Moving into a career in financial services

Research shows that the average Canadian can expect to have about 15 jobs over the course of their career. Furthermore, many Canadians can expect to switch to an entirely new career path two or three times.

Why? Well, sometimes people develop new skills that they can’t use in their current role, or they realize that they have a passion for a different field. Others might chart a new course because they’ve just relocated to a new country and are looking for a career change. Still others might be prompted to strike into a new field due to a job loss.

Whatever the reason, many Canadians are often faced with changing careers as a mature adult. They want to be able to maximize their current skills, while gaining new ones that will set them up for success. Moving into a new industry can be scary. But starting a new career can also be very rewarding. If you are looking to make a change, it pays to be well prepared.

Why financial services?

Compared to many industries, financial services offers competitive pay, benefits and opportunities to advance. You’ll constantly be challenged and learning new things. You’ll be helping people who need your financial expertise, and you’ll gain knowledge that can help you in your own financial life as well. There’s a broad range of financial services careers available, even for mature adults.

These tips will help you get started.

  1. Start with education

The first thing you’ll need to do is build your knowledge of the Canadian financial industry. Even if you’ve worked in financial services outside of Canada, you’ll need to know how Canadian firms operate and what they expect of employees.

At IFSE, we offer courses for the investment and banking, insurance, and exempt market industries. Our courses range from entry-level to highly specialized. We also have continuing education courses, because the industry is always changing, so you’ll never stop learning.

If you’re new to the Canadian financial services industry, you would likely start with the Canadian Investment Funds Course (CIFC).

  1. Get to know people in your industry

It can be harder to find work when you have little or no Canadian work experience, even if you have a solid education. That’s where networking can help. If you’ve been in the workplace for a while, you may already have a professional network that you can tap into.

If not, join a professional association or group in your area specifically for the financial services industry. You’ll meet new people at association meetings, and you might learn about industry events or conferences that can help further your financial education while you network.

Networking will also help you develop your communication and interpersonal skills, especially if English isn’t your first language. These are important skills for financial professionals to have.

  1. Spread the word

Tell everyone you know that you want to move into financial services and what steps you’re taking to make that happen. Someone you know might have heard about a job opening that would suit you, or they might know someone who would be interested in mentoring you.

Even if you’re well prepared, moving into a new field can take a while. Keep networking and building your knowledge base until the right job comes your way.

Ready to take your first step toward a career in financial services? Start by learning more about our Canadian Investment Funds Course.

Check out available job openings on IFSE’s Careerlink.