3 strategies to skyrocket your finance career transition

Disclaimer: This article is not another article about productivity and motivation. My goal is to share with you powerful tactics that my clients regularly apply which will make a difference during your job search. 

Finance is different. The competition is tough with 100 candidates on average for each job. This means you’ll spend between two months (at best) and one year looking for the right opportunity. Networking very actively for such a long period of time can be tiring and keeping your motivation intact is a real challenge.

Have someone hold you accountable.

Approximately 2% of the population can do the “right thing” at all times. They exercise, network, work on their career when they need to with infinite motivation. They never procrastinate, give up or feel discouraged. I’m not one of those and if you’re reading this article, you’re not either. And it’s fine. But it means you most likely need someone to hold you accountable and make sure you do the right thing. You need someone who’s going to kick your butt if you don’t do what needs to get done.

The best technique that I use with my clients is to insist that they send me an email every single day with the number of people that they contacted or networked with. This strategy will guarantee that they contact five people every single day because they don’t want to look bad. And if I don’t get my daily email from them I ask them what’s going on. That’s accountability.

It doesn’t matter if your accountability partner is a friend, your husband/wife/partner or a coach but that person needs to put you back on track if you start slacking off.

Use this strategy for one month and your network will start growing. Use it for one year and you’ll be in the top 1% of “networkers”.

Get some useful feedback

Paradoxically, networking can be a very lonely activity. You rarely speak to the same person, which means you’re not creating a solid enough connection to get some real feedback without asking for it. Sure, sometimes one guy from your school will tell you the conversation you had was awkward and suggest ways on how to improve but you can’t count on that.
You need to build a system to get feedback fast.
Several possibilities:

– Record yourself during phone calls and then listen to it

– Ask friends or a mentor to listen to recordings of you during informal interviews

– Hire a finance coach to do “mock informal interviews” using different scenarios

Work on the important things and then take a real break

One of my clients came to me saying, “I sent out 1500 resumes and only got two interviews”. I did not believe the guy at first but he sent me the Excel file where he tracked his applications and the number was real.
We had a chat for an hour where I demonstrated why his strategy was wrong. Of course he wouldn’t let go because after you’ve done something for 200 hours it’s hard to admit it was all for nothing.
Recruiting is not a numbers game. Sending resumes online is the equivalent of throwing your resume in the wind and waiting for interviews.
Sending resumes online is busy work, it feels safe and it feels good because you think you are progressing (even if you’re not). On the reverse side calling people from your network and doing informal interviews with new people is scary, it’s taxing and it makes you feel scared. But it’s how you grow. And it doesn’t take that much time.

After I teach these simple but effective tactics to my clients they find a job without sending more than 20 emails because they are getting warm introductions from their contacts. It’s hard work of course, but it works, it produces results…and it’s a lot faster.

And when you’re done with the hard work, go grab a cocktail and get some rest!

For more coaching help, check out impactful resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, killer networking techniques and cutting edge interview preparation sessions.

Nicolas Doumenc

Nicolas Doumenc

Nicolas Doumenc is the founder of 300 Finance Gurus and Associate Editor at Mergers&Inquisitions, reaching an audience of more than 300,000 readers every month.  

His work with 150+ Investment Banking and Corporate Finance professionals helped them land their dream job at Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Lazard, Google, Paypal and much more.