5 Ways to Get to the Top of the Finance Industry

Ben BarlowGetting to the top of any industry requires drive and focus. The financial industry offers lucrative salaries to those who make it to the very top of the ladder, however competition is tough and those who succeed in reaching these dizzy heights need more than a little grit to get them there.
The UK is one of the world's centres for the financial industry and there are plenty of jobs for those who can make the grade. So if you’re looking to be the next Larry Fink or Janet Yellen, what can you do to help make sure you get to the top of the finance industry? Here are five ideas that may help you find the springboard you need.


1. The Right Bit of Paper

Having studied a financial related subject to degree level will act as one of the biggest advantages when it comes to getting into the financial industry. You have proved that you have the basic tools with which to operate in this challenging, but extremely rewarding environment. The London School of Economics is one of the most prestigious places in the world to study finance and economics, but there are plenty other universities that are very well respected for providing courses in these areas. Many job advertisements for positions at companies in the financial industry state no previous experience is required, but you can be sure that the people applying for these roles will have qualifications in Finance, Maths, Economics or another related subject and also have work experience that will help them stand out from the crowd. So if you want to compete with them, getting the right bit of paper and some experience will go a long way towards helping you.

2) Practice What You Preach

Warren Buffett made his first investment at the age of 11 and although it may well be too late for you to follow in his footsteps in that respect, you can still get involved in the finance industry and start building the skills that will help you to the top. Online trading platforms have become very popular in recent years and give you the opportunity to trade on markets all over the world. All you need to do is set up an account, deposit some money into the account and you are ready to begin trading. Many platforms offer excellent support to their clients, who trade in real time and under real trading conditions - trading with an online trading platform will mean you are experiencing first hand the market conditions and keeping up with all the market related news stories. What’s more, if you trade with a measured and disciplined approach, the potential profits are considerable. You don’t need any qualifications or experience to start using an online trading platform, all you need is the knowledge to be able to make trades that will make you a profit.

3) Insider Talking

Building a network of people who are involved in the finance industry is an excellent way to grow your knowledge and to discuss ideas. Start small by following people on Twitter and then maybe progress to connecting with some of them on LinkedIn. Meetup groups are another great way to expand your network and gain knowledge. These meetings happen regularly all over the world and people attend to present ideas, meet other people in the industry and gain knowledge. At a Meetup group, you won’t just find people who are new to the industry or are looking to enter it, but seasoned professionals who are working at the top of their game. If you’re lucky, you may find someone willing to act as a mentor and help you to achieve the goals you have set for yourself.

4) Read and Write

Reading financial blogs on a range of subjects will give you ideas, potentially increase your network and provide links to other useful sites. Writing your own blog, however, can be far more rewarding. Writing a blog will help cement your knowledge of the finance industry and enable you to show off this knowledge and your own ideas to a mass audience. Posting blog links on social media sites and sending them to other bloggers can help get your name on the map and your ideas on the table. In addition to this, if your blog is successful, you may end up earning some money from sponsors or advertisers and you may get some likes or shares from someone who is in a position to offer you a job - the possibilities are endless! 

5) Cut Your Teeth 

Getting into a company on the bottom rung of the ladder could be your first step on the road to the top. Applying for internships, paid or unpaid, can lead to fantastic opportunities. You will be working in the industry and learning from those who are already successful in it. There are statistics to show that many of the country's top financial companies recruit heavily from the crop of interns who have worked for them. So if you are lucky enough to get an internship or volunteer work, then make sure you accept it and work as hard as you possibly can to impress. Don’t forget that there are a huge amount of different types of jobs within the finance industry and that a foot in the door can lead you to places you might not have thought - when searching for internships or voluntary work, cast your net widely, you never know what you will catch.
Of course the people who do make it to the top will have employed numerous methods in which to make it there. So if you wish to emulate their model of success, so must you. Using all or a combination of the ideas discussed above and more of your own will help you maximise the probability of you realising your goals and of getting to the top of the financial industry. With patience, determination and hard work you could soon be closing your first profitable deal or placing your first nerve jangling position on the stock market.  Good luck! 

Ben Barlow is a freelance finance writer specializing in the areas of stocks and shares, forex and ISAs. After studying business at Lancaster University, Ben worked at a number of financial institutions in London and New York and is now following his passion for writing.

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