6 Critical Non-Finance Skills To Have In Your Finance Career
Excellent financial and mathematical skills are just the start when it comes to a brilliant finance career. There are other skills you will need to get to the top of the profession. Below you can learn the non-finance abilities that will make your finance career soar.
And if you seek assistance in paying for your education, there are many finance and accounting scholarships out there that will lend you a hand.
You’ll need to hone your people skills to succeed in the financial world. It’s vital to understand the different personality types, be able to listen, ask the right questions, and be able to resolve conflicts. You also need to know how to educate people and provide expert advice to your clients.
How important is relationship management? One accomplished financial planner opines that a successful finance career is 15% finance and technical knowledge and 85% psychology! When people come to you with money issues, they probably spend too much, don’t save enough, or even save everything. They need an objective advisor who can help them with tough financial decisions.
Sales and Marketing Skills
Others in the field say skilled financial professionals need to market their skills and knowledge to prospects in their niche. This means you must possess a full understanding of your personal strengths and your company’s professional assets.
As you market yourself to clients, you should communicate your knowledge level and your caring nature. Remember, most clients’ most precious assets are not their money but their loved ones. Clients want to be reassured that you can help them to manage money to protect their families.
Any job task that takes more than five minutes is usually a project. You need to have the project management chops to turn a profit. This means knowing how to budget your time, manage financial budgets, meet multiple deadlines, and get essentials from other people to finish your projects on time.
One corporate finance professional notes that most analytical projects have people questioning assumptions and inputs. Delivering on-time backup data is vital, so people don’t question your project results.
It’s vital to have hard copies and electronic files meticulously organized so you can flip to necessary information fast. You could be asked a complicated question months later by a CFO who needs this critical info in 15 minutes for an overseas conference call. Sloppiness and disorganization can be lethal to your career path.
You face problems in any job, and knowing to untangle them quickly rather than wilting under pressure is critical.
It can also help if you gaze beyond your job roles and responsibilities to climb the corporate ladder. Help coworkers solve their issues rather than just reporting them to managers. When you help others out of sticky situations, your career will blossom as the word gets out that you are a team player.
Anywhere you work in finance, you need a high computer and technical proficiency to use new software that helps you in your job. The more programs, functions, shortcuts, and keys you master in Excel, the better off your finance career will be. Spend a few days getting slick and knowledgeable in Excel, and you’ll be the office darling.
Go-getters get ahead in finance. But you cannot be so cutthroat and competitive that you make unethical choices that torpedo a promising career. It’s vital to adhere to ethical standards in finance, such as those laid out for Certified Financial Planners.
There you have it: six essential non-finance skills that will turbocharge your finance career. Focus on honing these skills, and you could find yourself in the executive suite sooner than you dreamed!
The Ultimate Guide to the Essential Social Skills in Business
Effective communication and strong relationships are essential for success in the workplace. One factor that can greatly influence these qualities is emotional intelligence, often abbreviated as EQ. EQ refers to the ability to identify, understand, and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. Research has shown that individuals with high levels of EQ are better equipped to handle stress, communicate effectively, and work collaboratively with others (Chamorro-Premuzic & Sanger, 2016).
Research has consistently shown that emotional intelligence (EQ) is an important predictor of job performance and success in the workplace. EQ is comprised of a set of skills that allow individuals to recognize, understand, and regulate their own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. In addition, individuals with high EQ are better able to communicate effectively, build relationships, and navigate complex social situations. As a result, they are often viewed as effective leaders and collaborators, and are more likely to achieve their personal and professional goals.
In fact, a number of studies have demonstrated the significant impact that EQ has on job performance and success. For example, one study of 85 upper-level managers found that those with higher EQ scores were rated as more effective leaders by their subordinates (Law, Wong, & Song, 2004). Another study of 151 employees found that those with higher EQ were more likely to be promoted within their organization over a five-year period (Carmeli, Brueller, & Dutton, 2009). These findings highlight the importance of EQ in the workplace and suggest that developing these skills can lead to significant benefits for both individuals and organizations.
According to a study conducted by TalentSmart, a leading provider of EQ assessments, EQ is responsible for 58% of success in all job types (Bradberry & Greaves, 2009). In contrast, IQ only accounts for about 4% of success in the workplace. This suggests that EQ is a crucial skill set for individuals in any professional field. Fortunately, EQ is a skill that can be developed and honed over time with practice and awareness.
There are several key components of EQ that are particularly important for success in the workplace. These include:
Self-Regulation: This refers to your capacity to recognize and control your emotions. Sometimes treating them when they arise may be necessary. Understanding how to manage your anger is essential. However, it can also cover how to control the feelings you’ll experience.
Self-Awareness: This implies recognizing and understanding your own feelings. Do noisy places make you nervous? Do other people talking over you make you angry? Knowing these truths about yourself shows that you are working on your self-awareness. Being conscious of yourself is necessary for this phase, which can be more complex than it sounds.
Socialization: This category focuses on your capacity to manage social interactions and direct relationships. It doesn’t entail dominating others but knowing how to work with others to achieve your goals. This could entail presenting your ideas to coworkers, leading a team, or resolving a personal disagreement.
Motivation: Strong motivators include external forces like money, status, or suffering. Internal motivation, however, plays a significant role in Goleman’s concept. By doing so, you demonstrate your ability to control your cause and initiate or continue initiatives of your own volition rather than in response to external demands.
Empathy: It’s equally critical to be sensitive to others’ feelings. This may entail learning to identify different emotional states in individuals — for example, can you tell the difference between someone at ease and someone anxious? — but it also requires comprehension of how other people may react to their current situation. Empathy is one of the essential traits in business and business leadership.
A thought leader in this space, Michael Ventura has built a career advising organizations on the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace. In his book, Applied Empathy, Ventura highlights the value of empathy in business and provides strategies for developing and applying this skill set. With two decades of experience as a leader, facilitator, and educator, Ventura’s work has made impact in with prestigious institutions such as Princeton University and the United Nations as well as corporate clients such as Google and Nike.
Through his work, Ventura advises leaders to focus on the development of EQ in order to help individuals improve their communication, collaboration, and leadership skills, ultimately leading to greater success in the workplace. Experts like Ventura continue to support the growing body of research on the value of EQ in business, and the evidence that organizations who invest in the EQ of their teams help to create a more empathetic and successful professional environment.
And it’s worth noting that EQ isn’t just important for individual success in the workplace, but also for overall organizational success. A study by the Center for Creative Leadership found that EQ was a better predictor of success than IQ or technical skills in the workplace, and that teams with higher levels of EQ tend to be more effective and productive (Boyatzis, Goleman, & Rhee, 1999). By cultivating a culture of empathy and emotional intelligence, organizations can improve their overall performance and create a more positive work environment for their employees.
In conclusion, emotional intelligence is a crucial component of success in the workplace, and individuals and organizations alike should prioritize the development of these skills. The ones that do not only develop a leading edge in their category, but also become a meaningful place to work for their teams. And in today’s rapidly changing talent landscape, the retention of highly capable, emotionally intelligent leaders is one of the greatest keys to unlocking success.
Boyatzis, R. E., Goleman, D., & Rhee, K. S. (1999). Clustering competence in emotional intelligence: Insights from the emotional competence inventory (ECI). In R. Bar-On & J. D. A. Parker (Eds.), Handbook of emotional intelligence (pp. 343-362). Jossey-Bass.
Bradberry, T., & Greaves, J. (2009). Emotional intelligence 2.0. TalentSmart.
Chamorro-Premuzic, T., & Sanger, M. N. (2016). Does employee happiness matter? Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, 3(2), 168-191.
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