72% of you Think Project Management is Your Best Fit for Roles in Finance

46% of Financial Services organisations predict a rise in employment in the next quarter and interestingly, two-thirds of those jobs are available outside London. BNY Mellon’s Global Talent Aquisition Manager Andrea Crompton and our own Lisa Jones, discuss how to move into this ever-expanding sector, with roles that aren’t just based in London.

Not as London-centric as you might think

It can be easy to assume that the majority of Financial Services roles are London-based – this idea dominates as much as the city’s Canary Wharf skyline, a symbol of the financial heartland of the UK.

However, many organisations are outsourcing to save money outside the capital, so there is a growing trend for roles moving to other regions. BNY Mellon has a global delivery centre based in Manchester, as well as other offices based in Edinburgh, Poole, Leeds and Liverpool.

Best fit for ex-military

72% of you think project management is the best fit for ex-military looking for roles in Financial Services, while none of you think technology expertise will further your prospect in the sector.

Andrea is keen to emphasise that within corporate environments the whole scope of technology is always changing and is ‘great to get into if you have the skill set and interest’. Some roles may also combine project management.

Lisa says: “For banks, the needs and wants of the clients are often the biggest focus –having the technology to ensure that these are fulfilled is one of the biggest selling points a bank can offer.”

Andrea also notes: “Within the Corporate Sector function of BNY Mellon, you don’t necessarily need to be an accountant or have financial knowledge to do particular roles. The military skill set can be ideal as it combines project management with people and resource management.” She adds: “You may not be a subject matter expert but you have the skills to manage the subject matter experts.”

Front, middle and back office

  • Front office –focuses on relationship management, sales and trading
  • Middle office – focuses on risk management, strategic management, treasury and client services
  • Back office – focuses on HR, IT, Marketing and Operations.

Andrea says: “In the earlier stages of your career it’s easier to get into the front office as this will shape and develop those key transferable skills.”

Lisa adds: “Financial Services can see young officers as ‘almost graduates with benefits’ – whereas more experienced officers are more appropriate for back and middle.”

Gauge your worth

56% of you favour ‘networking’ in order to pitch yourself at the correct level, while 44% of you focus on ‘what you can deliver’.

Andrea got her job through networking and says that a mixture of the two is important. However, online research shouldn’t be discounted, as well as looking at roles online to ensure you have the correct language in place when writing your CV for the position you want.

Networking of course, is still one of the best ways to find work in the sector although Lisa still advocates using LinkedIn alongside this. She suggests: “Look at the role online, apply in the approved manner and also contact on LinkedIn.”

She also advises looking at job specifications, focusing on the needs of the organisations and how you can deliver on addressing those.

Andrea also strongly advocates placements. “Placements and internships enable organisations to try you in a risk-free environment. It gives you a great opportunity to impress.” She adds: “The city does like ex-military but prefers them with a role under their belt.”

Andrea160She also stressed that it’s important not to focus on the ‘perfect job’. When Andrea joined BNY Mellon she didn’t go straight into her ‘ideal role’ but it gave her the opportunity to move once she’d ‘proved her worth’.

Lisa says: “Many organisations are keen to keep talented people so there is a lot of scope for internal mobility.” She adds: “Don’t get too bogged down by ‘starting salaries’ – in this sector, once
you’re in (and you can prove your worth), you’ll be promoted and offered a rise quicker than in other services – year on year promotions are not unheard of and the sector is keen to offer new challenges to keep talented people.”

Culture of the Organisation

Andrea says: “In the same way there are different parts of the Army, there are different cultures within Financial Services. Visit various events within the sector and get a feel for what they’re about. It should give you a good grounding for making the right decision on which area to go into.”

Please listen to An Entry Into Financial Services in its entirety.