Every year, many people choose to move into a different field in finance for many different reasons, ranging from unhappiness to the opportunity to progress. However, planning a career change isn’t an easy task - it demands a lot of research, effort, and time.
Let’s have a look at some of our tips on how to plan a career change.
Assess your interests
If you’ve already got some work experience behind you, now is a great time to consider your professional skills and interests when choosing where to go next in your career.
Your job satisfaction and happiness is one of the most important factors when choosing a career. Take a step back and brainstorm what you enjoy doing in your current role, what you’re good at, and what you want to learn more about.
For example, do you enjoy analysing data, or managing finances? Knowing your strengths, weaknesses and interests will help you identify realistic and fulfilling career options.
When making a career change, researching the industry is crucial - particularly in finance where the opportunities are vast.
A valuable starting point is to research industry trends, forecasts, and hiring hotspots. Fortunately, there are plenty of job sites and resources available online to conduct research. But examples of sources that might be good include finance-specific magazines or websites, such as FinMag, Business Insider, or Bloomberg.
Consider furthering your education
Once you’ve identified possible career paths, or even if you’re still unsure what you want to do, additional training and education can significantly help you for the transition.
For example, a qualification such as ACCA or CIMA’s CGMA will be great if you’re looking to develop advanced finance skills and specialise in a specific area, or open up more doors to opportunities.
The globally-recognised ACCA qualification is great to study to attract the big names in accounting and finance. There are a huge range of exciting opportunities, across many industries - and if you have ambitions to work overseas, ACCA can significantly boost these prospects.
CIMA’s CGMA qualification is at the forefront of driving the next generation of finance and management professionals. This qualification focuses on disrupting and improving traditional management strategies - with additional opportunities for learners to develop skills beyond what is taught in the world’s biggest business schools.
It’s important to try and align your educational background with your career options, as this should help you stand out from other experienced candidates.
Be open to mentorship
Try to find a mentor-like figure in your workplace or professional space that is working, or has worked, in the field in which you’re interested. Remember to ask them to give you insights, tips, and help you understand industry nuances.
You can also seek advice from other colleagues or management who may have worked in similar roles to what you’re looking for - and listen to their opinion so that you have a good idea of what to expect.
Aside from a personal mentor, take advantage of networking opportunities as it will prove to be very helpful when making connections in the future. Networking events, alumni events, and industry conferences are all great places to meet and speak to others in the finance industry.
Prepare for challenges
As with any big decision, it’s essential to prepare for any challenges that you may make while making this transition. A career change can be a stressful time, and you may need to be prepared to make temporary sacrifices.
If you’re not in a position to make these sacrifices, such as a pay reduction, then it may be worth seeking online or part-time training while sustaining your current job, so that you can upskill without losing money. This may help you when it comes to changing careers in the future.
It may be a concerning time for you if you make the decision to change your career path, but if you know that it’s what works best for you - then go for it!
Our advice would be to do as much research as possible, and try and keep as up to date as possible of industry trends so that you can remain a future-proof, highly sought after professional.
Ready to upskill?
If you’re already working in finance but are looking for a career change, it’s always a good idea to try and develop your qualifications and educational background so that you can feel confident going into a new area.
Some of the qualifications that we would recommend researching are ACCA and CIMA’s CGMA Professional Qualification . You can also read more about how to choose between the two qualifications.