Skillset is not the only thing companies are hiring for now. Many employers, like those in the financing and leasing industry, are looking for a cultural fit above all else. While many industries require experience before you can get a foot in the door, the Canadian financing and leasing industry does not operate like that. Employers in the sector believe that the right talent can be trained on the job, if they’re team players and are eager to learn. Read on to learn how you can hatch a successful career in the financing and leasing industry.
Angela Armstrong is a perfect example! Angela has risen to the rank of President of Prime Capital Group, an equipment financing company in Alberta. But at first glance, her educational background would not have seemed like a natural fit for the industry. Nothing could be further from the truth. With a degree in Criminology and Psychology from the University of Manitoba, Angela has found great success in the industry, because she came to it equipped with the personal attributes and leadership skills that allowed her to learn on the job — eventually achieving the top job at Prime Capital Group. Her career journey started thorough a personal connection she made while volunteering with Junior Achievement. Despite having a degree unrelated to the industry, her connection saw the potential success she could have in the industry and offered her a position. Starting in a company with 8 people, Angela is now a leading professional in the industry. TalentEgg asked her to share some industry secrets to help students and recent graduates hatch their careers in the financing and leasing industry.
Why Work In The Financing And Leasing Industry?
The Canadian financing and leasing industry celebrates an important milestone this year — the 40th anniversary of the Canadian Finance and Leasing Association, or the CFLA. The industry has grown and evolved over 40 years and as a result is now a very sophisticated market. The focus has shifted from “client education first” to “helping the client first”. With educated buyers, and a complex industry there are many growth opportunities depending on your interest and skill set.
The shift from education to helping educated buyers has a huge impact. With a more sophisticated industry one can deal with more complex issues. Making it “[an] industry to build your career on”, Angela explains. The industry is sophisticated and complex, which results in high retention and success rates.
Skills To Succeed
Everyone has the potential to succeed in the leasing and financing industry. “… if we hire great people, we can train them to understand our market, and as their careers proceed we can find the best place for them in the industry”, Angela explains. Although there are no mandatory technical skills required, there are some personal skills that lead to career success in the financing and leasing industry.
2. Ability to see the big picture but also be detail oriented. When solving a client’s needs, you will often need to switch focus from the large picture to the minor details to better assist them.
3. Problem solving mindset. The industry involves helping clients overcome hurdles by helping them solve their problems and issues.
4. Tenacity and resiliency. With large changes in the marketplace and the industry the most successful people have had a high level of tenacity and resiliency to this change. Viewing the changes as a positive rather than a negative is key.
A Job Available For All Skillsets
With so many possibilities for different roles, you can find opportunities that suit your personality and interests. Angela is a great example that you don’t need to be a finance major to find success in the financing and leasing industry. There is a fit for every skillset. If you enjoy problem solving and client interactions, you may find success in a customer service or collections role. If you are a bit more analytical, you may find success in a credit analyst or business development role. The biggest benefit to working in the financing and leasing industry is that you can learn the technical skills while on the job which are necessary to succeed or find new areas to chart the course of your career. If you discover that you have an interest and passion for one area of the business, you can train yourself in the necessary skills to make the shift and succeed in the new area. You are the master of your career journey in the finance and leasing industry.
No Experience, No Problem
Angela shares that the biggest kept secret is that “you can come in and chart your path if you bring the desire and the hard work.” The financing and leasing industry is built on the idea that a cultural fit is more important than technical skills. The industry is open to the reality that if you get the right people you can teach them the unique details of the job. As a result, companies are looking less for skillset and more for character, leadership and drive. “[The financing and leasing industry is an] industry to build your career on” Angela reveals.
The leasing and finance industry is “complex enough to continually challenge the people who stay in it” Angela explains. The industry offers a wide variety of opportunities to those students and grads who enjoy continuous learning, embrace challenge and seek excellence in their careers.