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How to impress as an Analyst

Your first job has been secured, you are now working in the financial industry and you are ready to start work. With renewed motivation after a gruelling application process, you are looking to impress as an analyst in your first role, whether this involves working in investment banking, asset management, private equity, hedge funds or any other kind of financial institution. What do these first few steps in a new job entail and how can you succeed from the very start in making a lasting impression?


First Impression

The first 10 seconds of meeting someone have been proven to have a fundamental impact on our lasting perception of them and vice-versa. Make sure that you are dressed smart, you are well-groomed, you display confident body language and smile for those first interactions. Handshakes should always be firm, as it conveys strength and assuredness in business culture. Eye contact is essential, speak up confidently and introduce yourself: "Hi, [Name], nice to meet you". Something as simple as a good first impression can go a long way in determining the direction of your future career.


The next step to succeed as an analyst is by meeting new co-workers and in expanding your network. The more people you meet at work, the greater and more well-rounded a picture you will build of your new workplace. If you succeed in building a vast and reliable network, you will find yourself surrounded with invaluable support and people willing to help you succeed. The best way to network is simply to introduce yourself in person or over an email and invite the person to a coffee catch-up (always offer to pay for the coffee as it is the least you can do if they are going out of their way to meet you). Here, you will be able to navigate from small-talk, a natural conversation starter for most people, to genuine questions about their work and experience within the workplace. Make sure you keep a list of contacts from your network stored on Outlook or in Excel.

Time Management

"You can’t manage time. You can’t find any additional hours. You don’t have any more time in a day, a week, a month, or a year than anyone else." Anthony Iannarino. This quote resonates very strongly with me, as often I wish there was more time in the day to spend after work in keeping fit, getting on with hobbies and making time for family and friends. The truth is, we all need to prioritise what is important to us and work around these priorities. Working in the financial industry, you are immediately somewhat prioritising your work - given the standard demanding hours and workload coupled with the significantly attractive salary (hence why it is referred to as compensation).

At work, you need to keep on track of all tasks assigned to you as well as the deadlines for these respective tasks. I use the 'To-Do' list function on Microsoft Outlook, categorising tasks in terms of urgency and whether it falls under urgent desk work, administrative tasks or long-term projects. An alternative is to build a task tracker in Microsoft Excel, with columns for tasks assigned, deadlines, priority, status updates and whoever allocated the task. You should be checking the priorities for your desk work on a daily basis with your line manager, I would advise to check-in with them every morning and tell them what your main tasks are for today and whether they have any further or more urgent tasks to be completed. The same goes for when leaving the office, always check with your manager(s) first to see whether anything urgent needs completing before calling it a day.