7 things I learned working in the financial services industry

lessons from the financial services industry

My experience is of course mine alone. I don’t speak for anyone else. Many different factors could have led to my lessons in the financial services industry, including my genuine level of interest in the industry and my outlook on life during that time. My lessons are also restricted to the UK industry. Essentially, the industry is a fantastic reflection of the real world.

  1. There’s so much bulls***ing going on. There are a lot of people who have absolutely no clue what they’re doing in their roles. People who are pretending to know their jobs very well. I was one of them sometimes. Even if only to make sure I wasn’t embarrassing my team.
  2. It’s about who you know, not what you know. Literally. Just that. Making the right connections will get farther than any degree or other certification.
  3. It’s not enough to be hardworking. You need to be visible. You’ll be annoying to a lot of your colleagues in the process, but if you make sure everyone knows about you for the right reasons, you’re guaranteeing your success. Even if not a promotion, at least a long term place in the organisation. Working hard doesn’t mean a thing if no one sees just how hard you’re working.
  4. Getting involved in office politics is always dangerous. Don’t over share at work. You could very unintentionally make a professional pariah of yourself if you make yourself known as the office gossip. You’ll never truly be taken seriously.
  5. There are some incredibly intelligent people out there. People who manage to defy number 3 above, clearly will never be accused of number 1 and are very ambiguous on number 7 because they tend to just keep their heads and continue to amaze everyone with their brilliance. You never quite question their love for the job as they’re just doing too well for anyone to wonder.
  6. It’s easy to keep a relationship secret for years. The number of times that workplace engagements have been announced and people working next to the individuals have been dumbfounded…
  7. It can also be easy to pretend to love your job. You just smile and volunteer to organize every leaving do, offer to make team teas every morning, and bring in try to help people sort out any kind of problem they have. It helps with the aim of number 3 above too.
lessons from the financial services industry
Photo by CAPITOL STANDARD on Unsplash

I’d love to know what industry you work/have worked in and if you’ve found that the same things apply there too. Comment below!

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Amy

    I work in accounting and finance and can’t say it’s been similar to your experience but I certainly agree being visible is valuable no matter what industry you have your career.

  2. I think these can be true in any industry but very interesting to hear about your personal experience in financial services. I never understand how some people I’ve worked with still hold down their job.

  3. Kimberlie

    Number 2 was hard for me. I always thought if I worked hard, I could bypass the res tape, but it is a part of “the game,” one I’m having to learn to master.

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