How The CFA Helped Me Get My Dream Job

After finishing school, I ended up working in the back office of a big bank, with no clear idea of where I wanted to go or how I’d ever get there. I was working in the derivatives section on futures, stock options and otc trades learning a lot which was great. I was happy but I knew that it wasn’t exactly my dream job either. I wanted to work in a front office job, ideally as a trader or managing some type of portfolio. That in itself is somewhat specific. Over the years though, I found out that I didn’t just want any trading job. There were some jobs such as retail trading that I was hoping to skip in order to start trading derivatives in that same bank.

How Would I Get The Job?

Yes, I got to know quite a few people and I did a very good job  Unfortunately, that is not always enough and I wasn’t sure how I’d ever get that job. The problem wasn’t even getting the job but even getting an interview. As you know, it’s often about knowing the right people and in my case I did know a few key people. I did have another challenge though. I had been working in the back office and as good of a job as I was doing, proving that I was solid enough to work in the group wasn’t easy.

Passing The CFA

Over the time that I got experience in the back office, I was also able to do my 3 CFA exams and when I applied, adding those 3 letters to my resume ended up making a big difference. Why? First off, in almost any group, you will have a few who have passed the exam but also others who were unable to complete it. No matter what the reason, the fact that I had passed this exam that so many others had did and failed was proof enough that I deserved a shot. I know of a few others that had a similar background but didn’t get called for an interview. I would imagine that the CFA was a major factor.
In the end, I think that the CFA did not get my job. It did however get me an interview and an opportunity to prove myself which is exactly what I was hoping for. It would be hard for me to tell you how much I appreciate this every day while I head to work. Going to a job that I love, that stimulates me and that is well paid if a gift. I do think that I might have been able to land this job without passing the CFA exams but there is no doubt for me that it would have been a lot more unlikely.
So to me, it was a no-brainer and I’m grateful to have passed the exam. How about you? Do you think the CFA will help you land your dream job?


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