of your mind. There are times when you may have to work for someone that you aren’t very fond of. Don’t allow your personal feelings to get in the way of your success. Instead, view your boss objectively, finding ways to learn from their knowledge and experience. According to this blog from Marks Sattin, there are plenty of great careers for women in this area.

Consider Working With A Coach Or Mentor

One great way to speed up your progress is by working with a mentor or a coach. If you decide to work with a mentor, you should look for someone who works higher up in the chain than you. This person can help guide you towards success by teaching you how they got where they are. They can also give you helpful career advice that you can use to find your way to a higher position.

Although it can be a little bit frightening to ask someone to mentor you, most people are happy to help. Chances are, they will be flattered that you thought to ask them. Even if they don’t have time to help you, they may be able to point you in the direction of someone who could. To get the most out of your mentoring, make sure that you have clear goals in mind.

Maintain Open Lines Of Communication With Your Coworkers

Being authentic is becoming more and more valued in the workplace. If you have something you are struggling with, don’t hesitate to ask your coworkers for help. Likewise, when you see that they are in need, offer to pitch in to help them get their work done.

This type of open communication can create a much more productive environment for everyone on your team. This, in turn, can draw positive attention to both your department and yourself.

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