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Essential career skills for the finance sector

A career in the finance sector involves a huge amount of responsibility, as they can entail handling large sums of money. This means the industry is only a good fit for certain people, and there are a number of essential skills you need to even entertain the idea of entering the finance sector.

Before we go any further, however, it should be noted there are a wide number of roles within the finance sector and they are not all solely concerned with handling money. This means you may have some skills that are transferable and would enable you to work in roles ranging from customer service to management. That said, many who work in the finance sector do so because they have a passion or flair for working with numbers, and whether you go into accountancy, banking, insurance, investments or pensions or insurance, good numeracy is likely to be essential.

To be a suitable candidate for any job in the finance sector, you must be able to communicate well with others, both verbally and in writing. You need to be computer literate, which should be a given in this day and age, and able to work on your own, setting your own daily objectives and ensuring you meet them, as well as with others.

In the finance sector, a strong ability and willingness to problem solve by taking a logical, analytical approach is also key. Finance is not the arena for the faint-of-heart, so if you have an assertive personality it could be to your advantage, although you will still need to be sensitive to the needs of others.

There is one attribute that is essential in the finance sector may not be as necessary in other sectors, and that is an awareness of what is happening in the industry and an interest in whatever field you intend to enter.

Anticipation and tenacity can also be crucial attributes in finance; being able to predict what management or clients require from you will help you get recognised, as will going above and beyond. However, these attributes need to be paired with an ethical awareness that will ensure you do not make poor choices in pursuing success that will have a negative impact on you and others.

If you have these skills, you could be an asset to any company in the finance sector, such as Wescot, which offers a great deal of variety in a challenging and stimulating environment. Like many companies in finance, the debt collection agency offers you the chance to progress, enabling you to get a real taste of the sector in all its different guises.

The one skill that is absolutely essential in the finance sector is the ability to provide exemplary customer service. While part of delivering exemplary customer service is the ability to communicate with customers, keep them updated and solve any issues they may be having, it is most important this is backed up with understanding.

Exemplary customer service is based on the ability to build relationships with customers so they know they are valued by the company they are dealing with. Any previous role where you have dealt with members of the public, even if only a part-time retail assistant role in a high street store, could stand you in good stead. When a customer contacts you about a problem, they need to know not only that you empathise with them, but that you are taking on board their needs in order to work towards a satisfactory solution for all parties.

What if you are planning to enter a particular field in the finance sector; are there specific skills you need? If you are planning to go into accountancy, then obviously you need to have a good head for numbers, as you will be dealing with them constantly. You will also need to have a thorough understanding of current tax legislation.

You will need good knowledge of the area if you want to go into investments or pensions, with legislation around the latter almost constantly changing, and of course, what makes a good investment changes from one moment to the next. Financial planning, on the other hand, makes use of more transferable skills, but you will need to back these up with financial astuteness and an understanding of acceptable levels of risk.

The finance sector can seem like an impenetrable environment for those who do not have a degree in finance or other relevant qualifications, but the truth is that many roles are accessible if you have essential skills that can be adapted for use in the industry.

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