Mar 19, 2012

What does it take to work in finance?

Working in finance is a long-held dream of many people, but it takes a certain person to succeed in what is a competitive marketplace. Are you really cut out for a career in finance? Will a finance recruitment specialist snap you up in a second? Let's think about it...

Are you a good communicator? Those working in finance must have excellent communication skills, not only in terms of dealing with people at a face-to-face level, but also via email or telephone. You must have a reassuring, formal manner but still sound friendly and polite. This will also help you in your teamwork, which you'll likely have to do plenty of in a finance role - so consider your team-working skills also.

Good with words and numbers? It's pretty much a given that you'll need to a numbers whizz to work in finance. It's simple - if maths isn't your strong point, perhaps another career would work out better for you. You'll also need a strong attention to detail, as leaving one figure out or leaving one number off a financial total could mean the difference between a huge corporate deal going through or falling through. Don't fool yourself into thinking it's something you can learn either. Harsh as it sounds; numerical skills are usually something you're born with or without.

Able to provide commitment and dedication? Working in finance isn't easy, there's no denying that. To get to the top, you need to be extremely hard-working and willing to put in the right level of commitment. Refusing to work extra hours on projects or demanding overtime payment for each minute worked past 5pm just isn't going to cut it. You need to want to be in the business; to be focused more on the bigger picture and the end results than the extra time you have to put in.

Whilst these are just a few of the attributes you'll need to excel within the financial market, they are key and something you really must considering before diving headfirst in. If you're confident in your abilities and think you'll really love working in finance, then you're half-way to the top already - well done!

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