For financial services professionals, there’s a variety of technical skills that are expected of you in order to perform in your role. However, while technical skills and particular certifications are important, you don’t want to overlook the value of your soft skills!
“While employers are looking for financial services professionals who demonstrate the technical skills necessary to do the job, they’re looking for candidates who can bring even more to the table,” says Paul Herman, a Senior Managing Director in The Execu|Search Group’s Financial Services division. “A professional who has the personality traits, characteristics, and work ethic that meets the employer’s expectations is going to have a stronger chance of landing new opportunities and making career advancements. This is generally due to their ability to think and act strategically.”
If you work in financial services, you may already have an understanding of how important innate soft skills are to your success. If you are unsure of what those are though, here are several that can make you stand out:
Ability to multitask
The ability (and willingness!) to handle multiple responsibilities at once is one of the most important soft skills for financial services professional to have. “When you work in financial services, you may experience a large demand for cross-functional expectations, meaning you may have to tackle more responsibilities than you originally anticipated,” explains Paul. “Though your first instinct may be to clam up, the best way to handle it is to take a deep breath and prioritize.”
Effective communication skills
While you do need to have impeccable written and verbal communication skills, financial services professionals need to go beyond the basics when it comes to communication. “When you’re working in an environment with cross-functional responsibilities and expectations, you must be capable of communicating quickly and efficiently,” says Paul. “Additionally, having the ability to do all of these things in a professional manner is critical. If there is miscommunication over a particular issue, it’s important to demonstrate that you’re able to express what can be done to remedy the issue.”
Proven leadership and project management skills
While your job title may not indicate leadership expectations, there are ways to prove you have leadership potential. Taking ownership and initiative in regards to your responsibilities, for instance, is a great way to earn your employer’s trust and position yourself for career adcancement!
Going outside of your comfort zone
Working in financial services, you may be committed to your work as a specialist or as a member of a team servicing a specific area. However, there may be times when you are called to offer your talents to an area you may not think you’re equipped to provide support to. Though you may second guess yourself, the trick to overcoming this is to understand how valuable you are to your company. “Employers value employees willing to go beyond their normal job description,” says Paul. “That willingness to provide support for an area outside of your specialty speaks volumes. Not only does it impress the people you’re directly helping, but it also shows you’re a team player who can adapt to different situations!”