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6 Things that Every New Financial Professional Needs

6 Things that Every New Financial Professional Needs

Are you a new financial professional? If so, congratulations — you have a promising career ahead of you.

To make the most of your calling, however, you’ll need the right resources and skills. Here are six things that every new financial professional needs.

1. A Long-Term Plan

Sure, you just got started, but where are you headed?

Some financial professionals may want to become independent financial advisors, while others have their eyes set on a coveted CFO position at a top-performing company. The point is to have a goal to keep you focused and help you make decisions as you advance in your career.

If you don’t have a long-term plan, give yourself time to consider your options or reach out to other financial professionals. The sooner you establish a goal, the sooner you can start doing what you need to do to reach it.

2. Communication Skills

Technical skills aren’t enough to thrive in today’s workplace culture. Financial professionals must hone their soft skills, which include written and oral communication abilities.

These skills are important regardless of whether you communicate with customers or internal professionals. You’ll need to be able to organize and convey data that helps others gain a meaningful understanding of their finances and make decisions based on your input.

Communication also matters when you’re leading a team of other employees who look to you for guidance and leadership.

3. Technological Aptitude

Technology is transforming every aspect of the financial world.

Consider, for example, a recent Gartner survey that revealed that the number of companies relying on artificial intelligence (AI) rose from 10% to 37.5% between 2010 and 2019. That’s not counting things like accounting software and customer relationship management (CRM) software that make life easier for you and your clients.

If you want any kind of longevity in your career, it’s important to stay flexible and adapt to new technology. Demonstrating strong technological aptitude can make you a stronger commodity within a company and help you leverage new tools to improve the customer experience.

4. A Digital Presence

If you operate your own financial business, you can’t afford to not have a strong online presence. A website and dedicated social media page can give you greater legitimacy in the eyes of the public and help you follow up with potential leads.

But it also helps to develop a web presence even if you’re a professional working for a larger corporation.

For example, a LinkedIn profile can help you build business connections. LinkedIn’s own research has found that profiles with pictures see twice the amount of engagement, so don’t be afraid to put your face out there.

5. A Commitment to Learning

Depending on your role and licensing status, you may already be required to meet certain continuing education requirements. But regardless of your professional obligations, you’ll get more out of your career when you treat it as a learning opportunity.

Invest in yourself. Learning more about current best practices can make you more effective in your current role, keep you moving on your career path, and help you achieve your long-term goals.

Books, industry publications, and webinars can all be excellent learning opportunities, so don’t pass up the opportunity for self-improvement.

6. A Strong Support System

Financial professionals thrive when they have access to a strong professional network. However, the nature of this network depends on your role.

For some independent advisors or lenders, it may mean relying on other professionals to provide a pipeline for new client leads. For others, developing a support network can help you seize opportunities for continuing education and career advancement.

Don’t discount digital services that can offer guidance regarding issues such as insurance, marketing, or CRM platforms. Third-party providers can often give you access to additional tools to help you grow your financial business and improve the customer journey.

Shattering the Myth

Everyone wants to make it on their own steam. But it’s important to shatter the myth of the “self-made man” and to do so as early as possible.

Your financial career depends on your ability to adapt to new skills, technologies, and resources. Applying these tips to your day-to-day operations can guide your journey and improve the quality of the services you provide.

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