What do you need to know for a fintech career?
Those with specialist knowledge in Fintech marketing thinking that starting work at a recently incorporated or even heavily established fintech is as easy as ‘one, two, three’ do, in all likelihood, have another thing coming.
Having said that, working for one of these companies certainly has its advantages.
Not that you must be one of those persons who, at secondary school, did A-Level maths and AD maths with a 90% pass average, followed by a 1st in your undergrad degree and postgraduate degrees, but there is a near essential need to have at least a decent grasp of marketing strategies that currently drive many of the latest company acquisitions, as well as an understanding of the metrics and numbers behind these manoeuvres.
This is especially true when talking to CEOs and senior managers at Fintechs, many of whom tend to be very number driven ex-bankers. Marketing jargon can be lost on many of these top CEOs and managers because they are dealing with such large sums of financial capital, investments, as well as having to please the usual short-term profit-seeking shareholders. This means that they care little for the niceties of things like brand awareness or front end programming or design. ROI and LTV are everything to these guys.
However, those with a decent understanding of how the creative side of marketing affects the numbers will always have a more thorough grasp of the entire business cycle of a Fintech.
With the need to be proactive in learning whilst working at a Fintech at any stage of its cycle, expect that, as well as doing rather long hours where you will be expected to handle multiple aspects of the work, you will be spending a few hours after your weekly shifts or on the weekend making sure your knowledge and skill set are up to date.
Although this may seem a long and overly arduous process, it is one whereby you will learn an awful lot, and by the time you’ve spent a few solid years working at a Fintech, you will suddenly find that you not only have the skills to pay the bills, but also that your level of understanding and knowhow may be good enough for you to try and branch out by yourself and start your own business.
Well, that should be ‘The Dream’, right..?
The Nature of Fintechs
Since their disruptive entry into the world of finance, Fintechs have been a favourite of investors or shareholders looking to quickly expand their capital investment or those with vested interests in disrupting the world of traditional finance. Compared to traditional finance and banking, fintechs offer infamously fast company growth and lightspeed sales, all of which are generally a result of the unique nature of Fintechs and their product(s).
Consequently, those working at startups and even those at more established Fintechs still really have to be proactive in their learning. Knowing a Fintech’s USPs absolutely inside out and staying on the ball in terms of what is new in marketing is also becoming less of a creative exercise and one driven solely by numbers, metrics, and bottom-line profit, especially so at more established Fintechs.
Fintechs are often small to medium size companies, where your own output, along with your co-worker’s output, very visibly add to the company’s growth. Small to medium also means opportunity at establishing great relationships right across the workplace, from the boss all the way down to the evening cleaner. Developers, analysts of many kinds, as well as risk managers and cybersecurity specialists, will all be part of the team at some point. Meeting assorted contractors will probably increase your job satisfaction, definitely your understanding of different roles, and possibly help with future work opportunities.
And, most satisfyingly, small to medium often offers the chance of seeing the results of your labour in action from end-to-end and be fully credited for it, whereas at many larger, multinational companies, senior employees, or even the company itself, can easily take all the glory and kudos.
A further positive of working for a Fintech is that their customers can manage financial services in a through-and-through transparent way with regards to the pricing of the product or service, with Fintechs often offering pricing plans and services such as P2P lending and crowdfunding schemes that traditional financial institutions often fail to provide, also excluding many of the hidden charges or fees that come with using traditional financial services.
There are so many positives when starting a career in Fintech that for me, it most definitely outweighed the hours and effort required.
Whether it was from home or in a socially distanced office, working for a startup with its 12hr days, coupled with all the extra learning required during my free time, meant that I did not spend as much time with my wife and children as I should have.
It did, however, in the long run, offer me all the personal development necessary, along with the opportunities, to work for more established Fintechs where I could be paid well and have far more flexible hours or, branch out on my own and start my own business. I chose the latter.
Well… Running your own show is ‘The Dream’… Right?