As you teach your child about money, the odds are good that you’ll talk about specific financial tasks that a professional can help with. These are excellent opportunities to introduce your child to finance-related jobs.
Bank tellers help people complete transactions such as deposits, withdrawals and money transfers. Some jobs in this area are being lost as banking becomes more automated, but many banks are hiring representatives to assist with online services. Tellers are some of the first financial professionals your child likely will interact with.
Loan officers help people apply for loans and make sure they have good enough credit to get financing. A big part of their job is making sure people apply for the right type of loan—taking out too little money can leave the borrower struggling later, while letting them take out too much increases risk for the lender. Your child probably will work with these professionals when he is preparing for college, but because so many people have mortgages and car loans, familiarity with their work can start much earlier.
These agents are trained to contact people with outstanding debts and to get them to pay. Even if you have squeaky clean credit and pay off your balances in full each month, your child still needs to know about the consequences of non-payment. Understanding debt collectors’ responsibility becomes critical during the teen years, where it is possible for your child to get his own credit cards.
Personal financial advisor.
Personal financial advisors take your financial information and offer advice on money steps you might want to take. For instance, they might direct you to diversify your portfolio or sell property given market conditions. Teaching your child about this money-related job is good because it communicates that it’s okay to get help with money, especially if it means growing wealth.
A treasurer makes sure funds are handled appropriately and in accordance with financial goals. One of the earliest places your child might become familiar with this job is through student council. You can point out that their school board has a treasurer, as do the majority of the companies that make toys, food and other items your kids know about.
Budget analysts organize a group’s finances. They monitor how much the organization takes in or spends, just as you do with your personal budget at home. It’s their job to make sure the business or agency is on target with their financial goals. They also draw up reports that help leaders in the organization make financial decisions. This might be a good career choice if your child shows he is good with sticking to a budget on his own.
Auditors review financial documents and practices to ensure you are following set guidelines and are operating as efficiently as you can. Most businesses pull in an auditor from time to time when they are reviewing their practices and staff. Auditors might interact with your child when he gets financial assistance for college. He might also deal with them if he gets a job early—many young people make mistakes when they’re first doing their taxes that can trigger a review of their returns.
Market research analyst.
These financial workers look at how the market is doing in a specific area. They analyze sales, demographic and related information to get a sense of what people might buy in the future. This is beneficial for companies not only in terms of product placement, but also in terms of developing marketing strategies and determining what items to manufacture. It’s helpful for kids to know about market research analysts because a concept of the job lets them better understand why companies promote products the way they do. You’ll likely need to have this conversation with your child in order to fend off spending sprees and get him saving.
Talking about money-related jobs can provide a much more comprehensive understanding of how money works, not just at home, but in the larger business world. It also can be the foundation for career exploration. The more willing you are to bring up these jobs as you complete your own money tasks, the easier it will be for your child to see what’s available.