The pandemic has caused a big shake-up in the finance sector, accelerating the changes that had slowly been happening.
New skills are needed for our post-pandemic world of finance; there has been a shift in what employers are looking for, which is being recognised at every level.
According to Yahoo! Finance, the skills needed to support the future of the U.K. economy “will require an additional £13 billion per year”. Another report published by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) revealed that 9 in ten British employees would need to reskill by 2030 to meet the ever-changing demand of business.
So what are the skills that are going to become essential in the coming years, and how can you as a finance employee, update your skill set to become a more valuable, and employable, individual?
Let’s take a look at them.
Tech Finance Skills
Digital finance is one of the more significant ways our world has changed since the pandemic.
The pandemic has almost eradicated cash, with suitable digital finance solutions more in demand than ever.
A new Mckinsey report on the state of digital banking in the Covid era has revealed that technology-driven change is set to transform our economy and society.
The report states, “Addressing the situation will require further global action and public–private coordination. Banks will play a critical role in this for their customers, their employees, and the economy at large. Cash and deposit services, credit extension, payment facilitation, and market–making are all essential services.”
If ever there was a time to recognise that digital financial skills have become invaluable, now is that time – have you been keeping up with digital advancements in your role? Is there any extra internal or external training you can undertake to ensure you are confident with all the latest tech related to your finance role?
On a more general basis, employees need to be able to work remotely, which means mastering the digital skills that come with this. This means knowing your way around Zoom and Microsoft Teams, understanding how to use and share digital documents, being able to identify and solve problems remotely and digitally.
Are you comfortable working from home, or do you much prefer to be in the office where there is someone always available for tech help?
You must be able to demonstrate to employers that you are technologically adept in your finance role.
While working from home and communicating over long distances, and perhaps with new team members you might not have even met in person, excellent communication skills are essential.
Remote communication is a new skill that is emerging from the pandemic – many employers and employees alike would not have realised the potential challenges of remote communication until this year.
Poor communication can result in loss of productivity; it can increase tension and can cause stress among the team.; it is essential that when you communicate, you are doing so in a way that makes everyone’s roles that little bit easier.
The following are communication skills you should focus on developing for our post-Covid world:
- Active listening – many people stop listening soon after someone starts talking, they listen just enough to reply. Active listening is when you engage in every word your colleague is saying.
- Avoid using vague words – avoid words such as ‘it’, ‘that’ and ‘this’ when explaining things to your colleagues – be very specific, always.
- Clarify financial language – a big communication fail is when people assume that the person they’re talking to knows what they’re talking about. Always clarify, especially if you are communicating financial ideas to a non-finance colleague.
Finally, let’s look at the importance of developing your emotional intelligence – an essential skill for every finance candidate.
Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, manage and use your emotions in a positive way for yourself and those around you. It is especially essential in businesses right now, as teams must work together to overcome new and difficult challenges.
As an emotionally intelligent finance employee, you should be able to use your emotional intelligence to communicate effectively, to support your colleagues through their challenges and to lead a team when the time comes for you to step up.
To develop your emotional intelligence, there are a few areas for you to concentrate on – your self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy and your social skills.
The following are ways for you to develop your emotional intelligence:
- Take note of how others react to you, do you tend to build long-lasting, meaningful relationships with colleagues, or are your working relationships more of a formality? Emotionally intelligent individuals are open and perceptive to the needs of others, so try listening more and try to put yourself in the other person’s position to be more aware of their needs.
- Review how you act to stressful situations – emotionally intelligent people are able to stay calm no matter what the situation.
- Before you speak or act, think about how what you are about to do might impact others – is there a way you can react to a situation to benefit not just you, but the rest of the team, too?
Equipping yourself with these skills of the emerging workplace will position you as an invaluable candidate.
If you are currently looking for a new finance role and would like a discussion about your career path and to explore the current opportunities we have for finance candidates, we can help.
Get in touch with me by calling 01282 930930 or contact me via email here to discuss your finance career prospects.
About Rebus Financial Recruitment
Rebus Financial Recruitment provides a specialist and focused recruitment service to its customers, which historically range from a wide variety of organisations including SME’s to large PLCs.
We strive to offer both the client and candidate a seamless recruitment experience. Using our expertise, we get to the heart of employer and employee needs; and, in doing so, we match the two perfectly. To find out more, get in contact with one of our team today, or you can call us on 01282 930930.