Downsizing at banks across the globe, coupled with the growing acceptance and prevalence of technology in financial services, has prompted a movement of talent from banks to the fintech industry. Though fintech may offer banking professionals the chance to escape the monotony of a finance job, and give them the hope for a brighter, more dynamic career path, the road is full of landmines.
Navigating the FinTech Industry… It’s a Jungle Out There
The general consensus is that the winds are changing for those working in the banking sector. According to a recent study by Citigroup, as much as 30 percent of current employees in the banking industry may lose their jobs to due to new technologies over the next decade. As these changes have begun to work their way into the system, it is pushing those who are unhappy with their responsibilities and work environment to look for greener pastures.
But, in an industry that is dominated by start-ups and new businesses, uncharted business models and the constant looming threat of regulation, how do you decide where to go? The short answer: look before you leap, and be prepared for the landing.
If you are thinking of jumping ship from your banking job, here are three things that you need to consider before accepting a position in fintech:
- First, understand what these companies are looking for. One of the best ways to position yourself as a candidate is to ensure you have the skills that fintech recruiters and the companies they represent are actually looking for now. As technology takes over the tasks that people used to do, your added value as a candidate is in the inter-personal skills- those “soft skills,” like selling and handling client relationships that only a human can do. The good news for those in sales is that most technology is not designed to take people out of a sales job, but to assist them in order to enhance the sales process and allow them to be more focused on the informal communication with buy side accounts.
Therefore, you should also have some familiarity with the technology that is currently being used in the financial sector. You need to show recruiters and hiring managers that you are aware of the technological changes taking place and have some basic knowledge of the major platforms and tools out there.
- Do research on the companies and pick the ones that match your goals. The fintech industry hasn’t yet reached maturity. There are many start-ups and small, relatively new companies that will offer you a change of scenery, a dynamic workplace and the chance play an active role in an industry-changing product or service. But, keep in mind that there will be wider responsibilities and less job security. Make sure you are clear about what your career goals are and what you need to be happy at work.
- Refine your pitch. You need to not only prove your background in financial services, but also your ability to embrace technology, be flexible, and have both the willingness and ability to learn new things. This is particularly important for older candidates who have been in the banking sector for over ten years. Without tweaking your pitch to match the current realities of the industry, you risk coming across as out-dated and out of touch.
While the fintech industry hasn’t yet reached maturity, it is an exciting time to get in if you can. But, to give your career move the best chance of success, you need to be clear about what you need, do your research, and have realistic expectations.
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