Career Changes

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zen
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Career Changes

Postby zen » Mon Apr 23, 2007 6:44 am

Along the lines of changing careers:

I'm currently employed as a web developer/designer (mainly front end stuff and a little metrics). I'm studying finance, and this current job is what pays the bills, and the company does tuition reimbursement.

Now - the problem is, being a student of Finance and doing web design don't necessarily translate into each other (aside from team building, business, communication, and leadership skills). I'm trying to jump-start into a finance career but have no idea where to start or how to tweak my resume to make it appealing for an entry-level finance position.

Understandably, an entry-level position may still be a year off (or less), but I'm trying to head in the right direction sooner, rather than later.

Of course, landing an entry level gig while finishing school would be even better!

Anyone have any thoughts/opinions/advice?

jhunsaker
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Plan to start your own business

Postby jhunsaker » Mon Apr 23, 2007 7:20 am

I'm a technologist with a business degree as well (and in Columbus). My advice is to keep the web gig going (gotta pay the bills...) but start a finance-related business on the side. Prepare taxes for fellow students. Manage investments for a few friends. Apprentice under a private tax accountant and get your CPA. Taxes in this country aren't getting simpler. And, you'll be hating life working tons of OT for the Big 4 firms. Plan your entrepreneurial future now.

Best of luck! The future is bright. (PS. Your blog is great. Can you leverage this into a side business/revenue source as well?)

Jeff...

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Dylan
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Postby Dylan » Mon Apr 23, 2007 8:42 am

Zen,

What kind of finance career are you looking for? Sales? Advice? Investing? Analysis? Writing?

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Postby Latro » Mon Apr 23, 2007 8:45 am

I've been out of college for about a year... I got a degree in Political Science and now work in IT development and consulting.

I managed to sell myself in my interview with a combination of showing a successful work history, interest and side hobbies in IT and technology, and the fact that the company I was interviewing with does mostly government work. I worked my way through college managed to be promoted a few times and showed that I can work hard.

I think you're in a great situation with your technology background and work experience for the finance industry. As the world continues to invest more in online development, understanding it and then finance behind it could make you a very valuable asset.

But like Jhunsaker is saying.. You have a lot of potential as an entrepreneur also.

zen
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Postby zen » Mon Apr 23, 2007 10:41 am

Jeff, thanks for the advice! I've considered apprenticing myself, but my 9-5 (well, 7-3) gig interferes with being able to truly dedicate myself to another profession on top of schooling and being with the wife - but I'm focusing on schooling to try and get me that greater edge to nudge into the finance market.

Dyan, I'm focusing on CPA/CFP - I've done sales in the past, I'm wary of giving stock advice, invest only what I'm willing to lose (...mostly) and do some analysis on my own. I'm more interested in being able to help people but like the idea of being a Financial Planner a bit more than just being an accountant - but I have a feeling I will end up doing accounting work at some point as I transition.

Latro, thanks for the good advice. I think I'm stressing a little too much over my current job and need to focus more on the skill sets I can further develop and pair up with finance in future jobs.

Ultimately, being my own boss is my goal (isn't it everyone's?) - I'm slowly working my way towards it, but I've gotten some recent "doom and gloom" readings from certain people I'm affiliated with that make me cautious in staying in this area for longer then I need to (I'd rather take a life boat than be left with a jacket). I'm attempting to be prepared should the boat sink sooner rather than later (preparedness makes us powerful, butter merely makes us fat).

Of course, I could totally be wrong... ;)

Thanks everyone!

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tinyhands
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Postby tinyhands » Mon Apr 23, 2007 2:05 pm

My own experience is similar to what you'd like to do. I worked in IT (systems/network administration) for 6 years before giving it up to go back to school for an MBA in finance. Coming out of school, recruiters and HR screeners all wanted to put me into another IT position, despite my protests. Even with a masters degree, it was very hard to break out of the box everyone wanted (still wants) to put me in.

I eventually found a good headhunter who found me a position as an accountant (audit/controls) in the IT department of a large multinational. I'm not really doing anything technology-related anymore (not hands-on, anyway), but my understanding of that world, its language and requirements, helped me land this position. Now that I have my foot in the door, I have the option to transfer into more "hardcore" finance positions or to downplay my older experience in IT on my resume in favor of the newer business skills to get past future HR screeners.

Although they're most often described as huge soul-sucking entities, my advice to you is not to discount the value of getting your foot in the door with a company large enough to give you both stability and the ability to (eventually) transfer into a more desirable position.

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Dylan
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Postby Dylan » Mon Apr 23, 2007 2:09 pm

Zen, I'm a CFP practitioner, and I don't sell anything, manage portfolios, or prepare taxes. We are a small but very happy group getting rich slowly along with the rest of the world. I think there is a lot of opportunity now for new planners with smaller, independent practices all over the country, especially when the owner is beginning to think about succession. You are welcome to PM me if you have specific career questions.


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