10 Career Goals In Finance And Why They Are Important

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 3 June 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Setting appropriate goals can help motivate you to grow your career. If you are a finance professional, you can achieve more success by developing career goals and planning milestones for growth. Learning about some goals finance professionals often develop can help you set your own goals and advance your finance career. In this article, we outline 10 examples of career goals in finance and discuss why it is important to set career goals.

What are career goals in finance?

Career goals in finance are targets that financial professionals set for their career growth. If you are a finance professional, setting career goals can help you achieve your objectives and increase your job satisfaction. You can divide your career goals into short- and long-term objectives. Short-term goals include those you aim to achieve in the near future. Long-term goals refer to those that require a significant amount of time and planning to accomplish, typically over several years.

Why is it important to set career goals?

Setting career goals is important because goals provide focus and encouragement to accomplish certain results. This allows you to focus your efforts on achieving these goals to help advance your career. Even a simple step like creating a resolution can help with motivation.

It is important that career goals are realistic. Although you can set high goals, try to ensure that your goals are realistically achievable. You can set specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-based (SMART) goals and create appropriate action plans for achieving your targets. Associating specific actions to each goal and including suitable activities make it easier to monitor your progress in achieving your targets.

Related: How To Get An Internship In Finance: A Complete Guide

10 examples of career goals in finance

Here are 10 examples of goals that you can set to advance your finance career:

1. Getting certified

You can obtain various certifications in finance to advance your career prospects. As the finance industry becomes increasingly competitive, consider supplementing a bachelor's degree with additional qualifications to increase your candidacy for available opportunities. You can select different finance certifications depending on your field of specialisation.

Obtaining certification typically requires considerable study and coursework before you are eligible to sit for an exam. Some of these courses have strict professional experience requirements. Certification in a certain field may allow you to qualify as a specialist, helping you to improve your career prospects.

2. Obtaining a master's degree to advance your education

If you already have a bachelor's degree, you can consider obtaining a master's degree to advance your education. Not only does it improve your career prospects, but a master's degree can also help you become an expert on a particular topic. For instance, if you wish to pursue a career in management accounting, you can obtain a master's degree focusing on management and process accounting.

A master's degree can also help you qualify for higher-paying jobs or promotions. Excellent time management skills may be helpful if you consider obtaining a master's degree while continuing to work. You can opt for evening sessions or an executive MBA since these classes are typically over weekends instead of during the week.

Related: Scope Of MBA In Finance (With Jobs And Salary Information)

3. Starting your own financial consulting firm

This represents a long-term career goal that is typically suitable for more experienced finance professionals looking for new, inspiring job opportunities. Starting a financial consulting firm requires you to apply for the relevant licences, register a business and look for suitable clients. You can also consider starting a financial consulting firm online since you can easily register your website and start offering your services to clients.

Starting your own finance company is ideal if you are looking for new professional challenges and a way to advance your career. This process is much simpler if you already have the required certifications and licences to provide financial or investment advice. You can either start a business alone, enter a partnership or establish a private company with a group of individuals.

4. Obtaining a promotion to a management position

Financial managers are typically in charge of the finance department of a company. Their job roles include working with analysts, verifying reports or overseeing the performance of financial audits. They usually have additional responsibilities in the workplace and often manage different client accounts. A financial manager typically has considerable experience in their field of expertise and requires certification in specific areas.

Employers often promote individuals who show that they can easily manage additional responsibilities and achieve their targets. If you exhibit leadership traits and qualities in the workplace, your superiors may recommend you for a promotion when a management position becomes available. Besides aiming to obtain a managerial promotion in your current workplace, you can also apply for a management position at other firms and consider switching if you receive a suitable offer.

Related: What Is The Role Of A Financial Manager? A Complete Guide

5. Increasing your income

When setting salary-related career goals, it is important to specify an amount or percentage. Earning more is a notable target, as it allows you to increase your standard of living and usually directly contributes to achieving personal growth targets, such as investing in stocks or buying a property. Besides regular salary increases, you can also increase your pay by obtaining a master's degree or another type of certification.

Finance professionals specialising in different fields are often in high demand. Your performance can also help advance your career and increase your salary in the form of performance bonuses. For instance, if you work as a financial manager and complete a project within the specified budget, you may qualify for a performance bonus.

6. Completing an internship

Internship positions are ideal for new graduates looking for full-time employment or experience in large companies. An internship with a large company is an excellent way to learn from more experienced professionals and understand the processes better. Internships offer invaluable career growth opportunities, and if you perform well, the company may offer you a full-time position.

Related: How To Get An Internship In Finance: A Complete Guide

7. Finding a mentor

Another common career goal is finding a mentor who can provide guidance regarding career aspirations. A mentor is typically someone who trains and guides you in the different steps necessary to progress in your career. If there is someone in the finance industry that inspires you, consider approaching them and asking their advice about your goals.

You can also find a mentor by talking to senior professionals or managers in your company. You might invite them to an event outside of work to build a personal rapport before asking them to be your mentor. You can explain why you are considering asking them for mentorship and the suitable qualities you think they possess.

8. Growing your team

If you are a finance manager in a company, another career goal that you can focus on is growing your team. This can provide you with additional responsibilities indicative of career growth and a strong potential for higher management positions. This is usually a prominent career goal, especially among managers who plan to progress to lead entire departments or companies.

To grow your team, it is important that each team member fulfils their responsibilities and delivers high-quality, consistent results. As your team takes on more duties, the budget may increase, allowing you to add more team members. This typically highlights your ability to manage a diverse group of people and indicates a strong potential for supervising entire departments, which can eventually lead to a leadership position.

9. Obtaining recognition

You can set a career goal involving obtaining recognition or winning a prestigious award in the finance industry. This can include awards within a company or by a regulatory body. Receiving awards and recognition for your efforts can be highly motivating and incredibly rewarding.

10. Finding a new job

Finding a new job that offers a higher salary is a common career aspiration. This is an important goal if you plan to move from one company to another, especially if you believe another organisation recognises your potential and offers more significant opportunities to advance your career. Switching to a new job, especially one that offers a higher salary and helps you increase your industry knowledge, is an excellent goal that can result in tangible personal and professional growth.

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