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What to Ask Yourself Before Accepting a Job in Financial Modeling

You have made it through the job interview, maybe two of them, and have now been offered the job. You should just hurry and say yes, right? Well…not exactly. Be sure to ask yourself a few questions before you say yes to that financial modeling job offer.

Does this job lead me down the right path in my career? You want to make sure that a financial modeling job you have been offered is the job that is leading you in the direction for your career. Just because you get a job, it may not have the ability to lead you in the direction you plan to go. Ask how advancement happens with the company. Have others been promoted up from this job?

Do I really know what I will be doing all day? During the job interview, was the job’s day to day responsibilities explained in detail? Do you have a clear understanding of what the responsibilities of the financial modeling job entail? You want to know what you will be expected to do as well as any additional duties the job comes with before accepting the job.

Does the job provide all the compensation and benefits I need? Obviously, money isn’t everything. But, unfortunately, we need money to live. You need to make sure that the financial modeling job is one that is compensating you at a rate that will allow you to pay your bills and meet your needs. Additionally, if you require certain benefits, such as health insurance, you will want to make sure that you understand if they are available and what the cost to you will be.

Though there may be many other questions you want to ask yourself or SHOULD ask yourself, these may help you make some good decision with regards to a financial modeling job offer you may receive. Taking the time to think through the job and ask yourself some questions can be the difference between taking a job that isn’t the right fit for you and taking the right job.


4 Reasons You May Wish to Consider an Advanced Degree in Financial Modeling

As bachelor’s degree become more and more a common resume addition, advanced degrees, such as a master’s degree, becomes almost a requirement in financial modeling.  If you are planning to remain in your professional field and advance, it is imperative that you at least consider the pursuit of an advanced degree. Here are some of the advantages of enrolling in an advanced financial modeling degree program.

  • Opens up more employment opportunities – For some jobs, having at least a Master’s degree has replaced the once common requirement of a Bachelor’s degree.  In many cases, in order to be competitive, professionals need an advanced degree to separate themselves from other applicants and keep their skills updated.
  • Provides an edge for professional advancement – Even if you landed a financial modeling job with only a bachelor’s degree, you may find that having an advanced degree such as a Master’s degree is necessary in order to advance within your field. As companies continue to downsize and consider only the best of the best forked for that next professional advancement move.
  • Possibility for greater financial reward – An advanced degree in financial modeling can give a professional great financial reward due to the professional advancement opportunities and higher level employment opportunities an advanced degree affords.
  • Personal growth and a sense of accomplishment – One of the greatest benefits of pursuing an advanced degree is the sense of accomplishment you feel when you have completed a program as well as the personal growth that provides.  If you are considering an advanced degree, you will likely realize just what an accomplishment receiving your advanced degree can be.

Though pursuing an advanced degree in financial modeling takes a commitment, both personally and financially, it can be an important career move.  If you wish to invest in your long term career in financial modeling, it is important to consider whether the pursuit of an advanced degree it the right move for you.


Updating Your Skills in Today’s Financial Modeling Job Market

Today’s financial modeling job market can be difficult to navigate. Are there jobs? What skills does someone need? These are all questions many financial modeling job seekers ask themselves. Whether you are unemployed or currently working in another field and hoping to find a job in the financial modeling market, it is important to update your financial modeling skills in order to find your next financial modeling job.  Here are some ways for updating your skills in today’s financial modeling job market.

ATTEND A CONFERENCE – A good way to network and keep in the financial modeling loop is to attend a professional conference. Doing so can keep you up-to-date with what is happening in the industry and see what kinds of groups, classes, and latest skills are available to financial modeling professionals. If you are a member of a professional organization or unemployed, be sure to see if there are conference discounts available before you attend.

TAKE A CLASS – Another way to keep your skills updated in financial modeling is to take a class that is applicable to your field. Take the class in person so you can make the connections and network with your classmates and other professionals taking the class or other classes at your school.  If you are unemployed, be sure to check and see what type of training and classes are available to you through the unemployment office. Occasionally there are free community college courses as well as grants available to those that are unemployed.

GET A CERTIFICATION – Advancing your financial modeling skills with a professional certification can be a great way to update your skills. Many times you can network while working on your certification, both in class and virtually, as well as update your skills. Attaining a certification can show your commitment to financial modeling as a profession as well as keep your skill updated and ready for your next financial modeling job.

Updating your skills in today’s financial modeling job market is important to keep you competitive. Be sure to find ways to stay engaged in your profession even if you are unemployed. Keep your resume updated and remember that anything you do can help you network, stay engaged, and keep you competitive in today’s financial modeling job market.


5 Things Every Financial Modeling Professional Should Do To Start Each Day

Starting your day out right is important. If you get your day started out right, you have set yourself up for a more successful and productive day. In financial modeling, it is important to stay on track and accomplish your tasks each day. The best way to do this is to get your day started off on the right food. Here are five things that every financial modeling professional should do to start each day.

Organize Your Desk – One of the first things you need to do is organize your desk. Though you should always end your day by a quick organizational pass of your desk, you want to make sure you have your desk or workspace organized at the beginning of each day in order to get started on the right foot. Not having extraneous things in your way and being surrounded by disorganization and clutter can help you have a clear mind and be in a better place to effectively work.

Priority Scan Your Inbox – One of the biggest time wasters for every financial modeling professional is the email. So, in order to not get sucked into your email and lose track of time, be sure to simply scan you inbox for important emails, confirmations and information needed for meetings and appointments, and responses to emails you sent out the day before. Once you scan for anything important, close your email for now and wait until you have a scheduled time to look through the rest of your email.

Listen to Your Voicemail – You will want to start your day by checking your voicemail. You will want to make sure that there aren’t any changes in your daily schedule or any responses that you were waiting for. Make sure to note any calls you need to return and mark them in order of priority that way you will know which calls to return next when you have a spare minute.

Place Important Calls/Send Important Emails – The morning is a good time to place any important calls or send any important emails that are pertinent for your day. If there is anything that needs to be sent out before you start your day, anything that you promised to send out in the morning, or any reports that your boss is waiting on, this is the time to do these. This is not necessarily the time to place all calls and send all emails but be sure to send anything that has to do with the upcoming daily tasks and schedule as well as anything that is time sensitive.

Plan a Break – It may seem counter-intuitive but planning a break is important to your mental health as well as the productivity of your day. If you have no break to look forward to, you may not feel motivated enough to keep moving forward with your tasks. Be sure to plan your break and then work diligently and fully committed until the break so you can enjoy your break and not feel like you don’t deserve a moment to collect yourself, clear your mind, and/or take care of anything personal that needs to be attended to.

A successful financial modeling professional knows that there are specific things that need to be done each morning in order to start your day on the right foot. Getting started in an organized manner can help your day go more smoothly and keep you on target and productive. Getting into the habit of doing these things each day and as quickly and efficiently as possible can help you be more productive and successful in financial modeling.


Why It Is Important to be a Good Financial Modeling Mentor

You have likely heard about how important it is to have a mentor in financial modeling and/or BE a good financial modeling mentor. Whether your place of business has a formal mentor program or not, being a good financial modeling mentor can be an important move in your career.

Being a mentor does not mean that you have to enroll in a formal program or relationship with someone, it can be as casual and informal as you wish.  However, it is important to understand the types of mentoring relationships and what is expected.

The workplace mentor

If you are a workplace mentor, you are a mentor to another financial modeling professional in your workplace. This may mean that you establish a formal mentoring relationship with someone that has asked for your mentoring. They may wish to work with you to understand the financial modeling profession better and seek advice on his or her career from you. Your company may or may not have a formal program but you can establish a formal relationship with a colleague and help them navigate a career in financial modeling

You may also be providing informal financial modeling career advice to others in your workplace; this would be considered an informal mentoring relationship.  You may find that an informal mentoring relationship is a fun way to develop mentoring relationships in your workplace. Or you may simply, one day, realize you have entered into a mentoring relationships with a colleague over time and barely realized it. Either way, a workplace mentoring relationship can be advantageous to both the individual you are mentoring and you.

The networking mentor

Another type of mentoring relationship you may find yourself involved in is a networking mentoring relationship. In this case, you may not work with the individual seeking your advice and guidance but they are likely in your field and feel you are a good professional resource and seeks you out to establish a relationship with in order to further their career.  This can be good for both parties in that it provides a solid networking relationship as well as a mentoring relationship between two professionals. In some cases it may not even be a person in the financial modeling field, but the individual is simply looking for a general mentor to guide them in a professional manner. Whether they are in the field of financial modeling or not is irrelevant, you may find that this type of mentoring relationships is just as valuable as one that is in your profession.

Whether you are in a formal or informal mentor relationship in your workplace, you will likely find that you are helping a colleague understand the progression of a career in financial modeling, how the company hires and promotes, and what the company leadership looks for in those wishing to advance. If you are establishing a formal or informal mentoring relationship outside your workplace, you may be advising an individual on general resume/cover letter etiquette, interview preparation, and career progression. You may also be speaking with a fellow professional about their plans and helping them to pinpoint their professional goals to best understand how they should pursue their professional career track.  Either way, you are likely to benefit from any mentoring relationship you establish and find it both rewarding and interesting.  Therefore, even if you are not sought out as a mentor, it cannot hurt to seek out someone that you feel you can help and then provide them with some guidance to help them further their financial modeling career.


Top 10 Things NOT to Say in Your Next Financial Modeling Interview

Interviews can be a stressful time. If you are in the process of looking for your next financial modeling job, you may be preparing for that upcoming interview and wondering what you should and shouldn’t do.

Here are the top 10 things you might want to consider NOT saying during your next financial modeling interview:

10 – What a nice suit you are wearing? Don’t compliment the appearance of the interviewer. You will just appear to be a suck up and that really won’t help you at all.

9 – My biggest weakness is that I am an over-achiever. Though you may be asked about your weaknesses, don’t answer with this obviously schmoozing answer. The interviewer will know you are just trying to brown-nose.

8 – Sorry I was late. Just DON’T BE LATE. You need to punctual and show commitment not that you have poor time management and are unable to get to work on time.

7 – Do you mind if I take this call? It’s a job interview and it won’t last forever. You REALLY don’t need to be taking any calls during your interview. In fact, you really shouldn’t even have your phone out or available during the interview. TURN IT OFF and concentrate.

6 – My last boss was such a pain. Don’t complain about your last job, coworkers or boss. Even if it’s true, complaining about your last job or boss can make you sound like a complainer or someone that is not a team player.

5 – I sure am tired today having to get here so early. Don’t complain in your interview and saying you have to be up early can sound like you have trouble getting up and moving in the morning and that likely isn’t the person someone wants to hire.

4 – I just need a job. Even if you really do just “need a job” telling your interviewer this can sound way too desperate.

3 – I really don’t know. Don’t answer ANY question with “I don’t know.” This answer shows you are unprepared, unwilling to think about the question, or too concerned about something else to care about the interview.

2 – What are the perks and benefits at your company? Though it is nice to know, asking about these in the initial interview can make it seem like you only care about what YOU get not what the company does and what you can bring to the company.

And the #1 thing NOT to say in your next financial modeling job interview is….

1 – What does your company do again? This is obviously NOT a good thing to ask. You should have done your research and should definitely know what the company does that you are hoping will employ you.


What to Ask Yourself Before You Quit Your Financial Modeling Job

In today’s volatile market, it is important to keep some things in mind before you decide to quit your financial modeling job.  This is not to say that there are not reasons to quit your job.  There is a lot to say for being happy in the workplace and with what you do. However, if you find that you are feeling ready to move on to another job or venture, it is important to keep some things in mind before you quit. Making sure you do a few things before you quit can make the transition to another job or back into the workforce later a little smoother.

Benefits and the Budget – One of the most important things you will likely want to consider before quitting your financial modeling job is what you will be giving up. Can you live without the paycheck and the benefits? Maybe you are fine without the money but what about the benefits? Can you replace them? Can you and your family live without them? Maybe you can, just be sure to weigh these before making any final decisions.

Who Else Should You Talk To – It is important to remember that, sometimes, the decision to quit your job is not just yours. If you have a family or significant other, think about how your job change could affect your family, your family budget, or your future plans with a significant other. Make sure that you discuss your plans with your family before you quit your financial modeling job. They will want to feel a part of the decision and not left out and may be able to provide some pros or cons you had not considered that could be important in your final decision.

Why Are you Quitting? – Sometimes we feel we want to quit our job but do we really know why we want to quit? Is it because of personality conflicts, or that we don’t like what we do, or are we bored? Be sure to really understand your motivation and desire to quit your financial modeling job and then figure out if quitting is the best solution. Maybe you just need more of a challenge? Maybe you feel you are ready for a promotion? Just make sure you understand why you want to quit your job before you quit. You may find a change is all you are looking for.

Quitting your job can be scary or exciting, depending upon where you are in your career, just make sure you ask yourself some important question before you give that notice. Though it is not necessary that you have your next financial modeling job secured before you quit, it may be a good idea to try and do so. Keeping some of the above in mind before you turn in your resignation is the best way to make a smooth transition from your current job to your next.


The 5 Don’ts of Your Next Financial Modeling Interview

One of the most dreaded parts of getting a new job is the interview. Most financial modeling professionals, as well as just about anyone else, finds the interview process a little intimidating.  However, if you prepare yourself for your interview, you may find that you feel better about the process then if you go into it unprepared. Next time you have a job interview, be sure you are prepared for it and you remember these five things NOT to do.

  • Don’t Be Too Early – Yes, being prompt and timely is important. However, when you go to your next financial modeling interview, remember that being too early can also be a detriment.  Being 5-10 minutes early shows you are serious about the job and want to make sure you are on time and ready when the interviewer is ready for you. However, if you are more than 15 minutes early, you put undue pressure on the interviewer. This can be seen by the company as being too anxious. You may seem to the company that you are not respective of their time or expect them to drop everything and get you in early, even if that is not your intention. If you find yourself arriving TOO early, walk around the block or the building, visit the restroom, get a bottle of water and have a sip, or just find a place to relax and think about the interview that is NOT in the waiting room of the office at which you are interviewing.
  • Don’t Gripe About the Small Stuff- The beginning of the interview is typically a time when the interviewer will try to make you feel at ease and engage in some small talk.  Though you may see this as casual and not “job related,” don’t be taken by surprise. Everything you say, even during some ice-breaking conversation, is being judged and observed. So don’t grip about the small stuff. Though it may not be directly related to the job for which you are applying, this part of your personality will be judged.  If you had a hard time getting there, griping about traffic and long drives, and other people in your way, you could be seen as someone that complains about everything rather than just someone that had a bad day trying to get to a job interview. Be pleasant, positive, and relaxed and remember you are ALWAYS being graded on your interview.
  • Don’t Just Summarize Your Resume – You have provided your interviewer with your resume. They have likely read it. They do not need it summarized for them during the interview. Be sure to answer questions when asked but don’t just summarize if you are asked to “tell me about yourself” or “tell us why you are the best candidate for this job.”  These questions are common. Though you may wish to refer to your financial modeling experience that is on the resume, do not just read them your resume or summarize what is written. Pick a project or situation and elaborate on it. This will provide a better answer and give them something new to consider during the hiring process.
  • Don’t Click Your Pen (or Anything Else in Your Hand) – Keep your hands free and fidget-free.  Though it is perfectly acceptable to take notes, should the occasion arise, having a notepad on your lap and a pen in your hand is unnecessary. Typically there is likely not to be a lot of note taking that will take place in the beginning. Just have a pen and paper readily available in your bag or briefcase should the occasional arise to take some notes. Having a pen in your hand will only lend itself to the possibility of fidgeting with it, twirling it, biting on it, or clicking it. These are all distractions and will be noted by the interviewer.
  • Don’t Over (or Under) Dress – Be sure to know the companies dress code and dress similarly. If they say business casual, what does that mean for that company? If you haven’t been to the company before, try to visit and see what people wear. If that is impossible, then see if there are any pictures on their website. Otherwise, business casual may be more a coat and tie not a suit. If they do not mention a dress code, dress professionally, conservatively, and in pressed and clean attire. Do not think that casual means jeans and a t-shirt – EVER. Do your research and be professional, like the financial modeling professional you want to be.

The interview for a financial modeling job can be the most stressful part of the job search.  If you are nervous, prepare and keep these DON’T’s in mind and you may find that you will do better with your interview than you originally thought possible.  Following some of these suggestions could help you be on your way to your next (or first) financial modeling job.


Is a Certification What You Need to Further Your Financial Modeling Career?

There is no one that will say that today’s job market is not competitive. It can be a challenge to find a new job, any job at all, and this is true in every field, even financial modeling. Even if you have the skills, education and training to qualify for a job in the field of financial modeling, you may need to do something to make yourself stand out among the many applicants for open financial modeling positions.  One way many applicants stand out from other applicants is by obtaining a financial modeling certification.

A financial modeling certification is an excellent way for you to stand out from the sea of applicants that typically come in for open jobs in today’s market. Obtaining a certification shows a potential employer that you are up to date on your skills, committed to your field, and willing to go to the distance to distinguish yourself as a professional in the financial modeling field

Additionally, getting a specialized financial modeling certification enhances your resume and puts you ahead of the crowd when applying for a new job. You will find that obtaining a financial modeling certification will help you develop job skills and enhance your earning potential.

Though specific jobs could have a requirements for a certification, most do not and therefore having that additional training will help you get a second look during the application process.  Be sure to highlight that you are working on a certification program or have completed a certification program when applying for financial modeling jobs and discuss the reason for this pursuit during your job interview.

Attaining a financial modeling certification can be a great way to help you get the upper hand in the job search process.  If you are in the market to enter the financial modeling field or just get a new job within the field, you will find that obtaining a financial modeling certification can be an excellent way to help you land that next dream job.


Financial Modeling Can Be Stressful – How to Relax at Work

There are stressful times in every job and financial modeling is no different. With a continued pull for your time in every direction from meeting to networking, you may find that you feel stressed regularly to get everything done. Being a professional in the field of financial modeling, you will find that you need to push on, no matter how stressed you are feeling.

Though everyone experiences stress differently, finding some basic techniques to help you relax and de-stress is the best way to handle work stress.  Below are some common techniques that can be helpful to everyone to try and relax a little when feeling over-stressed at work.

  • Take Time to Work-Out – Exercise is the best stress reliever there is. You will likely find that if you exercise, no matter how much or little you exercise, getting just 15 minutes a day can make all the different in your health and energy level. The time can give you a chance to feel better and relieve work stress.  Consider using your lunch hour to workout or take the stairs at work when moving between floors. At the very least, spend time a few days a week getting outside and walking around the block or even the halls in your building in in-climate weather.
  • Take Time to Focus on your Breathing/Meditate – If you are feeling exceptionally stressed, take a time out, focus on your breathing, and clear your head. Let the things that are stressing you out stop running through your head. Find a place that is quiet or simply close your eyes at your desk for 5 minutes and breathe in and out slowly, thinking about your breathing, counting your breaths to keep your mind focused on your breathing and not what you are stressed about. Clearing your mind, just for a few minutes, can help you refocus on the situation at hand and help you relieve some of your stress level.
  • Take a Minute to Get Some Fresh Air – Fresh air can do wonders for your stress level, no matter what season it is.  If you find yourself feeling stressed, take a break and go outside and get some air. You will find that it can be rejuvenating and you may find that you are able to refocus much better. Even if you cannot exercise, just getting outside and breathing some fresh air can be fulfilling.

Financial modeling can be a stressful job at times. Taking the time to relax and refocus each day at work can be very helpful. Using one or some of these techniques can be very helpful in reducing your stress level, helping you stay focused and keep yourself productive in financial modeling.


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