Whittier Trust pros share insights about why a career path in finance can be rewarding—and challenging
Pursuing a career as a finance professional, especially in investment wealth management, can be worthwhile and fulfilling. At Whittier Trust, advisors are the heartbeat of the company, making a career path in finance an opportunity to impact the lives of their clients in a positive way. What are the important skills to cultivate and the steps required for success in this field? Two of Whittier Trust’s client advisors weigh in with some things to consider.
For a finance professional, even in a high-tech world, human competency still matters.
Although technology has introduced new methods to manage finances, including online banking, web-based investing platforms and digital wallets, the expertise of a wealth advisor, accountant or financial analyst cannot be substituted by any application. That personal touch and tailored approach is evident at Whittier Trust, where the company maintains a low client to advisor ratio. “The personality traits and skills needed at Whittier include insight and analysis, problem solving, interpersonal skills, confidence, knowledge of digital tools, strategic and analytical skills, adaptability, honesty and strong values, strong leadership skills, industry-specific knowledge and more,” says Whittier Trust SVP and Senior Client Advisor Lauren M. Peterson. She adds that being adaptable and agile to accommodate clients’ varying needs is another lynchpin for success.
Finding the best careers in finance: a well-rounded skill set primes advisors up for success.
Cultivating that mix of hard and soft skills is one of the many keys to success for a financial professional. They must be able to evaluate the risks and opportunities of any financial decision and create a detailed plan to accomplish their goals. This includes staying current on industry and economic news, growing relationships with other professionals in the industry and knowing how to execute the agreed upon course of action.
Finally—and importantly—they must communicate effectively while considering emotional factors that could be in play for a client, Peterson notes. “This career path as a financial professional would not be good for someone who is not numbers savvy, disciplined, able to think strategically and lacks interpersonal skills,” she says.
A client-first approach makes a difference.
At Whittier Trust, no client request is too big or too small to garner attention from an advisor. “Whittier Trust encourages all employees to exhibit the entrepreneurial spirit that allows us to wear more than one hat within our role for serving clients,” explains Associate Client Advisor Thomas Porter. “That means finding innovative solutions for our clients while carefully considering all factors of a decision in a timely manner. It means being able to clearly communicate to clients or your colleagues, while also being an effective listener who can address and understand what is being communicated.”
The industry continues to grow, making a career path in finance a bright one.
Even in an uncertain economy, some industries are on the rise. According to predictions by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, opportunities in business and finance are expected to increase by 7% from 2021 to 2031, slightly surpassing the average anticipated growth rate for all occupations in the United States. Some of the best careers in finance made the U.S. News and World Report “100 Best Jobs” list in 2023. A financial manager, actuary, accountant and financial analyst all made the list.
It’s good news, both for the clients who rely on savvy finance professionals and for those strategic thinkers who would choose this career path. “Working in finance becomes rewarding when you realize the impact you can have on others,” Porter says. “Using my background, I can help others make otherwise difficult decisions about their lives to minimize stress allowing for more time doing the things they enjoy with the people they love.”