Staying ahead of the curve: 7 strategies for Compliance and FinCrime experts to accelerate their career

5 Minutes

If you’re a professional in the Compliance or Financial Crime (FinCrime) field, it...

If you’re a professional in the Compliance or Financial Crime (FinCrime) field, it’s crucial to continuously adapt to stay ahead of the curve. Compliance and FinCrime are specialist and ever-changing areas of expertise, so it’s important to think about a long-term strategy for future-proofing your career.

Here, we’ll discuss tactics for improving your knowledge, skills, and marketability. From proactively learning new regulations to building relationships and your (online) presence as an SME, we’ll uncover the essential steps for helping you excel in your Compliance or FinCrime career.

(1) Embrace continuous learning

A commitment to continuous development is important in any role, but especially if you work in Compliance and FinCrime. To truly stay ahead of the curve, don't limit yourself to doing only what's expected of you. By this we mean embrace discomfort and be open to learning new regulations and industry developments.

Instead of simply relying on your employers to provide training, it’s best to adopt a proactive approach to learning. Actively seek out opportunities to expand your knowledge and skill set beyond your current responsibilities. Take charge of your professional development by ensuring you're constantly updated on the latest regulations (think Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter-Terrorist Financing (CTF) frameworks, for example).

Attend seminars, conferences, and networking events, and consider earning relevant credentials (i.e., ICA, CISI, ICMA, CAMS, CRCM) to demonstrate your expertise to current and future employers. Exhibiting a proactive attitude towards personal and professional growth will set you apart from your peers.

(2) Create, review, and improve frameworks

As a Compliance or FinCrime professional, you play a crucial role in ensuring adherence to Compliance and Financial Crime procedures. Take the initiative to create, review, and improve frameworks that guide these processes within your organisation. By taking responsibility for enhancing these frameworks (or simply suggesting improvements if it’s not within the capacity of your role to actually make the changes), you’ll showcase your commitment to maintaining high standards and mitigating risks. It’s great for the business you’re working for, but even better for your career.

(3) Develop industry-specific expertise

Are you a generalist or a specialist? Both can be of value, but be aware of matching your profile and experience with your career aspirations. Being a generalist can be valuable in smaller companies, but many larger organisations will be on the lookout for area specialists. Employers also often value candidates who can demonstrate industry and/or sector-specific expertise, as it allows them to effectively address unique Compliance and FinCrime challenges and better understand any intricacies.

(4) Learn an additional European language

How are your language skills? One in three employers report a language skills gap, and 56% report their demand for bi-multilingual speakers will increase in the next five years.

It’s no surprise then, that in an increasingly globalised world, multilingual skills can give people in any career a competitive edge – but as a Compliance or FinCrime candidate speaking a second language can really make you stand out. It’s especially valuable if you work for a global firm, or if you have operations or clients across Europe or further afield. But even if you don’t, being able to state you have an additional language on your CV showcases your commitment to learning, as well as communication and collaboration.

(5) Cultivate internal relationships

Building strong relationships within your company is vital for success in your Compliance or FinCrime role. According to an article by online learning resource Mind Tool, working relationships are important for numerous reasons. Not only will they make your job more enjoyable, but you’ll be more productive, increasingly innovative, and importantly, professional connections will help you to further your career.  

With hybrid working models becoming more prevalent, establishing connections and effective communication within remote and in-person teams can be challenging. And let’s face it, in a compliance role, it can be challenging to get colleagues onboard and adhering to your policies and requests. But if you can actively engage with colleagues, managers, and stakeholders to foster collaboration, gain support, and enhance your network within the organisation, it could make your life much easier, as well as skyrocket your career!

(6) Avoid job hopping

Employers value candidates who demonstrate loyalty and commitment. While it's natural to seek new opportunities and professional growth, overly excessive job hopping can raise concerns about stability and longevity - and even your capability.

Indeed suggests “There is no definitive answer to how long you should stay at a job, but the duration must follow your own career goals and how you feel about your current workplace.” We couldn’t agree more.

Our advice? Providing you’re happy there, aim to spend at least two to three years in a role or organisation before reviewing your options. This will show you’re dedicated to progressing and willing to invest in long-term relationships and career development.

And, as an additional note, if you’re a contractor/freelancer, consider the implications of frequent temporary moves should you wish to apply for permanent roles in the future. On the one hand, multiple contract/freelance roles may provide a range of experiences that look great on your CV, but a series of short(er)-term contracts may also cause employers to question your capability. There’s no right and wrong here – just something to ponder in line with your long-term career aspirations.

(7) Build an (online) presence as an SME

LinkedIn has become a crucial platform for professionals wanting to further their careers, showcase expertise, and establish an online presence as a subject-matter-expert. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! Your career will thank you for it.

Create a compelling profile that highlights your experience, skills, and achievements. Share relevant insights, articles, and industry updates to position yourself as a thought leader in Compliance and FinCrime. Engage with others in your field, join relevant groups, and actively participate in conversations to expand your network and visibility.

Remember, staying ahead of the curve in such a fast-moving world as Compliance and FinCrime isn’t a one-time effort. Instead, it’s a continuous journey of growth and development. And we can help you along the way. 

Apollo Solutions is experienced in working with Compliance and FinCrime specialists like you. We have connections with some of the top organisations looking to employ stand-out compliance and FinCrime professionals. Get in touch to learn more about how we can help you find your next role. You can also browse our latest jobs, or upload your CV.

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