There are many pathways that a career in finance can take you. In today’s fast evolving workplace, finance professionals must not only demonstrate sharp analytical ability and strong communication skills, but also a deep understanding of technology and its ability to advance productivity. Here are five important skills to hone for a career in finance:
CommunicationIn the finance industry you will be working with both finance professionals and people with limited financial knowledge. You’ll need to be able to convey financial jargon in simple terms, so learning to tailor your communication style is vital. Clients will benefit from clear communication skills, as you will likely have to condense complex statistics, investment decisions and data into information that your client can understand and respond to.
Technologically savvyAdvancements in technology and automation have encouraged more recruiters to look toward financial professionals with the right digital skills to leverage new financial systems and solutions. Finance professionals must place tech skills at the forefront of their learning and upskill throughout their career, as businesses needs a workforce who can work in tandem with the technology to become more organised, efficient and profitable.
AnalysisThe ability to gather and analyze a variety of information is an absolute necessity in the finance field. Fortunately this is a skill that almost all degrees will invariably provide, and companies will be looking for individuals who can not only sift through huge amounts of data to spot patterns, discrepancies and trends, but also provide forecasting and creative ideas when it comes to strategic advice and financial solutions.
DecisivenessMaking informed decisions in a timely manner is a skill that is highly sought after in finance. For investment bankers or portfolio managers in particular, there is often limited time to weigh up all of the possible implications of a decision and might result in a missed trade or losing a client who needs a quick response. In general, applicants who can demonstrate an ability to identify all the options and compare them in terms of both costs and effectiveness have an advantage over those who can’t.
Quality client service Increasingly, clients want higher-level support and financial guidance, and that requires professionals who understand client service and the benefits of offering a broader range of value-add services. Employers will look for people with the ability to stay on top of the sector, a skill for listening to understand the client’s current financial challenges as well as an understanding of the clients’ key needs.