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Tips for Getting the Right Work-Life Balance in Financial Modeling

Most people strive to find the right work-life balance in financial modeling. What does this mean? It means finding a way to excel at your job without neglecting your personal and family life.  Finding the right balance can be challenging. Here are some tips to help you achieve the balance you are looking for.

Disconnect.  Though it can be difficult, one of the best things you can do to achieve a good work-life balance is to disconnect when you are home. Unless you are needed to be on call 24/7, or for certain hours after your normal work hours, it is a good idea to unplug and disconnect from your work phone and email. Though it can be tempting to check your email or voicemails, it is disruptive to your personal and family life.

Plan. Don’t let your financial modeling requirements keep you from making plan. Plan to attend a party, movie, or intramural league and then feel good about it. Nobody is as indispensable as needing to say no to everything and commit every waking hour to work. Be sure to take time for yourself and not feel guilty about it. Being good in financial modeling means you need to be good at time management. Manage your work and personal time and you will be re-energize and rejuvenated to be the best in your financial modeling job.

Exercise. Another great way to ensure you are focused at work is to take some time to exercise. This is a great way to stay healthy and give you time to recharge. Committing to some personal work out time can make you feel better when you are at work and make you a better financial modeling professional. And don’t forget, exercise can keep you healthy which means you will miss less work and be more productive when you are there.

Establishing a good work-life balance can take a change in mindset and a commitment to your personal life. We all tend to feel more committed to our jobs at the expense of our personal and family life because, well, it’s what pays the bills. But having a good balance between work and your life can help you be better at both your job and your personal life.

Top 3 Mistakes You Can Make During Financial Modeling Salary Negotiations

You have interviewed and have been waiting patiently, well, as patiently as possible, to hear about whether you will be offered that coveted financial modeling job or not. When you finally get the call you will be offered a starting salary. This is the time to negotiate, not after you accept the job. Whether this is your first financial modeling job or you have been in the profession for many years, it is imperative to have an idea of what you plan to ask for and how you will negotiate before the call come.

Salary negotiation can be tricky in financial modeling. But be sure to avoid some of the fatal mistakes that many financial modeling professionals make that can lead to a possible retraction of the job.

#1 – Keep Emotions at Bay. Salary can be an emotional subject; however, it is imperative that you keep yourself unemotional from the subject. Simply state your salary desires and wait for a reply. Decide where you are negotiable or flexible before the call even comes. Do your research prior to the job offer and know what the going rate for your experience and/or education level is in financial modeling. Make reasonable requests and do not be nasty, unreasonable, or emotional during your conversation.

#2 – Do Not Exaggerate or Lie About Previous Jobs. It is very likely that your potential new job will check with your previous job so be sure to be honest. If you have varying income, be sure to explain this in detail. You do not want any confusion between what you are stating and what your potential new boss finds out from your previous job. Lying about previous salary can lead to your offer being retracted, which no one wants to be a part of, especially just from a misunderstanding.

#3 – Keep Personal Finances Out of It. Do not discuss your personal finances. Regardless of your financial situation, your financial modeling salary offer is based on the job, your education and experience, and the company, not your financial situation, life choices, and future financial goals. The salary offer you will be presented represents what the company feels you provide in value to them. Be sure to remember this when you make a counteroffer.

Salary negotiations is a stressful time for most financial modeling job applicants. Most people are uncomfortable with this phase of the job search process. However, if you do your research and go into the negotiations with a clear plan and removed from emotion, you will find it will go much smoother and likely work out the way you are hoping.

3 Reasons You Might Not Be Earning What You Think You Should in Financial Modeling

Though we all feel we might be worth a little more than we are getting paid, in financial modeling, there might be a good reason you are not getting paid what you should.  There are many reasons for this; however, with a little thought and personal examination, you might be able to figure out why you are not being paid the salary you think you deserve.  Here are 3 reasons you might not be getting the best salary you could be getting in financial modeling.

#1 – You Forgot to Negotiate

One of the biggest mistakes that financial modeling professionals make is that they do not negotiate their salaries properly when they are first hired. Nor do they go to their annual review with the right negotiation data to help them get a bigger raise. It’s much easier to ask for more money out of the box – that is, as soon as you are offered the job. Though it can be risky because you don’t know who else is being offered the job, it generally is the best time to ask for a little more money. Once you have accepted the job, it is a much more difficult task to ask for a higher salary. At least until your annual review comes around. You have to decide whether it’s more important to get A job or get MORE money then you will be ready to negotiate for a higher salary.

#2 – You Haven’t Updated Your Skills

It is important to understand what your skills are worth in today’s financial modeling job market. If you don’t know, you are coming at estimating your salary from the wrong perspective. You need to do some research and understand what the financial modeling job market is looking for in regards to skills. If you haven’t updated your skills in a long time you may find that you think you are worth more than you actually are. You may also find that one class or license could drastically increase your worth. Be sure to do you research and know what your field is looking for and then update your skills appropriately.

#3 – You Haven’t Taken On Enough Responsibilities

Many people tend to overestimate their own worth. You think that your work is enough. However, if you have not taken on additional responsibilities or increased your contributions to the company, you may find that you think you are worth more to the company that you are. In financial modeling, you must make sure that you are continuing to produce more and contribute more if you want to be considered for the bigger raises. Just doing your job and going with the status quo will not get you a big raise. You must prove that your work is more valuable to the company than when your original salary was set and then proceed with negotiating a high salary or a bigger raise. Taking on additional responsibilities and contributing more productively to the company is the best way for you to prove you are worth that bigger salary.

Though there are obviously many other reasons you haven’t gotten a raise or been offered what you think you deserve in financial modeling, these three reasons are a good place to start. Remember, once you identify the reasons, you may be able to do something about them to improve your odds of being able to ask for a bigger raise or a higher salary. Just be sure to do your research and be realistic in your expectations and you will soon find yourself getting the salary you think you should be getting in financial modeling.

Advantages of an Online Financial Modeling Degree Program

In today’s fast paced, competitive job market, you may find securing a financial modeling job difficult at best. Therefore, it is advantageous to pursue a degree if you want to be competitive among those vying for the same financial modeling jobs as you.

Though some will find they have the time to dedicate to a traditional, full-time financial modeling degree program, many find that they have financial and family obligations that make it impossible to attend school full-time in a traditional, daytime college atmosphere.  Therefore, online financial modeling programs continue to grow in popularity.

There are many advantages to an online financial modeling degree program that you may wish to consider when thinking about pursuing your financial modeling degree.  Here are some advantages to an online financial modeling degree program.

#1 – Flexibility – One of the biggest advantages of an online financial modeling degree program is the flexibility it offers. You can generally find a program that will work well around your work and family obligations. Online programs have requirements but they usually provide the flexibility for you to make your own schedule. Therefore, you can still work full-time and attend family functions while being able to complete your degree requirements.

#2 – Savings – Though online degree program does not mean “cheap,” students generally find that an online degree program is a little more flexible in their payment plans as well as in their cost. Since most programs are one class at a time, student find that their semester costs are lower and many online degree programs offer the same financial aid opportunities as traditional financial modeling schools to help you save even more.

#3 – Accelerated/Fast Paced – The faster paced, accelerated programs are very appealing to many students, especially those that are going back to school after being out of school for years and trying to balance a degree program with their family and work schedules.  Being able to take a class or two at a time, scheduling it around your schedule, and moving through the courses at a faster pace and subsequently graduating in a much shorter time span makes online financial modeling degree programs extremely appealing to most adult learners.

Online financial modeling programs are not for everyone. Some students find that the flexibility to make their own schedule is difficult. They do not feel they have the self-discipline to stay on schedule and complete the work as assigned when not given a particular in-class time to work and discuss. If you do not have the self-discipline to plan time to work, an online financial modeling degree program may not be for you. However, if you can handle making your own schedule and working through your assignments on your schedule to meet a deadline, you may find the online programs a great option for you to finally attain that coveted financial modeling degree.

What to Do With a Gap in Financial Modeling Employment

There comes a time in everyone’s career when you may find yourself with a gap in your financial modeling employment.  Though this is typically not a big deal to most people, having a gap on your resume when applying for your next job can be a big deal. Here are some things to consider should you find yourself without a financial modeling job to keep your resume ready for your job search.

Graduate School

When you find that you are out of work and haven’t had much success in securing your next job, you may find that graduate school is a good option (or, if you haven’t ever attained your Bachelor’s degree, now might be a good time). Graduate school typically will pay off in the end. If there are two qualified people being considered for the same job, the one with the advanced degree (or degree period) will likely get the offer. Why is that, you might ask yourself, when we all know that a degree does not equal experience? Well, because, if nothing else, it demonstrated self-discipline and commitment to the field, which many companies look highly upon. Additionally, you may find you can only go so far on the corporate ladder without that golden sealed piece of paper so a degree or advanced degree can be an investment in a successful future in financial modeling.

Become a Consultant

If you have been in the field of financial modeling for a while, you may find that down time is best spent keeping your knowledge and skills up-to-date by working as a financial modeling consultant. You can do this by working as an independent consultant for another firm or starting your own consulting firm. If you have the knowledge and experience you will find that someone, somewhere is looking for your advice. Defining yourself on your resume as self-employed as a financial modeling consultant is much better than a gap in time stamped “unemployed.”

Volunteer Work

Once you have attained that initial degree or advanced degree and still find that you are unemployed within the financial modeling field, you may find that volunteer work is a good way to gain some experience and keep those gaps off your resume. For instance, volunteering for a business association or a not-for-profit organization can be an excellent way to keep your skills sharp, gain experience, and fill that resume. You can get started on this right away, even while you are looking for your next financial modeling job. Don’t be afraid of volunteering, it shows commitment to the field of financial modeling as well as a desire to give back and keep yourself working and sharp instead of sitting around labeling yourself as “unemployed.”

If you find that you have some time between jobs, instead of letting your resume reflect a gap in employment, be sure to consider some options to keep your employment history intact, uninterrupted, and productive. Whether you choose to volunteer, take some classes, or become self-employed, you will find that your endeavors will be helpful when updating your resume before that next big financial modeling job interview.

Financial Modeling Teams – Why They are Effective in the Workplace

Teams are an important part of every profession, including financial modeling. When working as a financial modeling professional you may find that you need team players in order to achieve the greatest success with your projects and tasks.  Having a good team player attitude is the best way to achieve professional success within the financial modeling field.

The first step to understanding why teams are effective in the workplace is to understand the value of the team within the financial modeling field. Teamwork provides a valuable pool of experience and knowledge from which to pull when working on a particular task or project.  This can be seen in brainstorming sessions or on big projects when a new and fresh prospective is imperative.

A team environment can also be a great place to try out new ideas within your field.  Having a team to use as a sounding board can help you draw out the positive and tweak the parts that need work by pulling from the varied knowledge each team player brings to the table.  In financial modeling, utilizing a team can be a great way to find fresh and new ideas to help you succeed in financial modeling.

Choosing appropriate team members from your pool of available colleagues is an important task of a financial modeling professional. It is best to have a clear understanding of the goal of the team prior to choosing your team members to ensure you get the right mix of experience and knowledge on your team. Having a diverse group ensures that your team will provide a varied list of ideas and solutions.

Once you have your financial modeling team, it is best to remember to use your team to accomplish the goals you have set. Having a great team in place can be imperative to your success in the workplace. A successful financial modeling professional is efficient at using a good team to help with project development and task accomplishment.

Teams are imperative to the success of many financial modeling professionals. As a financial modeling professional, you will want to ensure that you form teams that will help you succeed as well as work for the betterment of your department and ultimately your company.

3 Problem Solving Skills Every Financial Modeling Professional Should Possess

Every financial modeling professional will need to have problem solving skills in order to effectively do their job. Good problems solving skills can be the difference between being successful and failing in your career.  In financial modeling, these skills can be vital to your success and climbing the professional ladder. Here are some problem solving skills every financial modeling professional should possess.

  1. Critical Thinking Skills – Critical thinking skills are the most important problem solving skills a financial modeling professional can possess. Critical thinking skills are those skills that allow financial modeling professionals to see the intricate details of a problem unemotionally and then turn the problem into an opportunity – an opportunity to improve, learn, or earn.
  2. People Skills – With no people skills, financial modeling professionals will not go far in problem solving or in their job overall for that matter.  In addition to simply understanding and relating to people, in order to be a good problem solver, financial modeling professionals must understand how to think with a team, not just make a one sided decision when solving problems. Understanding teamwork and utilizing the strengths of team members can help every financial modeling professional be an effective problem solver.
  3. Decisiveness – In order to efficiently solve problems, financial modeling professionals need to be decisive. Once you have analyzed the problem and contemplated prospective solutions, you must be able to select a solution and then implement it without being “flighty” or changing your mind.  You must be able to make a solution quickly and implement it quickly in order to keep additional problems from forming.

Developing and using these problem solving skills is critical to effective problem solving in financial modeling. If you have these problem solving skills, you are in good shape and simply need to remember to implement them when necessary. However, if you do not have any or all of these problem solving skills, you should work on developing them to ensure you can be the best at problem solving within your job.

Getting Your Financial Modeling Resume Noticed Online

Today’s job hunt looks very different than the job hunt of 10 years ago.  Today’s job seekers must be computer savvy as well as Internet knowledgeable.  Today’s job seekers much know how to get their Financial modeling resume noticed online as well as on the desk of the professional doing the hiring.  If you are looking for a new Financial modeling job, you will want to make certain that your resume is attractive in print as well as noticeable online.

Here are some tips to help you ensure that your resume gets noticed online, which is the best way to ensure you find your next Financial modeling job quickly.

Proofread – Whether you are posting your Financial modeling resume online or turning it in in person, proofreading is imperative. Correcting typographical errors as well as formatting errors can keep your resume looking professional. It is important to proofread for correct dates and accuracy as well.

Add Key Words – Key words are important in today’s job hunt. Since many organization, especially larger organizations, use computer programs to read the resumes that are received for each Financial modeling job posting, it important to understand how the software work and what they look for. Key words are very important in this process. Computer software is programmed with key words for the job posting it is scanning; therefore, it important that your resume contains these key words in order make it through this first step in the job application process.  The best way to determine possible key words to include in your resume is to scan the job description and notice repetitive words, make a list of these words, and then include them in your resume. This can significantly increase your chances of getting called for an interview.

Update Regularly –If you are posting your Financial modeling resume online, you need to keep updating it regularly.  This is a good way to show those that are looking at the online resume that you are committed to your job search and that you pay attention to details. As a Financial modeling professional, you can increase your chances of finding your next job by ensuring you have an accurate resume that you regularly update with new information. You do not want a possible job interview to be lost because your contact information is out of date or you forgot to update some important information about your education or experience.

Consider New Ways of Promoting your Resume – Today, there are many new ways for Financial modeling professionals to promote their resumes and network online.  Be open to utilizing these new technologically advanced ways of promoting yourself online.  Consider creating a blog to promote your resume or developing a Facebook or Twitter page to networking with other Financial modeling professionals online. Post your resume on various job boards and websites that pertain to Financial modeling and upload your resume to multiple job sites.  This is an excellent way to ensure your resume is seen by as many people as possible.

Doing just a few things to stay diligent with your job search can be the difference getting that next (or first) Financial modeling job or not.  Be technology savvy and educated and be sure to follow up on job applications whenever you can and as often as possible.

Feeling Overwhelmed? Tips for the Overworked Financial Modeling Professional

It’s easy to find yourself buried in paperwork and projects.  Many financial modeling professionals find that their staff is lighter and their work load heavier making it easy to fall behind and feel overwhelmed with their job.  If you are feeling stressed or overwhelmed at work, here are some ways to help yourself get ahead and feel less overwhelmed.

  • Prioritize your Workload – One of the best things you can do is prioritize your tasks and work. In financial modeling, you may find that you have work coming at you from every direction. Work the important projects and tasks first and use the time left to work on future deadlines. This can help every financial modeling professional stay on task and be more organized. Making sure you prioritize your work can really help you keep your stress level down and help you not feel so overwhelmed
  • Keep Distractions to a Minimum – One of the biggest time waster in the workplace is distractions. If you find that you are continually distracted, one of the best things you can do to be more productive in financial modeling is to reduce your distractions so you can be more productive throughout the day. A good way to reduce distractions is to spend some time first thing each morning de-cluttering your desk, prioritizing your day, and determining your daily schedule.  Once you have this clear, you can get started with your day. Scheduling specific times to check email, take care of personal business, and take short breaks can make you more productive when you are working. If you are continually interrupted by others, have open and closed door times. Don’t have a door? You can always use a sign that states you are in a concentrated work time and ask those that stop by your desk to come back at a specific time.
  • Adjust your Hours – Sometimes, all you need to catch up on your workload and take away the stress of having too much on your plate is to adjust your hours and put in a few extra hours. Working late a few days or coming in a little early can give you some concentrated time to work on your backlog. Busy financial modeling professionals will have a backlog of work from time-to-time. Adding a few hours to your week can help take your daily pressure off and help you get caught up on your work in no time.

Though there are many ways to help you feel less overwhelmed in financial modeling, these tips can help you get any work backlog caught up and take the pressure off that comes with having too much work on your plate. Being overwhelmed can be stressful and therefore make you even more unproductive. Getting a handle on your workload can help every financial modeling professional be less stressed in the workplace and therefore more productive overall.

3 Common Mistakes Young Financial Modeling Professionals Make

You have graduated from college and are ready for that first financial modeling job.  You want to succeed and be competitive with your colleagues. But many of your colleagues have more education and experience than you do. How do you ensure you don’t let this intimidate you to the demise of your financial modeling career?  Here are some common mistakes young financial modeling professionals make that you should work hard to avoid.

Speak Up – Many young professionals find themselves afraid to speak up.  Whether it’s because they are afraid they will be fired or aren’t sure how to voice their opinion or ask for what they want or need, both can be detrimental to financial modeling professionals if they don’t learn to overcome the fear.  Know your worth and don’t be afraid to speak up; this will earn you respect in your field and help you move ahead in your financial modeling career.

Dress Professionally – Young financial modeling professionals can fall into the trap of not knowing the difference between dressing professionally and dressing casually for their age.  Dressing inappropriately, and not professionally, can lead to young professionals not to be taken seriously. Consider what you are wearing, look around the office and see what successful professionals are wearing, and then dress for the job you want, not the one you have.

Be On Time – You aren’t in college anymore. Your boss is not your professor and he is paying you to work the hours you were hired to work.  Too many young financial modeling professionals do not take their arrival time seriously and will find that continued tardiness can affect their professional reputation and make them appear to be a slacker.  Make sure you are on time and ready for work to keep your professional reputation a positive one.

If you are new to the financial modeling profession, you will want to take these tips seriously and consider your professional reputation and what you are saying about yourself with your timeliness, wardrobe, and self-reliance.  Keeping it professional and remembering these key factors can help your financial modeling career be a successful one.

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