How to Successfully Pursue a New Career Path in Finance and Law

Everyone has something that inspires them. If you feel a calling to help others and your skills include working with numbers or hard facts, consider going into the finance or legal field. While you may assume the only job opportunities in these fields are stuffy, traditional, or emotion-free, the truth is that there are career paths that let you improve people’s lives or make the world a better place.

Career Opportunities in Finance

Money is something that’s close to people’s hearts, whether they’re worried about their own finances or they want to start a business that has a good chance of succeeding. As businessman Dave Ramsey said, “I believe that through knowledge and discipline, financial peace is possible for all of us.” Here are three career paths in finance to consider.

Commercial real estate agent: With a finance background and sales skills, a career in commercial real estate can combine your interests with your goal of improving people’s lives. You’ll work with clients to find the perfect space for their budding or evolving business. Job duties include analyzing business plans, assessing the client’s current financial status, estimating the value of property, and advising clients about the best financial choices to make.

Financial analyst for nonprofits: As a financial analyst for nonprofits, you can use your skills to work with organizations that improve the world, like charities, hospitals and museums. You’ll make investments decisions, manage portfolios, monitor endowments and come up with new revenue streams. You’ll also suggest different ways for the nonprofit to grow.

Financial planning consultant: As one of the best jobs available right now, and in a field that will only continue to grow, financial advisors can work with either individuals or businesses. For the individual who is trying to manage their finances in a way that eliminates their stress and provides the opportunity to live life the way they want, there’s nothing as helpful as having a professional on your side. Or, you can opt to work with business owners to help them decide how to use their assets and what types of business insurance they should have.

Being able to work with numbers and having a strong financial background puts you in a great position to work with all types of organizations and companies. Practically every business has a finance department or a need for financial experts. If you’re passionate about a specific brand or cause, look into their open roles.

Career Opportunities in Law

There are a number of career paths that are personally rewarding and positively impactful on others if you want to work in law:

Arbitration or mediation: One of the best options if you want to help others is to work in arbitration or mediation. Your job will include making negotiations and resolving conflicts between parties that are having a dispute. Charles Dickens said, “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another,” and you can make another person’s life easier by acting as a middleman and keeping them out of court. 

Executive director for a nonprofit: Nonprofits often need people who have legal knowledge. There are a lot of legal issues to understand and abide by for nonprofits, like laws that impact nonprofit status, plus tax exemptions and rules about employment and labor.

Legislative analyst: Becoming a legislative analyst is an excellent option for a person with a deep interest in public policy. You can use your legal education to work as an analyst for an organization you’re passionate about, whether that has to do with eco-consciousness, immigration, women’s rights, etc. You’ll analyze and monitor new policies on the local, state, and federal levels.

Another option for legal professionals is to go back to school for the training required to become a therapist. Even if you’ve been a lawyer for years, you can always stretch further and show yourself that there aren’t any limits to what you can achieve. Many of the skills you need to be a therapist are learned in law school, like listening closely to clients and being analytical. Also, there’s a niche for therapists who work specifically with attorneys, and you’ll be in the perfect position to offer other lawyers guidance and understanding.

Consider a Career in Teaching

Few career choices are as influential on others as teaching. Finance or law experts may opt to teach if they want to use their background to inspire others to get into the industry. The more enthusiastic you are about finance or law, the more you’ll be able to reach students who are planning for their futures. If you want to get involved in education but you don’t want to actually be in the classroom, you can also work as a curriculum specialist – schools as well as nonprofits have a need for curriculum specialists in a number of niches, like civil rights and civic engagement. 

Include Hard and Soft Skills on Your Resume

Once you’ve chosen a profession to go after, it’s time to get your resume in order. Your resume should include a balance of hard and soft skills. Hard skills are the ones that relate to the duties you’ll perform on a regular basis. Degrees and certifications, knowledge of software you’ll be using, and speaking a second language are examples of some hard skills you may need for a career in finance or law.

Soft skills have more to do with your personality than your training. Soft skills are more difficult to learn than hard skills, so it’s important to shine a light on the soft skills you already possess instead of the ones that aren’t your strong suits. Soft skills include working well under pressure and being able to manage your time.

Final Thoughts

Some people may get into finance or law in order to earn a lot of money (many jobs in these industries pay well), but others have a different type of motivation: to help others. While you may have to think outside the box to find the right career path for you, it is possible to use your education and interests to make a difference. That may mean working for nonprofits, working with individuals one-on-one or advising business owners about how to make their goals come to fruition. 

Indiana Lee

Indiana Lee lives in the Northwest and has a passion for the environment and wellness. She draws her inspiration from nature and makes sure to explore the outdoors on a regular basis. Indiana loves experiencing new things and sharing with others what she learns through her writing. You can chat with Indiana on twitter @IndianaLee3