While opportunities for hedge fund careers are not abundant, they do exist. Past posts have touched on specific personality characteristics hedge fund recruiters seek when considering prospective candidates. These desirable traits include a competitive spirit, the ability to thrive on stress, self-discipline, an analytic mind, decisive, articulate, focused, and, goal oriented personalities.
Hedge fund jobs go to individuals who exhibit most, if not all, of these sought-after qualities. A lucky few are born with many of these persona defining attributes. The remainder must strive to develop them … not always an easy task.
In the past, sports fostered a competitive spirit in children which carried over into their adult lives. However, in the age of un-scored T-Ball games, this competitive spirit is being diminished in favor of an “everyone is a winner” mentality. Rekindling that competitive spirit is essential for those aspiring to a career in hedge funds.
Gaining self discipline requires that one acknowledges weaknesses, establishes plans, limits temptations and maintains focus on long-term rewards.
Success in hedge funds, as in life, requires learning to think and reason, to understand the consequences of one’s actions and to make decisions that favor the best possible outcome. Most learn this through a series of life experiences but, in addition to experience, the ability to search out and integrate all available information and data into the decision making process is key.
Decisive action is the product of an analytic mind.
The ability to persuade others to follow a course of action previously viewed in a negative light is contingent upon one’s ability to articulate the merits of that course of action. Articulation also flows from the analytic mind.
Focus and self discipline are closely related, suggesting that one cannot exist in the absence of the other.
Achieving established goals is highly possible for those who possess the preceding seven traits and skills.
A successful career in hedge funds requires, at minimum, the skills outlined above but, even these do not guarantee entry.
Enhance Your Opportunities
A recent Business Insider article reveals another attribute that may improve your odds of securing a hedge fund positions—a willingness to work non-standard hours. UK-based hedge funds are rumored to be experiencing difficulty in filling middle office positions that require working late hours to cover US trading hours.
Although this requires a significant paradigm shift, considering an overseas hedge fund job may provide the edge needed to land a position. However, a willingness to work these unusual hours will not diminish the need to demonstrate the traits outlined above.
These traits, attributes and skills are interdependent. That is to say, all these traits are critical to success, not only in the hedge fund field, but in all of life’s endeavors.