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A Career Transition
Have you ever wondered what FRM jobs are like? Well, you are not alone.
It is generally accepted and understood that change is part of life. It is the roadway that brave hearts take onto new adventures and opportunities. At any given moment in life, many of us have thought about a career change.
A 2013 Harris Poll revealed that only 14% of workers in the US believe they have the best job; the rest would want a career change. We know that many workers would like to leapfrog into the field of finance.
An exciting career field
This field can accommodate skills transferred from most any other job in legal, communication, technology, quantitative and other backgrounds.
Apart from the prestige, global networking opportunities, and a decent pay, the overall job satisfaction in this field is typically higher than many others.
This post explores ways to make a midlife career transition into financial risk management.
Lay down the right strategy
Financial Risk Manager jobs are out there…do you really want one?
A massive step for those seeking career changes is laying down a fool-proof plan. The right career-switch strategy covers your bases when it comes to finances, skills, educational advancement, professional networking, and job opportunities.
You should also be clear about your long term career goals before you set events into motion for the career transition.
Ready your finances
In the process of making a career transition, many things happen that could upset your financial status. Therefore, it’s proper to start saving before you finally decide to make a move.
Even though these jobs may carry higher earning potential, the road to getting there requires significant investments in time and money. Professional certification achievements, like those offered by GARP, do not come easily or cheaply.
Matching skills to requirements
If you have a background in mathematics, technology, legal, and statistics, there could be a decent amount of shareable skills between your current and various jobs around the world.
Of critical importance, though, is the ability to analyze numbers and get a story from them. Some of the skills that you can benchmark against include:
- Analytical skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Business acumen
- Good communication
You might find that you have many matching skill sets with the list above. However, even if you are coming from a non-mathematical background, you can learn many of these in a short time.
Enrolling in a professional certification course is a great way to get a head start.
Personality traits required
Financial risk management is a fast-paced career field. You will flourish here if you are looking to maximize your abilities and talent, especially a fast-thinking mind, working under pressure and feeding off adrenaline, as it were.
Beyond that, however, traits such as excellent communication, good work ethic, and tech-savvy fingers will also work in your favor for many levels in varied positions.
There isn’t a great divide between risk management and fields such as investment, marketing, engineering, and insurance.
Goals and expectations
The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics states that, on average, a person makes up to 12 career changes in their lifetime. Fortunately, you won’t have to make that many changes if you are clear about your career objectives and personal goals.
What should you do if you are thinking about getting into financial risk management and considering the various types of employment opportunities? First find out if you are comfortable making a cultural change to fit into a colossal institution.
Think about how the change in working hours, for instance, will impact your family and personal life.
Also, find out if you have the spirit to compete with the more experienced risk managers, embrace a forward-thinking mind, and collaborate with others in the industry.
Most of all, be clear on whether the compensation, job satisfaction and career advancement opportunities in this field are in line with your personal goals.
Package your value proposition
Here, ‘Value Proposition’ refers to the worth that you bring to a bank, an insurance company, an investment firm, or a government agency when you switch careers.
In going from your former work environment to one in financial risk management, you must be clear on what you are bringing to the table.
There could be many things that your future employer will benefit from hiring you, given your years of experience in your current job.
For instance, if you are coming from a tech company and show some level of business skills, employers in risk management may see you as beneficial.
That is because the face of risk has changed, and many threats are digital in nature. Your main goal, therefore, will be to show that your experience in programming can be re-purposed to create the most value in finance.
The same applies to well-rounded candidates that excel in communication, leadership, and client relations.
The most significant risk is ‘people,’ and such people skills can put you ahead in many risk-management related Jobs.
Before you even make the big leap, it would be proper to start learning about financial risk management. There is no better way to do that than joining a professional body like GARP to network with seasoned risk professionals.
Try to attend relevant industry seminars and conferences as well. These events will apprise you on trends in the industry, the critical issues and the role that you can fulfill in the industry’s bigger picture.
Participating in industry networks will also open you up to endless new opportunities.
One other easy way to get acquainted with the profession is to talk to friends and family if you have some that are practicing in this field.
Doing this allows you to learn about the challenges and opportunities that await you in the new environment.
Establish support networks
It is necessary to have a dependable support network around you when making a career switch into financial risk management. Inform your family and friends and gain their blessing if possible. Reach out to mentors and be ready to learn from them.
There are many lifestyles and personal differences between any two given career fields. Every major career move is risky, regardless of the reward. However, with the right professional and social support, you will successfully navigate the path to your new job.
Get the necessary technical skills
You can be a risk manager with any relevant degree. That said, you will have to display the necessary skills and knowledge to handle the various responsibilities that are apart of any work environment.
That is where professional certification comes in. The Risk Manager certification by the Global Association of Risk Management is considered to be the gold standard in the profession.
More than any other details, employers in risk management will be looking for this qualification on your resume.
As opposed to getting a second degree, the FRM certification takes a shorter time and is less costly.
By the end of it, you will be able to understand the nature of financial risk, and be able to measure and manage various risk scenarios and models.
Successful jobs demand collaboration. You will need to be an excellent communicator and an outstanding leader to chart an organization’s risk management strategy.
On top of that, you will need to be a critical thinker, have high standards of ethics, and be a good risk manager. Luckily, if you enroll for GARP’s program before you make your career change, these areas will be tested as part of the package.
The necessary work experience
Even after working for years in a related field, you will still need to possess relevant training to fit in the field as a financial risk manager. And don’t forget, internships and volunteer work fall within this bracket too.
It not only improves your chance of employment as a risk manager, but also ensures that you get to add the most value to your workplace.
The beauty of taking the risk manager course is that your work experience is a pre-requisite for certification after you pass the two-level exam.
By the time you get the certification, you will have checked right on everything employers are looking for in the field of risk as well as what’s required to get certified.
Getting the two years’ work experience after passing your exams is easy, provided you can properly leverage the skills you have acquired through the program.
Your performance in the exams and your professional aspirations are absolutely crucial and we can help get you over the bump on your way to success.
There might be many finance or pension companies in your area of specialization. Such organizations will be a perfect fit for you. For instance, if you are in the field of technology, one route to get into a financial career is through a Fintech company.
With the amazing advancements in the world of technology and their availability to us, it has never been easier to see what is available in your area or even in another part of the world. A quick Google search may be all what you need to find your FRM job answers.
Schedule career conversations
In the early stages, before you actually make the career move, it would be wise to have ‘industry interviews’ that introduce you to the field of financial risk management.
They are not exactly placement interviews as such, but they involve talking to career experts and employers in the field to get a gist of what would be required of you if you were to make such a move.
These discussions will give you clarity, and in due time, they will help you land a desirable job in risk management.
Career transition is a process, so take it slow
The most important thing is to remember why you are switching careers, and to remain committed to your goals.
As you make baby steps towards this direction, it would help to maintain your current job position until you are ready to move.
After making all the baby steps to create your portfolio of relevant skills and experience, professional certifications, and networks, it’s now vital to schedule job interviews. Remember, your previous job culture may or may not help in your new job position.
As a result, you will have to find a way to showcase your perspective shift and the new skills that might make you an indispensable asset in your new role.
Seek to understand your new organization
So, you have landed a new position in a new firm. Congratulations!
In-depth knowledge of the nature of your new organization and its business direction can help you make a seamless transition. Today, risk management is tied to every aspect of a company from operations to management and growth strategies.
Familiarity with risk management practices alone is not enough. You will need to find out how to leverage your new skills (plus old ones) for positive change in your new position.
Expand your skills and involvement
For faster career advancement, you must expand your knowledge beyond the scope of risk management.
Your previous career experience and skills might greatly benefit you in this, but it is also necessary to immerse yourself in strategic planning and collaborative initiatives with other departments.
There are many types of jobs out there and you may be surprised to find another position that suits you even better.
Neutralize the imposter syndrome
There is typically a mental block that everyone has to contend with when making a career transition – the belief that you are not appropriately qualified. That is what career experts call the imposter syndrome.
This subtle lack of confidence can keep you locked up in an unrewarding job for too long.
Part of building self-confidence during or shortly after the transition includes identifying the valuable skills and experiences that you bring to the table in your new place of work, and capitalizing on them.
Other qualities that can help you fit right into some tasks may include:
- Willingness to learn
- Being comfortable to work extra hours
- Willingness to venture past your comfort zone
A career transition into financial risk management might seem like a hard and arduous process, but with the right strategy and mindset, the move can be seamless and employment opportunities can be satisfying.
You first have to be clear about your long term career goals and then take small, consistent steps towards getting there.
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The QuestionBank Family