Top Skills to Possess to standout in Finance
If you’re a whiz with numbers, you’re probably thinking that your star will shine brightly in the world of finance and that you’ll live happily ever after once you graduate. You’re wrong. The reality is, everyone who graduates with a degree in finance knows how to crunch the numbers. This skill is a required one and, though you’ll need it, it won’t make you stand out in the competitive finance career crowd. You’ll have to develop different skills if you want to do that.
To go far in finance, you’ll need to be able to understand the numbers and then decide what to do with the information they give you. Sometimes the numbers present problems and challenges, and the more creative you are, the better able you will be to successfully navigate them. With a bit of creativity, you can dream up new investment strategies, find ways to hop on pending opportunities and put money to work in ways that deviate from what everyone else is doing.
Many graduates looking to begin a career in finance can’t wait to shoot right to the top of the corporate food chain. With stars in their eyes and visions of a corner office right next to Warren Buffet, they begrudgingly take jobs at small banks, brokerage firms and insurance agencies to pay their dues and get the experience they need to polish their resume for bigger and better things. Unfortunately, this often leads to overlooking the growth opportunities available where they already are. Companies won’t invest training and other resources into you if they know you’ve got a foot out the door, which means you could miss out on something pretty great in your own backyard. Commit to your job and watch your reputation in finance blossom.
You may know exactly what to do with an investment or how to solve a problem, but that won’t help anybody if you can’t convey what needs to be done to those who need to do it. It’s also important to be aware that, in the financial world, the news isn’t always good. You’ll need to be able to deliver the news and explain it even when it isn’t all sunshine and roses. Establishing and maintaining relationships with clients, supervisors and coworker will be extremely beneficial to your career and requires good communication skills.
If you opted for a degree in finance because all of the career aptitude tests your high school guidance counselor gave you said you would be good at it, you’re in trouble. If there is anything constant about the world of finance, it’s that it is always changing. Those who truly excel in the financial world are those who are on top of these trends and changes, capitalizing on them before others even know they’re happening. This requires a lot of reading and networking, which are pretty boring activities when you have no passion for the subject.
Jonah Engler is a financial expert and an entrepreneur from NYC.