Interview: "Attitudes towards finance are changing." Samantha Hutcheson, Senior Marketing Consultant at Aegon

Do you think Financial Services, as an industry, is designed for digital in a risk-averse climate?

I think it’s a learning curve for everyone. Some Financial Service companies are further ahead than others, but I think we also need to look outwith FS to see how other industries are handling it and see how we can adapt around that too. It pays not to have tunnel vision especially when the changes are so rapid. We need to consider the threat to people’s finances with cybercrime but also how people are choosing to interact differently with their finances and how we can support that.

What experience or skills allow you to thrive in this competitive market?

I think it’s been a case of 50% professional skills and 50% personal skills. You can pick up skills in the role but you can’t change whether the hiring manager thinks you’ll gel well with the team or not. I’d say it’s my more transferrable skills that have been a benefit, things like stakeholder management, problem-solving and working well under pressure. From a personal point of view, I like to think I’m approachable and I’m honest about what my strengths and weaknesses are so that seems to help too.

Where do you go to learn? 

Most of it comes with time in the role. It’s sometimes months down the line that you look back and realise how much you’ve learned. Mentoring comes in both formal arrangements I’ve made with people across the business and also old managers I’ve kept in touch with on an ad-hoc basis. As for training, that’s normally more formal and done through the company, however, I have sought out extra seminars in Edinburgh where I’m based. And I just Google a lot, there always something out there.

What attracted you to Financial Services?

From a personal development point of view it’s a great time to be involved. There’s so much changing with digital developments across FS  and also attitudes towards finance and life savings changing in general. There's a lot to learn and a great chance to make significant changes.

When do you know it's time to take the next step in your career?

Work/ life balance will always be the most important thing to me. I’ve been known to stay in roles on a lower salary as the balance and the culture was great. However, when the people, the salary and the role are no longer fitting the bill it’s time to look for a change.

I normally look to move when I feel like I’m not being challenged or there’s not enough diversity in my role anymore. I feel like companies are making a positive move to incorporate flexible working, I think it’s just a commons sense approach, you get more out of people when there’s come and go.

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