Finance careers can be lucrative. Bankers, financial managers, traders, analysts and other professionals working in the finance industry tend to take home six figures in salary, especially with a few years of experience under their belts. Compared to equivalent positions in other fields, finance professionals have enviable roles, which is why many workers consider pivoting into finance roles midway through their careers.
Fortunately, it is possible to enter the field of finance mid-career — even if you have little or no experience in finance. Here are a few ways to prepare your resume for a major career move into finance.
Identify Realistic Finance Roles
Before you begin your journey into the finance industry, you need to research the roles you are most likely to qualify for. No matter where you are currently in your career path, you will not be able to pivot into the highest levels of a finance career; you will need more real-world experience in finance before you will be ready for roles with titles like “director” or “officer.” Instead, you should investigate entry-level finance roles — which tend to offer salaries that are strikingly close to six figures. Some of the highest-paying entry-level finance jobs include:
Typically working for investment companies, insurance companies and consulting firms, financial analysts tend to prepare reports on budgets, income statements and financial forecasts. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) calculates the median wage for financial analysts in 2021 at $81,410.
Investment Banking Analyst
The starting role for one of the more prestigious career tracks in finance, investment banking analysts typically work at investment banks, hedge funds or venture capital firms, performing industry research and corporate performance analyses to make investment recommendations. According to Payscale, investment banking analysts earn a median salary of about $72,000 — and experienced investment bankers can earn upwards of $200,000 per year.
Personal Financial Advisor
Personal financial advisors help individuals make strategic financial decisions based on their short- and long-term financial goals. They can also offer services like insurance and tax preparation and sell products like mutual funds. The BLS indicates a median annual income of $94,170 for personal financial advisors in 2021.
Assess Your Current Skills
Before you make any move in your career — but especially before you break into a competitive field like finance — you need to have a realistic picture of your knowledge and skills. You should spend some time assessing your strengths and weaknesses. To do so, you can review your performance in your current career path and evaluate which tasks you excel at and which present you with significant challenges. It might be useful to take a personality and skills assessment or to ask for feedback from trusted colleagues and advisors.
Your goal is to identify which of your skills are well-suited to a career in finance, and which finance-oriented skills you need to improve upon. Then, you can manage your time before your pivot into the finance industry to shore up your weaknesses and transform yourself into an ideal candidate for finance jobs.
Invest in Education and Training
Many workers in the finance industry have bachelor’s degrees in finance or a related field, like economics or accounting. If you are particularly weak in the skills and knowledge you will need for a career in finance, you might seriously consider enrolling in a bachelor’s or master’s degree program in such a field. Though it might slow your pivot into the finance field, it will ensure that you are properly qualified and credentialed to climb the finance career ladder.
If you have sufficient overlap in your skills and credentials between your current role and your target finance role, you might draft a new resume and begin job hunting as soon as possible. However, you likely still have gaps in your knowledge that can be filled with education. As you participate in your job search, you might engage with short, online finance courses. Led by some of the world’s best instructors in the field, these courses can provide practical financial knowledge and skill to prepare you for your new career.
Have Patience and Perseverance
Finance is a competitive field, even for those workers who have years of experience in the industry. You might not immediately receive much interest in your applications — but that does not mean that you will fail to find a finance role that is right for you. As long as you continue to work concertedly toward the skills and credentials you need, and as long as you continue applying for reasonable positions given your career experience, you will be able to pivot onto a finance career path and reap the benefits thereof.