New normal = new skills
1. Qualification and certification is still king - While other industries are increasingly valuing skills, experience and abilities, for finance, qualifications and certifications are still very relevant. A candidate must possess relevant qualifications and recognised certifications to back his experience and skills. Finance is ruled by standards and principles and sticking to these standards as the only way to get your foot in the door.
2. Interpersonal and communication skills - Gone are the days when finance professionals were just number crunchers. Professionals in the field of finance are increasingly being asked to develop their relationship building skills with clients and maintain a good rapport with them. Infact, it sometimes is the sole differentiator between two candidates with the same qualifications and experience. Along with interpersonal skills, it’s important to develop communication skills as well to break complex finance jargon and technical concepts in simpler words for the management to grasp.
3. Critical thinking and problem-solving abilities - Critical thinking when combined with problem solving abilities can create a lethal combination. Companies and the finance world in general are increasingly favouring those who can predict scenarios, analyse happenings and draw conclusions. Additionally, the industry requires those individuals who are technically sound and have complete knowledge over systems and processes, to also be able to come up with innovative solutions to solve these problems.
4. Tech-savvy - With the rapid increase in the adoption of frontier technologies in the world of finance, it is prudent for individuals to have the ability to quickly adapt to the relevant technology. They must be able to pick up software, automation tools, visualisation tools and other relevant instruments, it is only then that the finance function can truly transform itself into a strategic function.
5. Agility and unlearning - Agility is all about how flexible and adaptable one can be. As simple it may sound, it isn’t. Infact, it’s one of the most important characteristics for a finance professional. Adjusting to constraints and yet making an impact will be a skill employers will be looking forward to seeing in individuals. Unlearning, goes hand in hand with agility. If one is able to continuously learn while on the job and sharpen his or her skill set, then as a consequence one unlearns and relearns what is known already. It’s also agility and unlearning that majorly drive corporate innovation.
In a post-pandemic world, things are going to look very different for the finance industry. Technology is certainly going to have a massive impact if not already and finance leaders will increasingly make use of data in terms of analytics, forecasts and projections to help CEOs with their business decisions. Banking as an industry is already in it’s transformation phase and further introduction and adoption of technology will mean enhanced customer experience. However, the human touch must not be lost amidst digital technology given the complexity of the banking sector. On the other hand, accounting as a key function is being disrupted again by technology such as automation and artificial intelligence.
These technologies can have a great bottom line impact as they help automate monotonous accounting tasks, provide deep insights and prevent money laundering. However, leaders must consider cybersecurity threats and take adequate measures to contain risk.
Lastly, finance enthusiasts who’re eager to pursue a career in finance must ensure they’ve the right qualifications along with other interpersonal skills in order to establish themselves as thorough professionals.