To excel as a financial professional, you need a specialized skillset that goes beyond financial expertise, crunching figures and analyzing operational successes. Because if you can’t perform other basic functions of your job, it’s impossible to fulfill the full potential of a financial position.
Today’s financial professionals need to master these seven non-financial skills:
- Marketing. You’ll never get anywhere if you can’t market your professional knowledge to your niche market. Potential clients need to know how you can help them better manage their assets. This starts by understanding your personal, as well as your firm’s own strengths, and how to best translate the benefits you can provide.
- Communication. For a financial pro, verbal, nonverbal and written communication skills are non-negotiable — from the ability to communicate clearly while translating complicated data to recommending the best courses of action to your clients and constituents. Communicating nonverbally especially requires a keen awareness of any possible interpretations of gestures, expressions or body language that can affect how the message is received.
- Relationship management. Your role at your firm involves lots of number crunching, but it all comes down to meeting the needs of your clients. From listening and understanding different personality types to asking the right questions and resolving conflicts, people skills are key to your job function.
- Presentation. You know that old saying, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it”? When it comes to discussing financial information, this applies — particularly if you’re delivering not-so-great news.That’s why the finance industry needs professionals who can pitch ideas, present proposals and discuss sensitive data with all types of people.
- Project management. As a busy financial professional, you need to effectively manage time and budgets, and meet tight deadlines, all while staying organized and paying close attention to the smallest details. With so many balls in the air, your project management skills should be in tip top shape to avoid any oversights or overdue projects can kill your credibility.
- Problem-solving. With any job, you must be prepared and equipped to troubleshoot issues as they arise — without cracking under pressure. Taking swift and professional action will help resolve problems in a timely matter, without affecting the flow of business. That’s why finance professionals should be at the top of their game when it comes to everyday problem solving.
- Tech savvy. We’re in the midst of a digital transformation, and financial professionals who want to keep up with the times are required to stay current with the latest software and programs. Developing good technical skills and adapting to new technology is critical for any firm that want to grow and stay competitive.
To succeed in finance, it takes more than a keen knowledge of numbers. By combining an ability to analyze data with the skills to project manage, communicate and acclimate to changing technology, your firm’s financial department will be primed for greatness.