It’s one of the best ways to help a company attract new followers and grow its market. What’s more? A Lead Generator is an entry-level position that can be a great starting point for students and grads aiming to work in the Sales and Marketing industry. It provides you with the skills to understand what interests certain target markets, and how to use that knowledge to your advantage.
Sound intriguing? Before you apply for a position, make sure you understand these essential facts!
A lead is someone who has shown interest in your company’s product or service. They’re the type of people who are most likely to become a new follower, customer or client, and the ones you should target with your Marketing efforts. Lead generation, therefore, refers to ways of attracting new leads. Simply put, it may involve creating content, hosting events, forming a presence on social media, networking at industry events and other relevant activities that generate interest in the company.
First and foremost, a company should always be looking to expand their client and customer base, and leads are the most likely candidates for that. They’re already interested in your product or service – you just need to give them a little push, and you’ve got a new fan!
Furthermore, compared to customer relationships that you initiate through Sales outreach, leads tend to generate more organic interest since it’s the potential consumer who shows interest first. More leads means your marketing strategy is working, and your name is spreading through industry content, word-of-mouth, and other direct or indirect methods.
Email newsletters are perfect for generating leads because people have to opt in for it. This way, you can send curated industry content to an audience who you know is interested, and your emails are less likely to end up in someone’s spam folder.
Webinars give you the chance to put a face to your company, foster customer relationships, and help leads become more familiar with your brand. Plus, if you market the event well, you could generate a lot of buzz, and that in and of itself can generate leads – and that’s even before the event takes place!
Twitter is a terrific lead generating platform. Just by interacting with industry influencers, such as following them, liking their tweets, and retweeting their content, you can attract their followers’ interest. Also, if you establish yourselves as a company that provides up-to-date news, industry developments or best practices, your target audience will naturally follow you.
As a Lead Generator, you’ll likely spend a lot of time contacting leads through the phone or by email and informing them about events, news, and other relevant information. In fact, on some days, this might be all you do.
Also, as the title implies, one of your biggest responsibilities is to generate new leads. For this, you’ll need to be on social media platforms or creating attention-grabbing content. However, rather than promoting your brand directly, you want to promote your industry and get people interested in your product or service as a result.
For some Lead Generator positions, you may even need to make cold calls, which are calls to people who haven’t shown interest in the company, to try to gain new leads. It’s not always the most exciting task, but it can go a long way in driving new business if you keep at it.
Once you have enough data from these tasks, you’ll need to analyze the information to find trends, such as which methods generated the most leads, what product or service were most leads interested in, and how the company can attract even more leads in the future. Depending on what your manager requests, you will make daily, weekly, or monthly reports on lead generation statistics.
Moreover, lead generation methods are always evolving. You’re expected to be on top of recent news and to research the latest strategies since you want to be ahead of the game at all times.
Lead generation is a major part of any business nowadays, but no, you don’t actually need a Business degree. In fact, many job postings for Lead Generator positions don’t require any specific educational backgrounds. You can be a Finance major, a Sociology major, or even an Economics major to apply for this position – if you have the skills, you can do the job.
That said, here are some qualities you should have:
Now that you know more about lead generation, maybe you’ll decide to start your career in this field. If not, this is still valuable information to know when working in any kind of business! Use this knowledge to expand your current role or create a new one. Put lead generation into action and you might end up building a stronger and more fulfilling career for yourself.
“As a female who has hardly ever watched football, I was curious about the reasons for the pairing,” she said. She later discovered it was due to remarkable similarities in their leadership style and goals. After the announcement, she immediately dove into research and resolved to find out everything she could about football and the Commissioner before she met him.
This tendency to be well-prepared didn’t surface right before she was about to meet a CEO. She made sure to meticulously deliver exactly why she’d be a good fit for the program and how passionate she is about leadership throughout the selection process.
What was it then, that pushed her to become a successful CEOx1Day candidate?
A hunger to learn, she told us.
“Any opportunity that is something you don’t come across every day is something I move towards,” said Alyssa. “I also love meeting different people—I’m very people-driven.”
As a commerce student at Queen’s University, Alyssa studied leadership but craved to see it in action beyond the pages of a textbook. She wanted to experience what being a leader was like in a real-world context and found that the CEOx1Day program provided exactly that.
Having led many groups during her time at Queens, she wasn’t exactly new to leadership either. Still, she was curious to see how leaders operated on a larger organizational scale —like the CFL.
She brainstormed over 50 questions to ask Commissioner Orridge. “The questions spanned his leadership style, most important career decisions, the habits and qualities that contributed to his success and more,” said Alyssa. “I was over-prepared and had thought of every possible question but was glad that I did.”
Her day with Commissioner Orridge began in the office, moved onto executive board meetings, included a three-hour lunch and culminated in an interview with the Globe and Mail. During her time with the CEO, Alyssa made sure to be tactical about her inquiries, creating candid ones on-the-spot if her planned questions didn’t fit the conversation.
While she asked Commissioner Orridge many questions, the most impactful lessons she learned that day were not from asking questions but by observing him in action. She found it astounding to see how swiftly he made high impact decisions while engaging his whole team.
“I saw how quickly all the pieces are moving, how to utilize the people on your team and make judgements on the fly,” she said. “I also learned how charisma and influence can impact a team to be engaged and feel involved in those quick decisions.”
His ability to connect with those around him continued beyond the workplace as well.
“He truly acted with utmost integrity, kindness, and respect – from his top level executives, to the cab drivers and restaurant servers,” said Alyssa. “Exceptional leadership never turns off – you truly need to be “on” at all times.”
The most important adage he imparted to Alyssa also had to do with people.
“The Commissioner had several pieces of advice—one that stuck with me, is to surround yourself with people that are smarter than you and to make sure they know it and are continuously made aware of it,” said Alyssa.
Since then, she’s taken his advice word-for-word.
“I was on the cusp to decide what I was going to do after graduation during CEOx1Day,” said Alyssa. “Initially, I had a few job offers, but I’ve always had the drive to be an entrepreneur although I felt I wasn’t really ready.”
With an evolved vision of what it means to be a leader from her CEOx1Day experience, Alyssa grew confident in her ability to become an entrepreneur.
“It was one of the pivotal moments of refining my path towards entrepreneurship,” she said.
Right after CEOx1Day, she co-founded Mindset.
“I don’t know how it all came together. I feel really lucky – it felt like fate to me, right time, right place, right people,” she said.
Mindset aims to make headphones that allow wearers to focus better by reading their brain waves. For example, if there’s a lapse in your concentration, Mindset’s headphones detects this and steers you back to work via auditory cues.
Post-graduation, Alyssa and the Mindset team were accepted into Next Canada, an early stage incubator that helps young entrepreneurs connect with investors, develop their skills and find mentors in their sector. Then they joined Hax, the world’s largest hardware accelerator in Shenzhen, China.
“We’re building our product in China for the time being and planning to launch in early 2017,” said Alyssa. “We’re planning to start selling as early as next year.”
As she continues on her path of entrepreneurship, Alyssa sees her CEOx1Day experience as a vital part of her journey.
“Did it impact my application to the Next 36? Yeah! It shows that you have leadership potential and you have the drive to lead a company,” she said. “While it’s very different from being a small-scale entrepreneur, you have the same drive to get things done.”
Both aim to market their company’s product or service and spread brand awareness, but they use very different approaches. For instance, if you enjoy face-to-face social interactions, you might be be more suited for an Outside Sales position. If you prefer to connect with people using technology, Inside Sales might be a better choice. However, no matter which one you choose, both are extremely rewarding careers where you have the opportunity to produce happy, satisfied customers.
Here’s how to find out which type of position is right for you!
Inside Sales professionals typically reach out to customers via phone or online channels like email and social media. This means that you’ll need excellent verbal and written skills. Additionally, this type of position is very similar to a typical corporate job: you’re usually working from an office, your schedule remains relatively constant everyday, and you spend a lot of time on the phone or on your computer. Still, the wide variety of different characters you connect with will keep you on your toes.
In Canada, these professionals make approximately $31,000 to $50,000, which is often made up of a base salary plus commission – this is roughly the same amount any other office worker earns. That said, keep in mind that commission-based roles offer the potential to make much more depending on your performance.
Since Sales is a big part of every business, there’s a huge demand for new young professionals to join the industry! Plus, as more consumers are shying away from face-to-face interactions, more Inside Sales professionals are needed.
This type of Sales position is perfect for all the social media geniuses and tech junkies out there. Also, Inside Sales professionals work through many different platforms, which keeps their daily responsibilities fresh and exciting – a consistent schedule doesn’t mean your typical day has to be repetitive! Plus, you’ll need to be able to sell products and services without face-to-face communication, so a passionate personality that can translate confidence and genuine enthusiasm through the phone or email is a must.
Outside Sales professionals connect with customers face-to-face through networking events, presentations, trade shows, and other similar events. It’s a role that requires unparalleled social skills and a personality that can brighten up anyone’s day. What’s more? As an Outside Sales professional, you can expect tons of travel opportunities, an ever-changing schedule, and lots of meetings with new clients – you’ll always be on-the-go!
Working in Outside Sales, Canadian professionals can expect to earn around $36,000 to $65,000, which generally includes a base salary and a commission percentage. However, as with Inside Sales roles, you’ll have opportunities to earn a lot more – if you utilize your time and resources effectively to close more sales, your income will be that much higher.
The travel opportunities, higher income, and constantly changing schedules attract a lot of students and recent grads looking for a challenging and exciting career, so this side of Sales can be a bit more competitive to enter. But don’t let that discourage you! There is still a huge demand for professionals in this area, and a wide range of unique businesses to work with.
Do you thrive in a self-managed environment? Can you make your own appointments, contact your clients, and make sure all your meetings go smoothly? Are you an egg-cellent problem solver who is resourceful, but also knows when to admit they need a hand? If you answered yes to all these questions, then Outside Sales might be perfect for you!
Sales is a great industry for anyone to hatch a career in because there is something for everybody! Whether you’re someone who enjoys on-the-go direct customer interaction, or more behind-the-screen indirect contact, there’s a place for you in this diverse field!
Employees working on commission have great incentive and motivation to excel on the job because the better they perform, the more they earn. Also, they generally have a lot of say in their schedule, so they need to understand their own abilities and know how many hours they need to meet a certain quota. If you’re someone who’s able to identify what you need to succeed and can manage yourself on a regular basis, you may find that this is your ideal work environment.
Still not sure if this is the right type of role for you? If you possess the following qualities, a commission-based position might be a perfect fit!
When you first step into the position, remember that it’s okay if you’re not an instant top performer – everyone needs to start somewhere. Commissioned Sales professionals improve little by little everyday until they’re the best at what they do. However, to get from point A and point B, you need to have an innate desire to improve. If you’re someone who’s constantly looking to increase their knowledge and develop more skills, you’re perfect for a commission-based position. With a drive like that, there’s no doubt you’ll soon catch up and exceed everyone else!
How to further develop this quality: This doesn’t happen naturally; you need to make a conscious effort in order to improve quickly and efficiently. To do this as a student, you can start by always applying your professors’ feedback from past assignments to future projects. Making mistakes is part of the learning process, but your goal should always be to do better the next time.
When you’re working this type of job, you have a lot of control, which can be a great thing if you’re a self-starter who enjoys their independence. You’ll need to manage your own goals and strive to achieve them on a daily basis, so it’s important that you can keep yourself on track without supervision. Also, you might have very flexible hours, so it’s up to you to manage your schedule to include enough hours to meet your quota. If you have top-notch time management skills, you will find this aspect extremely freeing and probably one of the best benefits of a commission-based position.
How to further develop this quality: A simple way to improve your time management skills is to keep an agenda or planner. Update it regularly to identify what you want to accomplish that day or week. For example, you can include tasks like finishing an assignment, reading a textbook chapter, going grocery shopping, or even dedicating an hour to cleaning. This way, you can practice measuring your own abilities and what you can accomplish within a limited amount of time.
It’s no secret that Sales professionals need to constantly build rapport with strangers, and when working on commission, it’s even more important. You want to be someone who can stride up to your prospective customer with confidence and give them a sales pitch they can’t turn down. Therefore, if you’re someone who feels quickly at home in any crowd, this type of position is made for you.
How to further develop this quality: Every time you interact with someone, you build on your social skills. However, if you want to exercise them in a relevant environment, consider getting a part-time or summer position in Retail. It’ll give you the opportunity to communicate with customers and practice giving sales pitches – becoming a good Sales professional takes time, so start working on it early.
So, does this sound like you? If your answer is yes, then you may have a very bright future ahead of you in a commissioned Sales position. Your personality and this revenue model basically go hand in hand!
Just thinking about working for a cutting-edge tech company, the next groundbreaking mobile app, being involved with a major video game studio and working to help grow the popularity of martial arts worldwide gets me pumped up! But these are all big goals, the kind that you don’t achieve overnight. Or even a lifetime, if you don’t have a plan to get there.
The truth is, there are a lot of small steps along the way to achieving a major life goal. In order to keep myself from feeling overwhelmed, I like to break things down into much smaller goals instead. This way I can tackle several of these smaller goals at a time and feel like I’m making progress. Here are five examples of smaller (in most cases) career goals that I’ve set for myself.
This one may sound pretty broad, but bear with me for a moment. Writing is something I’ve been doing my entire life. It’s always been something I’ve enjoyed, and is the easiest way for me to express what I’m feeling. I studied Professional Writing in university, and I like to think that I’m pretty good at it. But you never really finish learning how to write. There are always aspects of your writing that could be improved, tweaked, and tailored.
And that’s a good thing.
Skills that can be continually improved throughout your lifetime come with an easy source of motivation. After all, doesn’t it feel great when you notice yourself getting better at something?
I’m improving my writing by learning to write for audiences that I’ve never written for before. In my day-to-day work, I mostly write for a business/research-focused audience, so the opportunity to write for an inspired generation of up and coming professionals (like you, dear TalentEgg reader) is a fun new challenge for me.
This one could be called a medium-term goal, I suppose. One of the parts I enjoyed most about my undergraduate education was gaining the communications and technology skills that I learned through the Professional Writing program at UVic. These are relevant, practical skills that I use regularly in my day-to-day life. In order to advance as far as I can in my career, I believe it is important to develop these skills even further. This is why I plan to pursue a graduate degree in Professional Communications after gaining more work experience.
In the same way that an undergraduate degree is the gateway into the working world for many millennials, a graduate degree can be seen as the ladder that helps you get over the wall between you and the next big opportunity.
Try to avoid getting too comfortable at work, or with your existing skillset. In university, I was taught about the concept of “continuous learning.” People who are continuous learners make it their goal to constantly learn more about the world around them (whether that be their job, office, worksite, city, country, etc.). They work steadily to improve themselves and the work that they do.
In my case, I try to take on tasks beyond my usual duties whenever they arise. For example, when an opportunity to edit a colleague’s work, work with one of the research teams, or anything else slightly different from my day-to-day norm comes up, I try to jump on that chance as quickly as possible. I’d also recommend joining any committees existing in your workplace (such as a Health and Safety Committee, or a Sport and Social Committee). Not only will you get to know your coworkers better, you’ll also get the chance to develop new skills outside of your usual duties.
The more tools in your kit, the more adaptable you can be!
Now it’s time for a change of pace. This might seem a little out of field, or not seem like much of a career goal at all. But what happens when the daily grind of work starts to wear you down? What if you wake up one day and just don’t feel like chasing any of your career goals?
It happens to the best of us and it’s no reason to panic or stress out.
As much as we like to talk about how important it is to work your hardest at school and work, you also need to have other elements to your life. We all have different ways that we like to relax, but we can still be using this downtime to better ourselves and gain new skills. I like to set goals for myself that have little to do with my professional life. These goals allow me to keep continuously learning new things, even if those things aren’t work-related.
Take up a musical instrument or a martial art. Play a sport. Learn to paint, or program a computer, or learn to build wine racks and other cool decorative stuff out of old wooden palettes (seriously, I have a friend who does this – it’s awesome). Just do something that challenges you mentally or physically, and helps focus your mind.
For me personally, I’m learning Jiu-Jitsu, and I absolutely love it. A good night on the mats usually translates into a productive day at work the next day. Whatever it is that interests you, make sure you are doing it! Also, let me know about it. I’m always interested in trying new things!
We all have big dreams. But setting smaller, achievable goals while we’re working towards long-term career success can really build your confidence, inspire you to think differently and give you ample reason to smile. Developing yourself outside of work will help you to become a lifelong learner who is eager to take on new opportunities with enthusiasm. And who knows! Maybe one day, the skills you’ve learned outside of work will become incredibly handy at work as well. All in all, there is little to lose from taking the time to reach new heights via learning-only gain.
So don’t wait—achieve!]]>
Many students and grads could thrive in a commission-based position, but they’re turned off by the idea of an unstable salary. However, there are a lot of amazing advantages that people never see because they’re unable to look past the idea of performance-based income. Think of it this way: in a sales related role, whether you’re working on commission or a regular salary, you’re expected to make sales anyway. But in a commission structure, you often get to control how much you work and how much you make. Doesn’t that sound great?
Still not sure if a commission-based position is for you? Maybe these benefits can help you decide!
You may not realize it yet, but commission can be your best friend. If you sell a lot, it could boost your earnings exponentially higher than it would be on a regular salary – in other words, if you really hustle, know your product and surpass your targets, you could potentially have a six-digit salary in some commission sales roles.
While some companies have caps on potential commissions, other companies have unlimited income potential, meaning your paycheck will reflect your performance – an excellent month of sales equals an excellent paycheck.
Also, don’t worry too much about not earning as much as other Sales professionals who aren’t working on commission. Most companies calculate their commission percentage so that employees can earn an average Sales salary, which may range from approximately $30,000 to $50,000, from a reasonable number of sales. This percentage is influenced by how challenging it is to sell the product, considering factors like price and necessity.
Many companies recognize how challenging it can be to work on commission for the first time and will provide early training and ongoing support. Your training can include anything from a company orientation, to an external workshop on selling methods. It should focus on customer-centric thinking, such as meeting people’s needs and keeping your customers’ happy. On top of that, you’ll also receive support from experienced employees who can give you advice and help you get settled in.
Plus, this training and support isn’t just useful in your current position. You can take the skills you develop and bring them to future commission-based jobs in Sales, Marketing, Recruitment, and other related fields.
In many commission-based positions, you can control how you spend your time. For example, how many hours do you want to work? Do you need a day off to spend with your family? Are your hobbies time consuming? Depending on what you value more, you can choose to invest more time earning money or enjoying your social life. As a commissioned Sales professional, you often have a lot more freedom with your work schedule.
Furthermore, most students and grads are under the misconception that working on commission means working extremely hard everyday to earn a decent salary, but that’s not what this revenue model is about. If you take the time to plan ahead, develop returning clientele, and spend your work hours effectively, you will find achieving your quota is more manageable than you thought.
That said, you’re not always inheriting leads from previous employees in your role. When you’re first starting out, it may take a lot of hard work to develop a list of returning clientele, but it’ll be worth it in the long run. In fact, depending on your product, this can make things much easier for you down the road. For instance, if you’re an Insurance Broker, your clients will likely come back to you time and time again, so you should work on building a great relationship with them.
Is this your first entry-level job? A commission-based position can be a very impressive credential to have on your resume when applying to future opportunities. It shows employers that you’re not afraid to step up to the challenge and that you’re confident in your ability to meet quotas and exceed expectations!
In addition, commission works as fantastic motivation for you to push your boundaries and make more sales. Use this as an opportunity to reach impressive goals that you could highlight for future employers. For example, if you have a spectacular month of sales, remember those statistics for future resumes. It’s much more impactful to say you made X number of sales in only one month than it is to say you made a lot of sales.
Although many of the points we’ve covered are consistent across the board, each company’s commission model may vary slightly. Before you accept a job, take the initiative to find out more about how that company’s system works. Interviews are a great time for you to get answers!
Consider asking questions like these:
So next time you stumble across a job posting for a commission-based position, consider applying for it. There are great benefits, and trust us, it’s really not as scary as it seems!
These professionals play a huge role in determining risks and helping the company make smart, impactful decisions – really, this is what Financial Services is all about. Wouldn’t you love to work at the core of that?
Surprisingly, Actuary roles are not well known amongst the majority of students and grads. It’s a fantastic career that offers a lot of interesting, ever-changing work and an enviable work-life balance compared to other positions in this industry.
Want to know more about this exciting career? Read on!
So what exactly does an Actuary do? Well, their main responsibility is to provide Company Executives, Risk Managers, Portfolio Managers, and Underwriters with the data they need on risk exposure to make informed decisions. They help the company find a delicate balance between taking risks and earning a profit. This is particularly important in Insurance where it’s necessary for a company to understand the risks that accompany the responsibilities they agree to take on. Actuaries also assist in defining company policies – even aspects like product or service pricing require their expertise.
Furthermore, these professionals are found in all sorts of sectors, so it’s a great entry-level position no matter where you want to work. For example, in Banking, they help with tasks like setting prices for security offerings and managing credit lines. On the other hand, in a government job, they assist with managing social programs by collecting and analyzing statistical data. No matter which industry you choose to enter, you’ll encounter different and egg-citing projects to tackle!
Actuaries often work with professionals from various departments, such as Senior Management, Underwriters, and Risk Management. Because of this, you need the verbal and written ability to explain complex ideas and data to different audiences. To practice this skill, you can take on a tutoring position at school. Practice breaking down complicated concepts to a student who’s having a hard time understanding technical definitions. It’s a great way to help out a fellow peer, while prepping for your future.
Analyzing data and producing reasonable solutions is a key responsibility of an Actuary. They’re tasked with identifying trends, weighing the pros and cons, and coming up with ways to minimize risk. To practice, you can apply these steps when studying for a test, midterm, or final. Identify which topics your professor has emphasized in class, weigh the value of each concept you need to study, and delegate a reasonable amount of time to each one. Not only will this help you solidify your analytical skills, it will also help you study smarter!
Top-notch computer skills are a must for any Actuary. You need to know how to use spreadsheets, statistical modeling software, and statistical programming language – they’re absolute necessities for efficient workflow. To develop these skills, research and familiarize yourself with popular programs that are being used by companies in the industry. Unfortunately, some of these options may be a little pricey, but it’s a worthwhile investment if this is a career path you’re seriously interested in.
Worried about available positions? There’s no need to be! Like we said before, tons of companies need Actuaries, so there’s an ongoing demand for young professionals to fill these roles. Pretty much any organization can benefit from people who can forecast risks and help prevent difficult situations. In fact, even in a recession, Actuaries are needed to help companies stay afloat and make realistic plans to recover.
So now that you know more about this vibrant, exciting role, maybe you’ll consider a career as an Actuary. There’s lots of variety in terms of responsibilities, depending on where you work, so you’ll surely find your perfect sector.
Every professional has been in your shoes, trying to figure out how to hatch their careers without prior experience in the field. The answer? Transferrable skills. Bringing the abilities you’ve developed from other jobs – even if they were in completely different fields – can help ease your transition into this industry.
Most Financial Services positions are rooted in gathering information and using it to share your expertise with clients, so any skills that will help you excel in those tasks will be immensely valuable.
To start, highlight these 3 skills on your resume to show employers that you’re the perfect candidate!
Many entry-level roles in Financial Services involve face-to-face communication with clients, which is great because a lot of students and grads have experience working in Customer Service. Even if you’re working a more behind-the-scenes job, interpersonal skills will still influence the way you approach your work and tackle each problem.
Moreover, when you’re a professional who’s providing a service to others, you need to be able to relate to your clients and understand their financial concerns. Remember, every client is unique, so you’ll have to adapt to each of their circumstances appropriately. Excellent interpersonal skills can help you develop rapport with clients. They should see you as someone they can trust; someone who will consider their individual situations when assisting them through the Financial world.
In addition, this is an industry where you need to have unparalleled listening skills. However, note that hearing and listening are two different things. Hearing just happens, while listening takes focus. You want to ask yourself this ultimate question: What is your client trying to tell you?
For instance, are they worried about paying off loans? Are they looking for long-term Financial stability? Are they interested in investing in riskier stocks but aren’t ready to jump fully into the deep end yet? It’s important to listen carefully to what your client is saying so you can offer the advice that most suits their needs and personality.
How to practice this skill: Anytime you interact with someone, you’re using interpersonal skills. So what can you do to improve? Try to make a conscious effort to understand the meaning behind people’s words. For example, if a friend comes to you for advice on how to find more time to study, really consider their situation. How much time do they already put in? Do they have a part-time job? What are their busiest days? It’s all about thinking before you speak.
Nearly all entry-level Financial Services positions will require you to interact with clients on a daily basis, so strong communication skills are a must. In fact, you’ll likely be working with a lot of people who don’t have a Finance background and are unfamiliar with the industry jargon. Therefore, it’s your job to deliver complex ideas in simple terms, while still being able to explain in detail if asked about a certain aspect. For instance, can you summarize what purposes a chequing account and a savings account can serve in someone’s financial plan in a few simple sentences? Can you also give an in-depth comparison of each of their advantages? To excel in this industry, you need the ability to tailor your communication approach to your audience.
How to practice this skill: Start by going through important sections of your textbook – parts that are likely to show up on tests, midterms, and finals – and defining concepts in concise terms. Then, try to thoroughly explain each one with as much detail as you can recall. As a bonus, this is also an excellent study method! You can also practice creating elevator pitches, which are persuasive 30 second Sales speeches. Depending on your target career or industry, you can develop these for a variety of relevant products and services. By the time you enter the workforce, you’ll be an expert at pulling together an effective Sales pitch.
No matter where you work in Financial Services, whether it’s Accounting, Banking, or Insurance, you need to be able to gather information and use it effectively. Knowing how to research and plan is particularly important if you’re aiming for a sector like Investment Banking or Private Equity, where you work with more long-term clients.
In this industry, you need the skills to set a goal, gather relevant information, implement a plan, and analyze the results. For example, if your company has an idea for a new innovative way of providing a traditional service, it’s your job use these skills to help balance their goals and risks with a reasonable strategy and present that plan to the decision makers.
How to practice this skill: Anytime you have to prepare a marketing presentation or complete a Finance project, you’re utilizing your research and planning skills. But, you can also develop these abilities outside of school. For example, set a SMART goal for yourself. It can be anything from being more active, to finding more time to read. Do some research to find out what you need to achieve that goal – maybe it’s time to invest in that gym membership – then make a plan and stick to it! By the end of the year, evaluate how well you did and what changes could be made if you tried again next year.
When you’re stepping into your very first Financial Services position, remember to use these skills to excel in the workplace. While your ability to do your job depends on your knowledge, the quality of your service relies heavily on your interpersonal, communication, research, and planning skills.
A certification in the Financial Services field can be a big boost for your career, but they can be challenging to obtain. It requires a lot of hard work and dedication to learn all the material required to pass the exam. However, that doesn’t mean you need to pull all-nighters and spend every day in the library. The key to an effective study strategy is to use your time wisely and work smarter, not harder.
Want to know which certification is right for you?
Here are a few of the most useful certifications for Financial Services positions:
Ready to leave your procrastinating ways in the past? Start with these simple and effective study tips!
Let’s face it: if you try to learn everything about every Finance topic, you’ll run out of time very quickly. To maximize your efforts, focus on researching topics that are more likely to be on the exam or have been on past exams. For example, if you’re studying for the level 1 CFA certification exam, try to dedicate extra time for topics on Financial reporting and analysis, ethical and professional standards, and quantitative methods because they’re core concepts. Of course, you should still aim to cover as much as you possibly can, but if you’re short on time, this is the best way to ensure you have the most important topics under your belt.
As a student, you have access to numerous sources to study from, so use that to your advantage. Whether you learn best by seeing diagrams, reading, or doing exercises, you don’t want to stick to just one type of study material. You have them at your disposal, so ensure that you review from your textbooks, notes, and recorded lectures if you have access to them.
Furthermore, many Finance certification exams will cover a vast amount of information – much more than a regular university exam – and it can easily start to feel a little overwhelming. When that happens, remember that repetition is key. Going over the same topics presented in various forms will help your brain retain information better and longer.
Want to find out if you really know your stuff? Test yourself! It’s truly the only way to distinguish what you know like the back of your hand and what you think you know, but really don’t. Do yourself a favour and complete a practice test. In fact, for more well-known certifications, such as Chartered Professional Accountant or Certified Financial Planner, there are practice tests tailored to help people preparing to take that specific exam.
There are many different practice tests online, both free and paid, so be sure to take more than one. Why? Because if you do the same test over and over again, you’ll start memorizing the answers in the order that the questions appear, which pretty much renders it useless for studying purposes.
Sometimes, students tend to psych themselves out and overstress when studying for a certification exam. However, you should look at it like any other exam – just on a bigger scale. Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed by the large volume of information. Instead, apply the same good habits you’ve developed from studying for university level exams. Remember to eat healthy, follow a study schedule, and get enough sleep the night before.
Regarding the study schedule, we recommend that you take the time to make one. Having so many different Finance topics to cover can lead to procrastination – before you know it, you’ve spent two hours on YouTube, Twitter, or Instagram (trust us, we’ve all done it). Scheduling in specific times to rest can help deter you from taking those overly long breaks and stay on task.
Additionally, when you’re making your study schedule, having goals for each session can be very effective. For example, aim to review a set of stock market terms or complete a math problem set in one sitting. Just take it one step at a time, and you’ll find yourself making your way through that mountain of information faster than you think.
Keep these tips in mind when you’re studying for that Finance certification exam! And remember, it’s only a test – you’ve done hundreds of these in your lifetime, so take a deep breath, drink some water, and study smart. Good luck!
Many talented young professionals are all competing for a spot in this field, especially for those illustrious positions in sectors like Investment Banking or Private Equity, and there’s a reason why. Although it takes a lot of hard work, the results are incredibly satisfying, fulfilling and can be lucrative as well. As a Financial Services professional, many people and companies turn to you for valuable advice. And trust us, their gratitude only makes this career that much more worthwhile.
However, getting started can be a challenge. Well, we want to help you brighten up your future! Start picking up important skills and knowledge early, and you’ll stand out as a star candidate once you hit the job market. After all, it’s never too early to start prepping for your dream job!
Keep these three tips in mind to ensure a smooth post-graduation job hunt.
An internship is one of the best ways to gain work experience in Financial Services as a student. Whether it’s a summer placement or a co-op work term, having these types of positions on your resume will help you stand out amongst your peers when you’re applying for a full-time position.
Plus, since this is such a huge industry, there are plenty of internship opportunities every year. Do some research and find out which company’s culture and environment best fits your vision of a great workplace. Also, larger Financial Services institutions often extend offers of full-time employment to former interns. If there’s a particular company you’re interested in working for post-graduation, check if they offer internships or have other similar programs.
Keeping up with current news is essential to any Financial Services career. With new technologies and techniques being developed constantly, industry professionals need to be on top of the latest information in order to offer quality financial expertise to their clients.
As a student, you can start by reading Finance journals and magazines. Make it part of your daily or weekly routine and maybe even sign up for a subscription to ensure you’re constantly in the know. It will also help you pick up industry jargon, which you’ll need to understand once you’re in the workplace.
Not sure where to begin? The Globe and Mail’s Report on Business is an excellent place to get up-to-date industry news. It also has multiple apps so you can read on the go. For example, they have one that provides easy access to their more comprehensive features, such as in-depth market data and multimedia stories. Another great subscription to try is the Financial Post. It has tons of interesting articles that report on the most recent Finance-related news. Plus, because it’s under the National Post, when you sign up for a subscription, you also get access to other types of news, such as sports, arts, and life.
Take initiative and get involved in a Finance club or association! Most post-secondary institutions will have a few to choose from, but if there isn’t one at your school, gather some Finance enthusiasts together and form one! This type of experience is very attractive to employers in this industry.
Furthermore, this is an exciting way to find others who are passionate about this field, while staying informed about upcoming events. As a club member, you will likely be one of the first to hear about exclusive networking opportunities. In an industry where connections are key to getting your foot in the door, participating in events like these is super important.
However, on the off chance that there isn’t a Finance club or association, and you can’t make one, don’t fret. Instead, take on an executive position for another club as a Treasurer. This is an egg-cellent opportunity to apply your math and analytical skills, and gain invaluable experience managing money for an organization, which is particularly handy if you want to work in the Banking Services sector.
Don’t wait until after graduation to hatch your career! If you take little steps to familiarize yourself with the industry as a student, employers will recognize that you have more than just knowledge to offer. In fact, you’ll likely feel right at home in the workplace! How many of your peers can say that?
For instance, the way you conduct yourself can play a big role in helping people feel more accepted and included. You have a say in what initiatives you’re involved in and how you treat other employees – both of which are very important when working with people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures.
Here are three ways even entry-level employees can support diversity in the workplace!
Many companies have Employee Resource Groups (or ERGs) to help bring together employees who care about the same issues. Their members are involved in all sorts of incredible activities, from mentoring new employees to holding skills workshops tailored to certain groups. They often work closely with Human Resources to ensure that a diverse demographic of employees are being hired. With such varied activities, ERGs tackle all sorts of goals, such as increasing cultural awareness, professional development opportunities, and career growth for minority groups.
See if you can find an ERG at your company that supports a group you’re passionate about. And remember – you don’t have to fall into the category yourself to be an ally. For example, even if you don’t have a disability, you can still be an active proponent in making the workplace a more accessible environment for those that do. It’s a very empowering thing to have a group of people work together to bring about positive change in the workplace.
If you’re looking for a specific group in particular that doesn’t currently exist, create it! Most ERGs begin with just a small number of employees. It can be as simple as a handful of coworkers meeting up during lunch to share ideas on how to make LGBT employees more comfortable in the workplace. Once you garner more interest, you can formalize the ERG by letting your Human Resources department know that you want to establish a group. They can guide you through the procedure to make your ERG an official part of the company.
In a diverse company, there are bound to be people who are part of communities that you’re not very familiar with. Instead of shying away from the unknown, take advantage of this opportunity to learn! For instance, if you hear a co-worker use a term or phrase you’ve never heard of, do a little research to find out what it means. This will help you understand them better and allow you to form stronger relationships.
In addition, you can take the effort to ask co-workers about their culture in a respectful way. Your interest may encourage them to be more open about sharing their unique experiences and viewpoints. Plus, it’s a great way to improve inclusiveness in a diverse environment.
Don’t ask about topics that are clearly too personal or sensitive. For example, don’t ask an individual with a learning disability if they’ve ever struggled to fit in at school. Sometimes, you might not realize you’ve stumbled upon an unpleasant topic until you’ve brought it up. But if you do end up in this situation, and your conversation partner shows signs of discomfort, simply apologize and move on to a different subject. Making mistakes is a natural part of learning about a culture.
Growing up, you probably had this golden rule hammered into your head: treat people the way you want to be treated. Unfortunately, that only works if the other party shares a lot of your characteristics. In a diverse team, it’s important to find out how your co-workers want to be treated, especially if they belong to a minority group.
For instance, some LGBT individuals prefer to be addressed with gender-neutral pronouns, like ‘they’ or ‘them’ rather than ‘he’ or ‘she’. In addition, those born outside of Canada often take on an anglicized name to make it easier for co-workers to address them. If you know someone goes by two names, ask them which one they prefer. You may have very different ideas on what would be considered comfortable or acceptable than your colleagues, so clear communication is key.
At the end of the day, keeping an open line of dialogue between you and your coworkers is a big part of an inclusive work environment. Simple acts like asking questions and sharing ideas can go a long way in making someone feel more comfortable, valued, and accepted.
At the outset, the answer to this question seems pretty simple. You know what your core skills and interests are. You probably have a sense of what you’d like to learn from a role, and what kind of work environment would be right for you. Furthermore, your education has given you an area of expertise. All of these factors should indicate your dream job instantly… right?
For most students, finding your career fit isn’t that easy. Not all areas of study lead directly to a specific career option, and you may graduate not knowing exactly where to go. While this uncertainty can be nerve-wracking, it will actually help you become a stronger professional. It will encourage you to explore your options and understand the incredible range of skills that you bring to the table, some of which you might not even know you have! Moreover, you’ll be able to explore a wider range of career options than you ever thought possible. In these ways, the uncertainty that every new graduate faces can actually help you find your ideal career fit.
For two Reynolds and Reynolds employees, this scenario is all too familiar. But instead of being discouraged, they viewed uncertainty as an opportunity to get to know themselves, explore all of their career options, and find an employer that helped match them to a role that could lead to a lifelong career.
Jessie has found her ideal career fit as a member of the Software Implementation team at Reynolds and Reynolds. As a Software Implementation Specialist, she travels all over Canada to car dealerships and trains their personnel how to use Reynolds’ software. She also provides virtual support after their initial training session to make sure that operations run smoothly.
Jessie is communicative, organized, detail-oriented, and loves to travel, all of which are skills that fit with her current role. Yet when she graduated in 2012 with a degree in Biochemistry, a career in Software Implementation wasn’t even on her radar.
When she was first considering her career options, Jessie faced some uncertainty. She knew she wanted to put her degree to good use but wasn’t sure that working by herself in a lab would be the right environment for her personality.
To find out what career would be the right fit for her skills, Jessie spoke with several career counsellors (a smart move for any new graduate). In doing so, Jessie realized her past jobs had all entailed training people and developing strong teams. This in-depth examination of her unique abilities got her on track to finding her career fit because it opened up a number of job options she hadn’t considered.
With this skill set in mind, Jessie applied to a Sales Support role at Reynolds. The recruiter at Reynolds helped Jessie explore her options and find jobs that could fit her skills. After an informal conversation, they figured out that Jessie’s personality was better suited to a role in Software Implementation.
“The Reynolds recruiting team was phenomenal in helping me find my career fit,” says Jessie.
“It really helps that the recruiters understand what each job entails and know which personalities excel in those roles.”
After some soul-searching and exploring different options, Jessie found her career fit and was on her way to professional success. Reynolds helps new employees develop their skills right away. New hires in Software Implementation are given an extensive manual outlining their positions. They also travel to Dayton, Ohio for training and feedback. Jessie and her peers also receive performance reviews to report on their progress and help them set professional goals.
The company culture at Reynolds also helped Jessie become comfortable in her new role. Reynolds sends company-wide and locations-specific communications to help ensure employees are on the same page. Plus, each Canadian office has a social committee that plans monthly bonding events to help strengthen the team. The open-plan office at Reynolds in Mississauga has helped Jessie get to know her co-workers, and she has benefited from her mentors who share insights from their experiences.
“I have met all but one of my teammates in 11 months of working at Reynolds but I could call any of them without qualm. That shows how well you can get to know people, even if they work in different locations.”
Today, Jessie is learning something new every day, which is helping her excel in her career. Working with different people across Canada and the United States has deepened her knowledge of what she does and has expanded her personal network. One day she hopes to take on a Manager role with Reynolds, and is excited to see what her future with the company holds.
Jessie is a great example of how uncertainty can turn into an opportunity to find your ideal career fit! Take a look at her 3 tips for new graduates considering a job with Reynolds.
Dean Hergenhein is also a Software Implementation Specialist. Although his educational background is completely different from Jessie’s, his skill sets also fit well with the role.
To deal with his own post-graduate uncertainty, Dean started a broad job search. He also identified the core abilities he could bring to a company: problem-solving skills, patience and understanding, and an outgoing personality.
When he found the Software Implementation Specialist role at Reynolds, he knew he’d found the place for him; the role combined skills he had gained through previous work experience, included travel, and incorporated his love of cars and the automotive industry.
In his job, Dean works closely with other employees and receives mentorship and support from them. These aspects of his job, as well as attending social events like dinners and Blue Jays games, helped him bond with his team.
“The support I receive at Reynolds and Reynolds is outstanding, and it makes you feel like a member of the family,” he says.
For Dean, every workday is different. Sometimes he travels to different locations, and other times he works from home. No matter what scenario he encounters, he uses his core skills to multitask and think on his feet.
Dean has also benefitted from the professional development opportunities Reynolds provides its employees. When he’s helping clients to set up their software, Dean works with the Distance Learning Centre department, whose team members team him new details about Reynolds’ software. Moreover, the company offers a number of certifications on the company’s software to help encourage employees to improve their skills.
“As you learn more areas of Reynolds’ software, you’re likely to be given more responsibilities and duties,” says Dean, “which in turn will help you understand more about your work and gain new skills.”
As part of his ongoing career development, Dean is now a mentor to new hires, teaching them to use the software in the same way his mentors helped him. Being a mentor has helped him expand his professional network and make new friends. This leadership experience has sparked his aspiration to attain a managerial role with Reynolds.
After some initial uncertainty, Dean found the potential for a lifelong career with a company that offers significant growth opportunities.
Reynolds and Reynolds develops its employees professionally and personally, as part of the company’s ongoing success. If you’re a new graduate struggling with your next steps, remember that uncertainty can lead to opportunity. Follow those opportunities to find a career that is the right fit and that you enjoy.