Whats the latest with Financial Services?

'Should I be staying in Financial Services?' This is a question I have been asked a lot recently, as well as, “Should I avoid working in banking?” from graduates who have recently completed their accounting qualifications.

The negative press surrounding the banks following the Royal Commission has cast the seeds of doubt, as Financial institutions have entered a time of uncertainty, with unprecedented scrutiny and new expectations.

But there has  never been a more exciting time to work in financial services, from a skill-set and role diversity point of view.

Here’s why…

Opportunity to make a bigger impact

Banks are re-thinking how things are done and how they can re-engage customers. There is a significant opportunity to make your mark, as organisations value fresh eyes and insights, this allows finance professionals to get involved in diverse work where they feel like they are adding value and making an impact to the business. This is a point that resonates especially with the younger generation who have pursed a career in Finance but want to feel like the work they are doing has an impact on the business.

Be at the forefront of innovation

Banks are investing heavily in innovative ways to improve the customer experience, and the financial services landscape will be very different in 10 years’ time to what it is today – they’re increasing spend on digital strategy. It’s an industry that is not stagnant, it is continually changing, presenting new challenges and opportunities for individual growth.

Diversity of roles and career progression

Financial services roles are evolving and adapting to meet the requirements of the financial services royal commission, making it a dynamic space to be in.

There are lots of new projects coming into play as a result of the royal commission, with opportunities to work on bigger projects, with access to better insights and better levering tools, to look at business drivers in greater detail.

Learning and development

Banks invest heavily in learning and development for their employees and offer high calibre mentors. This can offer a great stepping stones for individuals who may have started their career in professional services and are accustomed to clear progression on a yearly basis.

Banks are investing heavily in systems, infrastructure and dynamic office spaces that allow people to work in collaborative environments with tools at their disposal that allow new ways of working.

Career path

Financial services is the second biggest employer in Sydney [1] and there is a plethora of opportunities within this sector. You’re not going to have to change jobs every two years because you’re bored or re-build your personal brand. You can spend five to ten years in the one company and gain experience in several different roles, gain exposure to stakeholders at all levels, and work your way up the ranks from a junior role into management.

Working flexibly

Balancing both work and personal life is a key motivator for young professionals these days and financial services can provide top of the range devices and networks to allow people to work flexibly. With the majority of Australia’s leading banks based in the Sydney CBD it enables you to have a great social life and enjoy the energy around Sydney CBD.

The world’s your oyster

Financial institutions are considered universally transferable to other countries – such as the US, UK, Asia, so the whole world really is your oyster once you embark on a career in financial services. This allows people to go overseas and spend a few years in financial services in the likes of London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore, on your return you can continue to progress your career, in fact many organisations value international experience as it adds fresh perspective and brings new ideas.

A career in financial services is still a valuable one to pursue

Despite the doom and gloom, there it is a starting point on why a career within financial services is valuable to pursue. The key for our clients is to move forward and start shaping the future by striking the right balance between incentives, culture and processes, which done right will create a better and more trusting environment for all involved.

As many of you may know I specialise in the qualified permanent market space within accountancy and finance in Sydney's financial services market. If anyone would like to know more about career paths available to you in financial services or suitable job opportunities for your skill sets, please reach out on 02 8270 0540 or email me on Noreen.tariq@tomexecutive.com

I for one am excited to move forward and look at the positives of the industry.



[1] Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics – Census 2016 – by place of work.

Noreen Tariq

Noreen Tariq

Specialist accounting & finance recruitment consultant, T+O+M Executive

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