[Estimated reading time: 2 minutes]
The finance sector can offer great career opportunities for those looking for continuous professional development, job stability and career satisfaction, particularly because finance roles are in high demand. As with any other career, working in finance requires a high level of commitment and dedication.
The field offers several areas in which one may choose to specialise – accountancy, auditing, banking, insurance,funds, advisory, and trading are just a few of the roles in this field.
So what do employers look out for? Here are some qualities that are essential for finance candidates.
Integrity: This is an absolute requisite when it comes to working in the finance sector. Accounting scandals can bring down major corporations and no employer is willing to take that risk. Candidates need to have a good history of professional integrity and show that they can be trusted both financially as well as with confidential data.
Good communication skills: Finance executives are often involved in a company’s critical decisions and they must be able to communicate complex data in simple terms to all parties involved, from clients to directors. They must also demonstrate good writing skills.
Problem-solving skills: Calm seas don’t make good sailors. The right candidate needs to be able to pull through during challenging times and come up with an adequate solution. Analytical thinking and the ability to keep abreast of changes in the market are crucial to solving problems.
Good command of technology: The software being used in the finance industry is forever changing, and being able to adapt to these new technologies has become a must for candidates. Knowledge of Excel is particularly important for most roles in the finance industry.
Adaptability: Most finance executives are required to work autonomously, without the need of constant supervision. However, besides being independent, the right applicant needs to be able to work within a team when needed, particularly during tight deadlines.
Flexibility: The workload of a company’s finance department tends to increase significantly during certain times of the month or year. Therefore, candidates must be willing to be committed to their company and be ready to work longer hours when necessary.
Conscientiousness: A number of studies suggest that conscientiousness is the only personality trait that is consistently linked with success, and working in the finance industry is no different. It is crucial for those working in finance to be efficient, organised and reliable. Working within the finance department of a company means having to deal with large amounts of complex data, therefore having a strong attention to detail is imperative.
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