Being an analyst is one of the most coveted careers in the financial services industry. Your position as a junior financial analyst can be the perfect niche opportunity to advance your career into a senior leadership role.
Your career advancement will require long hours and nose-to-the grindstone hard work, but the payoff will be lucrative and you’ll reap the satisfaction of being an integral part of the global financial business landscape.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts healthy growth in financial analyst positions at all levels in the years to come. Top employers are looking for senior analysts with three to five years’ experience, solid organizational and interpersonal skills and razor sharp analytical abilities.
Senior FA Duties
Job growth for senior financial analysts will continue as investments become more complex and globally focused. The specific duties of a senior FA vary depending on business size and industry. For instance, in manufacturing, a senior analyst may be required to provide financial forecasting reports and recommend cost reductions. In real estate development, they may prepare analytics and financial models regarding prospective lease activity. Other typical responsibilities include:
- Supervising and developing junior staff members.
- Overseeing data management and financial software monitoring.
- Analyzing and comparing portfolio holdings, property projections and variances.
- Managing audit functions.
Opportunities for Advancement
Senior analysts may become portfolio managers, partners in investment banks or senior managers in retail banks or insurance companies. Some become investment advisors or independent consultants.
Here are some tips on how to achieve senior analyst status:
- Hone your technical proficiency. Master the use of spreadsheets, databases, PowerPoint presentations and other relevant software applications.
- Develop interpersonal relationships with your superiors. The most successful analysts are those who not only put in the required hours, but also develop strong relationships with their managers. In turn, they willingly mentor more junior level colleagues. It’s a good idea to further strengthen your people skills by crafting written and oral presentations for senior leadership.
- Pursue an MBA in accounting and finance. More than 45 percent of junior analysts head back to business school to help ensure career growth. Another 10 percent go to law school.
Becoming a senior financial analyst can be a stepping stone to positions such as CFO or financial controller. The senior FA role is critical to profitability and financial stability of companies in virtually every industry.
To learn more about your successful career track as a financial analyst, read our related posts or consider working with a professional career coach from Magellan Search & Staffing. Contact us today.