Financial Services jobs becoming rarer – so how can you secure a good one?
For the first time since the financial crisis ten years ago, employment in the UK’s financial services is predicted to drop. When the credit crunch reared its head in 2008, […]
For the first time since the financial crisis ten years ago, employment in the UK’s financial services is predicted to drop.
When the credit crunch reared its head in 2008, job losses were expected to be staggering. At the time, it was reported that the majority of these losses were likely to be from both financial and business services. This unfortunately became a reality, significantly reducing job security in each of these sectors.
And while there has been significant improvement in the last five years, today, the positions of those working in financial services in the UK are once again precarious. As a result, many who work in the sector fear for their job security. The outlook is seemingly bleak, as a number of organisations prepare to reduce the size of their workforce rather than take on more employees.
The Brexit Factor?
The UK represents the core of the world’s financial services. This explains why jobs in the sector taking such a hit potentially spells disaster for the country’s economy on the whole. Financial services may only account for a comparatively small portion of jobs in the UK. However, statistics relating to the government’s income tax receipts demonstrate that the sector constitutes over 10% of the income tax collected by the government annually.
While concerning, the forecast has not come as a complete surprise. Industry experts generally agree that a number of circumstances – including the ambiguity resulting from continuing Brexit negotiations, poor economic growth, and reductions in consumer confidence, amongst others – have signalled for some time now that faith in financial services employment has been dwindling.
Securing your FS role
It used to be the case that having a master’s degree in finance was synonymous with job security. But in such a tough climate, young accountants can no longer coast by on the knowledge and skills acquired during such a degree. So, given the contemporary outlook, what can young accountants do to secure their next role in financial services? Armed with formal qualifications that are no longer capable of guaranteeing ongoing employment in the sector, it is more vital than ever before for young accountants to stand out from their competitors.
In order to increase their employability and appeal to those financial services employers who are looking to hire, individuals will have no choice but to accumulate as much work experience as possible. Further, they can exhibit a willingness to put in more hours than their peers, meaning that they would definitely benefit from learning how to cope with the stress of an increased workload more effectively. Though we would urge you to consider your wellbeing and work-life balance so as not to overdo it.
Success in the sector is also most likely to come to the more ambitious professionals, and those who display something out of the ordinary, such as leadership or project management traits. Attention to detail and following procedure by the book is also essential for all FS employees, given the seemingly constant changes in regulations. So, if your options to get noticed in your current role are limiting, make sure you’re doing your reading at home or on your commute to stay up to speed with what’s going on, and be able to sound knowledgeable in interviews. An intelligent conversation with the right people can go a long way to showing your worth.
Alternatively, other sectors will always be in need of those with financial qualifications, so a slowdown in the financial services sector does not necessarily mean unemployment, you may just have to think a little broader.