Financial services mini series: Part 4
By Ayoob Rawat
Financial Services is a huge industry with many career opportunities. It can be rewarding and lucrative but because of that, there is a lot of competition.
It does not matter what existing degree or qualification you have, as long as you are numerate and passionate about financial independence.
After this series that has been broken down into 5 parts, you will be able to better plot your path to an exciting future in the Financial Services sector.
We will be investigating :
4) Like for any career, what skills will you need to build on to shine?
5) For those interested to set up independently: what organisational structure will you need?
This is part 4 and hence we are talking about the skills required to succeed.
Securing your dream job in financial services is the beginning of your flight to the top. But how do you know what will be expected of you when the need has not even arisen!!!
What are these mysterious skills that will:
- land you that promotion,
- get your foot in the door of an organisation
- or get you rehired if you are laid off?
How can you make your boss's life easier by anticipating what they will need from you tomorrow, next week, next month, and taking care of it ahead of time?
How can you develop relationships with your clients by paying close attention to their situations?
This is one key to my success: LISTENING.
I was good in Maths and had CA qualification - they were the entry ticket on the floor. To reach the top I also had to develop my non-financial skills. Most were picked up along the way from those who were succeeding around me. Even now I am still learning new skills or perfecting those I am still weak on.
Hence over the years, I discovered the art of listening, forecasting the future, the power of data, and flexibility. I like to call these the “soft skills”!
- Communication Skills - Financial professionals must stop listening to themselves but to their clients. This is why ‘Know Your Client’ is the most important process when building your career. Most successes are based on hours of listening.
- Relationship Management Skills - The people skills you need to succeed as a financial professional include understanding different personality types, listening, asking the right questions, resolving conflicts, educating others, and counselling clients.
- Marketing and Sales Skills - Professionals need to be able to market their professional skills and knowledge to prospects in their niche markets.
- Project Management Ability - Any task that takes more than a few minutes is essentially a project – one that you'll need to manage effectively to be profitable. You'll need to efficiently and effectively schedule your time, manage budgets, meet deadlines and get what you need from other people in time to complete your project successfully.
- Problem-Solving Skills - You will always encounter problems in any job, and being able to solve them rather than cracking under pressure is essential.
- Technology Proficiency - No matter where you work these days, you have to be proficient with IT and able to pick up new programs related to your job quickly. The more shortcuts, keys, programs, and functions you know in Excel, the better off you will be in finance. You should also get familiar with marketing and communication software tools.
- Tenacity and Ethics - A competitive personality, passion for your work, and the stamina to work long hours and go above and beyond what's expected of you and what your co-workers and competitors are doing are all crucial to success in finance.
These have been listed from specialists, blogs and articles and you should look at yourself and know what you are good at and what you will need to invest time to perfect. Now it is not something you learn by heart and try to apply parrot-fashion.
It must become part of your personality – listening is not that easy. It must be worked on. I always have a notebook to write important matters mentioned. Nowadays authorised recording, if appropriate, can be quite useful.
Always stay humble rather than flashing your knowledge. Your client has his own ways of finding out about you, what you know and what you are good at.
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