There’s a cliché that advises people to “Do what they love.” There are not many industries where this is more true than finance, where long hours, loads of responsibility and tough decisions tend to crack those who don’t truly love what they are doing.
Our founder and CEO Skiddy von Stade has spoken with a plethora of finance executives through his Open Door series, and one thing that consistently comes up during conversation: Passion for what you are doing. In fact, the latest interview, featuring Leon Cooperman, founder and CEO of Omega Advisors, included him explaining why he started his own investment advisory firm – hint: It wasn’t for the money.
“Passion isn’t about the industry you choose.”
“I didn’t go into this business to make a lot of money,” he explained. “I went into this business because I enjoy it.”
Passion doesn’t have to be industry-specific
This doesn’t have to mean that you need to love numbers and charts to succeed as a financial advisor. Amy Rees Anderson explained in a contribution to Forbes that passion isn’t about the industry you choose, but what you intend to do in it. For example, do you have a soft spot for leadership? Do you love to dole out responsibilities, organize schedules and make decisions? Take a look at what you love to do, and keep in mind that none of these things have to be industry specific.
In explaining the importance of passion, Anderson lists Warren Buffet, Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg as three people who have all espoused the importance finding something you’re passionate about as an ingredient for success.
“I think it’s important if you’re going to take on any big challenge, that you just love and really have faith in what you’re doing,” she quoted Zuckerberg as saying. “That I think is the most important advice I would say.”
Finance jobs are tough, you have to love them
Edith Hunt, chief diversity officer and former head of talent management at Goldman Sachs, also spoke about passion for what you do in her Open Door series interview.
“Understand what the job entails, find a job match that you’re going to enjoy, because any of these jobs – particularly those at Goldman Sachs or Wall Street – require a lot,” Hunt explained. “They’re demanding roles…So it better be something you like, because if you like it, you have a chance at being good at it.”
Hunt explained that she found her own success by identifying roles that she was passionate about, and using those opportunities to further her own career. Whether you love leadership, are prone to problem-solving or are eager to help people out, it is your passion that will help you move forward more than anything else. It is important in your career search, especially when looking for tough finance positions such as financial analyst or insurance jobs, to make sure the positions you’re applying to are something that you’ll really love.