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Top Tips for Working in Compliance

When I tell people I work in compliance, many respond with, “Oh, I couldn't do that.” People tend to have an antiquated notion that the role of compliance is to enforce company policy by catching people making mistakes.

Coming up through the ranks in the financial services industry over the last 18 years helped me gain a better understanding that compliance is much more than that. It's true that attention to detail is important in compliance roles, but client service is even more so. Having the soft skills to interact with people, understanding and fulfilling client expectations, and gaining respect from those you work with are by far the most important elements of my role and what has given me the greatest job satisfaction and success.

Compliance is so much more than simply forcing regulations and rules on employees; that's really just a side effect of great client care. Many times these rules and regulations are not black and white. If you work in compliance, you should have the skills to not only interpret rules and regulations properly but also apply these regulations so they fit in with your firm culture and its clients' expectations.

Looking at the big picture and being flexible are also imperative. Perhaps you notice a pattern that your clients are always missing the initial field on page three or team members always seem to miss the deadline even though you give them a month. Thinking on your feet and coming up with innovative solutions to fix these patterned problems can help you gain respect from your clients, employees, and management.

While analytical skills are absolutely necessary in a compliance role, being able to lift your head from the data sometimes and see the forest for the trees is too.
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